Theresa: And you are inside MyFixitUpLife with my husband Mark.
Mark: And we’re getting along like a house on fire.
Mark: Yeah. Just stole that.
Theresa: You just stole that. I can’t even believe you just stole it right out of the gate, too.
Mark: Kim Myles, winner of HGTV’s ‘Design Star’ and star of ‘Myles of Styles’ which is on HGTV.
Theresa: How convenient.
Mark: How convenient that I made that up myself.
Theresa: Oh you’re so good.
Mark: Didn’t just hear you say it previously. How are you?
Kim: I am good you guys I’m good. Good to be on with you.
Theresa: Well I’m excited to talk to you because I love your whole thing. I don’t know anyone else who is a hairstylist and an interior designer at the same time.
Kim: I know. Listen, apparently I’m not busy enough. I’m looking for a third career if anybody has suggestions I’m taking them.
Mark: I think you should be a paramedic.
Theresa: A paramedic? Really?
Mark: There ya go.
Kim: Yes I do get to drive fast.
Mark: You get to drive fast. You’re the only one that’s skeptical, Kim’s already in.
Theresa: Well I guess while she’s doing the paramedic stuff she can make over the person’s house and do their hair while they are in the back of the ambulance too.
Kim: I love it, I love it. We need to talk every day because I could take over the world with you guys.
Mark: The name of that show is called ‘Emergency Style Intervention.’ You pull up in an ambulance that’s pink with a giant ball on it or something, that’s a designer ambulance.
Theresa: I really hope the person doesn’t actually have a physical ailment.
Mark: Instead of a siren, you play a little song. And then you come running out and you go into their house, you breech it like on ladders and stuff, like firefighters…and did we lose you?
Theresa: We did. Hello?
Theresa: You’re back.
Mark: Where did you go?
Kim: I think my phone decided I’m not supposed to be an EMT. It cut me off, it was like ‘No girl, you’re done. You’re done.’
Theresa: No you’ve done enough; you can’t take on Mark’s whole EMT show? Mark you’re going to have to pitch it to someone else. Well that’s really good. And I was also checking out your stencils too. You have a whole line of gorgeous wall stencils.
Kim: Thank you so much. Yeah I freakin’ love stencils, I do. I came of age you know when stencils were kind of new and you think stencils and you think little ducks in a line up along the ceiling. And for me, I’m a huge, huge fan of wallpaper but it can be prohibited as far as cost as well as — I lived in rentals for most of my life so that kind of commitment wasn’t going to fly so I was like alright well I want the look of wallpaper. I want that giant scale stencil that you, in four hours, can do an entire room and it looks fantastic and it’s like 30 to 50 bucks and it’s done. That is my kind of design right there.
Theresa: And they are so intricate too, you know like you said the ducks thing, which a lot of people can kind of relate to they’ve seen before that kind of thing in a baby’s room or something. But the pheasant, that’s just absolutely gorgeous. And it looks like it literally is hand painted on the wall or it’s wallpaper or something. It doesn’t seem like it would be a stencil.
Kim: Thank you. I’m so glad you like them. I am so super pleased and so excited it’s my first foray into products, I’ve been in the public eye now for almost six years now which is kind of crazy, but the time has flown, and I’ve had a lot of offers to do products and make products but nothing ever quite fit so I just said no, no, no until something felt right to me. This, I hooked up with Cutting Edge Stencils, and what I love about them is they are a mom and pop, they’re in Jersey, it’s Native America like I love supporting small businesses since I’m a small business person. And I hooked up with them and they were doing amazing things with stencils, and I said hey I’ve got some ideas, I like wallpaper sized stencils and I love Indian inlay furniture, and I think people could get that look with their stencils, and here are my designs what do you think? So we got together and they hit the market and we’re doing really well so I’m stoked.
Theresa: So for everybody listening you can go to kimmyles.com and there’s a link on your website if you want to check out the stencils and you want to buy them, because I’m sure everybody does, right?
Kim: Yes I love that. You just go to my shop. Shop online, it’s right on my website, you can pick a look, and see them in a space, and yeah you click just one click and you can purchase so it’s easy.
Theresa: And you can check out some of your work for your interior design company. And I love this little tag that you have, that your interiors are all about the people who live in them.
