One of the exciting aspects of CuratedKravet.com is the “shop the room” experience. Designers and tastemakers, including Nick Olsen, have designed rooms and spaces that are filled to the brim with furniture and accessories, all of which are available for purchase on the site. Take a few moments today to get to know Nick, then head over to CuratedKravet.com to shop for fabulous furniture and accessories selected exclusively by Nick:
Most of our readers know you already, but just for fun, tell us about yourself.
Where to start? Well I was born on a cold day in March ... kidding! I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida and have always been obsessed with design: clothes, cars, furniture, homes, etc., and how each speaks to a sense of fantasy. I studied to be an architect but fell into my dream job after college, working for the decorator Miles Redd. He taught me the business of design, furniture planning, how to manage clients' needs, and opened my eyes to this fabulous world. After five years at his company I left to start my own, and business has grown every year since. The fact that I spend my spare time shopping for furniture and artwork, travel, and design for myself means I've found my calling!
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Bold and colorful, with an eye toward the past and a forward-thinking sense of humor. If a room I've designed makes me smile, then I've succeeded.
What questions do you ask your clients before starting a new project?
I ask TONS of questions! From the mundane like, "What's your favorite color?" to "What drives you crazy in your current home?” to asking for a peek inside their closets. A person's favorite outfit is very telling. Of course practical questions come in handy like, “Are you TV watchers?” “How often do you entertain, if at all?” No satin upholstery for young families ... I've learned that one the hard way!
Conversely, what kinds of questions do your clients ask you?
Beyond the inevitable questions about budget (there's always a budget, no matter what anyone says) I find my clients need reassurance that it will come together and look like them. The most gratifying compliment one client gave is: "This looks just like me, but 10 times better than anything I could do myself!"
Designers often tell us about the challenges they face completing the last 10 percent of a project. How do you think a website like CuratedKravet.com will assist in this process?
I think it will be a HUGE help in the visualization department. I am no minimalist, but even in less colorful rooms it's often the books, objects and accessories that bring the space to life. I'd show a client the CuratedKravet site and say: "How lonely would that chair look without a lumbar pillow?" or "See how a table lamp on your bar cart would lighten up that corner?" I understand why people lose steam at the end of a project, but it's often the earrings or handsome belt that make an outfit, and rooms are no different.
What does the word “Curated” mean to you?
Carefully selected with an expert eye. I'm a devoted shopper, and it's my job to find the best options available at every level of the market.
CuratedKravet.com is unique because its products are only available to the interior design trade. Why is that important to you?
I think it's a vote of confidence in our profession as a whole. So much design is available to the public, yet they're often completely lost on how to pull their rooms together. A to-the-trade approach says, "These are tools in the hands of professionals who will make your home (and life!) better and more beautiful."
Who is your ideal client and why?
Really anyone with an adventurous spirit and a strong point of view but also wants to collaborate. Tilda Swinton comes to mind: she makes avant-garde fashion look effortless but also keeps a sense of humor about herself.
What is your favorite item in the room you designed for CuratedKravet.com?
Difficult to pick just one! I'd say the tufted chair in the living room, upholstered in bold jumbo paisley cotton and paired with a fuchsia silk lumbar pillow, really reflects my design aesthetic. A classic shape made youthful with strong colors and texture contrast.
What accessory or styling trick in a room (generally speaking) is underrated?
Fresh flowers! Some $5 carnations from Costco bunched together in a low vase always perks up a space.
What accessory or styling trick in a room (generally speaking) is overrated?
Overly symmetrical bookcase styling. If the combination of books and objects is too repetitive your home will look like a showroom.
You’ve known about the site for months. Now that it’s live, what is the first thing you plan to buy?
Some of that blue and white checked bedroom wallpaper would look snappy in my bathroom at home!
What was the best advice you received about your career?
Miles [Redd] would always turn the tables on a fabric or piece of furniture I'd selected and ask, "Would you want it for yourself?" I love SO many styles, so much design, but that's still the standard: if I wouldn't live with it in my own home, I'm not selling it to a client. That's the service they're paying for!