Photo Credit: Michael J. Lee"Tackle it and take the bull by the horns," is Kristin Drohan's motto. Drohan, a savvy interior designer and businesswoman, founded her interior design firm six short years ago. "You don't have to be the most fabulous designer in the world. If you're artsy fartsy and can't run a business, you'll fail."
Drohan left the corporate world at age 40 to pursue her passion for interior design. Her life and business experience, infectious enthusiasm and ability to listen, process information and take action is unparalleled. What takes many designers 15 to 20 years to master, she intuitively gets and does.
Drohan never intended to create a line of furniture, it just evolved. She relied on her instincts and when she saw a need for beauty paired with function and sustainable materials. She filled the chasm with her own Kristin Drohan brand of eco-friendly furnishings. Drohan's collection launched at the Chicago Merchandise Mart's Design Atelier spring 2010.
Drohan imported furniture for her clients and discovered that many non-U.S. products off-gassed and the quality was marginal. "All things being equal, why not make eco-friendly products in the U.S.? It is healthier and better for the environment. Why not use anti-microbial fabrics on bar stools for homes with kids?"
Drohan joined the Sustainable Furnishing's Council and was the one of the first 100 interior designers to complete her Green AP certification. She is an early adopter of sustainable design and is militant about using as many USA made products as possible with low VOCs to prevent off-gassing. She initially partnered with a boutique furniture manufacturer she met at High Point Market, the industry's Mecca for furnishings, to tweak a few pieces in their line. Drohan sent drawings, and before long, the manufacturer added her designs to their catalog.
Before long, consumers and designers took notice of her environmentally-friendly, traditionally and transitionally designed line. The Kristin Drohan collection started with 15 pieces and more were introduced at the recent market. Drohan describes her line as edited and streamlined. Her style is "Relevant Classic Traditional & Transitional," a perfect fit for today's lifestyle. She loves the Hollywood Regency and shabby chic styles adapted for suburban households.
Drohan plans to attend Fashion Week and incorporate the latest fashion trends into her designs. What are her trend predictions? Leather, chains, lace, red (her favorite color) and cerused wood.
Her 1890s home in Massachusetts is heated with propane. When she received her first $1,000 heating bill, she sacrificed her love for fashion for warmth. If you knock on her door during a cold snap or snowstorm, you'll see this fashionista staying warm in fleece and Ugg boots she laughing named the "Stay-puff marshmallow girl, big schlump style."
What are her favorite home fashion details? Nailhead trim, neck roll pillows, pinch pleat draperies with a geometric leading edge. Drohan loves geometry and symmetry, and of course every home should have fresh flowers and books. Her favorite accessories are three Jonathan Adler inspired vases with faces she fills with clusters of flowers. Her friends despise them, and she adores them.
What are her unique personality traits? Drohan is a Colonel's wife who is the Chief of Staff for a Three-Star General, yet she hates rigid rules, being told what to do and being bossed around. She is rebellious with panache, and she loves controversy. "Time is something I don't have. I'm in a hurry and I want to get as much out of life as I can."