Understated Elegance with Kerry Joyce

Kerry Joyce has a little something most interior designers don’t: an Emmy Award. The art director-turned-designer, who recently relocated his studio to Silverlake, juggles a multitude of projects with his signature ease. There’s a furniture line for Dessin Fournir, lighting designs for Palmer Hargrave, a rug collection for Mansour Modern, and his eponymous line of textiles, all in conjunction with residential projects across the United States. The Boston-born designer earned a degree in scenery and lighting design for theater from NYU’s School of the Arts before making the move west. Though his East Coast roots run deep (and he has an office in Connecticut), we’re claiming him as Californian. Here, a glimpse into the world of one of our favorite designers.

How would you describe your aesthetic? I am a modernist at heart who loves the challenge of working in different styles and periods. I delight when a client wants something I haven’t done before. Being somewhat of a chameleon, my work ranges from stark austere modern, classic Georgian, to Hawaiian inspired beach houses.

How did you get started in the business? During the heyday of variety shows, I came to Los Angeles to become an art director for television and film. Then I opened a wonderful store for period architectural products: columns, moldings and mantelpieces. Customers loved the way I had designed the store and that segued into architecture, interior design and product design.

Where do you find creative inspiration? Much of my design is intuitive, and often I just have a feeling or impulse and go with it. Divine inspiration or madness? But also travel and my extensive library of architecture and interior design books is quite inspirational. I do love Google photo search, and Pinterest has become quite deep with vetted content.

If you could reside on a Hollywood film set from any era, what would it be? I love the work of Academy Award-winning production designer Cedric Gibbons, who designed wonderful Art Moderne sets for many films. I would be delighted to live in anyone of them. He also designed the iconic Oscar Award statuette.

What takes a kitchen or bath from ordinary to extraordinary? Great kitchens should always have a comfortable seating area, an intimate breakfast booth and be opened to a beautiful view. It’s great when friends and family can be in the room as you prepare dinner in the heart of your home. Kitchens should be open to the family room, not closed off from the rest of the family space. That said, it is great to have pocket doors to close the kitchen from the seating area when kitchen activity can become distracting. Bathrooms should be designed as a retreat; warmly furnished with a comfortable place to sit, when possible. Treat it like any other room that only happens to have a freestanding tub and a handsome furniture-style sink vanity. Shy away from what feels purely utilitarian—give it spirit.

Images courtesy of the designer