We are so excited to have teamed up with Trim Design Co. to create a very limited edition run of Kilim foot stools! Trim & Artemis align so well in our design values--we both love global textiles, a traditional but eclectic look, and collecting beautiful (and unusual) heirloom quality furniture. We spared no expenses in creating these stools- they are handmade in Boston by artisans with decades of experience. We used all of the finest materials--solid Walnut wood for the base and legs, hand loomed wool Kilim, and expert upholstery. We agreed that if we were going to create something, it should be something that will be loved and used for generations to come.
I hope that you enjoy reading our interview of the Trim Design Co. duo. We chat about their personal design philosophy, their homes, and of course, our Kilim Stools! Enjoy,
Tell us about your company? How did you get your start and what is your mission today?
Annabel: It all started when we began working together at a full-service interior design firm, where we bonded immediately over our shared background as teachers and our mutual love for Artemis Design Co. loafers. We realized that there was a huge gap between the available design models of eDesign and full-service and that a huge swath of the population wasn’t being served, as a result. Regular people like us, who want homes that aren’t dominated by dorm room leftovers or kid’s toys (we’ve termed it Frat House Syndrome), needed something more than impersonal cookie-cutter eDesign, but more accessible than the traditional full-service model.
We created Trim Design Co. as an answer to this dilemma. Unlike the mass-market "churn-it-out” rooms typically associated with eDesign, our model fuses the convenience of eDesign with the best aspects of traditional full-service interior design: close designer-client collaboration, impeccable attention to detail, and customization. For us, interior design is all about making a home one-of-a-kind and ensuring it is an extension of our client’s personality and lifestyle. We take on fewer clients, so we can delve deep into collaborating with them and nurture that designer-client relationship. We even offer a la carte services like space planning and kitchen finish selection, as well as in-home design consults for local clients and we include vintage and artisanal items in all of our designs.
How do you plan on using the Kilim footstool in your own home? And what is your favorite thing about it?
Annabel: It’s perfect for my living room because I can stash it under the coffee table and pull it out for extra seating or as a footstool when I’m reading in my chair by the window. That room is very layered and textured but mostly neutrals tones- this is the perfect pop of color, but still has those earthier tones to tie it into the rest of the space. I love how the walnut frame feels sleek and modern, but the three legs are reminiscent of primitive milking stools, which feels perfect for pairing with the vintage rug upholstery.
Jennifer: I'll keep a pair in my living room pulled up near the coffee table. My younger daughters like to draw or do puzzles on the coffee table when we've got a fire going in the fireplace. These stools are just the right height for them to use as a perch. And because the cushions are so comfy, they'll make for great extra seating for when I have book club over at my house too! I love the generous cushion on these stools. It gives each stool just the slightest appearance that it's a little top heavy--that nice, deep cushion on those three sleek legs. It reminds me of a toad stool that a fairy might sit on--it makes it kind of whimsical!
Tell us about your personal design philosophy for your own home? What kind of an environment are you trying to create?
Annabel: My home embodies the signature boho-modern-meets-traditional (“bohoditional”) style that Jen and I specialize in. We incorporate vintage and artisanal items into every design, creating homes steeped in individuality. I draw much of my design inspiration from the stories and histories contained in vintage pieces. Jen and I are both former English teachers, so storytelling is close to our hearts and there’s nothing like the patina of a vintage piece to evoke emotion and bring a sense of history and gravitas to a space. My home is full of vintage pieces I’ve brought home from estate sales and auctions, heirlooms passed down through my family, and artwork from talented friends and family.
Jennifer: I want my home to tell my story. But in place of words, my home uses color, texture, art, keepsakes, and furnishings to relay that story.
What are 3 words to describe your style?
Annabel: Eclectic, organic, unpretentious
Jennifer: Global, eclectic, vintage
Where do you find the most inspiration?
Annabel: Jen and I have both traveled extensively (she even lived abroad for six years in Asia, and I studied abroad in Africa in college) and seeing so many different cultures has had a big influence on my eclectic (but never cluttered!) aesthetic. I’m also very inspired by the architectural style and historic details of each home I design. I love digging into the history of buildings and furniture.
Jennifer: Traveling. Hands down. Being in a different culture and having all my senses assaulted by different smells, tastes, sounds, sites. Travel throws me off balance, takes me out of my comfort zone, heightens my senses. And because of that, I’m more aware of the details around me, attuned to what’s different, what’s new, what’s interesting. And if I’m really lucky, travel challenges my assumptions and broadens my perspective.
Favorite design advice?
