Tableware-barbecues-table-china-interiors-Kerrie-Kelly-Ambiente

Kerrie’s world. How Kerrie Kelly celebrates country life American-style.

“Everyone deserves great design”, says Kerrie Kelly. The multi-award-winning interior designer from Sacramento works for various international brands. She came to Ambiente 2015 as a guest blogger and explored the theme of ‘interior cosiness’ – which is currently all the rage on the North American market. We accompanied Kelly for part of her tour. Her discoveries on the theme of attractive barbecues, in particular, whetted our appetite for more.

Bear hug! Ambiente guest blogger Kerrie Kelly was bursting with positive energy when we met. The US interior designer has been in the business for over 20 years and knows exactly what to look for. She is hot on the trail of the latest home trends for her private clients in the USA for whom she furnishes entire houses – from the lighting right through to the seating arrangements. At home in the sunshine state of California a laid-back vacation atmosphere informs many of the ideas for attractive dinner services. We were curious to know what our style expert would identify as high flyers in the areas of tableware and interior design. Kerrie Kelly completed our sentences for us with her characteristic enthusiasm and energy.

In California …
Kerrie Kelly: “In California the sun shines most of the time. Life takes place primarily outdoors. For us, barbecues are part of our cultural heritage. Having family and friends around the barbecue – I love that.”

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Those hot, crispy barbecue delights should be served …
“Hey, careful. Seriously, though, I think proper tableware is important outdoors. Paper plates are a real no-no! However, there are services on which you can serve barbecue food anywhere with style. Look at the elegant white steak and burger plates in the Ultimate BBQ series from Villeroy & Boch, which are attractively divided into separate compartments for meat, salad and sauces and are available in medium, large and XL. Apparently, the range deservedly won the Red Dot Design Award in 2015! And what about the dip bowl from this range – the wooden holder is removable. What a brilliant idea! What’s more, the large BBQ meat platter has ridges that allow the juices to drip off. This means that steaks and vegetable kebabs stay moist without becoming soggy. The china also helps to retain the heat. Would you want to swap this for a paper plate?”

My style is …
“To cut it short: My style is a mix of modern US elegance and rural understatement. When we barbecue in sunny Sacramento, the boundaries between kitchen and garden are blurred. I cut up herbs, chop vegetables and chat outside. Natural wood, preferably in warm honey tones, is my favourite work surface. And when you add pure white tableware, the organic elements come even more to the fore. Also, I can combine white easily with the tableware I already have. The modern country style also works in the city apartment – you don’t need green fingers. All sorts of natural wood finishes, linen, clean lines and high-quality porcelain are the perfect ingredients for an attractive interior.”

I recently treated myself to …
“I have had all the walls painted white, which is a major departure for an American house. In my view, it’s very European. I saw white walls in Prague and knew immediately that’s what I wanted! Only our dining room has a deep marine blue, which is also a very dramatic colour. But I change the colours frequently and who knows what my walls will look like in a few months’ time.”

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The unexpected is …
“The unexpected is taking a transparent “Ghost” chair by Philippe Starck into a playful setting – either as a one-off in the room or grouped around a colourful, exuberant table. One of the new products that excited me was the “Amazonia Anmut” dinner service from Villeroy & Boch. It’s so exotic, so lively, so bold. Butterflies, passion flowers – it’s another world. Alexander von Humboldt and his voyages of discovery were the inspiration for the service. Very understated glasses and unfussy, high-quality cutlery round off that tropical feeling to perfection. Too much of a good thing, i.e. too much colour and too much fussy ornamentation, would destroy the attractiveness.”

When in France …
“When in France you have to eat from beautiful plates – and the atmosphere should be pervaded with the scent of lavender from Provence. That is the essence of summer and, like my fellow Americans, I love these scents from the Old World. It’s heavenly when the motifs on the dinner service also pick up on this feeling. Gentle lilac, delicate flowers, light bone china, accompanied by rustic elements such as slate and acacia wood. I found this dream reflected at Ambiente. ‘Artesano Provençal Lavendel’ is the name of the service and one thing is definite: I want it in Sacramento for my summer camp.”

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Americans love the style…
“We love the cool style of the Sixties. That’s why the US TV series Mad Men is so successful. Big glass vases in powerful colours and colourful lozenge-pattern glasses are in again. Hooray!”

Never …
“Heavy drapes. They suffocate a room. And never, never have one of those old table-top waste containers. They’re a nightmare.”