Podcast, Ep. 302: Behind-the-Scenes of ‘Design School’ with Kristin Kong

Kristin Kong, Designer

Kristin Kong, Designer and Founder of K Kong Designs | Image Credits: Mali Azima (2017)

We welcome back designer Kristin Kong, founder, and principal designer of K Kong Designs. Kristin talks about what it was like working with us on our new show, Design School, and the unique twist she’s crafted into her home. Kristin shares with us why she loves dark colors, how we can maximize seating in our space, and how universal design is not boring!

Behind the scenes of Kristin Kong’s Design School Production | Image Credits: @kkongdesigns Instagram

What You’ll Hear On This Episode:

  • Kristin and her husband bought his childhood home from his parents, and she talks about the renovations and changes they made.
  • The challenges of renovating a split-level house.
  • Universal design is not boring! And if you think it is, watch Kristin’s episode of Design School.
  • There’s nothing more precious in your home than the people.
  • How to maximize seating in your space.
  • Kristin’s love of dark colors
  • Creating a palate cleanser in the hallways.
  • More about Kristin’s beautiful dining room, including the walls.
  • What was her experience like during Design School?
  • The importance of understanding scale.

K Kong Designs Studio in Atlanta, GA.

Decorating Dilemma:

Hello Ladies,

Thank you so much for all the laughs and info your podcast offers! I am sending you our decorating dilemma. I would greatly appreciate your expertise in dealing with our great room.

Here’s the details:

  • The space is 20’x22’, and is part of an open floor plan. Our kitchen opens to this living space on one side, and double sliding glass doors on the other.
  • The brown pocket doors left of the glass doors will soon be removed and replaced with drywall.
  • In the corner near the glass doors is a wood burning stove, which provides some challenges to furniture placement.
  • The TV is located on a wall that allows it to be viewed from both kitchen and living room.
  • The flow is such that the garage entry is next to that monstrous armoire, and across from the armoire is a hall to the restroom.
  • Overall, we are looking to improve the flow of the room, balance the heavy pieces/features, and absorb some of the noise by adding softness/fabric – area rug(s), window treatments, textures.

Here are my questions for you:

  1. Do you have any suggestions for furniture placement? My husband is greatly attached to the leather sofa/loveseat/ottoman, but all else is easily parted with.
  2. Is there any hope for a window treatment? If so, what would that be? We would like to preserve the view
  3. Can the armoire stay, or should we relocate this to another room altogether? I appreciate any suggestions you may offer.

Thank you so much,

– Lisa


Hi, and thank you for writing in! First, it might be beneficial to move the armor to another room, if that is an option. We also wonder if you can sort of flip that leather chair, maybe to the other side of the television, and next to the stove. Adding a cool console table behind the loveseat would be great, along with tucking in a few ottomans.

And, if you could get a slipcover made for that Ottoman so that you could kind of keep it functionally, but you could just kind of pop some sort of fabric and a cool pattern or texture on top to again, it would help to break up all the matching brown leather. Be sure to try out Ballard’s Room Planning tool for scale!

Also Mentioned This Episode:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

Subscribe in Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Kelley Bostian

Kelley enjoys a light and livable home and is always searching for that perfect "finishing touch" antique piece. Here on How to Decorate, it's his goal to help you bring your own unique design vision to life.