Annabel: Treat your interior decor like a capsule wardrobe. Avoid clutter and flashy trends; invest in timeless and special pieces that are well made and bring you joy. My mother, who has an incredible eye, once told me: “Sometimes you don’t realize how wrong something is in a room until you remove it.”
Jennifer: If you think it’s beautiful and you love it, you will find just the right place for it in your home.
What is your favorite room or space in your home, and why?
Annabel: The living room because it’s truly the space where we do all our living. I recently added a lucite console with two chairs behind the sofa, so now I have a place to work during the day and we use it to eat at night since we don’t have a dining room. It also has a working fireplace, and I love having a fire in the evenings.
Jennifer: My kitchen, early on a Sunday morning before anyone else is up, the coffee has just finished brewing and the paper is at the door. Our kitchen is cozy, bright and airy all at once. It’s a space I can relax in, but also focus.
Biggest and most favorite splurge?
Annabel: I grew up in Arlington, VA and I’m still not used to New England winters even after nearly a decade in Boston, so my most luxurious splurges are all about feeling warm and cozy: Öjbro Vantfabrik wool gloves from Sweden (warmest gloves on earth) and cashmere sweaters from Everlane and Madewell.
Jennifer: Travel to other countries. It’s really a commitment we’ve made to ourselves try to get out of the country as much as we can and see as much of the world as we can.
Favorite and least expensive treasure you’ve found?
Annabel: My favorite find is our vintage Dyrlund mid-century teak dresser. We’d been on the hunt for an extra-long lowboy dresser to hold both of our clothes, and one day I walked into an estate sale and there it was. My husband loves mid-century design, while I lean more primitive and eclectic in my taste, so I was thrilled to be able to turn our bedroom into a mid-century modern oasis for him.
Jennifer: Two $15 mid-century club chairs I found at an estate sale and had reupholstered. I love the whole story of them. They were sitting neglected in this exquisite, grand dame of a home in the Diamond District of Lynn. The original upholstery was orange velvet--kind of amazing in its own right, but blackened on the arms from years of use. They’re fantastic chairs--so much of today’s furniture is big and boxy. These are the perfect size with graceful lines--they’d fit anywhere.
Favorite home item that you found while traveling?
Annabel: The two things I collect compulsively are baskets and vintage rugs. I have a small lidded basket that I bought at a market in Mekele, Ethiopia and it’s still one of my favorite pieces.
Jennifer: Probably an old wooden hat box I found at the Dirt Market in Beijing. It has a dragon’s face intricately carved and painted on it. I keep old photos stored in it. I love it because it brings back the memories of that trip and of treasure hunting through that market with my husband and my in laws.
Any trends that you don’t care for? Or design pet-peeves that you have?
Annabel: I’m not a fan of accent walls painted a different color than the rest of the room. It interrupts the flow of the space; I’d much rather add moulding or use art to emphasize the wall. My other pet peeve is how the terms ‘eclectic’ and ‘maximalist’ get slapped on any space that’s cluttered and visually chaotic. It drives me nuts! I like a space to feel clean and intentional, and I don’t love those rooms all over social media with tchotchkes covering every square inch or an excessive degree of macrame and rainbow fringe. I prefer a quieter approach to bohemian decor.
Jennifer: I have a real aversion to recessed canned lighting and LED lightbulbs!!
Your favorite places to source for your home?
Jennifer: Estate Sales!
What is your favorite Artemis Design Co. item, and why?
Annabel: My kilim loafers in a neutral brown pattern; they go with everything!
Jennifer: My pair of Jane silk loafers. I love wearing them! I love the juxtaposition of pairing these sumptuous silk shoes with a broken-in pair of jeans--It’s unexpected!
What is your favorite book, and why?
Annabel: I could never pick just one- I used to be an English teacher! That being said, I think the last paragraph of Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I’ve ever read; it makes me cry every time.
Jennifer: The Giver, by Lois Lowry. I know, it’s a book you typically read in 7th grade, but then again, I used to teach 7th grade English so I read a lot of books geared for that age group. I think Lois Lowry is a terrific writer overall. All her books really make you think--similar to travel, her books challenge your assumptions. I love the ending to The Giver--I loved reading it aloud with my students and seeing their reaction at the end. How unsettled they became, in some ways how unsatisfied. But it’s that unsettled feeling you’re left with that really forces you to think and decide for yourself what happens. You get to the end and you think, “Now what was that book really all about?” and you mull that over in your head for a long time afterwards.
Best advice you've ever received?
Annabel: You’ll never feel ready; eventually you have to stop planning and just jump.
Jennifer: “If not you, then who?”
Cannot live without?
Annabel: My french bulldog, Mona, and good strong coffee.
Jennifer: Good, strong coffee and a nice glass of Barbaresco (well, maybe not together!).