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The Story Behind Paige Kunkle Designs: From Floral Artistry to Interior Design Mastery

Interviewed by Jessica Belair, Prose Style

Paige Van Rensselaer-Kunkle on her custom designed outdoor furniture
Paige Van Rensselaer-Kunkle, Paige Kunkle Designs

Can you share a bit about your background and how your journey into the world of design began?

Certainly. My journey into the world of design actually began long before I consciously realized it. As a child, I had a penchant for redecorating my room constantly.

My mother, who was also a decorator in her own right, greatly influenced me with her impeccable sense of style and color palettes. I admired her ability to effortlessly bring things together, always staying ahead of trends. These early experiences laid the foundation for my passion for design and set me on the path to where I am today.

Happy family with three children, the Van Rensselaer Family
Van Rensselaer Family

What initially drew you to floral artistry, and how did that passion evolve over time?

After spending many years in the corporate world, feeling unfulfilled and disconnected from my true passions, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery. Encouraged by my husband to take time to reflect, I realized that I longed for something more meaningful. With a deep appreciation for nature and beauty, I followed my heart and opened a flower and garden shop.

PKD floral artistry

As a florist, I've always been a huge advocate for mixing old with new and giving vintage or antique pieces new life. In every arrangement I crafted, I made sure to include something from my garden - whether it was a fresh-cut herb or a flourishing branch. There was always a piece of my personal life woven into every bouquet, and I carry that sentiment into my work as an interior designer.

Growing up in a family of florists and gardeners, I was immersed in a world of botanical artistry from a young age. Their influence undoubtedly played a role in shaping my love for the natural world and its beauty. Transitioning from floral artistry to interior design felt like a natural progression for me.

As I worked on floral and garden designs, clients often sought my assistance with patio and garden designs, which involved selecting furniture, fabrics, and accessories. This experience sparked my interest in interior design and ultimately led me to expand my services to encompass all aspects of creating beautiful living spaces.

Can you describe some of the key milestones or turning points in your career that led you to the founding of Paige Kunkle Designs?

I don't know if there's a specific key milestone, but a significant moment in my career occurred about nine years ago when a friend asked me to design their home on Lido Island. That project reignited my passion for design after many years of retirement.

From there, word of mouth led to additional projects, and before I knew it, Paige Kunkle Designs was born. I've never engaged in advertising; instead, my work speaks for itself, and clients continue to seek me out based on referrals and reputation.

How would you describe the philosophy or guiding principles behind Paige Kunkle Designs?

My philosophy revolves around listening to the client and working within their lifestyle and the unique characteristics of their home. I don't adhere to one specific style; instead, I adapt my approach to each client's individual preferences and the distinct attributes of their space. 

Whether it's a ground-up project or wellness within your walls stylized projects (healthy homes), I strive to create spaces that resonate with the client on a personal level and enhance their overall well-being.

What are some of the most memorable or rewarding projects you've worked on throughout your career?

Every project holds its own significance, but two stand out to me for their uniqueness. One project involved designing for a 7000 square foot home on Lake Arrowhead, which pushed the boundaries of design and allowed me to experiment. This home won us the NKBA award for secondary bathroom.

Another memorable project was Casa Almira in San Miguel de Allende, a historical property that presented new challenges and opportunities for creativity. Both projects were incredibly rewarding and taught me valuable lessons that continue to shape my approach to design.

Spanish-Colonial sitting room
Casa Almira, San Miguel de Allende

What sets Paige Kunkle Designs apart from other interior design firms?

I believe it's the combination of my diverse background, the expertise of my team, and our unwavering commitment to client satisfaction. We listen to our clients, adapt to their needs, and bring a fresh perspective to every project. Whether it's mixing old with new, or incorporating vintage pieces, we strive to create spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and meaningful.

How do you maintain inspiration and continue to push creative boundaries in your designs?

Traveling and immersing myself in different cultures is a constant source of inspiration for me. I'm always on the lookout for new design elements and trends that I can incorporate into my work. Additionally, I draw inspiration from historical references and architectural marvels from around the world.

By staying curious and open-minded, I ensure that each design is unique and reflective of the client's personality and lifestyle.

Looking to the future, what are your goals and aspirations for Paige Kunkle Designs?

My goal is to establish a strong foundation for Paige Kunkle Designs that allows me to travel the globe and source unique pieces for our clients.

I want to expand our furniture lines and fabric offerings while continuing to push the boundaries of design. Ultimately, I aim to create spaces that not only meet but exceed the expectations of our clients, leaving a lasting impact for years to come.


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