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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Choosing the right color for a room

It’s the number one question I get from readers, fans and friends alike – what color should I paint my walls?







Such a loaded question with so many different answers. There are a few steps to take to ensure your success. For my designer formula, read my post at here



Bold and the Beautiful – Riviera Magazine

Bold and the Beautiful
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Dwell on Design – The Hottest Interior Design Products for 2012

The Design Camp Girls were busy bees at the Dwell on Design Show.  Lori spoke on two panels: Kitchen Trends and What’s Happening in Green Interior Design.  We had meetings with Toto, Sub-Zero Wolf and Kalamazoo Gourmet Outdoor to discuss Design Camp and their appearances.  Then we hit the ASID and Dwell on Design VIP parties- margaritaville!!

Celebrity Interior Designers Lori Dennis, Angelo Surmelis and Kelli Ellis at Dwell on Design
Read More’s Design Expert – Interior Design made easier

I am so excited to partner with I had a blast taping over 22 tiles with many more to come. Enjoy this video and many more from me on …Cheers, Kelli


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Best Celebrity Interior Designers From Kelli Ellis to Kenneth Brown

“Thank You! Wonderful write up…

Latest Prize Project and Feature

This home is near and dear to my heart, and one of my favorites!  It’s still a work in progress, as we are remodeling the exterior and adding glass tile here and there.  Notice the use of black as the unifying color and seemingly “dark” fixtures, yet the home is not dark at all!


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Riviera Magazine Modern Luxury asks Kelli….

Burning question: “What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve purchased for your home?”

read the answer here….. :)

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

OC GAZETTE – “Ask Kelli”

Dear Kelli,

I am recently divorced and want a brand new start to my whole life. The problem is I have older furniture that I’ve moved with me. I can’t really afford all new stuff, so how can I update my look on my “single girl” budget.

Thank you,
Single and Sassy

Dearest Status Updater,

There are very simple changes you can make now without dipping into the “Girls Night Out” fund!
Here is a brief list to get your started:
1. Slipcover – Go to your nearest Bed, Bath and Beyond (The Beyond section is the best!) and get an inexpensive slipcover for your sofas or chairs. Choose a darker neutral tone. It hides the most spilled food and drinks for all those parties you will be having.
2. Start Tagging! – Don’t be afraid to paint furniture pieces to update them. A Semi-Gloss Black can of paint can do wonders for a small side table or coffee table.
3. Color – Decide on your new “single color”! A color completely opposite of what you had before to symbolize your independence. Once decided buy small, inexpensive accessories in that color to jazz up table, mantels, sofas or beds.
4. Send out the Evites – It’s time to show off the new you. Cheers!!

Dear Kelli,

I’ve lived in my beach-side home for 7 years and I’ve hated it ever since. My husband and children love the home, I am the only unhappy one. There is nothing warm about the home. I am having trouble making it “mine”. What can I do?

Sad in the Sand

Dear Crabby,
Most people would think living near the ocean with a happy family, would be heaven…but as a Design Psychology Expert I know there is much, much more to it!
Start with this exercise;

Exercise #1 Realization: I want you to walk through every room in your home, slowly and intentionally looking at each and every item in each room. Place an emotion onto every item as you do. For example; You walk into your family room and you see your coffee table bought by your husband upon marriage. It makes you happy, but longing for time with him alone, like it used to be. On top of the table is your Mom’s antique bowl you’ve always hated, full of potpouri (you never liked the smell) and old books you love. Realize that everytime you walk by those items your subconscious has those exact impressions in a split second. If the majority of your emotional responses to the stuff in your home is negative – you cannot like your home! BUT you can change how you feel by removing the things that don’t make you happy. DONT throw out others belongings without conversation, but DO surround yourself with things that make you smile and feel happy.

Exercise #2

Once you’ve determined the room that needs you attention most, call in the troops. Your next project is to reclaim your room by making it fresh and a source of happy feelings. For this example we’ll stick to the family room. Enlist your family or friends to help you completely clear out the room. Everything out! Just the walls, floors and you… Notice the “bones” of the room. Remember why you liked the room in the first place. It could be the beautiful fireplace, the large windows, the niche for art work, the flooring, etc… Now decide what you’d like to highlight in the room – your new focal point. For this example the fireplace is our new focal point. Arrange the furniture to highlight the new focus. Sometimes there is more than one focus. This may mean having to find a new home for the TV, or “repurposing” furniture from other rooms to make it work. You may decide to replace the furniture you dislike. But realize whatever changes you make, they are absolutely worth the effort and money if it means your happiness!

As always, I am here to help….