Willa Armchair

Interior Design Style #2: Modern Country

It seems like everywhere I go, people are talking about the ever-evolving Modern Country interior design style.

In our first post in this series, we talked about a specific trend in the evolving Modern Country design craze, the Rough Luxe Design Style. Following the “opposites attract” idea, it creates a pleasing contrast by pairing rustic and luxury.

Today we’ll take a look at a broader style many professional interior designers as well as DIY decorators are loving.

Who cares what you call it

While we like the term Modern Country, the list of titles people give this style continues to grow:

  • Farmhouse
  • Country chic
  • French country
  • City Farmhouse

Technically, these terms have a lot of overlap and strictly speaking, some differences too. So let’s break it down for a better understanding.

On the Modern side

The Modern part of Modern Country can be described as:

  • Clean lines
  • Simple
  • Uncluttered
  • Neutral
  • Minimalist

 On the Country side

The Country part of Modern Country borrows some of the look and feel of traditional country design style but you won’t find Roosters and plaid table cloths here. What you will find is:

  • Texture
  • Rustic
  • Weathered
  • Antique furniture and textiles
  • Folk art
  • Woven baskets
  • History

As always, the best part of decorating your home is that you get to choose what speaks to you. The only boundaries are those that you create.

What’s next? Get inspired

  1. Find inspiration in our Pinterest Modern Country Design Style Board, filled with examples of some of our favorite Modern Country inspired homes.
  2. Check out the Carolyn Kinder International designs that we feel would be right at home in a Modern Country home.

Carolyn Kinder designing

Carolyn Kinder mid-mod egg chair featured on China tv

Carolyn Kinder designing Carolyn Kinder’s Garrett Swivel Chair and the factory that produces it will be featured in a popular television program on China’s CCTV.

Carolyn Kinder, Carol Tu and I were honored to participate in the video production. Carolyn’s egg chair design, available to the trade through Uttermost, has been wildly successful since it’s introduction in 2013. This nod to mid-mod stands out as a new classic. With a channel tufted back rest, it fits like a glove and feels as good as it looks.

Behind the design of mid-mod egg chair

For the sake of video production and historical integrity we did a faux flash back to 2012 and reenacted several phases of development. This is a great way to show you some of the behind-the-scenes process that goes into the creating one of the hundreds of design samples we produce each season. The process in it’s simplest form goes something like this:

  1. Simple Concept Sketch
  2. CAD development and review
  3. Raw body review and adjustment
  4. Material and detail assignment
  5. Finished sample review

Bringing the design concept to life

There are several additional critical steps that we won’t discuss today (including our secret sauce recipe), but the most important step is choosing the best vendor to bring your concept to life. This factory is one of our favorites, not only for their consistent quality and attention to detail, but also for their environmentally conscious production methods. The fact that a large percentage of the production, marketing and administrative staff have been with them for more than 15 years should tell you all you need to know this company.

You might have noticed by now that I haven’t shared the name of the fabulous resource.  I will give you one name… Monica.  You might notice it on the original concept sketch where Carolyn signed her name with the caveat “but do what Monica says”.  The rest is classified. Let’s just call it part of our secret sauce recipe.

Vinadio Lamp

Interior Design Basics #1: What is Rough Luxe?

Rough Luxe, while not a new design term, is increasingly popular and often associated with today’s trending modern country home design movement. If you love the old and the new, like most people, then read on. You will find yourself right at home with Rough Luxe.


Simple, right? A common design principle is seen at work in this style: pairing styles to create contrast. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are few examples of this style. Read on for a list of Rough Luxe style characteristics to watch for.


