“It’s been amazing! NKBA’s Thirty Under 30 program has helped me to connect with other design professionals I never thought possible. Meeting the other Thirties at KBIS 2018, along with other important industry professionals, was a blast. Being a part of the program has been a great way to get my name out there and gain credibility – it’s only the beginning!”Kailee Helget
Interior design is all about finding the right balance between aesthetics and functionality. It is no easy feat: it requires creativity, expertise, organization, and patience. In this interview with NKBA’s Thirty Under 30 winner Kailee Helget, we dive into her career as an interior designer, her initial struggles, and some of her favorite 2020 Design features.
What inspired you to become an interior designer?
I grew up in a family full of creativity and have always enjoyed solving puzzles. The fact that I can be creative while solving a problem is what drew me to interior design. To be sure, interior design was what I really wanted to do. I job shadowed my aunt who is very successful in the industry, and that day proved interior design was the perfect profession for me.
What were some of your struggles when you first started off?
When I first started, I was brand new and fresh out of college. There was so much to learn and grow from every day. I worked hard to take in as much as I could, as fast as I could. Three years later, I am a Certified Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD) and have been named as one of NKBA’s Thirty Under 30. Hard work really does pay off!
What are your favorite design trends?
I love mixing metals and textures within a space. To me, it’s important to bring in different elements of interest, yet to keep the design simple and cohesive. Another favorite of mine is the use of natural wood tones.
What are some of your favorite paint colors?
A classic gray is always great, however, I’m a fan of bringing contrast to a space with a deep teal or navy.
What do you like most about your job?
I absolutely love building that trusting relationship with a client and transforming their space to be one they’ve always dreamed of. The “oh, I would have never thought of that!” saying always brings a smile to my face. It’s reassurance that yes, this is what I’m here for and I am making a difference in other people’s lives.
What should someone starting a design career know?
Know that interior design is not all about selecting colors and finishes. We are not just “decorators,” we’re designers. A lot more goes on behind the scenes such as estimating, following codes, drafting detailed plans, etc. Don’t worry, it’s all fun!
In your opinion, what will be the top design trends for 2018?
To name a few… the use of jewel tones, matte finishes, gold/brass finishes, and as I had previously mentioned – mixed metals and natural woods. Safe to say I’m a fan of where design is headed right now!
What are some of your favorite features in 2020 Design?
The 360 Panorama and the ability to import custom textures and SketchUp components are my favorite features. Creating renderings with specific finishes and fixtures that will be used in a design is a huge selling tool that people are immediately drawn to. 360 Panoramas are important in helping clients visualize their space in an impressively realistic way.
Do you have any interior design accreditations?
I am a Certified Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer through the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
How did being nominated for NKBA’s Thirty Under 30 impact you/your career?
It’s been amazing! NKBA’s Thirty Under 30 program has helped me to connect with other design professionals I never thought possible. Meeting the other Thirties at KBIS 2018, along with other important industry professionals, was a blast. Being a part of the program has been a great way to get my name out there and gain credibility – it’s only the beginning!