Creating A Luxe, Livable SpaceAnna and Amelia are the interior design duo Kroesser + Strat, specializing in a combination of modern and eclectic, livable decor. They share their tips for creating a functional and welcoming home and what to consider when designing a child-friendly space.
What is your favorite part of being an interior designer? And what do you love about working with Homepolish?
Interior design is like therapy for your home. Having a space you feel comfortable in, that makes you feel happy to come home to, is so important, both mentally and emotionally. We love creating a beautifully designed respite for our clients. Homepolish is known for making interior design more accessible which is incredible because we know the process of interior design can be intimidating. Before Homepolish, it was just the two of us and that was a little scary at times. Working with Homepolish has created this safe haven for us, where we have an entire team of professionals working alongside us to make sure our project succeeds. Homepolish has connected us with not only amazing spaces to work with, but really awesome clients who we would never had met otherwise. With all the logistical support they provide on our projects, we’re also able to take on more projects at once without spreading ourselves too thin.
What are some of the key pieces that make a beautiful home still feel livable?Unless we are working with a formal living space that is purely for hosting cocktail parties, a comfortable sofa is a must. Comfortable doesn’t mean it has to look sloppy. There are so many awesome companies that make tailored sofas and sectionals that are deep and super cozy. After that, adding layers and textures makes any space feel inviting, as well as lots of throw pillows and blankets and plantlife wherever possible.
Interior design is like therapy for your home. Having a space you feel comfortable in, that makes you feel happy to come home to, is so important, both mentally and emotionally.
What are some of your favorite decor trends currently?
Well, terrazzo is our current obsession, along with the rest of the design world! We’re also really into hand-cut ceramic or brick tiles in saturated colorways. We’ve been playing with metal inlays for a while now, but we’re seeing them more and more and it’s exciting to see how other people are incorporating it into their design.
How does your design approach differ for a home with children?
There are 3 things that we always consider with every design element in a home with kids:
1) Can it be easily cleaned? (see more on that below)
2) Does it have storage? Like, lots of it? At the end of the day, when the kids are in bed, there is no better feeling than looking around your living room and actually seeing your rug instead of a Toys’R’Us explosion.
3) Is a wobbly toddler going to poke his or her eye out if they fall on something? Sharp edges are not your friend. We are big fans of ottomans in lieu of coffee tables, especially when children are just learning to walk.
Maybe it’s because we have both been apartment dwellers with kids at some point, but we really feel that a nursery should easily transition into a kid space without a huge design overhaul.
When designing a nursery, what are some common pitfalls to avoid?
Maybe it’s because we have both been apartment dwellers with kids at some point, but we really feel that a nursery should easily transition into a kid space without a huge design overhaul. It’s easy to go overboard on the baby decor but in a few short years, your baby is going to have a lot of opinions and you’ll want to be able to create a space that grows with your kid.
What are some great investment pieces for a nursery that you can continue using as the child gets older?A convertible crib is key! When your toddler is ready to transition into a “big kid bed” this is a great way to ease into it. They’re used to small spaces (belly, bassinet, then crib), and with our kids, going from a crib right to a twin bed was a little scary. Also, a changing table that has a detachable top, or a regular dresser with a portable changing station. It’s hard to imagine when you are changing your newborn 5,000 times a day, but they will not be in diapers forever and you’ll definitely want the top of the dresser to be a useable surface later on.
A convertible crib is key! When your toddler is ready to transition into a “big kid bed” this is a great way to ease into it.
When designing a kitchen for a family with kids, what are some things you take into consideration?
Durability! The cabinets need to be in a wipeable/scrubbable finish, especially if you’re going with a lighter color. We love marble for a countertop (who doesn’t) but it is extremely porous and will stain very easily. Wait to get that marble for when your kids are a bit older. Stone composites like quartz, terrazzo or even corian are great alternatives. Quartz and terrazzo are super durable, don’t stain easily and are often eco-friendly. Corian is also really durable, it can stain, but those stains can easily be buffed out with some sandpaper.
Achieving a balance between differing aesthetics is a challenge for a lot of partners. Do you have any tips for combining tastes?We work primarily with couples, and there’s usually one person in the relationship who takes the lead, but that other partner almost always has opinions and most definitely wants to be heard. Finding a common ground on the larger elements of the design are important. Choose a more neutral color palette on the walls or a more simply designed sofa and find your individual personalities in the accessories, rugs and lighting.
Some days you’re going to nail it and it’s going to feel badass. Other days, and there will be a lot of them, you’re going to feel like a total failure. On those days, find a way to decompress. Take a bath, get a glass of wine with a friend, talk to your therapist, read a book (or just like a page or two), and try again tomorrow.
How has having a child changed your perspective on home design?There’s no getting around the fact that that we have to tweak design for a home with kids. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful light sofa, but it needs to be in performance velvet or it’ll need replacing within 6 months. Neither of us want our homes to feel overrun with kids stuff and nor do our clients. There are so many kid friendly furnishing options out there that there is always a place to get what you want aesthetically without having to chase after your child holding a Magic Eraser. We do recommend stocking up on those, though!
How do you balance having your career with motherhood?Honestly, it’s not easy at all. We think most moms would agree that being a #momboss comes with a laundry list of challenges so the more you can streamline and outsource, the easier it is to manage.
1) GET HELP! Seriously, finding childcare that makes you feel comfortable about being away from your kid all day, knowing they’re safe and happy, is essential in being able to focus on work. And if you can swing it, get some help with the household stuff. Having someone who can do your kids’ laundry is truly the greatest gift you can give yourself.
2) We have learned (read: are learning) to try and separate personal time from business as much as possible. When we are with our kids, work can wait. And when we are working, we need to focus and get as much done as possible before we start making dinner. It’s easy to be distracted with ordering diapers, or thinking about what our kids are going to be for Halloween, but that stuff needs to happen off hours, otherwise our work suffers. 3) Know that it’s never going to be a perfect balance. Some days you’re going to nail it and it’s going to feel badass. Other days, and there will be a lot of them, you’re going to feel like a total failure. On those days, find a way to decompress. Take a bath, get a glass of wine with a friend, talk to your therapist, read a book (or just like a page or two), and try again tomorrow.