This week’s Meet a Mom interview is with Beth Krupa, the founder of Beth Krupa Interiors. This full service luxury design firm draws inspiration from Beth’s extensive global travels, and utilizes a 15-step process for a transparent, enjoyable experience for clients. We spoke to Beth about her career, favorite design tips, trends, and more.
Can you please tell us about your background?
Interior Design is actually a second career for me. I was a retail executive for 15+ years as Buyer for Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, and Director of Merchandising for Calvin Klein Boutiques. My husband and I lived in 12 homes across 4 countries raising our two great kids in our 28 years of marriage. What happened was with each move I was inspired by how important it was for me to get the “feel of the home” quickly in each location so we could all thrive in our new environments. This settling had such a positive effect on everyone’s mood and outlook that I realized this was the most valuable way I could contribute. I guess you could say this was my calling!
My husband, Mike, and I are relatively recent empty-nesters as our daughter Jenn graduated from Tufts University and is now applying to medical schools and our son Scott finished two years at UConn Storrs but decided fashion was more the direction he wanted. He’s now in NYC and will be attending FIT or one of the other great city schools this spring.
Wonderful! What separates Beth Krupa Interiors from other firms?
Right before COVID hit us all I spoke at Style Bangkok in Thailand sponsored by their Ministry of Trade. I realized that was the 30th country I have either lived, worked or traveled to in the past 30 years or so. Seeing so many cultural experiences and architectural phenomimes really opens your eyes and mind to possibilities of design that others who are less exposed wouldn’t think of. Besides my ASID credentialed design education, I also have a degree in Sociology. This really means I’m fascinated with people’s thought processes and patterns. I love to try to get “inside the minds” of my clients and try to see the project through their eyes.
Love that. How would you describe your aesthetic?
I think I’ve become more minimalistic through the years. I’d much rather spend time and the clients’ investment on a few amazingly interesting high quality custom pieces rather than focus on filling the space.
How specifically has travel inspired your career/work?
Travel and all the various cultures it has exposed me to allows me to take more risks, to be more light hearted and adventurous. We can always go back to “playing things safe” but the exploratory results are 100% more interesting, exciting and personal to each unique clients’ home.
What kind of projects do you specialize in?
People have been calling me to renovate or refresh their older homes to make them look new. I do appreciate when a house has “good bones” or architectural details that we want to save or feature, and can distinguish or point out when this is a good investment, or sometimes better not to put good money into a not so good situation. Clients trust that we have their best interests at heart and will guide them in the direction which makes most sense for each unique situation. Once we have the “form following function” then we can focus on the décor and making the space beautiful. I really am a geek about the mechanics of a home and constantly learning from our contractors and builders on each job they are involved with. That’s a big reason why I love my role as ID – my team and I feel like we learn or uncover something new and exciting almost daily.
Sounds great! What are some trends you’re loving right now?
I do pay attention to trends and spend about 10-15% of my work-life traveling to design shows that last anywhere from 3-5 days each, but I don’t design based on trend. Trends are fleeting and home design at our level of design is truly an investment and should stand the test of time, really be ageless and timeless. I can walk into a home I designed 10 years ago and it feels as fresh as if I had done it this year. Using top quality material selections, highest quality of contractors and builders, and custom design selections only found for each individual client and situation the home won’t feel dated. I attend these design shows because I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting ideas, vendors, and inspiration. These shows are where we can sit on and test the quality of the furniture and select who passes our rigorous standards and who does not.
What is the easiest/fastest way to upgrade a kitchen, bedroom or living room?
- Kitchen: Countertops with Marble or Quartzite, and backsplash with book-matched marble, quartzite, or elegant special subway tile for investment and longevity / hardware change and cabinet paint change for lowest cost and quick fix (for either of these good lighting is key!).
- Bedroom: Drapery Panels, area rug and new bedding; I’m a purist generally with white and a great throw across the end for drama or color) are generally all you need to quickly and easily update a bedroom. Don’t forget the hardware is as important as the drapery panel!
- Living Room: Update your sofa pillows with 22” down-filled squares or bigger. Large over-sized cocktail table with interesting objects and books for people to be “drawn into” and know your personality.
What are your favorite ways to make a luxury home kid-friendly?
We are always staying on top of the latest fabric technologies, so white sofas are even safe with kids and pets these days! Big soft pillows they can snuggle up in, and great looking baskets for easy storage that little ones can learn to put away their toys themselves.
How has the pandemic changed what your clients want?
Clients have definitely returned to the two lost luxuries of time and togetherness – they are really enjoying spending time in their home more than ever and want it to be a place that showcases who they are as a unique family or individuals. They have been looking for more defined work / study areas, and many times areas that have dual purposes like a formal dining room that can now serve as a flex work area. We also have been seeing many more luxury gyms and spas being added to the home as people are preferring the exercise at-home option.
Have you tweaked how you work?
We did learn that much of what we do can more efficiently be handled with a Zoom call than in person, but that generally applies to our vendors. Our clients still really enjoy the face to face and so do we. We have also been spending a longer time on the initial phone call with the client who is inquiring to determine if we are the right fit for their project, or if not, how we can provide an alternative suggestion or resource for them. It saves us all a lot of time in the long run.
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on, and why? It’s always the last one I’ve just finished because it’s freshest in my mind. We turned a client’s townhouse into what she calls “Shangri La” – she races and rescues horses, so we had a lot of fun with the art photography getting her actual “silks” colors in the photo and other custom touches. Her father was an artist, so having all the art be original was important to her. We sourced from many different and varied artists and created a cocktail table book for her with each image, artist bio, and any other story or information the artist cared to share. She says she will treasure this book forever and leave it out for all her house guests too.
So lovely. Anything else you’d like people to know? Just that we get as excited about our clients’ homes and projects as they do – maybe more! Everyone who works on our team feels the same way as I do. Our motivation is always what can we do to make this home feel more special for these people?
Visit Beth Krupa Interiors at 19 E. Elm Street in Greenwich and online at https://bethkrupainteriors.com. You can also reach Beth by calling 203-890-9292, emailing info@BKIstudio.com or following her on Instagram!
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