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Designing Women: An Interview With Design Duo Elsie & Kel

Andrea Doxey

Posted on August 01 2018

Here at Rainsford Company, we're all about women supporting women. When we were first introduced to the interior design duo, Laura Collins and Kelly Lynn Armstrong, behind Elsie & Kel, we knew they would be the perfect pair to answer some design questions! Their eclectic style channels both traditional and Cali vibes - two aesthetics we can get behind. Read on to hear more about their design journey and view how their unique point of view comes to life.


1. Describe Your Design Philosophy

We believe that your living space should be a reflection of ones sensibilities. Whether that be quirky, sophisticated or somewhere in the middle – Elsie & Kel Design collaborates to create spaces that are visually unique to each individual.


2. You recently started your design firm, Elsie & Kel. Can you tell us what led you to that decision and what your vision is for your firm?

We wanted to create a space that was different from what we felt other Toronto based designers were providing. We saw there was a void in the market and we wanted to bring something different to the community that we thought was lacking. We aspire and plan to have a client base that is coming to Elsie & Kel Design for our eye and aesthetic.
 
In future, we would love to be a part of peoples design process from the ground up - from the selection of their bathroom tile, to the upholstery of their favourite chair we strive to add our personal stamp.

3. Who are your design influences?

Logan Killen Interiors have been major inspirations; their work is eclectic and their spaces feel unique and lived, while being incredibly beautiful.
 
Amber Interiors has been a constant source we look too for design guidance and we often like to venture "WWAD" (what would Amber do), she is always true to her aesthetic and is always evolving and pushing the boundaries.
 
Anna Spiro was an early inspiration, she is a big advocate for white walls and pops of colour. As her style has evolved she has gone even bolder and brighter and we love it.
 
Kelly Wearstler is never one to back down when it comes to living largely and boldly. She has created an empire of cool, no one is doing it quite like.

4. Your aesthetic is so clean and bright- we absolutely love it! What tips or strategies do you have for people who want to use colour or try out a new trend but are a little unsure? 

We LOVE colour, and love experimenting with it. We recommend starting with a smaller space like a powder room if you are not wanting to commit to something bigger, add a splash of paint or wallpaper. Beyond larger statements like paint, we suggest easily interchangeable pieces like throw pillows and decor items that can be swapped out when you get tired of them. Walking into a space with colour and depth always excites us, and we encourage everyone to take a corner of their homes and experiment by adding a little colour into their world!


5. What is your design pet-peeve?

Being too safe. Design is fun, it is about creating a space you love, and while you may be investing a lot in a space it is important to bring pieces you love into your space vs. what you may conceive will be a more "conventional" choice, or something for the resell.


6. Okay now the fun part... Who are your dream dinner party guests?

Nancy Meyers, Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent, Garance Dore, Jessie Loeffler Randall, Bob Marley, Jenna Lyons, Princess Diana, Andy Cohen and Sarah Jessica Parker.
 
We would do a 5 à 7, more of a mingling hour, where we would serve Aperol Spritz and a selection of appetizers, fresh gelato and we would be hosting at a villa in Tuscany - think the Call me By your Name home.

To keep up to speed on what this dynamic design duo is up to, be sure to follow along on Instagram @elsieandkel and visit their website elsieandkel.com.


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