These days, you can barely get a contractor, builder, or designer to pick up their phone, and it’s for a good reason — they are swamped! Between the pandemic and the booming housing market, designers like Kim Loudenbeck are busier than ever. The owner of Warehouse 67, a unique furniture and accessories shop in Germantown, Kim’s interior design skills, coupled with her entrepreneurship, make her a very busy woman. We caught up with Kim to learn about the latest design trends, what she’s up to, and what we can expect to find at her store. Please welcome our latest Memphis interior designer crush, Kim Loudenbeck.
What led you to a career in interior design?
I have always loved architecture and have been drawn to the process of creating. When I decided my senior year what path to take, I wanted it to include my two passions. Instead of going to art or architecture school, I found the perfect blend in interior design. It allowed me to create beautiful spaces that others could enjoy.
What three words would you use to describe the style you are drawn to?
Unique, timeless, and understated elegance. While curating items for the store, I’m drawn to the things that catch my eye immediately. I buy the things I love — the things that make me go, “Oh, wow.” Then, of course, I make sure it’s quality construction. In the case of upholstery, it has to pass the “sit test.” Ultimately, the things I carry in my store are what I would have in my home or buy for my clients. After many years, it never gets old. There is always something new and exciting that I can’t wait to share.
Can you tell us how Warehouse 67 came to be and what shoppers can expect to find there?
Warehouse 67 was born out of the difficult times of the 2008 housing crisis. After careers in commercial and residential design, I was working as a freelance designer. We had built a commercial space in Arlington, TN, that became vacant. After a few years of trying to find a tenant and going through our savings, we knew we had to get creative. I was attending Market for clients and had relationships with vendors. So, after much prayer, we decided in 2011 to open Warehouse 67.
The goal was to pay the mortgage on the property; however, with so many businesses closing, we filled a much-needed gap in the retail design space. We have the best clients who spread the word, and now, almost 11 years later, we have moved our showroom location to Germantown. We are still going strong.
I would have never envisioned owning a retail store, but it has been such a blessing as a designer. I not only have all the tools I need to design projects under one roof, but I love to share our shop with others as well. Warehouse 67 is a full-service design firm that offers gifts, clothing, jewelry, and home furnishings. We take pride in hand-selecting items from local artists (and vendors around the world) to make our customers’ homes truly unique. We are that “lemonade out of lemons” story, and I would not change a thing!
What direction do you see design trends taking?
Every so often, the pendulum swings from lighter, cooler colors to warmer colors and textures. We’re seeing the start of a shift into warmer colors. Terra cotta, golds, warm wood tones, and richer textures are becoming more popular. My challenge as a designer is to work with clients to transition their spaces without having to reselect all new items. I like to utilize items in the space that act as a linking element to tie it all together.
What would you tell people who are thinking about embarking on a renovation or building project right now?
Building or remodeling in the current market isn’t for the faint of heart. I have never given the advice I do now; given the cost of goods and lack of access to supplies, I’m advising clients to be patient and wait a while if they can. Those challenges can extend the project timeframe, causing more stress and costs. While clients are waiting, I like to utilize the time to get everything designed, selected, and even ordered way ahead of the job start. It minimizes delays later.
In your opinion, what turns a house into a home?
I love to work with clients to get to know them, so their homes reflect who they are. This is what makes a house a home. It should be a collection of what you love and how you share that with your friends and family. It’s that indescribable feeling you get where you can exhale and feel comforted by your surroundings. Your home should be your place of solace, where you can rest and recharge.
As a designer, you’re very creative. Do you think people are born creative, or can creativity be cultivated over time?
I feel God gives people different gifts, and creativity is one of them. I grew up being drawn to the arts. I loved to draw and paint. I loved the process of taking a blank canvas and transforming it into what was in my head. I realized I could apply that gift to other things as an adult. Now, I walk into a space, and I see it done. I just have to work backward to achieve what I envision. I love the process of creating a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but is also functional for those using it.
You are a self-proclaimed “project addict.” Where does your creativity come out when you aren’t working on an interior design project?
Yes, I’m a project addict for sure! I eat, live, and breathe design. It’s my passion, so I’m always trying to make things more beautiful or better than I found them. I enjoy being outdoors or dreaming about places to go and explore. Traveling and soaking in the breathtaking scenery and studying architecture are ways I like to spend my free time.
What’s your favorite color to work with?
My favorite color to work with is any shade of blue. It’s so versatile, and to me, it is a peaceful color.
What is the most critical room in the house to get “right” in terms of design?
All of them! As far as function, I often say design is more important than the aesthetics of a space. The little things like outlet locations, storage space, and lighting, if not done well, will be a constant inconvenience to the client. So, getting every detail of the space right is important to the overall success of the room.
And, finally, a quick lightning round of personal questions:
What meal feels most like home to you?
I’m a Southern girl through and through, so homemade biscuits with molasses and bacon are the go-to comfort foods that make me feel like I’m home.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
You can do anything you set your mind to! I truly believe that. I love to dream and dream big. If you are willing to work hard, it’s amazing what’s possible.
Aside from faith, family, and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?
This made me laugh because I thought about what my family and friends would say. I can hear them saying, “A project, my phone, and caffeine!”
Thank you, Kim! We can’t wait to see what you create next.
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