Kelli Ellis Fills A Small Bedroom With A Big Wow Factor

Motivated by the success of his recurring Palm Springs showhouse, the Christopher Kennedy Compound, the eponymous designer was lured to Turlock, California by a homeowner looking to create an exciting interiors experience in a classic American town. “I don’t think style is just reserved for the big cities and coasts,” says Christopher Kennedy, who collaborated with 15 other designers on a 3,200-square- foot midcentury residence that—following its October 2019 show dates—would become a family’s home. “The designers did the best of themselves and they also made it perfect for the homeowner. Our showhouses tend to be very livable, while still being very inspiring.”

In our recently released aspire design and home Showhouse Issue, we sat down with Kelli Ellis to learn more about their creative process in designing “Jacob’s Room and Bathroom” for this project.

aspire design and home: How much time did you have to complete this room, start to finish?
Kelli Ellis: About 2 months from Concept to delivery.

aspire: What was your biggest challenge? Did you have a Eureka moment during the process?
Kelli: The challenge was the short time frame coupled with fitting all of the necessary elements into such a small space. The Eureka moment was moving the wallcovering from the Ensuite Bath to create a feature wall in the Bedroom.

aspire: What did you and your team accomplish that you thought would not happen in time?
Kelli: Having a room at all! These things are always down to the wire!

aspire: What was your inspiration for this room?
Kelli: The client – an 18-year-old who had just graduated high school and was about to be a live-at-home college student. It had to be practical, grown-up with an effortless vibe but a WOW factor.

aspire: Did you step out of your comfort zone for this project, and if so, why?
Kelli: Not necessarily, but this was, perhaps, a little more subdued than many of my projects.

aspire: Despite the fact that there were so many designers involved, there is an inherent cohesiveness to the home. Did you all converse/collaborate? Or was this a completely individual process?
Kelli: There was certainly collaboration. Christopher and Keith were thorough in setting the design brief for this project. It was absolutely brought to life with the real homeowners in mind.

aspire: Is your preference for a showhouse a small space or a large space? Does one or the other provide a better opportunity to stretch your creativity?
Kelli: A small space can incite creativity due to practicality. Also, you have to be wise with where to pack your design punch.

aspire: Describe the town of Turlock in one sentence.
Kelli: Turlock is a charming gem of a town.

This or That?

aspire: Paint or wallpaper?
Kelli: Paint
aspire: Hardwood or rug?
Kelli: Hardwood
aspire: Beach or Mountains?
Kelli: Beach
aspire: Saturated Color or Black and White?
Kelli: B/W
aspire: Brunch or Dinner?
Kelli: Dinner
aspire: Midcentury or 18th Century?
Kelli: 18th
aspire: Draperies, shades, or nothing?
Kelli: Nothing
aspire: 2001: A Space Odyssey or The English Patient?
Kelli: 2001
aspire: Week at the spa or Week of Broadway shows?
Kelli: Spa

Photography by Dave Adams.

Click Here to view more interviews with the Christopher Kennedy Showhouse designers.

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