Christina Kirkpatrick is one of JAI’s talented designers. She joined our team already seasoned in the hospitality industry, having worked on various luxury hotels and residential interior projects both internationally and domestically. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, GA (SCAD), Christina is passionate about creating memorable experiences through the built environment and pays close attention to detail.
Here’s a look through The Glass Wall into the design mind of Christina:
Did you always want to be a designer?
I suppose that far before I even knew the interior design profession existed I was a designer in the making. Innately I am an artist. I knew I loved color, beautiful things, and organized spaces very early in life. I spent a lot of time drawing and loved how pleasant surroundings made me feel. One of my favorite gifts from my father was a large marker and colored pencil set. Such a simple gift, but it was actually the beginning of my career.
When did you know that you wanted to be an interior designer?
Actually, I first thought about going to college for fashion design. As I looked into fashion more, I started to wonder if it had enough structure or stability to be a wise career path for me. In speaking with a college admission counselor, she suggested I look into studying interior design. I immediately felt connected to the idea. I loved the mix of creativity and organizational structure of interior design. From that moment forward, I immersed myself in everything building and design related.
What are some of your recent projects you’re really proud of or that you’re currently working on?
I’m proud to say I’ve designed several lavish projects over my career, but I am now really enjoying my most recent project. It’s a 133-key boutique hotel in Beaufort, NC. The conceptual development of the project is headed in an incredible direction. I’d say it’s stylish yet refined, a tad rustic but sophisticated and incorporates an ode to the property’s industrial heritage. I’m excited to move into the design development stage. Since this project is so unique, we have the ability to incorporate some very special and tailored elements into the design. I’m sure it will be featured in an upcoming blog post.
How has working with JAI contributed to your growth as a designer?
Throughout my career I have worked on luxury properties that required little need to specify cost efficient products. The sky was the limit. So, when I started at JAI, I wondered how it would go working with brand-conscious projects on a more limited budget. It turns out, I love the challenge. Working within certain constraints has not required me to compromise beauty or the ability to add interesting detail. If fact, I’m proud to say that, because of my work with JAI, I have acquired a stronger ability to specify beautiful, quality products within a budget without compromising a project’s overall aesthetic. That is a huge asset as a designer, and it’s something that extends to a client’s overall satisfaction as well.
Which architect or designer or artist has inspired you most?
Without a doubt, it’s Kelly Wearstler, who has founded her own design firm and built her reputation in the hotel industry. Her design style is playful and, at the same time, elegant. I admire the way she has turned herself into a brand that expands far beyond interior walls. It’s impressive that her brand not only includes a design firm but also successfully includes custom furniture, accessories, fragrances and décor.
Kelly is beautiful, sophisticated and fashionable…and, she is also a mother. As a new mom, I’d love to be able to sit down with her and ask her how she manages to do it all. I’m sure she has her struggles, like all other working women, but her brand exudes confidence, a sense of playfulness and a sense of empowerment. It shows me that working mothers can achieve great things.
If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you be?
I’m going to say…retired! Because, honestly, I can’t see myself doing anything else.