Color Talk: A Chat with Kendell Cronstrom
We took a moment to talk with one of the most influential East Coast tastemakers, Kendell Cronstrom, to chat bedding, color and style. Serving as the Editor in Chief of NYC&G and HC&G, Kendell has an eye for interior design and beauty. Every issue of Cottages and Gardens surprises and delights you with inspiring images, luxury homes and an impressive grasp of using color. Taking a moment to get to know the man behind the magazine, Kendell shares some insight into his process of putting together the magazine and playing with color.
Flaneur: Describe your design aesthetic.
Kendell: I don’t have a specific design aesthetic, per se. I am drawn to all kinds of styles, materials, and furnishings. Ultimately, I prefer an interesting, personal mix over an aesthetic that has been “phoned in” or lifted part and parcel from someone or somewhere else. I like a nice combination of antiques and modern pieces, artwork (always a way of expressing your personal style), and a variety of textures.
Flaneur: What’s a color you think we’ll see more in NYC&G and HC&G for bedroom redesigns? Why?
Kendell: I think blues will continue to be strong—just look at the blue lamb icon in Flaneur’s branding! In New York, people want an escape from a hectic urban environment, and their bedrooms are a retreat from the insanity. Blue is a restful color, whether in bedding or furnishings or wall coverings or accessories. In a different way, blue works well in the Hamptons, too, as residents there love to embrace all things related to the sky and the ocean. I also think that people are getting braver with “happier” colors — I’ve seen a lot more zingy bedrooms lately, with yellow and orange being used not just as an accent color, but as a principal color.
"I also think that people are getting braver with 'happier' colors."
Flaneur: Which destination in the "Introducing Flâneur" collection you think most embodies your readers and why?
Kendell: Sardinia, for sure. It’s beachy, adventurous, and chic at the same time. Our readers love to travel, and this is the kind of place they probably secretly want to go to, maybe after spending a week in Paris or Rome.
Flaneur: What Flaneur color have you picked for your bedding? Why?
Kendell: I have simple white Supima Cotton sheets. Depending on the season, I like to switch out a quilt, a coverlet, and a duvet on my bed, the first two of which have purple or blue accents and the last of which is a solid light lavender. I like the crisp white edge and contrast that the sheets give to the more substantial bedding layers.
"I like the crisp white edge and contrast that the sheets give to the more substantial bedding layers."
Flaneur: What inspired your bed/bedroom décor? What’s your favorite color combination(s) to use in a bedroom?
Kendell: As I mentioned earlier, I find a soft purple really relaxing, soothing, and attractive. It looks nice with a floral/forest-y palette or a crisp white palette or what otherwise might be called either “masculine” or “feminine” decor, but now might just be called gender-neutral, to borrow a more current/PC term.
Flaneur: What is your favorite wine to drink in bed? Why?
Kendell: I generally prefer red wine and therefore would not likely drink it in bed—I wouldn’t want to slosh it over my nice sheets! I guess I wouldn’t mind sipping a brut rosé in bed sometime.
Flaneur: You’re trapped in a room with no door, white walls and a bucket paint. What color is the paint?
Kendell: Green. It’s probably my favorite color because I associate it most with nature, and I love nature.
Flaneur: What makes you a flâneur?
Kendell: I have always been a flâneur and extremely curious about the world. I grew up in the Midwest and didn’t see the ocean until I was 12 years old, and I have tried to travel every possible minute since. You really aren’t doing yourself a favor if you don’t travel, because then you’re not allowing yourself to learn about life. Travel is a great liberator from the very small day-to-day worlds we live in. It helps me put everything into perspective.
Flaneur: Travel can be an enlightening experience. Where was your last trip and how did it influence your view on color? What new colors were you introduced do?
Kendell: I just came back from a photo shoot in London a week ago. I actually wrote about the colors there in the Editor’s Letter for my next issue, as I remembered how fearless the Brits are about color, when you think of all the great wallpapers and paints they use—perhaps in response to all those gray skies. The actress Elizabeth Hurley attended a party for a benefit showhouse we sponsored wearing a super-tight, hot pink jumpsuit, so that settled any preconceived notions I had about London right then and there.
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Here are the colors mentioned by Kendell in our chat. Click to shop now!