Kerry Ann Dame of Posh Living LLC
Kerry Ann Dame’s twenty year interior design career was launched in a spectacular fashion – working under the tutelage of design doyenne Lynn von Kersting at her renowned design firm Indigo Seas in Los Angeles, California.
While at Indigo Seas, Kerry Ann, worked on various design projects for clients ranging from studio executives to celebrities. Premier home design magazines including “House and Garden” and “House Beautiful” took notice and showcased some of those interior design projects.
In 2000, Kerry Ann opened a furniture and fabric shop called “The Bungalow Heaven” in South Carolina. Seven years later that shop evolved into the design firm and showroom now known as Posh Living, LLC.
Kerry Ann’s interior design work has received media coverage in such publications as Coastal Living, Southern Living, SC Woman, and Coastal Carolina Homestyles.
Tell us about your interior design business, Posh Living, LLC.
Our business, Posh Living,LLC is a retail interior design shop. We carry bespoke sofas and chairs, as well as American-made wood furnishings, and we mix in great rugs, lamps and a few antiques.
Our website, PoshSurfside.com began as an online presence for the shop, but has quickly grown into more of a resource. We focus on writing design articles that are more in-depth, and throw in some history to give it substance. It’s been a great way to share our knowledge with clients before they meet us, and to connect with the world outside our small town.
What inspired you to pursue this business?
I have a passion for pattern and color, and for preserving cultural history, be it art, architecture, textiles, or books. I also really enjoy people, getting to know them and working with them to create homes and lives they find satisfying. Interior design is a perfect blending of all these elements, and blogging gives me a chance to share my interests. It can be frustrating to have the ideas just waiting for the right client to come along. With a blog, we can just put them out there!
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I’m a traditionalist, so I look to the past for furniture shapes; but I am a realist too, and I like to use modern performance fabrics or slipcovers, and I like unfussy window treatments to keep rooms squarely in the present. I like to find out about my clients’ interests for inspiration in their homes. I think it’s important to have a sense of where you came from and what you stand for.
Tell us about a favorite decorating or remodeling project.
Years ago my husband and I gutted a 1950s’ house and did all of the work ourselves. The kitchen was dark wood all over. I painted the cabinets bright French blue and the plank walls white, and the result was charming and fresh. It was such a huge difference, and we actually spent very little. Sometimes a simple solution can be surprisingly satisfying, especially if you do something unexpected like bright color on the cabinets!
What’s your personal design style? Has it evolved over time?
I have a pretty relaxed style that is a bit bohemian; I focus more on things that have meaning for our family and are comfortable. I do have some iconic design elements that I really love, like banana-leaf wallpaper, Besserabian rugs with roses, and Chinese toiles. Over time, our home has become more funky and personal – I don’t usually bring clients home to see my work, it’s for us to enjoy.
Describe your dream room.
I’ve always wanted a Henry-Higgins-esque, proper English library with a second floor gallery. I’d have paintings done by friends, exotic rugs and interesting objects. But my version would be sunny and light, with glazed paneling, floral chintz and a water view. I’m sure the ceiling would be sky blue. I would make sure it was pretty, I think many designers don’t realize people still want pretty rooms.
Many of us have a product we bought for our home-that now makes us think-"what was I thinking" – do you have one?
A sad, old piano that I think I felt sorry for! Even a coat of paint didn’t help, it’s pretty pathetic!
What’s your favorite color or paint swatch?
Open Air from Sherwin Williams, #6491 .
What are your five favorite pieces of home décor from your home or elsewhere?
- Natural Linen – a workhorse fabric that is sturdy, timeless, and the right shade of oatmeal, and can be shabby style or modern.
- Our London Sofa from Posh Living – it’s perfect, really.
- Light colored Sumack carpets from Peel and Company
- Lamps by Jamie Young Company – they have a funky, found-object vibe but are modern too.
- Huge dining tables with a distressed finish or made of reclaimed wood. Most people appreciate having a table that doesn’t require pampering, so they can really use them.
What’s your favorite room at home? Why is it your favorite?
If I ever get around to painting my dining chairs Chinese red, I think the dining room will be my favorite – it has a great leafy wallpaper and a big section of a vintage beach souvenir sign hanging as art. I also love my living room, as everything revolves around a gorgeous rug with red and brown roses, there are books everywhere, and it’s sunny.
Do you have a favorite designer?
My mentor of years ago, Lynn von Kersting – she has inspired so many designers, and she really showed me how great houses tell a story, and that hopefully one has the substance personally to create a wonderful home. I also have a big design crush on Peter Dunham, I could move right into his rooms. Kathryn Ireland’s style is a great family look, it’s very chic yet sort of offhand too.
Do you have a decorating design or remodeling tip you’d like to share with thedecoratingdiva.com readers?
Find out who you are, and express that in your home. Don’t be matchy; mix in some old pieces. Having a collection of things, put together in the proper scale and proportion, is so much more interesting than having matched suites. Have some sunny rooms and some cozy ones. Make sure your lamps are tall enough to read by.
What are your favorite blogs or home design/improvement websites?
- Habitually Chic – because she is! And she reminds me to pay attention, style is all around. Her knowledge of designers is encyclopedic.
- Decorati – User-friendly and professional, with great in-depth pieces on lesser-known but very talented people. A good way to browse product too.
- Ancient Industries – a quirky shopping site for things that are old-fashioned and too perfect to stop using, I love to pop by now and then.
- Balustrade and Bitters – To see what’s really going on in design, in L.A. where it all begins. Smart and well-done.
- Planet Green – Helps me to keep learning. Being more green needs to be a priority for everyone. The idea hasn’t hit small-town America yet, so we need to be ambassadors in our local communities to make a change.
What are your favorite books, design shows and/or magazines?
I really don’t like design TV shows – they really dumb down the whole process, even the better ones are all about "the Look" and don’t consider who lives in the home and how it will work. They talk about prices so much it’s rather crass, and the rooms all look alike to me – too much square furniture and mirrored candle niches!
Joe Ruggiero’s Homes Across America was intelligent, I’d watch that if they brought it back.
I think House Beautiful is doing an amazing job, except this year there were too many black rooms and antlers. I miss Domino Magazine as it really inspired me to keep mixing things up. It was also more accessible to the public – some magazines and books are a bit too rarified. I do read lots of magazines but pick different ones all the time, depending on what I’m working on.
- Website: Posh Living LLC and Pillow Folly
- Blog: Posh Living Blog
- Facebook: Posh Living,LLC on Facebook
- Twitter: Posh Living,LLC on Twitter
- Twitter: Kerry Ann Dame on Twitter
All images copyright of respective owners.
The Decorating Diva, LLC would like to thank Kerry Ann Dame for her fantastic interview and for her divine and inspirational design tip to “[f]ind out who you are, and express that in your home” – that in our opinion is what truly beautiful design is all about.