For the past 20 years, Kirk Nix has made diverse, artistic imprints on global hospitality design. He has worked with five-star hotels on three continents designing fabric, furnishing, and lighting designs, as he developed a signature aesthetic that balances classic, contemporary, and eco-sensitive influences.
He has been associated some compellingly large projects also: His update of the 24,000-square-foot Bel Air home, “Liongate,” once owned by country singer Kenny Rogers, recently sold for $46 million. His designs can be seen at the Italian Renaissance-inspired “Hadrian Villa,” a 12,000-square-foot suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. And his Macau projects include the Venetian Macao, the Sheraton Grand Macao, and the Conrad Macao, among others.
The modern, luxurious aesthetic is a look that Nix has as his signature. In all, his vision avoids the trendier aspects of design, inclining rather toward colors and textures that last beyond the here-today, gone-today styles of the day.
As founder of KNA Design, Nix oversees a staff of over 40 designers, deploying diverse ranges of design expertise, from architecture, to interior design, to furnishings. He has also created interiors for private estates and residences worldwide.
Most recently, however, Nix has moved into two new areas: partnering with Palecek, a luxury, eco-conscious furniture group based in the Bay Area; and Loloey, a luxury rug and carpet company based in Milan. For Palecek, he has created a new line of accessories, furniture, lighting, and wall decor; and for Loloey, he has created new rug designs.
Haute Residence asked Nix about these new ventures.
Haute Residence: In your residential interiors, and especially with the new Palacek dimension, how do you determine your design themes and language?
Kirk Nix: I consistently feel like a diplomatic envoy navigating these waters! As from authenticated, Old World European interiors, to progressively contemporary environments, we are constantly developing a universe of new solutions. It is wise, always, to spend time with the client to understand what the architecture requires, what the end user desires, and ultimately, what they both need.
HR: In regards to your new line of furniture, did you feel this step was a natural progression for your interior design work, or was this something you had always wanted to do?
KN: I have been designing bespoke furnishings for our hospitality and residential endeavors for what seems like eons. It was an easy transition to collaborate with the folks at Palecek to create 140 new pieces for our collection. A storied brand like Palecek has an illustrious history––once I immersed myself into their culture––it was effortless and fun to interpret it for the 21st century. The Palecek family has been enormously supportive of the work. I am honored to work with them. I am also honored to work with Loloey Rugs in Milan.
HR: It has often been said that interior designers use a lot of more of their brain than others: You must be an artist, a spatial interpreter, and an architect. When did you know how to do these things?
KN: As a military brat from Alabama, our constant upheaval and travel instilled an early interest in the differences between each location. Yet, with each, the people were remarkably similar. As I developed an interest in design, I learned early on about the crucial nature of two influences: that of a building’s architecture and how that reflected the unique attributes of place and time.
I truly believe that interiors must reveal themselves to their inhabitants as a series of seamless experiences. It is my job to ensure that client expectations are met, exceeded and ideally redefined. It takes practice and I strive to learn something new with every project.
Images courtesy of KNA Design