Designer Profile: Meet Kristyn Bester
We’re delighted to announce that Arciform designer Kristyn Bester was recently promoted to Senior Designer.
Arciform owner Anne De Wolf shares that, “Kristyn is a great match for Arciform because her first focus is to serve the client’s needs well. She is always cool under pressure and well informed about cutting edge design techniques. Her design aesthetic is young and fresh and mixed with a keen eye for practical solutions. She’s a talented designer and we are delighted to promote her to Senior Designer with the company.”
We interviewed Kristyn to gather some insights into her design process and how she helps clients mix form and function to create a cohesive and personal whole.
1. When did you know you wanted to be an architectural designer? Tell us how you got inspired to do this work.
I spent a semester during college in Florence, studying fine art and graphic design. I was so frustrated sitting at a desk tweaking images on Photoshop when I knew one of the most glorious cities was sitting just outside. I may not have received very good grades that semester but it is when I truly discovered my passion for architecture. I spent hours at a time wandering the city and surrounding areas photographing the magnificent architectural landscapes that surrounded me. I changed majors the very first day of the next semester and I never looked back.
2. Describe one of your favorite design projects. What were the challenges? What were some of the features that made it memorable?
I had the opportunity to design a major kitchen remodel for my parents’ 1925 Cape Code in West Moreland. The greatest challenge was creating a separation between our working relationship and our day to day relationship so that our conversations would not be overrun by remodel talk for three months. Our relationship was also the greatest advantage in the project because I was able to infuse details into their kitchen that made it uniquely personal to my parents. Knowing the ins and outs of how they use their kitchen, as well as the functions that were missing, allowed me to pinpoint the areas in need of the most improvement. My favorite features were a custom pullout butcher block counter for their simple eat-in dinners together, tripling the window area for a great view into their backyard and maximum light, and a dishwasher fitted with a cabinet panel for my mom who can’t stand fingerprints on stainless steel. If only we had done the same thing for the fridge!
3. Tell us what you consider the hallmarks of a well-designed project. How do you know when something is “right?”
I’m a believer in form AND function. I think the two should exist side by side to create both a beautiful and practical space. I like to identify problem areas from the beginning to solve the functionality aspect first, then I incorporate the details that make a space feel cohesive with the rest of the home, as well as personal to the homeowner.
When a space is “right” you can FEEL it. When I walk into my home at the end of every day I have an “ahhhh” feeling because the way that it reflects my life and my family makes me happy. That’s how I want my clients to feel when they walk into their new spaces.
4. What’s your working style? How do you like to work with a client?
There are no two clients that are alike. I think it’s important to be flexible and to listen each person’s learning style and incorporate that into the design experience. Everything from imagery to convey an idea, having finish samples to touch and feel, and explaining really technical details – these are all aspects of the design process that speak to different clients.
I also like to put myself in my clients’ shoes to try to experience their home from their perspective and identify with their needs. I may not have three young kids, be aging in place or run a business out of my home – but I am really good at pretending that I do!
5. What are the top 3 things on your “bucket list?”
1. To be a competitor on Survivor – yes, the TV show.
2. Someday I would like to live in a barn. I’m not sure when or where, but I would love to rescue one someday.
3. I have always wanted to learn the flying trapeze.