Insight into Inspired Style with Kip Rodrigue
We feel so fortunate to collaborate with some amazing talent at Adon Solutions, especially when we’re redesigning a beautiful home for a client. Recently, we’ve tapped into interior designer, Kip Rodrigue, for some insight into quality design. As the founder and owner of the Chicago-based firm Kip Rodrigue Designs, Rodrigue’s work has been featured in a variety of luxury and design magazines, and a few of the projects he has been involved with have received some awards. He earned his M.A. and B.A. in Art and Architectural History and is known for his knowledge of historical preservation, decorative arts, and antiques.
Although he is currently working on multiple projects in three different cities, the project for which he has a special affection happens to be one he is working on with Adon Solutions. The home is a breathtaking Classical Revival apartment built in the 1920’s that is comprised of large, well-proportioned rooms replete with stunning wall and ceiling moldings. A natural, captivating light permeates the entire space, a feature that informed Rodrigue’s decisions when he chose the materials for the interior’s design scheme. Selecting textiles that collectively shimmer when the light strikes them, the rooms now sparkle with an inviting glow when sunlight spills through the windows.
I love the notion of glamour, and this place will radiate that in spades,” Rodrigue said. “It’s the sort of place I love to design, because it’s the sort of interior I personally would want to live in!
We loved hearing Rodrigue’s interior decorating advice and design insight.
Q: What advice do you have for people who are thinking about redecorating?
A: Think before you leap! Design is extremely complicated, where designers and architects spend an inordinate amount of time learning their respective trades–how to properly manipulate space, utilize color and more. We are still constantly learning and evolving daily. The advent of the internet and its associated plethora of sites like Pinterest, Houzz, and the like, seem to cause everyone to think they are a decorator. It’s important to remember, however, that just because something is pretty and works well in one space doesn’t mean it will work well in yours. You can’t just pop into your local hardware store and pick a swatch of color you like based on a tear-sheet from a magazine and expect it to automatically work well in your own home. Color is nuanced, and the same color that might work in a desert-like setting will look awful in a cramped and sunless high-rise London apartment. The same applies to other aspects of design as well.
Admittedly, not everyone can afford an interior designer, but you can still make educated decisions. Even though folks research almost everything before they actually make a purchase, they will drop thousands on redesigning their homes without any actual forethought or preparation. I see it every day, and the results are almost invariably calamitous and expensive to rectify.
Q: Whose design work, past or present, do you look to for inspiration?
A: So many designers’ works have inspired me over the years. One example is Givenchy’s Paris pied-a-terre from the 70’s, designed by Charles Sevigny. It’s an elaborate juxtaposition of museum quality Boulle furniture and modern upholstered pieces. If you said to me that I could choose one place to live from all of history, this would be it.
Another was the Paris apartment of Pierre Delbee, of the firm Maison Jansen. This apartment was like a glimmering custom jewel box from Cartier. Also, Bill Blass’ Sutton Place home in New York–American understated chic at its finest.
The austere interior of the Mark Rothko chapel in Texas also comes to mind. Created through a collaborative effort between the donor, the artist himself, Philip Johnson as architect, and company, the place exudes more spirituality than any soaring Gothic cathedral in Europe ever could. It’s the perfect realization of architecture, art, and design. Even the sad history behind it just makes it all the more poignant. And you can’t get any more inspirational than that!
I also believe that some of the best interiors are actually created by fashion designers and visual artists, because they tend to think outside the box and ignore the time-held rules of design–but they do it with such flair and artistic fervor that the outcomes are fascinating to behold.
Q: What do you think makes a great design project or client to work with?
A: My favorite projects, in general, are those where I develop a truly visceral connection with the client, so then I am able to not just simply imbue their space with style and comfort, but also to create a home that is very personal to them. A lot of folks can make a room look pretty, but it is has to function on multiple levels to make it work well for each individual.
That said, I also adore a client who understands what I do and makes it challenging. I once had an exceedingly bright and cultured Chicago client who, although he was in the finance industry, knew as much about design and design-related history as I did! So, there was a constant interchange of ideas between us based on design, history, art, philosophy and psychology. It was a fascinating process.
Q: What is it like working with Adon Solutions as one of their preferred designers?
A:I have the highest level of respect for the personal dedication that Adon Solutions gives to each and every client. They think of clients as family and friends, which is an added bonus for everyone involved. My relationship with Adon has been an immeasurable learning experience, because working with their team offers a completely different dynamic than what I am used to with my usual one-on-one relationship with my own personal clients. It has been an extraordinary journey. I’ve been given the opportunity to work on several amazing projects through his company; moreover, there are several properties that Adon oversees that any designer would love to get their hands on to decorate, and so I am exceedingly excited for my future projects with Adon!