Darcy Kempton is the founder of the interior design firm, Simply Stunning Spaces (https://www.simplystunningspaces.com). With a background education from Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture, Darcy has been designing homes for over fifteen years in Southern California. In 2010, Darcy founded her own company and showroom based in San Diego. Darcy’s design process is a collaborative effort between the client, herself, and a talented team of contractors, craftsmen, and design assistants – all dedicated to creating a simply stunning end result for each client. I caught up with Darcy to talk about her business, designing for HGTV’s “Flip or Flop,” and how she’s helping others transform their own homes with her new online course.
You recently appeared on an episode of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop.” How was it working with Tarek on the show?
Working with Tarek was fun, actually! He’s kind of an ideal client to have. There was no emotional attachment to any of the decisions – it was strictly business, and he trusted me to do what I do best, which is to make the house simply stunning so he could attract the perfect buyer.
What was it like working on a TV timeline versus a more conventional timeline?
I’m accustomed to working with tight timelines. And this one was really no different.
Can you talk about inspiration and how that process works for you personally when you’re designing?
When designing for clients, my process begins with a little bit of homework on their end. I request they start a Houzz, idea book, or Pinterest board and collaborate with me on ideas. I also ask a series of questions that really help me get to know them, their likes, dislikes, and goals. This truly is my inspiration. The clients themselves will, in so many words describe to me how they want their home to look and feel, and that’s what I try to deliver to them in a way that’s truly unique and feels absolutely like their home and not mine or someone else’s in a magazine. This is what keeps me inspired to do the work I do.
What’s your favorite part of the design process?
My favorite part of the design process is the beginning and the end. I love meeting the clients for the first time, imagining with them all of the possibilities, then narrowing in on a design plan that they really, truly love. The absolute best part, of course, is the reveal when they see their home for the first time. Those are the days we live for as interior designers!
If someone only had the budget to renovate one room in their home, which one should it be?
If someone only had one room to renovate, then I would say that you can never go wrong with updating your kitchen. It’s not only the heart of the home where people tend to spend the most time, but it always gives you the highest return on investment, dollar for dollar.
When did you get your big break in the interior designing business?
My big break? I’m still waiting for it [laughs]. Ten years into my business, and I still have a close relationship with the first clients that ever trusted me with the keys to their home. That, to me, is everything. It’s those people at the beginning who believed in me, who allowed me to build up my portfolio and ultimately be where I am today.
What is the best advice you received as you were building your own business, ‘Simply Stunning Spaces’?
Some of the best advice I got was from my very first client in San Diego, Lisa Sasavich. She was one of the ones who believed in me from the very beginning. And being a savvy businesswoman herself, coaching other entrepreneurs on how to turn their passion into profits, she encouraged me as well to do what I love most. You’ll never be more successful than when you’re doing something that just doesn’t feel like work. I feel blessed to be spending my days doing something that brings so much joy to my soul. And I’m grateful for the guidance of mentors like her along my entrepreneurial journey.
You are also offering an online course, ‘Instant Dream Home.’ Can you talk about that and let us know where people can sign up?
Yes, I’m excited to be able to help more people love the home they’re in, which is why I created the Instant Dream Home DIY design course. It’s a step-by-step design and decorating course geared to guide you towards transforming your home into one you absolutely love. You can join our community and sign up at courses.simplystunningspaces.com (https://courses.simplystunningspaces.com).
If you were going to offer possible internships for college juniors and seniors, what are some of the characteristics that you might be seeking?
We actually do offer an internship program in San Diego for juniors and seniors. I also have an interior designers blueprint course that aspiring interior designers can partake in. You can check out more information at simplystunningspaces.com (https://www.simplystunningspaces.com).
What is your dream project, and why?
My dream project is any project that pushes my creative limits and allows me to get outside of my box. I would love to be designing one-of-a-kind Airbnb properties around the world. I love creating experiences for people that are memorable, filling them up with love, inspiration, and gratitude.
Originally posted on The Hype Magazine.