Kim: Yeah, that’s so important because I’m obsessed with design, I’ve been obsessed since I was a little kid, I have an uncle who gave me a copy of Architectural Digest when I was 12. And I was done. That was it; I couldn’t believe that people lived like that. I was like ‘Wow this is amazing.’ I grew up in Bakersfield, California in a completely suburban track home, so it really kind of lit my imagination up. And for me, I do love an amazing space, but the space is not successful if the people who live in it — if it doesn’t reflex who they are. There are plenty of designers who are all about putting their fingerprints all over a space and it’s their representation and you’re just lucky to live there, and for me I just feel like that’s kind of backwards. Like it’s really about the people and which means each space is very individual, and then they have kind of the Kim Myles hallmark color and kind of a blend and eclectic mix. I do love a global input, but ultimately my hope is that each one of my spaces my client goes ‘Yeah you get me, and now my space reflects me.’ I feel like that’s my job, and it feels really good when it’s successful.
Theresa: And your spaces are really rich and textural and colorful and I kind of want to meet the people who own this Moroccan patio that’s on your website.
Kim: Oh okay — they are fabulous. Funny story about them, she was in the first or the second Austin Power’s movies and she was a fembot, remember the fembots?
Theresa: Oh no way.
Mark: Super cool.
Theresa: That is fantastic.
Kim: She was like shooting things out of her bra. They are a super funny, crazy, young couple and they love to travel. And yeah that’s their Moroccan patio and I would honestly pay rent to live on that patio. That’s my kind of spot.
Theresa: Yeah it totally blows my mind.
Mark: Well when you meet a client, or you see somebody on one of the many, many projects you’re doing and let’s just say they do have a budget to work with, and they’re ready to just say ‘Kim, let’s go. Let’s do it, let’s do the whole thing,’ and you can see that they are more willing to spend the money then share themselves, and I don’t mean to be disparaging a budget, that’s not what I’m talking about, but you know where I’m going with that?
Theresa: More of a sterile budget kind of thing. Like you have a pile of money but the people aren’t giving of their personalities to you.
Kim: I kind of feel like our job is to investigate so I think honestly this is where, Theresa you mentioned I do hair, and I do interiors, and to me they are all connected and there’s a through line through all of them — there are two of them. The first is if it stands still, I will make it pretty. I will do that, that’s my first job. And the second is the psychology of it. Really getting in somebody’s head and reading between the lines and hearing the things that they’re not saying in between everything else that they do say. Being able to visually asses somebody or asses their home, and if they are not forthcoming — or honestly I think it’s interesting, the thing I find more often than not is less about people being unwilling to share themselves it’s more about people really truly believing that they have no idea what they like. Just not trusting their own instincts, not trusting their own aesthetics — really believing, and you know we get told all kinds of things as we’re growing up, you know someone says to you at a certain age ‘You’re not good at drawing.’ So you decide for the rest of your life you don’t draw as well as someone else draws because you don’t know how to draw, right? I run into a lot of people who early on were told or thought ‘I don’t know what my style is; I don’t know what I like.’ And they just never reassessed it, they just never revisited it. They had just made that decision about their trajectory and never looked at it again. And that’s what’s fascinating. You’re like ‘Wow, well I disagree. Look at your house, look at your outfits, and look at how you live your life. All of these things are clues.’
Mark: Well note to self, if you ever come to our house here in metropolitan Philadelphia, I will not say a word and I plan to blind fold myself. You want to read between the lines? How about reading between nothing?
Kim: I accept that challenge. That sounds like a good Wednesday night to me.
Mark: You and Theresa could get along like a barn fire, though.
Theresa: More than a house on fire. Okay so I want to know something, do you dissect people’s hair styles too when you see them, when you meet them?
Kim: Yes, yes I do.
Kim: I can’t help it. It can always be better. I mean look, my own hair can always be better, we can always be better. And so me I’m like look, I think I’m pretty cute, and I think I’m 39 and I’ve figured out how I like to look, and you know I’m set in my ways, but you go to a good hairdresser and suddenly they tweak this or they change that and they see something you can’t because they are subjective, and it’s better. So I’m like listen I want to put myself in the hands of other people to do the same kind of thing. And yes I always — the color could be better, the cut could be better, the shape could be different, it could be more flattering, it could make more of a statement. It could always be improved that’s for sure.
Theresa: Well I want to ask you a question about my hair.
Mark: Good because she asks me every 30 seconds and I just don’t know what to say anymore.
Theresa: Ha ha. Well because I change what I do with my hair constantly. I don’t always do the same thing. And like today I’m doing a side pony tail. What does that say about a person if they do a side pony tail? And they are grown up.
Kim: I think it’s says — listen I love a side pony tail as a grown up as long as you don’t have pom poms in it or barrettes.
Theresa: I don’t.
Mark: She’s got all those things in it, who are you kidding? Theresa, shake your head so it can rattle around — no she doesn’t.
