ASPIRE Archetype Kiki Dennis Talks Juxtaposition In Design

Kiki Dennis, principal at Deborah Berke Partners, leads many of the firm’s private residential interiors projects. With her expertise in color, textiles and the tactile aspects of design, Dennis’ work has become known for its vigor and visibility with unexpected bursts of texture, pattern and color.

For the ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME fall issue, we talked to Dennis about examples of juxtaposition in her work, and her favorite fireplace accessories, as we close in on cool autumn months.

kiki dennis brooklyn designer showhouse

“For last year’s Brooklyn Designer Showhouse, we created a “Dining Salon” in an historic townhouse. We were fortunate to be given a room with beautiful, intact historic architecture, including ornate moldings, a fireplace and intricate inlayed floors. Our concept was to rethink the traditional dining room layout, and to create a dynamic, flexible space for modern life.”

kiki dennis bds

“Our Dining Salon became a room that would be used at all times of day for lounging, entertaining and dining. Contrast and eclecticism in the design elements were important. We juxtaposed contemporary art, accessories and furnishings with the historic setting to dramatic effect.”

kiki dennis dining room

“We imagined a client that was deeply involved in the Brooklyn art scene and collected emerging artists and makers. We imagined our client, mixing cocktails, sipping a coffee or hosting lively parties and dinners with their creative friends in a space that was both relaxed and refined.”


Minimalist Patinated Steel Andirons & Synnefa Andirons | “These andirons fall into two camps – those that virtually disappear and keep the focus on the fire. The other direction is those that are a work of art in themselves. These limited-edition polished steel pieces from Hubert le Gall are both sophisticated and playful.”

Collage Fireplace Screen | “This intricate bronze work by David Wiseman is a fire screen as art piece.”

Leather Bushel Basket | “Handmade in the Hudson Valley and available in several leather finishes with beautiful topstitch detailing, these log baskets are inspired by traditional bushel baskets. Each basket comes fitted with either an oak or cedar bottom, making these the perfect fireside log or blanket storage basket. There is also a ruggedly beautiful log carrier available.”

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