Interior Designer Kelly Finley might describe her overarching design ethos quite simply:  creating homes that make people happy.  Her studio is known for its lively and colorful interiors, and for working intentionally with clients to support a space where people can live their best life, joyfully.

It's easy to see then, how the name for her design firm came about:  Joy Street Design -- because her core design focus is the creation of joy.  In her hands, a well-designed home becomes a sanctuary, welcoming you in from the outside world to a space full of warmth and love, and color.  Because in her words, "Color is joy! Color is life!"

She works closely with her clients to ensure their personal tastes are reflected in the final outcome.  Through detailed conversations, a family's daily rhythms and rituals are uncovered to synthesize the best possible layout and flow for their interior spaces to function beautifully.

We spoke with Kelly about her process for creating uniquely personal homes that delight, inspire, and support the wellbeing of its inhabitants.

"At the heart of our signature style is an elevated, modern aesthetic enriched with a burst of color." Kelly Finley, Joy Street Design

Q: Can you tell us a bit about Joy Street Design and what you would say is your signature style?

A: Joy Street Design is an interior design studio dedicated to crafting functional spaces that exude comfort, personality, and a touch of the unexpected. Our design ethos revolves around infusing joy into homes through vibrant colors and dynamic patterns.

At the heart of our signature style is an elevated, modern aesthetic enriched with a burst of color. While I appreciate clean lines and simple silhouettes, my inclination towards vibrant hues ensures that every design remains lively and engaging. I firmly believe that life should be anything but black and white, and I strive to inject color and fun into every facet of my work.

As I've matured, my inspiration has expanded beyond my immediate surroundings to encompass diverse lifestyles – whether observed on my block, in another city, or in a foreign country. Witnessing how people creatively address challenges fuels my own ingenuity, influencing the way I approach projects for clients.

Travel, particularly to countries with lifestyles markedly different from the United States, has been a profound wellspring of inspiration. Exploring places where people live uniquely helps me break free from conventional thinking and infuse innovative ideas into each project. In essence, Joy Street Design is not just about creating beautiful spaces; it's about crafting environments that reflect the joy, creativity, and diversity of the world around us.

Q: What are the most important services or solutions you provide for your clients? What sets you apart?

A: Joy Street Design is most known for our bold use of color and pattern. But I am the proudest of our ability to create truly functional, personalized spaces—ones that fill you with happiness, pleasure, and comfort and in turn add even more joy to your home and your life. I am an expert in space planning and love the challenge of creating new spaces from oddly configured rooms. With a background in math and computer science in college, I love interior design because it is mostly about problem solving. There are a variety of answers to space planning, but the question allows you to apply your skills and education to best personalize spaces for a client. And most importantly, you can solve the problem in a creative and gorgeous way.

Q: Joy Street is known for enhancing function and purpose in small homes, what is your process for tackling frustrating design layouts?

A: One of the key phases in my design process that I find particularly gratifying is space planning. Leveraging various computer-aided drawing tools, LIDAR scans, and more, allows me to navigate the intricacies of layout with a sense of confidence and precision.

Approaching frustrating design layouts begins with a thorough analysis of the client’s needs, lifestyle, and daily rituals alongside the physical limitations of the space. When entering a space, I find myself envisioning the ideal arrangement effortlessly. This ability has proven invaluable, especially when dealing with compact living spaces. In such cases, my focus shifts towards maximizing functionality and purpose, transforming challenges into opportunities to create personality-filled rooms that embody joyful living.

The satisfaction lies in the process of transforming an initially perplexing layout into a thoughtfully organized and purposeful living environment. In essence, my approach revolves around a measured and deliberate exploration of design solutions, ensuring that every element serves its intended function while maintaining a sense of coherence and practicality.

Q: Bathroom design is a big focus for Joy Street. When planning a dream bathroom with wellness in mind, what design features do you prioritize to create a personal wellness retreat?

A: In crafting a dream bathroom, the objective is to create a personal wellness retreat that seamlessly blends functionality with tranquility. As mentioned, we start every project with a focus on the overall layout and strategic placement of fixtures for the best flow. Next, we work on maximizing the infusion of natural light as a key consideration. Large windows, skylights, or strategically placed mirrors can enhance the sense of openness and contribute to a brighter, more uplifting atmosphere. At this point we focus on customizable lighting options such as dimmers, color temperature adjustments, and smart touches to create a personalized environment that adapts to different wellness routines. Lastly, we focus on the material selections. In a bathroom, the abundance of hard materials – tile, stone, etc. – requires it be balanced with softer materials and finishes – wood, fabric, etc., to truly create a welcoming bath retreat of serenity and rejuvenation.

Q: When you have a bathroom renovation, what Robern products come to mind first for you and how does modular design and functionality play an important role in space spaces?

A: Excluding space constraints, in every bathroom renovation we do, we include a Robern mirrored cabinet with electrical outlets[MW1] . On a hygiene level, I really try to convince clients that having a medicine cabinet is so much better for your toothbrush and other items than leaving them on the counter to absorb the airborne items that float around in the bathroom. On a practical level, I think the ability to hide away your daily products and “mess” gives you a sense of calm sanctuary when you’re starting your morning and ending the day. I prefer to have them mounted to the side of the main mirror and the sleek, beautiful designs aid in the overall look.