Dialogue: Kimberley B. Hansen

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Native San Diegan Kimberley Hansen is an award-winning designer with Burgess Hansen Design, where she has worked since 1999. A board member of the San Diego chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers since 2007, she begins her tenure as president this month. Kimberley has participated in many ASID programs, including home tours and the renovation of dog and cat habitats at the San Diego Humane Society. A strong advocate for design students, she also has taught business practices for interior designers at Mesa College. 

Q: What will be the priorities for your ASID presidency?

A: For me, a huge push will be to get out in the community, not only doing more volunteer programs, but also getting out and educating the public about interior design, because it really is for everyone. Obviously there’s a luxury market, but interior design really is for everyone. It’s about making sure you are safe in your home, that you live in a house and environment that you can stay in as long as you want because we’re thinking ahead. 

Q: What will success look like to you?

A: Success obviously will be making sure that I meet my budget, but also that we engage as many members as possible. I want to re-engage with seasoned designers that have been doing business for years, and then you have all these emerging professionals, too. The knowledge base that they each have is so different that putting those two sources together I really think is unstoppable. 

Q: With the younger generation and their DIY ethic, is there a concern that residential interior designers could go the way of the travel agent?

A: There is a little bit of that. Everybody has a neighbor who’s really good at design. It doesn’t mean your neighbor might not have some skills, but the difference is your neighbor does not have the education or the experience as far being a qualified professional. That’s where the big difference lies.

Q: Do you think the rise of Internet shopping has hurt the interior design business?

A: Now everybody can shop for themselves. You can find anything on the Internet, which for a lot of designers wasn’t really a good thing. It hit them in a way that they were not used to. But I see that as almost creat-ing a client base, because there’s so much information and there are so many products, so many choices to make, that you actually need someone to assist you in deciding what really works for you. Because everything is beautiful in a catalog, in a picture, but what really works for you? What functions in your home? 

Q: Are you a trend watcher?

A: I think it’s important to pay attention to trends in terms of what’s going on, what’s hot, what’s coming out and bring that back to your client. And I think trends as far as colors are really important, because that’s where you’re really able to change things up. You can do that with paint and fabric, as long as your base pieces are really solid. But I’m a big believer in making sure people get what they want, what they’re comfortable with. And that runs the gamut, because we don’t all want the same thing.

Q: What kind of trends are you noticing now?

A: We’re getting back to a little bit more of essentials and what makes us comfortable and what we really need or want to have in our space. Even in very traditional spaces, I think we are going much more simplistic and almost a little sparse. And I think people especially aren’t committing as heavily to one certain style because of the economy, because of the housing market, because they want it just enough so that it appeals to their sense of style but not so overly done that they can’t get out. So I think people are making a little bit safer choices in terms of deciding if they really want to jump wholeheartedly into a trend. 

Dialogue by Mark Hiss Portrait by Will Gullette Produced by Phyllis Van Doren

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