Q&A: Design Transformations with Kristin Bythewood

  • January 18, 2018
At Simply Sold, we truly enjoy partnering with local, talented designers on remodeling projects. Partnering with a designer is a great way to bring our clients visions to life and add their personal flair into their home transformation. We recently had the pleasure of working with Kristin Bythewood on a complete home remodel – W. 12th St project.


portfolio session


A designer has to capture a specific style and feel to a home. You can get lost looking at all your options, but they can guide you in the right direction. Not only are they able to tie together the paint colors and textiles, they focus on functionality. How can this be more functional based on your home layout, but also based on your lifestyle needs?


Designers and Contractors pair together like Peanut Butter and Jelly; we compliment each other. The designers can create and we can implement. We have to take that plan and make it come to life.


Learn about Kristin’s professional background and creative process through our Q&A session with her!


How long have you been in this industry? 
I have been a “closet designer’ for about 10 years, blogging and doing projects on the side. After staying home with my son for 2.5 years I decided it was time to step out and design full time working for myself.


Where do you get your design inspiration from? 
My inspiration for each design project comes directly from my clients. I spend time with them getting to know them, the kind of life they lead, what they long to have in their home. I often incorporate items they already have and draw inspiration from those. I encourage them to get to find out what makes them happy and then I follow their lead.


Would you say you have a certain style or style you prefer?
Like my taste in music, I have a love of many styles and design approaches. I love working in Austin because there are so many different styles represented here. When it comes to my own home, I tend to prefer a contemporary beach style with some pops of color.


How do you stay up to date with current styles and trends? 
While I am more focused on my client’s tastes than on the latest trends, I do love to stay up to date with what is going on in the design world because it is fun! My favorite thing to do is just go to the stores my clients love and hang out and look around at what they are offering. I also check in with my vendors from time to time to see the latest  products and get educated on them.


 A decorator friend of mine and l go on “field trips” to places that are doing neat design and learn. I try to go to events like Colormix, put on by Sherwin Williams each year, which is focused on what is “trending” culturally and in the artistic world. It’s really inspiring and I meet a lot of great people.


How do you help people discover and communicate their style? 
I always schedule an initial meeting in the home at no charge so I can get to know the clients personally and see the space for myself. I ask a lot of questions, but I also like to look at what the clients have already – this tells me a lot about what they like, even if they can’t describe it in words.


For my E-Design clients (online) I ask them to complete a brief questionnaire and send a video tour of them walking through the home describing how they live, what they like and what they dislike about the space.


Using Houzz ideabooks and Pinterest also helps because clients can look on their own time and start to narrow down what it is they really want. The clients share the boards with me so I can see what they choose and why they chose it.


How do you manage a project budget?
Before any work begins, I help my clients understand all costs and plan accordingly based on what they want to do. Most projects are more complicated and cost more than anticipated so before I design I make sure that the clients understand the range of cost based on the needs they have. Since I don’t hire the contractors, I help clients estimate costs objectively and give them several options at different price points.  I am very transparent about pricing and the cost of materials so that helps things stay on track. I will never pressure my clients to spend more than they are comfortable with, but I also help them understand the realities of cost, quality, etc… I believe it takes more creativity to stay with in a set budget and I really enjoy the challenge.


What do you recommend for clients to do when trying to figure out how they want to design their own home spaces?
I think the most important thing to do first is to specifically define what your style is. If you don’t know what you like you will end up with a bunch of things that don’t go together or you will just never buy anything because you get paralyzed by the decisions. If you live with someone else, you need to figure out what your combined styles are so you can be on the same page.


Second, you need to consider how you want your space to function. Consider changing you furniture layout to better suit your needs. Think about what you need to have to make your life work better. Maybe you need a drop zone for purses, coats, etc. Maybe you need a playroom for toys and games, etc. Maybe you need to rethink the purpose of some of your rooms.


Once you plan how your space should work, then you will know what you need to get. Once you define your style, it will be easier to make the decisions to get those things.


Kristin provides a practical and affordable approach to interior design, decorating, and home staging for everyday homeowners who want a great looking home without the luxury price tag of high end design. Contact her at 512-547-0469, email kdbythewood@gmail.com, or fill out the online form on her website to find out how she can help you transform your home.

Check out some snapshots of our project collaboration with Kristin at project W 12th –




If you are interested in a personal home remodeling project or you’re a designer looking to work together on an upcoming project reach out to our team! Fill our an online inquiry, call (512) 693-9340 or email info@simply-sold.net.

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