Design Camp: Atlanta

Home from fantastic and hospitable Atlanta and I have to say, I couldn’t be happier with the way Design Camp Atlanta went down! Needlees to say, I love my PIC, Lori Dennis…Couldn’t ask for a better business partner and friend! We had our 1 year anniversary (we met speaking in Las Vegas, Influential Women of Design Panel) Happy, Happy LD! Thank You Fox Theater, Hotel Indigo and Georgians.

As usual we met some amazing designers, women, men, mothers, fathers and fast new fiends at Camp. It’s beyond fulfilling for me to see how much we can inspire these men and women over the course of 2.5 days. For many of you asking me “How did Atlanta Design Camp go?”, just read these reviews, the first from a delight of a woman, Ryan, a new friend for sure….
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Recent Media Interview with Kelli….

When did you first realize that you wanted to go into Interior Design?  When I was about 5… I would spend HOURS making the coolest houses for Barbie out of every suitcase, box, or “walls” I could find… Even down to the little tiny magazines and curtains!!

After you realized this, what did you do to prepare yourself?  I took a very windy road to design…Being an only child of a Judge, I was always pointed towards Law School.. After my BA in Advertising/Marketing and 2 years in Law School…. and 10 years of designing homes “unofficially” … I went to IDI thinking people would care if I had a formal design background.

What type of training or schooling did you have to complete in order to proceed with Designing? None really…. I have NEVER been asked! I have done 4 TV shows and it NEVER came up – and since I am on a repeat and referral basis in my private career, still no one asks … Honest!  BUT I did choose to attend Interior Design Institute so I would have an answer, just in case someone asked….

How much time did it take to complete the training/schooling associated? 2 years

What do you think is the best part of your career?  Seeing people transformed by their surroundings…I LOVE IT!

If you could change anything about your career,what would it be and why? I would have started my product launches earlier, while doing TV….It helps with exposure and longevity in the career. People remember you as long as they can see you!

What suggestions could you give to a high school student who is interested with Interior Design?  If it’s your passion, pursue it! There is NOTHING better than waking and doing what you love…you cannot fail if you love your career.  Choose a school that is accredited and passionate about your education… Be wary of schools that promise too much.  Interning is a great way to gain experience, but do not get stuck in one place! Set a limit to your internship and jump out of the nest within a year.

How does a typical day for you go? Up early to review each client file. Go over each client and daily tasks needed to be accomplished with assistants. Go to all job sites necessary to keep on track with all the contractors and sub-contractors working on my jobs (gotta watch those guys) Be sure to have at least 2 new client meetings per week…Most days I am with clients shopping which is fun 70% of the time – sometimes it’s very challenging!
then pick up my kids from school, workout, cook dinner, relax with the family…Gotta have a balance!

Could you tell me about one of your most interesting memories? I have so many from the TV shows and my career…but I do have one that I think of often…. When I was about 5 my mother set the “design ball” rolling… My room was a mess (of course) and she told me to “clean it and make it look like a model home!” I worked on my room for two days (it was raining outside so I didn’t care)… I made a sofa out of boxes and pillows, a dining area, etc… It was like my studio apartment.  TO this day I think of that when I have a cool loft to remodel or a bachelor pad that’s small and challenging.

Aside from schooling/training, what does it take to do Interior Designing? (i.e. kind heart, strong stomach, etc.)
UNDERSTANDING and DIPLOMACY – there are soooo many factors involved when you are working with people and their valued possesions…. It takes a very intuitive and patient person to be a designer. You must listen more and talk less….remember to incorporate THEIR ideas into something great – NOT just your ideas.
What other jobs could you do with the skills you have gained in this field? Psychology!

What are your biggest challenges? Big personalities :)

Are there many opportunities in your field? Yes, if you understand how to change with the economy, and relate to your clients… referrals are the best! I coach Interior Designers on how to make money in this economy – everyone learns the tricks to making $ and a successful career.

How much job security is there in Interior Design? A ton, if you run your own business. TV is fickle…and so are other bosses.

Before you chose Interior Designing, what were a couple of your other career choices you had in mind? Geologist, Marketing, Graphic Design

Personal Appearances

A recent list of TV appearances, keynote speeches, special presentations and interviews with celebrity interior designer Kelli Ellis from TLC’s Clean Sweep, HGTV’s Take Over My Makeover, Bravo’s Real Housewives of Orange County and Feautre Reporter for Daybreak OC….

  • Memory Walk, Master of Ceremonies, Alzheimers Association

  • Lifestyle Designers, keynote speaker, Newport Beach, CA

  • MomTV, featured guest

  • Remake My Life, TV Series, Design Psychology Expert

  • Marketing to Millionaires Summit, celebrity appearance

  • Ryan Lee Continuity Summit, celebrity appearance

  • BoomJ Today talk show, DirectTV

  • World Market Las Vegas, Keynote, MGM Grand

  • ABC Morning News, Milwaukee, WI

  • Fox Morning News, Milwaukee, WI

  • NARI Home Show, Milwaukee, WI

  • LA Fashion Week, celebrity appearance

  • Hollywood Yard Sale/W Magazine, celebrity appearance

  • CA/Boom, LA’s Top Design Showcase, celebrity appearance

NBC and Jane Pauley welcomed Kelli to their stage to discuss organization and displaying your “treasures”… And she appears monthly in her own column in the OC Gazette, “Ask Kelli”


Celebrity Designer Kelli Ellis Named Orange County’s Top Interior Designer by OC METRO Magazine

Interior design expert Kelli Ellis is named Orange County’s Top Interior Designer by OC Metro magazine

Orange County, CA (PRWEB) September 29, 2009 — OC’s own celebrity interior designer, Kelli Ellis is OC METRO’s cover girl and voted Orange County’s Top Interior Designer.

This may not be the first time you’ve seen Kelli Ellis. She has been busy beautifying homes on HGTV’s Takeover My Makeover, TLC’s Clean Sweep, and Bravo’s Real Housewives of Orange County. In addition to her residential interior design business, Kelli appears in three documentary movies, The Compass, Riches, and The Vow. Her commercial projects have put her on the design map throughout Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego. Kelli has received many accolades and rewards for her work including Luxe Magazine’s, Editor’s Top Choice, and speaking engagements across the country, discussing design and her theory of Design Psychology.

After polling OCMETRO’s fans and readers, the online vote was overwhelming. “Kelli really deserves this top honor, her eye for design and color is amazing. Not to mention all who know her, love her – she is a truly gifted, beautiful person inside and out,” OC Metro Editor.

In a recent interview Ellis was asked, what one piece of advice would you offer aspiring designers? Ellis replies, “Respectfully remember you are there to help the homeowner create their dream home, and be honored they’ve asked for your guidance.” When asked, “What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a designer?” Ellis responds with a huge smile, “We are all trying to make our homes our havens. I know I’ve succeeded when my clients say, “I live in my dream home,” or “It’s exactly what we wanted.” I must admit, I get a bit teary-eyed.”

Kelli Ellis can be contacted at

Editor’s Note: Kelli Ellis is available to discuss interior design trends in Orange County and across the country. In addition, she will explain the importance of design psychology in the American home.