Theresa: Seriously, I do not.
Kim: I think it says that you think outside the box. You know a straight pony tail; straight on the head is very straight forward. It’s very classic, it’s specific, and I feel like anything that’s a little off to the side you’re a little left of center.
Theresa: I’m a little left of center honey.
Mark: That’s good to know. That’s a big secret to me, Kim. Well I have a question for you, sort of the other side of the coin from the first one I asked where you’re trying to draw the individuality out of the person. On the other side of the coin, have you seen someone who’s so, let’s say confident in their individuality, that the project is drowning in their personality so much so that it just doesn’t work and you’ve got to reel them in a little bit?
Kim: Yeah you know I feel like that’s always a gift honestly, that kind of client just because it’s an embarrassment of riches and at that point it’s my job to be an editor. You know it’s really about just helping people. I mean honestly I feel like yes I am an interior designer, that’s what I do, but a lot of what I’m doing is just really helping — I’m like a filter for people. So for the person like that that has a strong personality and a strong aesthetic and they are throwing everything at the wall when it comes to their space and so the resulting look is chaotic some say. Like I feel like that to me, I love that because that’s just making them edit. That’s just going through, and before we even talk about the core and what decisions they are going to make as far as the color and floor plan and all of that, it’s really kind of going through and saying — I ask two questions. What do you love, and what do you use? And they are specific and they sound really simple, but if something in the space doesn’t fall into one of those categories, and I mean love. Do you love it, do you have a visual reaction? Do you use it, truly? Is it in use in the space? If something doesn’t fall into one of those categories, then it’s out. And it’s amazing what things fall away, and when things fall away what then pops into focus. And then you can really start from that and go from the ground up. I love people.
Mark: Can’t tell.
Kim: I think it’s all fun because it’s all an adventure, but the people who are like ‘I like everything. I like eclectic and I have this from my travels, and my grandmother gave me this.’ That person, that’s like a circus. That’s super fun.
Theresa: Well I wish I had talked to you a while ago, because I just had that discovery inside of myself recently. Like going around our home and trying to — if we don’t really love it and just like it, then it has to go. It just has to go because we having a family have accumulated so much stuff that that is such good advice. Everybody listening please take that into your soul and follow that advice.
Mark: And if you don’t have a soul like me.
Kim: As you asked that question and had that process, how has it gone? My question to you is do you guys agree about what you love and what you use? Because that’s always interesting with couples.
Theresa: Well we love completely different things, and so it’s kind of easy because there’s no disagreement about the things that we love. Do you know what I mean? But it is hard though because I’m in the mind set of I can use that in a project or I can reuse that for this, or I can remake it into that. And so I have all kinds of stuff that I’m never going to use because I don’t have enough days in my life to get to all of those things.
Mark: Yeah like we value bricolage but we don’t necessarily have the time to execute all the projects. So we value the stuff we might make the project out of, yet at the same time it’s a crushing load of inventory and we have to decide.
Theresa: Yeah it has to go because we’re not into storage units and we’re not into having a full basement or anything and so it’s really hard to try and prioritize and figure out okay do I really have time to make that project?
Mark: Or I really don’t have time. And I’m not going to take that old porch post — it’s gotta go.
Kim: Oh that’s so funny because I sold my house and so I too have a garage full of kind of half-finished projects and what was going to be brilliant, and I know that’s going to be great, and the one project that I really struggled with was weather to move all this gear. I was building a chandelier, and I’m building it out of — the base I was using really big scale embroidery hoops so that I had a big wooden ring, and then I bought construction mesh, and I wrapped that around and tied everything with zip ties. And then in that construction mesh, which is you know a wire grid, I had bought like $200 worth of electrical zip ties, and I wanted to zip tie the whole mesh.
Mark: Holy smokes.
Kim: You know so cool but one of those crazy OCD projects that you have to have ridiculous amounts of time on your hands to just sit and pull thousands of zip ties through the grid. But I really struggled, I was like I just know that when I finish this is gonna be amazing. But ultimately I had to let it go and it was tough, so I can relate. When you’re creative and you have a lot of ideas and you have a lot of projects, and I can totally relate to that ‘But I’ll recycle that or I’ll use that later or I know that will fit in somewhere and if I get rid of it I’m gonna regret it.’ I totally get that. We need to pat ourselves on the back for doing the edits, for sure.
Theresa: Well, unfortunately we have to go to break.
Theresa: Buy those stencils.
Mark: Buy those stencils, kimmylesdesign is her Twitter handle. We have to handle ourselves into a break and we’ll be back with more MyFixitUpLife.