On the rough side

On the rustic side of this style, you’ll find a wide variety of interior design features that speak authentically of the past. For example:

  • Nail heads
  • Patina finish
  • Distressed wood and metal
  • Rusted iron
  • Burlap
  • Rope
  • Antique furniture and fabrics
  • Edison light bulbs
  • Whitewashed finishes
  • Antique photographs

On the luxury side

In contrast, the luxury side of Rough Luxe style is much more than items only found in the homes of the rich and famous. Luxury can also speak to the more modern, pristine interior design characteristics like:

  • Gold, silver and other shiny finishes
  • Ornate frames
  • Glass and crystal
  • Alumnimum and steel
  • Intricate wood detail
  • Velvet fabric
  • Jewel accents

Now comes the fun part

The best part of making choices for a rooms interior design style is making it personal. You may already have some family heirlooms or cherished pictures that you can build on. A wall gallery of old black and white family pictures in thin black and white frames with wide white matting is perfectly at home in this style.

How much rough and how much luxe you add to your decor is a personal choice. Looking for ideas or new pieces to add to your new Rough Luxe style? Check out the products our designers feel fit in with the Rough Luxe style today.

Carolyn Kinder Products Portfolio

Carolyn Kinder products portfolio launches

The big news this month is the recent launch of the Carolyn Kinder products portfolio and the expansion of our web and social media sites. You can browse images from our entire line of products from CarolynKinder.com or visit our Product Gallery page.

Carolyn Kinder Products Portfolio

Each product in our digital portfolio has a separate page with features that include:

  • Large images – zoom in for detail close ups
  • Notes from our product designers
  • Descriptions and dimensions
  • Links to purchase the product online

Find Carolyn Kinder products online

If you are an interior designer or other trade professional, we tell you how to connect with the wholesaler. If not, we also provide a google search link so you can purchase the product from the wide variety of retail stores proudly offering our products.

Optimized for search, you can View the Carolyn Kinder Products Portfolio and search by general categories like:

  • All products
  • Accessories
  • Art
  • Furniture
  • Lighting
  • Mirrors

Or you can use our extensive product tags located on the right side of each page and the bottom of each product page to search for similar qualities like:

  • Materials like iron, velvet, metal
  • Finishes like silver, bronze, whitewashed
  • Styles like modern, industrial or rough luxe

The tagging features will help professional interior designers and DIY designers quickly search for the perfect blend of interior design elements for each room. Browse the Carolyn Kinder products line today and let us know what you think.

NVinadio Lamp - Rough-Luxe styleew Interior Design Blog series

Also stay tuned for the start of our new series of blog posts that will highlight various design styles and feature samples of these styles from our product portfolio. The first post in the series is:

Interior Design Style: What is Rough Luxe?

Connect with us on any of our social media channels for regular Carolyn Kinder product and blog updates.



January travel update

Safe travels to Carolyn and Dave as they take off this week for another product development trip to China. During our winter trip they plan to work with China resources to develop new concepts in:

  • Furniture
  • Lighting
  • Decorative Accessories
  • Wall Art & Mirrors

Check in often for new blog posts and photos of our development trip.

Fall product development trip

What is product development?

We hit the ground running this month as we started our fall product development trip to China. If you’re not sure what product development is – stay tuned for a #BehindTheDesign tour. We’ll show you how Carolyn Kinder International (CKI) moves from design to final product.

Product Design

This is the fun part. Product designers find inspiration everywhere – from art, architecture, nature and pretty much everywhere they go. What can start out as a sketch on a napkin in a restaurant, is eventually conceptualized and illustrated in a way that allows a manufacturer to create a prototype sample. Throughout the product development cycle, designers and CKI’s founder, Carolyn Kinder, have input and final approval, making sure the vision of the designer is fully realized. Once the design is finalized, that’s when the product development starts.

Product Development

Product development is a complicated process where designers work with a team of artisans and technicians to bring the product through production.

