Regina Andrew mixes traditional materials with contemporary lines and smartly weaves them into new yet timeless lighting, furniture and decor. This month we are delighted to have designer Kathy Kuo speak more in depth on this emerging trend and explore her tips for designing a space with lighting.
DEFINING MODERN TRADITIONAL WITH KATHY KUO
Kathy Kuo is the CEO of Kathy Kuo Home, a recognized TV personality, and a celebrated interior designer. Published in the press as an international guru within the home and lifestyle space, Kathy has an unmatched eye for curating, sourcing and designing luxury furniture and homewares. Today, she continues to develop the fastest growing online platform in the home and design industry.
How would you define Modern Traditional as a style?
When I think “Modern Traditional” I think of an interior design motif that’s equal parts clean lines and minimalism, as well as rustic and rooted in comfort. Modern Traditional design is never fussy or formal, but still always looks polished and cohesive, complete with eye-catching modern design elements, as well as some elements that look very all-American and somewhat handcrafted.
What tips would you suggest to incorporate this look into a home?
The Modern Traditional look is super-easy to bring into just about any space. I’d advise mixing sleek, modern pieces with ones crafted from natural and rustic materials. The blend of modern silhouettes with traditional techniques and craftsmanship is key.
How would you use lighting to achieve the Modern Traditionalist look? Are there specific fixtures that you would suggest from the Regina Andrew line?
Mixing old and new within the same space is such an art in and of itself, are there any rules of thumb that you live by?
I never like to put hard and fast rules on design! You’re likely to be able to create a look you love if you just do your research, trust your instincts, and invest in high-quality pieces. If you have any traditional heirloom or antique pieces you want to highlight, start there and build your room by adding modern accent pieces. The juxtaposition of old and new can be so striking, and there are a lot of ways to achieve the look — really, the only “rule” I would suggest is that you prioritize really well-made fixtures. You can’t go wrong with expertly crafted pieces like Regina Andrews’.
What are the three most important factors that you look for when choosing lighting?
I have three top tips when it comes to choosing lighting: Make a statement, create contrast with light and space, and know your fixture types. Good lighting is going to be a piece of your interior design, and will add as much visual interest as a piece of art or accent furniture. It also helps to understand how different light fixtures and their placement will interact with the colors and textures of a room — you can really make a room feel bigger and more open if you’re strategic with lighting.
Are your fixture choices part of the early design ideation or do they come later in your process?
I like to think of light fixture choices as an integral part of the design process. Lighting is just as important as furniture and decor to the look and feel of a space. Especially if you’re envisioning fixtures that have to be installed — like chandeliers or flush mounts — it’s very helpful to start that conversation early on, since those are going to be more difficult to move around later.