Kieffer Design Group (KDG) is a full service design and procurement firm which places a focus on the Hospitality industry, covering hotels, restaurants private clubs as well as Luxury Multi Family developments. We spoke to Judi Kieffer to find out more about the successful design firm as it is featured as LUX Ones to Watch for 2018: The Most Innovative Designers.

KDG fulfils creative possibility by turning mind into matter. With vision, talent, persistence, resourcefulness and communication there are no limits to what KDG can accomplish. Judi tells us what qualities make for excellent designers, which attributes contribute to the making of successful design, and what lies ahead.

Firstly, what defines a great Designer and Leader?

“Great designers are always being challenged, inspired by various lifestyle industries for trends, and usually possess inspiration in addition to being a fantastic listener and collaborator, coming to the table with solutions and not problems. Additionally, I believe a good designer should elevate the project with fresh approaches and ideas, be flexible and make changes or expand the limit of the design. Providing budgets during design is also warranted as well as timliness and honest communications. I think designer’s vision, client’s goals, and management/operators implementation plan all should be cohesive. Over deliver on touch points that give lasting impressions and be motivating and engaged throughout the process. 

“I believe everything is possible! Great design is elevated with a fresh approach and ideas, and spaces should move ones soul, stimulate good emotions and encourage interaction!”

What elements make a successfully designed interior?

“Spaces which move one’s soul as they inhibit the space, and to allow individuals to be more engaged and elated, stimulating their emotions, enabling them to feel less stressed and hopefully evoke good emotions. Designed spaces that are residentially comfortable yet commercially wearable and usable, designed for the life safety and welfare of the public. I also think that wellness elements and intuitive technology is vital and should be inclusive of any environment anymore. Well thought out lighting in multiple levels and uses from ambient to task creates mood and emotions. Also, don’t forget proper Feng Shui and balance as it creates good energy flow. When a visitor is in a space and can’t pin point what it is exactly that makes them feel so good and the space to be visually appealing – that is truly a successfully designed space., because good design encapsulates all the elements together!”

With regards to the team at KDG, how do you and your staff stay on top of the design trends?

“I love to attend events and tradeshows around the country, and follow fashion and technology trends. Travelling and being open to new inspiration aides in my quest to come up with innovative designs for interior projects. Also, I love researching Biomimicry, in which new products are created that solve problems based on how nature would do it.”

What is your process for undertaking new clients or projects?

“It is important to ensure that the outcome of the project will meet the needs and requirements of both the client, guests or residents. Initially, we host a kick-off meeting with consultants, clients and partners, and share the roles each person will play and the overview of the project. Next, we set up the communication process and discuss what to expect throughout the project. As a team, we are proactive in our work, constantly communicating and adapting to the progress of the project, trying to predict what will happen, rather than reacting.”

Looking ahead, what are some future vibrant markets?

“Essentially, I think the industry is very strong right now, and most likely for the next several years in renovations, new construction and rebranding. Over the next few years, in hotels, there will be more focus in select service, mid- upper scale, and soft brand properties. In Multi Family developments, they will be focusing on more Luxury “destination” and “lifestyle” design. Tenants want more flexibility in housing with no responsibility, high quality design, high technology and amenities on the premises, complete with cafes, bars, markets, laundry, sports fitness and even dog spas.”

How did you start your firm and what lies ahead?

“I started my business in 1990, with the encouragement of an architect and designer friend whom I collaborated with on a famous resort in Idaho. They believed in me and let me share office space to get started. I have never looked back and wake up every day with gratitude and excitement for what lies ahead, I am living my career passion! After possessing a business and interior design degree and a professional licence in NCIDQ, I have gained a lot of insight and experience that I bring to every project. It has proven to be very helpful to our clients and my firm in general. I like to come from a thought process that not only can spaces and design be engaging with high style, but also from an owners’ perspective of increasing the bottom line, and keeping guests coming back and tenants remaining longer. As KDG has grown, we have gained a position as a Preferred Design firm with Hilton and IHG hotel Brands as well as being approved with many other brands. We are quick and creative thinkers, and I believe we are successful at designing any style and with any trend, in any area of the world. I think what sets us apart, is our ability to successfully combine our expertise in hospitality , commerical and luxury residential, and blend them together in the design. Additionally we create for the property and location of the project, and always bring in local art, artist or elements that really showcase its community.”

Finally, where do see your firm going and what’s in store in the near future?

“Moving forward, I would love to expand both our design and procurement departments, and design more wellness minded projects. This stems from not only my personal lifestyle (I am a certified yoga instructor and Ayurveda nutrition advocate, so I embrace the wellness lifestyle), but I found that the general public is also very knowledgeable and chooses better healthier lifestyle choices too, so responding to this in design is in essence a sustainable act!”

You can contact Judi Kieffer at Kieffer Design Group…

Email: [email protected]