CKI designers are on site to approve each milestone of a products development cycle. This is what it looks like:

  • CAD or three-dimensional shop drawings Once the designer has identified and illustrated the concept, a scaled CAD or three-dimensional illustration is created. CKI’s dedicated staff of illustrators create detailed, scaled drawings that include all components of the product down to the last nut, bolt and washer. For Lighting products and ceiling fans the process is extremely detailed and includes specification of socket type, bulb wattage and overall fixture wattage and load.
  • Carving and detail Sculptural items and carved components must be hand-carved or turned on a lathe by local artisans and are then approved for scale and shape before they are moved to casting. These components can be cast in iron, aluminum, brass, concrete, or other composite materials. Next comes white body approval. A white body is a plaster cast of a carving. These white bodies are used to create the molds for casting. White bodies must be checked and approved prior to mold making which can be very expensive.
  • Metal work and bending It is so important to oversee the bending of metal arms for fixed wire lighting and other products. A slight difference in the sweep of a chandelier’s arm can greatly improve or detract from its visual appeal and salability.
  • Finish specifications The color, texture and luster of a product is crucial to its success. The finish is usually specified in the original concept creation but can change through the development of a product based on a vendor’s strengths and creativity. Cooperation with a vendor is important to find the best possible aesthetic for each piece.
  • Glass components Most lighting vendors have a large variety of glass components on hand to choose the best fit for the product design, but in many cases, we seek a local glass manufacturer for a more unique, original glass component and finish. A trip to a good glass factory can open a world of creativity and opportunity.
  • Bill of materials and cost analysis Once you have identified all the components of a product each item must be listed and costed to find the overall cost. In most cases, the factory is responsible for these details, but it is important to cooperate with their staff and adjust as needed to create the best product for the best price.
  • Prototype sample approval Once all the pieces have been approved and assembled, the designer must approve and sign off on the sample or make whatever minor adjustments are necessary.
  • Photography The completed approved samples are photographed in high resolution, usually as a part of a vignette and individually. The individual photographs are pathed for use in marketing collateral.

Show it, sell it, ship it

After the development is complete the products are shown to a wholesale client in a product line review that includes 300-600 new products twice a year. We develop around 5,000 products in an 18-month period.

Carolyn Kinder International licenses its unique, original product designs to some of the best wholesalers and original equipment manufacturers in the home furnishing industry. Learn more at www.carolynkinder.com

Carolyn Kinder, the inspiration behind the design

Carolyn Kinder designers share what’s #BehindTheDesign

Carolyn Kinder, the inspiration behind the designCarolyn Kinder designers are ready to share a behind-the-scenes look at their work. They work tirelessly to bring you well-traveled designs. Our team will share what’s #BehindTheDesign with:

  • Stories about our products
  • Where we find our inspiration
  • Observations from the marketplace
  • Pearls of wisdom from Carolyn Kinder herself

We all are moving so fast, it is easy to forget to stop and reflect on what makes a design unforgettable and timeless. Stay tuned for more!

Carolyn Kinder and David Simpson

Kinder International’s new direction

Carolyn Kinder and David Simpson

Carolyn Kinder and David Simpson

At Carolyn Kinder International we are celebrating our recent success stories and our new direction. We are still working hard to bring your great new and original designs that follow the long standing Kinder mantra of “Trend-less, Timeless, Well-traveled and at home anywhere.

Now, however, with the return of David Simpson, Carolyn Kinder International’s new Vice President of Product and Marketing, our new product designs are more edited, refined and clearly speak the language of our founder and lead designer Carolyn Kinder.

Look for great new Kinder looks in the Fall Markets and beyond and follow us on social media.

Kinder International: A Peek Behind The Curtain

Kinder International: A Peek Behind The Curtain 

 Original article appeared: April 2, 2016 Linda Longo Inside Lighting-Lighting Technology

Ever wonder how the products in retail stores or at the major home furnishing markets are made?  Recently Linda Longo Editorial Director of enLIGHTenment Magazine, visited the Kinder International showroom in Changan China and was given a look inside a few of our many artisan factories.  Our Changan showroom and development offices is where our products, conceptualized by our global team of award winning designers, come to life under the direction of our Design Director, John Whitman.

enLIGHTenment Magazine - April 2016Linda Longo shares, “I’ve been privileged to tour a half-dozen factories in the U.S. over the years – plus two factories in Europe – so I am familiar with the basics of manufacturing lighting fixtures and accessories. How items are made in China, however, was still a mystery to me. I’ve heard good stories and I’ve heard bad ones, but I never have been able to see for myself until the iconic design team of Kinder International invited me to visit Mainland China where they manufacture their line of lamps and accessories.”

