Fifteen years ago, as a young married couple, my husband and I found that we had a shared desire. I'm Kristie, the K of L & K Designs. The L of L & K, Landon, and I wanted to take control of the time that we had with our young daughters. That desire, coupled with our passion for design, birthed this company, L & K Designs.
While our marriage joined us spiritually, our life experiences formed the perfect springboard for our company and provided us an additional union. Landon was raised in the furniture business, spending his youth in showrooms and furniture markets, followed by a stint with kitchen cabinet design. I was raised around architecture, construction, and interior design. After completing courses in design, home furnishings, art and marketing, we combined our solid foundations, and found our place designing home furnishings for construction. We are thrilled to work with the best architecture, construction, and design professionals in the country!
It's our belief that a continual search for knowledge is the key to success. We pride ourselves on our extensive research of culture and lifestyles, both historical and current, as well as new trends and classic looks in furniture design and architecture. We use our collected knowledge to bring you products of quality and beauty. We want to make it possible for everyone to embrace style.
We also strongly believe that our children's education should not stop when they walk out of the doors of their schools. In that spirit, they have accompanied us throughout our travels, embracing their own search for knowledge.
Knowledge is inspirational. Travel is inspirational. We look forward to sharing more about our travels, what we're learning, or whatever else may inspire us! We hope that you'll look for L & K. We'd love to meet you! #LookForLandK
Several years ago, Landon, the girls, and I headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We chose this destination for several reasons.
First, we dabbled in Peruvian/Mission Style furniture and were in search of new design inspiration to see if any of those styles fit with the upcoming trends.
Secondly, the drive time was convenient to the girl's school holiday. Lastly, I wanted to make sure we exposed Kayla and Kamille to a strikingly different environment than what they had been raised in. Namely the desert. At the ages of 40 and 37 (yes, I'm the older one), neither Landon nor I had traveled to this part of the Western United States.
We certainly attained our mission of exposing the girls to a different atmosphere. They loved the Native American customs and jewelry. However, Kamille found the most striking environmental contrast was our inability to breath. I should mention that Memphis, where we live, is 423 feet above sea level. Santa Fe is 7,199. We felt like we were walking underwater without a scuba tank! Kamille felt nauseous, my blood sugar stayed high, and Landon couldn't sleep for the first few days. Even our parrot Tao (our constant travel companion) wheezed like a 90-year-old asthma patient. I know, what a bunch of lightweights!
Although denied my lofty goal to see a roadrunner, we were fortunate enough to see many pronghorn and cacti along the roadside.
Santa Fe is loaded with Mission Style architecture. The San Miguel Chapel and Palace of the Governors are fine examples. We thoroughly enjoyed eating from a cart vendor downtown, sitting on a corner and admiring the architecture. It's so different from our own, yet so perfect for the terrain. One thoroughly starts to appreciate the use of local materials and styles for construction. Kayla and Kamille, 12 and 8 respectively, were fascinated by the buildings.
Our pursuit for inspiration was not in vain! If you want to be inspired visit the Rio Grande Gorge, and the Loretta Chapel. Both are absolutely breathtaking! If you get a chance, go at sunset to the Gorge. Although, the sunsets anywhere in Santa Fe are stunning. An amazing number of painters have chosen to reside there just for the view. The Loretta Chapel is inspiring in a divine way. The story of the Loretta Chapel focuses on the craftsmanship of the staircase and the circumstances under which it was built. The workmanship is beyond compare. It is beautiful to behold, and the story behind it will give you chills.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Great Smoky Mountains, lies the town of Asheville, North Carolina. The mountains surrounding the town are home to expansive forests, and they provide a magnificent backdrop to the slow-moving town any time of year. In the fall, the stunning red, deep gold, and burnt amber colors in the trees give the forest the appearance of fire. On cool, spring mornings, the flames die down. Instead, the mist rising above the trees resembles smoke rising over almost-dead embers.
Our Asheville series, with its dark wood and warm tones, draws inspiration from the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Like the mountains and their resident forests, the Asheville cabinet is a statement piece that enhances the beauty of its surrounding area.
