Designer Profile: Steve Kadlec

Steve is a registered architect with over 25 years’ experience in residential architecture and interior design. His past projects have developed his sensitivity toward contemporary contextual design, and over the years, he has refined a body of work that transcends a singular style, reflecting the essence of his clients.

How did you discover your passion for design?
The first day of college. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. My first studio class was conceptual, abstract, and non-architectural. I was so intrigued to explore my own meaning of things. I was hooked. 

What is your favorite decorative object at home?
A silver bud vase and teaspoon designed by David Wiseman. They are tiny encapsulations of a very creative artist.

Is design an art or a science?
Both. Design requires an understanding of the functional requirements of space through a creative lens of experience and emotion.

Do you have any go-to color or pattern combinations?
I tend to start with a warm (or cool) neutral textural palette, and then layer a little color and pattern.

When do you consider a completed project a success?
When the client is happy and the art and accessories are photo-ready…

What is the most common design mistake you see?
Strictly following design trends and not relying on your own personal style.

Share your biggest design secret.
No. 🙂

How do you balance style, comfort, and functionality?
It depends on the room and use. Generally, most of us live more casual and informal lives, so comfort and function are more inherent in design. Style is the result of good design achieving those goals beautifully.Is there a specific item you typically use as a starting point?
I always start with the furniture plan, then build around any existing pieces that are to be reused. That can include rugs, art, or furniture.What do you think about Sotheby’s Home?
Sotheby’s Home is a great design resource for furnishings and decorative arts, and the site is very easy to navigate. The editorial section offers interesting insights into people and design trends. A great tool for my office.

Shop Steve’s favorite Sotheby’s Home picks!

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