Sitting Down with Inspiring Sydney Interior Designer Lynda Kerry
Lynda Kerry is a US-born designer who has been delivering her unique American-inspired interior design style to clients since she opened her firm, Lynda Kerry Interior Designs in 1983. She worked in LA for more than a decade and then following a move with her family to Australia continued in her new location. Lynda brings to client projects a sense of timelessness and traditionalism, as well as the ability to deliver the quintessential American aesthetic.
Lynda was influenced by her mother’s love of Cape Cod and East Coast style even as a child and she continues to integrate her signature design elements into projects such as white wall paneling, Persian rugs and dark, timber floors. She also loves Ralph Lauren fabrics and mixing varying patterns and textures for a one-of-a-kind result.
Lynda has been featured on the front covers of Australian and UK House and Garden and her work has been included in countless other magazines.
1. When did you first decide to become an interior designer and how did you get started with your design business?
I grew up with a Mother and Grandmother who loved beautiful things. My Mother was a school teacher but she also dabbled in Interior Design and all of our homes were beautifully decorated. She loved the "Cape Cod" look and our homes were traditional in style with an East Coast feel.
I worked as an assistant to Martha Bodman in Malibu California. I was very lucky to have worked on some amazing jobs with her which were in Los Angeles, The Valley and some of the Beach areas. Martha was originally from South Carolina and had an incredible talent mixing beautiful fabrics, Persian rugs and antique furniture. After working with her for a several years I went out on my own. Some of my first jobs were for Nikki Sixx the lead guitarist from Motley Crew and a developer in Malibu who hired me to do the display homes.
2. What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most changeling part here in Australia is presenting a look to the client and then actually sourcing the pieces of furniture. Most pieces end up being custom made and the special antique pieces take some time to find. I like the homes that I do to feel like they have been collected through time so there is extra effort placed in these finer details
3. Is there an interior design style you favour and do you have your own design aesthetic?
I am most influenced by my American heritage and I love the classic American look. My signature style is dark hardwood flooring, white wall panelling, antique persian rugs......traditional interiors that are timeless with a bit of adventure thrown in. I am a big fan of Ralph Lauren and use a lot of his fabrics including his zebra prints, Madagascar wallpapers, stripes, flannels and florals. I like mixing these with other fabric houses like Schumacher, Quadrille, Cowtan and Tout and Brunschwig and Fils......and then blending in vintage fabrics like Chinese batiks, African mud cloths and Suzani's. I have been doing a lot of blue and white lately but I also love using colour.
4. Who are other interior designers you admire?
I also admire Mark D. Sikes whom I met when I was in Los Angeles last May at the LADQ Legends. I also admire Kathryn Ireland and I was recently at a Design Retreat with her down in the Southern Highlands. William Yeoward has some wonderful fabrics and I like his design style as well.....and speaking of London......who can go past Kit Kemp and all her wonderful rooms she creates!
5. What do you think is the essential piece of furniture we should all have in our bedroom?
A comfortable bed and and beautiful linen.
6. What key element do we all need for a chic living room?
A good piece of artwork ...and a fireplace if possible....along with a beautiful rug and some comfortable sofas.
7. What do you think is the main difference between your Australian and American clients and their design aesthetic expectations?
The American clients tend to like a fuller look if that makes sense. .....more going on......usually the Australian clients brief is more simplistic. I think my job is to listen to what the clients needs and wishes are and then deliver an outcome that exceeds their expectations.
Let's Get Personal .......
1. What else are you passionate about besides your work?
When I am not working I enjoying walking an hour every morning which helps me get into the right head space for the rest of the day. This usually involves stopping half way for breakfast at one of my favourite cafes. It's the best part of the day. I also love cooking, baking entertaining and good wine. I visit the States quite a bit as I still have family in Newport Beach California and often do a side trip to the East Coast where I like to stay in New York, Nantucket, Marthas Vineyard and the Hamptons.
2. What is your most treasured belonging?
Besides my pillow......I know.....I take it with me everywhere.... I treasure the crocodile suitcase my husband bought me at the Rocks Markets....I made a stand for it and it sits in our living room. I also love my Grandfather's shadow box he made when he worked in Saudi Arabia and my Great Grandmother's tapestry she bought at the Chicago Fair which is framed in plexiglass in our stairwell.....I could go on and on...I love the tea service set my mother and father in law bought us for our wedding present and the antique clock 1.8 mm diameter that hangs in our stairwell that we purchased in the South of France.
3. What's one thing people may not know about you?
I majored in Psychology at USC in Southern California and worked for a wine company in my early 20's. It wasn't until my mid 20's that I decided to go back to school and study Interior Design at UCLA. I worked in LA for 12 years before moving to Australia with my husband and two children in 1995. I designed a house for Nikkie Sixx when I was 28. I used antique rugs and Ralph Lauren fabrics which was an interesting choice for the lead guitarist from Motley Crew. I also designed a resort in Cabo San Lucus which was on the cover of Orange County Magazine.
4. In 10 years I'd like to be ....
I see myself still doing Interior Design but maybe spending a bit more time travelling. I do love what I do and I enjoy the people I meet along the way. I'm fascinated with interiors and the more I work with clients, the more I evolve. I work within the full scope of Interior Design. Besides the soft furnishings, I also oversee the joinery and other interior details. There is always something more to learn and I like the challenge.
5. What can't you live without?
My family x
Lynda frequently travels including to both the East and West Coast in the U.S, and while she hopes to still be making her client’s interior projects what they dream of, she also hopes in the future she’ll spend more time travelling as well. She continues to be inspired by the world around her in her designs, and she is also delving more into the intricate details of the process such as how furnishings are made.