What this trip with Kinder International team showed me was that their factories in China offer high quality in mediums such as ceramics, finishing, and metalwork for decades.  Discovering who those small companies are, and nurturing those relationships, is the key to keeping product quality consistent.”, Linda expressed of her visit to Kinder factories.

Having the executive and design teams with established residences in China allows Kinder to continually cultivate those relationships and continue to provide the highest level of product quality in the industry.

Linda Longo’s next article will provide a closer look at the inner workings of “this globally successful design company and the team members who help keep Kinder International at the top of its game.”

For those of you who may never have the opportunity to visit a lighting or home accents factory in China, Kinder International invites you to schedule a tour today.

Contact Us to Schedule Your Tour Today 



June 2012, Tulsa, OK – Quoizel Lighting will premiere its first collaborative series with renowned designer, Carolyn Kinder, in its Dallas Showroom at the upcoming January 2013 Market. The series will include lighting and accessories.

With over three decades of experience and with roots in the heartland of America, Carolyn Kinder travels the globe discovering and developing sources that can deliver new looks, rich textures, layered finishes, and unique raw materials, all refined into the Kinder look. Carolyn currently designs coordinated accessories, lighting, wall décor, and molding under licensing agreements with a number of leading companies. Carolyn’s name has become synonymous with classic, timeless design.

Quoizel is one of the nation’s leading designers and distributors of decorative home lighting, and offers a diverse selection of timeless designs including one of the broadest selections of Tiffany style lighting available. Quoizel offers beautiful lighting solutions for all areas of the home, in hundreds of styles crafted from only the finest materials.

Founded in 1930 in New York, Quoizel began as a small business with a limited product line. In 1964 Ira Phillips joined the company. During the next 40 years, he led it through extraordinary growth by expanding the product mix and providing innovative merchandising strategies to retailers.

Phillips acquired full ownership in 1986, and in 1996 he relocated Quoizel’s corporate headquarters to Charleston, SC, where it now operates from a state-of-the-art, 500,000 square-foot facility.

Today, Quoizel remains a privately held, family-owned and operated business offering more than 2,000 items in its full-line catalog. Quoizel has 319 employees between 3 locations in South Carolina, New York and China, along with 2 distribution centers.


9/24/02 – – – Clearwater, Florida – – – For over fifty years, Austin has continued to introduce products imbued with a particular sense of style. A strategic decision, five years ago from industry leader Andy Cymrot, President of Austin, called upon a friend and veteran of the home décor industry, Carolyn Kinder for some thought on a new direction. “We are an established company and for many years have always done everything in-house, so for us to go outside was a major change in philosophy,” stated Cymrot.

As evidenced in the growing yearly success of Austin’s Kinder collection, Cymrot was right on target.

“Her vision has pushed us farther than we originally wanted to go, but this has proven to be a great opportunity for all of us. We continue to enjoy our partnership with Carolyn and benefit from her vast experience and developed relationships. This has enabled us to achieve more in design and product development than we would have been able to do on our own,” remarked Cymrot. “The brilliance of Carolyn is not only in her design, but in the finish she is able to achieve.”

“It has been a team effort and the results have been incredible. We have fun working with Andy and his team. Austin has literally re-invented themselves. We are excited about the new collections and feel they turned out startlingly well,” said Kinder.

Carolyn Kinder International, CKI, under the direction of veteran designer, Carolyn Kinder, is a multifaceted company focused on licensing collections of innovative products across a growing family of companies, each already a leader in their own market sector. CKI continues to bring added value and services to its client base through exclusive designs, product development and ancillary media exposure.