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Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Brendan Kwinter

Brendan Kwinter, designer extraordinaire and owner of New York City-based design firm Kwinter & Co, is the definition of “doing it all.” She believes in being present for every aspect of the design process, from the renovations to the interior choices, down to the landscaping that surrounds the properties. This helps her achieve a complete feeling, that everything is cohesive and flows together luxuriously and showcases her talents of bringing together vintage and modern, colorful and muted, and everything else in between. Her hands-on style of work is what sets her apart from many others. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Brendan Kwinter.

After the 2020 lockdown, Brendan Kwinter realized most clients would want to utilize their space the most they could. Backyard redesign became heavily in-demand.

After the 2020 lockdown, Brendan Kwinter realized most clients would want to utilize their space the most they could. Backyard redesign became heavily in-demand.

Andrew Joseph: You’re the newest Crayola color. What color are you and why?
Brendan Kwinter: Pink. It’s a fun and easy color to decorate with. It can be the stand-out color in a room or, if light enough, the muted tone that pulls the entire room together. People are afraid to decorate with pink but it’s an easy color to mesh with others and work with.

AJ: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
BK: To not need sleep. Sometimes my work is just so busy and I’d love nothing more than to be able to skip a night of sleep without the repercussions of being exhausted and unable to do my best work.

Big, dreamy, open spaces paired with a mix of vintage and modern patterns and furniture, like pictured here, are something of Kwinter’s speciality.

Big, dreamy, open spaces paired with a mix of vintage and modern patterns and furniture, like pictured here, are something of Kwinter’s speciality.

AJ: What would you like to be remembered for?
BK: A great family person and a wonderful mother. I think many people are defined by their work or occupation, and mine is such a huge part of who I am, but if I can be remembered for anything, it would be for loving my children unconditionally and always being family-centered.

AJ: What’s your design pet peeve?
BK: Lack of diversity, making it look like a showroom instead of a home. People sometimes buy entire catalogs or rooms from a showroom or store and the lack of variety makes the room boring. Mixing and matching different pieces from different eras is what makes interior design so much fun! Don’t be afraid to try something new and out there.

Brendan is a firm believer that bedrooms should be the most welcoming and relaxing to the people they belong to. Splashes of bright colors matched with muted tones and white bases creates an oasis of peace.

Brendan is a firm believer that bedrooms should be the most welcoming and relaxing to the people they belong to. Splashes of bright colors matched with muted tones and white bases creates an oasis of peace.  

AJ: What are three things you can’t live without?
BK: Family, travel, being surrounded by art and design. I love to travel, even with my family. I love spending time with them and having the experiences as they grow up. My third would be art or design because I really believe a project is never complete without artistic touches. It really takes a space from refreshed to full-blown unique.

AJ: Has there been a shift in what clients are requesting since COVID?
BK: Definitely – outdoor spaces are a must in everything I do now. That has become front and center in people’s lives and designing goals. Seating and gorgeous backyards, fireplaces, having a living room outside. Since we spent so much time at home during the pandemic, people really began utilizing all the property and land they had. Some people truly just wanted to take an indoor space and recreate it in their yards, which is always fun.


About The Designer | Brendan Kwinter-Schwartz established her New York-based design firm, Kwinter & Company in 2001, ten years after graduating from the International Academy of Design in Toronto, Canada. Brendan began by apprenticing on Madison Avenue with one of the top design firms in New York City.

Her firm is involved in all aspects of the design process interior, exterior and landscaping to ensure a cohesive home that is both sophisticated and fresh. Whether designing a home in Westchester, an apartment in the city, or a summer house, she has a keen sense of style and comfort for a family-friendly lifestyle.

Brendan pays special attention to bringing together exquisite quality, modern and vintage furnishings and many custom-designed elements for each of her client’s needs. She takes a “hands-on” role when working on projects to ensure that all runs smoothly and within a timely schedule. She is passionate that the outcome should be nothing short of fabulous!

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