Jan Kepler, owner of Kepler Design, is a full-service interior designer who specializes in kitchen and bath design and custom cabinetry. After years in her own public relations business, she began a mid-life career change at age 50 by returning to school to get an Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design.
She found her passion in kitchen and bath design and in 2006 she completed the national exam to become an Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD) through the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).
Jan has received 11 “ Best of Houzz Awards in Design and Service” since 2014. She has also received numerous Plato Woodwork Custom Cabinetry Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze Sales awards in the 15 years that she has been designing with and selling their cabinetry. Jan has contributed her design expertise and Plato Woodwork Custom Cabinetry to several hundred home remodeling and new construction projects in her 18 years as a designer.
At 71, she is going strong and her only regret is that she didn’t start this adventure earlier in her career. She has a showroom in San Luis Obispo that displays her work and the Plato Woodwork Custom Cabinetry that she designs and sells.
1. What is your favorite part about interior designing?
I love the fact that interior design is a collaborative experience with enduring and tangible results. The client always comes first and our job is to make their dreams come true. The biggest hurdle in the early years was building a team of construction professionals who could bring a breadth of knowledge to each job. Finding the right architect, general contractor, the many talented subcontractors to make up a great team to bring my designs to life took some time. Now, we are a family or professionals and we can always count on each other.
2. How would you describe your style?
My personal style is not important to my design business because it is about what the client needs and wants. However, I tend toward transitional design with thoughtful use of contemporary and traditional elements. Many of my clients are like minded. They see my work and want to do something similar. The joy of my career is that I often get to step outside my comfort zone to meet the desires and expectations of my clients. I can only own one home, but I can expand my horizons in the homes of my clients.
3. How would you describe your style?
I always want to incorporate a part of the client into every design project that we work on. I’ve worked with many different design styles and I always try to create a clean, sophisticated, interesting palette, but most importantly, a style that reflects our client’s taste.
4. What inspires you at the moment?
At the moment, I am overwhelmed by the generous people who are helping others during this crisis. The health care workers who risk their lives, the grocery store employees, delivery people, postal workers and so many others who are keeping our country working. I feel such gratitude for these people.
5. What kind of work do you usually prefer?
I specialize in kitchen and bath design and custom cabinetry. I love having my show room where people can come and get a feel for what I do and offer. From that starting point, I am happiest when the project expands and I get to specify lighting, counter tops, tile, flooring, paint, rugs, furniture and even art. Getting to do the whole project is the ultimate!
6. What do you consider before designing?
First and foremost, the client’s needs and wants. I spend a lot of time getting to know the clients – how they live, cook, entertain, etc. I need to know how many people live in the home, their ages, special needs. I need to understand the budget that the client has in mind. Part of my job is to educate people about the design process, the costs, time and commitment to get it all done.
7. Go-to color for painting a kitchen?
Paint colors depend on many other elements in the kitchen. The decision is made when considering the client’s preferences, the overall style of the home, size of the space, natural light, cabinetry materials and finishes, counter top, backsplash selections, and flooring. There are unlimited paint colors so I always consider the other factors first before choosing wall paint. I do have a few favorites: Sherwin Williams alabaster is one of my favorite white paint colors because it is a creamy off-white with “greige” undertones. It looks great with SW7031 Mega Greige. I tend toward the warmer tones. The list goes on forever.