Water color painting of a hummingbird by Kelly Cleveland

In the KCI News: Logo Unveiling

I had a profound experience with a hummingbird a few years ago. One of these lovely birds got trapped in our garage at our vacation home. He was frantically flying around for over an hour and everything I did to try to help was futile. Finally, the poor guy just gave up and sunk down onto the floor. Thinking he was dead, I leaned down to pick him up. He was completely tangled up in cobwebs, but I saw his chest was heaving and his little heart still pounding. He surprised me by hopping onto my finger.

Gingerly, I began pulling off the webs, being so careful because each tug could have snapped one of his fragile bones. While I was cleaning him off, I walked him over to one of the hummingbird feeders that my dad kept. The tiny bird stayed on my finger and drank while I watched him start to come back to life. He opened his eyes and blinked, looking at his surrounds and at me for a few minutes longer, before he lifted his wings and buzzed away. Those few minutes still seem frozen in time.

Hummingbirds represent vitality and eternity and they are tireless seekers of life.

What most people don’t know about the hummingbird is their wings move in the same pattern as the infinity symbol. To me, this is why they symbolize eternity and strength.

These little birds also represent the air element which is associated with intelligence, logic and the ability to see the big picture. Their movement is almost imperceptible, but they are accomplishing so much. That really does describe how we, as designers, work. It is a dance between imagination, creation, and execution all while understanding how each part comes together. We are quite literally doing a thousand things, some big and some imperceptible, but all crucial in creating that perfect space for our clients.

I am proud to unveil the new look for Kelly Cleveland Interiors. The main inspiration behind it: the powerful hummingbird. Thank you to the brilliant Jennifer Harrell at wyvilleusa.com for the hardwork!

What I am Currently Inspired by: Green

If you follow me on Instagram (@kellyclevelandint if you don’t, but want to see what I’m up to), then you have probably noticed that I have completely greened out. But hey, it has greened out everywhere else too, thank goodness! Spring is the time of rebirth and green is the color of renewal.

Green is also the color that we see most in our everyday lives (unless you live in Chicago between November-April). I love the color because all shades of green go together, and it can be a dominate, neutral, or a pop of color in any space.

If you are looking for more green-spiration, check out my Pinterest Board by clicking the photo below:

What I am Currently Working On:
My House

We moved from Chicago to Oak Park about 11 years ago. At that time, my husband and I decided to move our offices into the lower level of our “new” home (an 1890’s American Foursquare), which seemed like a great idea until we realized that meant downsizing 2,000 sq feet of office space into 1,000 sq feet. On top of that, we needed to completely furnish and deck out the rest of our home…all while I was 7 months pregnant and working full time. Guess what…that wasn’t enough time! While a lot was accomplished, I was never truly able to complete my vision.

What I thought was going to be a refresh has quickly turned into a redesign. Our life from 11 years ago is completely unrecognizable…cribs replaced with queen sized beds, causal kid playdates have become dinner parties, stuffed animals tossed aside for gaming and live streaming gear. Our lifestyle has changed as has home tech, so the flow and functions of our home need to change too. Just like we do with our clients, we are doing a deep dive into how we live now and making design choices that fit this new phase.

We started work on the lower level a couple of months ago (progress pictures will be posted  on our blog over the coming weeks). It was in desperate need of a facelift…well in this case a pelvic floor lift (this is everything, am I right ladies?!). That 1,000 square foot space I referenced earlier had 4 different flooring materials that didn’t visually connect creating a chopped up, bummer of a room. The carpeting, polished marble, and slate has been replaced with 12×24 black matte porcelain tiles. Lordy, it is amazing how much bigger it looks. We’re changing up door hardware and paint colors throughout as well as swapping plumbing fixtures in the bathroom. Fabrics for the sofa have been delivered to the upholsterer (yippee!) and now I’m tasked with DIYing a media cabinet from Target. After that, we are moving onto the 1st floor kitchen, living, dining and powder rooms. Plans are already in the works!

The inspiration (pictured above) for lower level of our home comes from wanting to celebrate the phases or our well traveled and (so far) well lived life…with super smart choices that make the space functional and timeless rather than tired or cluttered. And always with little surprises along the way…

So stay tuned for this progress as we dig in deeper over the upcoming months!

Keeping Up with KCI:

What I’m Making: This Hummingbird Cake because it is officially Hummingbird season!

What I’m Reading: Alex Kotlowitz’s: An American Summer, Delia Owens: Where The Crawdads Sing.

What I’m Watching: (Now that GOT is over) Better Things, Pose, Russian Doll, Hanna

What I’m Listening to: Click on the photo below to listen to my curated 2019 (mostly) sunny summer playlist. Don’t play it just once because it will evolve over the coming months.

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