On April 19, 1943, the USS Yorktown became one of the 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers commissioned to serve in WWII, and less than a year and a half later, she began a series of offensive campaigns in the Pacific Theatre. Fondly dubbed America's "Fighting Lady," the USS Yorktown remained in service for twenty-seven years and retired with sixteen battle stars. Today she acts as a museum ship at Patriot's Point, and even on an overcast day, she can be seen looming over Charlestown Harbor. Strength, resilience, and pride are etched into the very lines of her deck. The weight of the history she witnessed and influenced echoes through her hull. The USS Yorktown is a model of craftsmanship and precision, and the stories of her crews and the battles they fought inspire us.
Our design for the Yorktown vanity boasts a familiar battleship grey. The clean lines and defined edges of the Yorktown vanity were inspired by similar features found aboard the "Fighting Lady" herself. We hope you remember this story as you create your own L & K look with the Yorktown Vanity.
Our most recent RV excursion took us to the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville. Our family has a long tradition of making trips to Nashville. The capital city of Tennessee lies a few hours to our east and offers a quick getaway.
Before I tell you about our most recent little vacation, I have to relay another story. As we've just seen so much devastation to Texas and Florida, one particular trip from the past was brought to mind.
Back in April of 2010, we traveled to Nashville to discuss product placement in a showroom at the Opry Mills Mall. Our campsite was adjacent to the Cumberland River. It rained so heavily that we feared we would be unable to drive out. Landon and I were advised that the area was completely safe. It was not prone to flooding.
We pulled out of our campsite a day later and proceeded to watch Nashville become inundated by overflowing water. Over the next few days, it was horrifying to view pictures of the devastation caused by the Cumberland River breach. Thankfully, Nashville has come back and with a boom!
We are so happy that the area was quickly rebuilt. With Hurricanes Harvey and Irma fresh on our minds, we cry because these other beautiful cities struggle. My hope is that this story of seven years ago can offer a beacon of hope, and that rebuilding will commence. From Tennessee to Texas and Florida, our hearts are with you.
Now, back to our most recent trip. Since Nashville is one of our favorite places to road trip, we thought it was appropriate and fitting that a visit there be our last adventure before Kayla departed for college. (Ironically, we encountered heavy rains, but nothing like 2010.)
We chose to visit Belle Meade on this trip, largely because we were curious about its unique history with horse racing. Having lived in Memphis our entire lives and not knowing the significance of horse racing in our state, we thought it was a fine time to find out.
This plantation sired many a famous foal and welcomed many wealthy statesmen and stateswomen. To this day, Belle Meade has done their part to keep the spirit of celebration alive with a great restoration, wine tastings, party bookings, and Segway tours.
While we were on our tour, there were a couple of notable takeaways from this tour. This was the first home that we had observed a parlor mirror built into the window cornices. This was one, very large complete structure. It was stunning to behold given the complexity of construction and installation. Landon and I were both intrigued.
The trip upstairs revealed a handsome guest bedroom that hosted an extremely elaborate, unique Jenny Lind style rocker. I long to have a house filled with such artistic creations! Such a labor of love.
While the plantation was grand, and the home quite beautiful, Kamille was amazed at the great expense put into the stables and the grounds. The property, at its peak en masse, was a whopping 5400 acres. Typical to Southern entertaining of the period, the Harding and Jackson families (no relation to Andrew Jackson, who lived across town, nor James Harding) believed in outdoor parties and spared no expense on their lavish barbecues!
Kayla's takeaway came from the extremely knowledgeable, historically period-costumed docent. His quick wit brought the past alive. We were thrilled to learn that his field of study was historical clothing textiles, and that the Plantation is going to such measures to preserve their history through proper research. The accurate preservation and rebuilding at Belle Meade Plantation is inspirational as we continue to research classical styles for guidance in our design journey forward!
Don't forget to look for your inspiration.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania ranks as one of America's oldest inland towns, and the surrounding area, sometimes referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch County, is home to a large Amish community. Upon visiting Lancaster, one bears witness to a unique interaction of history, tradition, and contemporary conveniences and technology. Beyond that, however, Lancaster County offers onlookers scenes of natural beauty in the form of rolling hills and open sky. The quaint settlements established in Lancaster do not clash with the landscape, but instead, they enhance the rustic ambiance. In the case of Lancaster County, beauty exists in its simplicity.
Our Lancaster collection seeks to capture the quiet dignity that we found in this unassuming simplicity. We set out to create a piece that, instead of dominating a room, would complete it. When looking for a natural finish, practicality of usage, and excellent craftsmanship, #LookForLandK and the Lancaster collection.