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Designer Spotlight: Liz Kamarul

I recently talked about my 2018 plans for the cozy cottage, client projects and the blog. One of those plans is a new series in which I showcase my favorite designers, their work and, hopefully get to talk to them about what makes them tick. I’m calling this new series Designer Spotlight and I’m so excited to share the first in this series with you today. Liz Kamarul is an inventive, creative and talented designer whose ideas and work I admire. Whiling perusing the internets, I spotted a kitchen with a rug on the ceiling instead of the typical ceiling medallion, and I just knew I needed to start paying attention to the designer behind that idea. I have been in awe of Liz’s work ever since.┬áNot only is she creative AF, she’s also super nice and agreed to do this Q&A. How lucky am I?!

Liz Kamarul

 


You can read up on Liz Kamarul’s background and see her work on her website and Instagram page. Here’s a quick primer: Liz studied both fashion and interior design, started working in interiors as a home stager in Portland, OR, and, in a big change, she and her husband decided to move out of their house that they owned (it’s being rented to tenants now), renovate an RV and take it on a cross-country tour where they visited with other designers from California to New Jersey, before settling in their new home of New Orleans, which is one of my favorite cities in the world. For everyone who follows her, this has been such a treat as we have gotten to see her express herself through design in her Portland home, in the RV, and in her new New Orleans place, as well as get introduced to new designers along her journey.

*All photos courtesy of Liz Kamarul.*

The main reason why I like Liz’s design style is that she just makes some seriously awesome choices. Here are photos of her Portland kitchen with that aforementioned rug. I mean, WHAT?!

 

 

She also makes bold choices and is a creative DIYer, integrating color and pattern through various methods, including paint colors, images, and natural materials. She painted flamingos on her dining room wall in Portland. How could you not be happy eating here?!

 

One of my favorite design choices she has made was to cut up triangular wooden blocks, lay them out across her living room wall in a somewhat haphazard manner, and paint the entire wall black. This is just so stunning.

 

Liz Kamarul

You notice how she didn’t stop at the black wall? That would have been enough of a statement, but she added more layers, patterns and colors throughout the space to make the entire room a standout. She made similar choices in her RV, which you can see on her Instagram page. And now she is in New Orleans and, even though she’s renting, she hasn’t let lack of ownership deter her from making statements left, right, up and down in her new place. She painted decorative details around her front door and her living room is, once again, an ever-evolving statement.

Clearly influenced by her travels, her New Orleans bedroom is looking like a well-designed retreat.

So now that you’ve heard from me about why I admire her design style so much, let’s hear from Liz:

 

Q. I think you do a really good job of showing your true spirit. I only know you through social media but I feel like I’m seeing glimpses of the real you through your posts and also your design. I mean, you put a rug on the ceiling and instantly created a classic! How do you translate your personality to design?
A. If you ask my husband he would tell you that I’m always very stubborn about trends and following along with what other people are doing so I guess that plays out in my design. I’m constantly trying to do my own version of design.
Q. At what point in your life did you realize you really hit on something in design? Did you ever have a moment where you realized just how important it was for you to pursue a design-oriented career?
A. I’ve been obsessed with design and decorating my entire life. I think around the time I turned 30 I realized just how important it was to me when we bought our first house and I was really able to fully express myself in that space.


Q. Why did you pursue home staging and are there lessons learned from that experience that you use in your own homes?
A. I started home staging because I didn’t necessarily want to do interior design. I liked staging because it was fast pace and different every day. I learned how to make quick decisions and go with my gut from that job.
Q. When designing a space, whether for yourself or others, where do you start? What is the most important factor for you when designing a space?
A. One of the most important factors in a room for me is good lighting, changing out old fixtures can make such a difference. I like to start by painting or putting up wallpaper and then usually stuff that I find along the way from thrift stores transforms the space.
Q. What have been some of your favorite moments in your design? Personally, that wall you created with triangle wood pieces and all of it painted in black might be one of my favorites. Also the flamingo wall!
A. I also love the black triangle wall. It felt so unique and made such a statement for hardly any money!
Q. You have just moved to my favorite city in the country. I followed along on your travels and loved how you incorporated seeing the country as well as meeting other designers and design enthusiasts. Did you learn anything new about design during this process? And what made you choose New Orleans?
A. I’m not sure that I did learn anything new about design but I did learn that I can be happy with a lot fewer items than I thought. We fell in love with New Orleans because it has such a great energy and beautiful architecture and colors, which is so inspiring!


Q. What is your goal in designing your new home?
A. I don’t have too many goals for the house we are in currently because we are just renting but once we buy our next home I have huge plans to make it completely over-the-top. You can expect to see a lot of wallpaper, a lot of painted murals, and a lot of pattern!
Q. You studied both interior design and fashion design and clearly have a love of travel. Do any of these interests ever influence another and how so?
A. I think travel, fashion, and design all coincide really beautifully. Inspiration from color, pattern, texture can be found in all three.
Q. You love thrifting, talk about it often and incorporate your thrifted finds in your homes so beautifully. If you could teach a course in thrifting, what would the main lesson be?
A. My main lesson about thrifting would be patience and go often. I think people expect to find something on their first try but it can take years to find some of the amazing pieces I have found for our house.
Q. What is next for you in your career?
A. I have no idea! I never do hahaha.

 

Thanks to Liz Kamarul for taking part in the first Designer Spotlight! I just love her free spirit and can’t wait to see what she does next. If you aren’t already, make sure to follow Liz so you don’t miss out.

So what did you think about the first Designer Spotlight? Subscribe to The 256 Project so you don’t miss out on future posts. And, if you’re not already, stay up to date with what’s happening at the cozy cottage through my Instagram.

 

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