Nina Candle Sconce

Candle holders and sconces that bring a cozy glow to any room

Looking for a the perfect way to bring warmth and light to your #interiordesign? Check out Carolyn Kinder International’s most popular candle holders and sconces on Pinterest.

Follow us on Pinterest for regular design updates.


Carolyn Kinder Aliso Lamp

Interior Design Style #5: Transitional

Coloring outside the lines

We have talked a lot about different design styles and trends on our blog, and we will continue to offer our take on different looks for your home. Today, however, we will share our philosophy of blurring the lines between style labels to bring you products with a Trendless, Timeless, Well-Traveled appeal.

Carolyn Kinder Aliso Lamp

For more than 40 years Carolyn Kinder International has designed and developed home decor products with thoughtful, unexpected combinations of material, shape and finish. Each concept is created with a relentless focus on detail and a clarity of style that is easy to identify.

One of the reasons for our continued success over the years has been a conscious effort to avoid style labels, fashion fads or industry trends. Our transitional style blends the comfort and warmth of traditional design with clean lines and simple profiles to create classic, timeless designs. And our deliberate, understated neutral color palate gives each piece we bring to market a versatile appeal that is easy to place with any design style.

Of course, we are impacted and influenced by the world around us and many of our products mingle well with specific style groups, but the beauty of transitional style is that they will work just as well anywhere. One of the biggest trends is to not follow trends. Sounds strange, but more and more consumers are adapting, more eclectic groupings of home decor items that represent their own personal style.

Carolyn Kinder said it best many years ago:

“The quality of a person’s home is a huge part of the quality of their life. People put things that they love in their home, things that bring them comfort and warmth and memories and style and individuality – all the things that make home – home.”

Transitional designs and the art of mixing calls it “the art of mixing” and gives these tips on how to incorporate transitional design into your home:

  • Stay neutral with your color choice, allowing the lines of the furniture to take center stage.
  • Incorporate textural elements such as wood, glass, lacquer, rattan, fabric, steel and metal.
  • Limit the use of accessories; you are adding artful details through your mix of furnishings and fabrics, and you don’t want to confuse the eye.
  • Choose impactful art, but use it sparingly. In most cases, one large piece on the wall is better than an arrangement of small pieces.


Garrett Swivel Chair

Interior Design Style #4: Mid-Century Modern

The popularity of Mid-Century Modern architecture and interior design is still going strong more than 50 years after its heyday. The phrase Mid-Century Modern first showed up on the design scene as the title of a book written by Cara Greenberg entitled Midcentury Modern: Furniture of the 1950s. The book was a hit and while today it’s a popular “retro” style, some element of the Mid Mod style is found in many of today’s contemporary homes and offices.

Garrett Swivel Chair

With a nod to the mid-century modern design classic, the Garrett Swivel Chair, designed by Carolyn Kinder International, combines comfort and style.

What is Mid-Mod?

Author Laura Fenton sums it up nicely here:

“It broadly describes architecture, furniture, and graphic design from the middle of the 20th century (roughly 1933 to 1965, though some would argue the period is specifically limited to 1947 to 1957). The timeframe is a modifier for the larger modernist movement, which has roots in the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century and also in the post-World War I period,”

Read the entire article for a deeper dive at Why the World is Obsessed with MidCentury Modern Design.

Meet George Jetson?

While some Mid Century Modern interior design pieces look like they were beamed over from the set of the popular 60’s cartoon series The Jetsons, the philosophy behind the Mid-Century Modern movement is based on simplicity and connection with nature.

Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Mid-Century Modern architecture features clean lines, natural materials, open concept designs with large windows connecting the homeowner to nature. Palm Springs, California is described as “a living museum of mid-twentieth century architecture.” Since a picture is worth a thousand words, go to and take a Mid-Mod virtual tour to check out the popular architectural style yourself.

Mid-Century Modern furniture design

From the Hungarian Marcel Breuer’s Wassily armchair in 1925, to the functional chairs of Ray and Charles Eammes to the famous Danish designer Arne Jacobsen’s  Egg chair, Midcentury Modern designers are fascinating. Check out this great Mid-Mod infographic to learn more.

Let’s break it down to key words to help you understand the Mid-Mod vibe:

  • Straight lines
  • Minimalistic
  • Functional
  • Natural materials (wood, leather, steel, linen, wood)
  • Abstract
  • Asymmetrical
  • Primarily neutral colors with pops of bright color
  • Splayed legs
  • Tufted backs

Mid Mod inspired designs

The good news is you don’t have to travel to Palm Springs or be able to afford an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair to incorporate a bit of the Mid Mod into your contemporary home. Visit our website to see all of our Mid-Century Modern inspired designs.

Matty the Cow

Meet “Matty the Cow” at High Point Market

Matty the Cow

Matty the Cow, one of our newest products, will be featured at the 2018 High Point Market.

Connect with us and see our new designs at High Point Market

High Point Market, one of the largest furnishing trade shows in the world, draws more than 75,000 interior designers, home furnishing buyers, designers and other industry professions every Spring and Fall. For furniture designers like Carolyn Kinder International, #HPMKT is one of the highlights of the year where we share our new furniture, lighting, art and accessory designs with industry professionals.

Open to trade professionals only, the Spring 2018 market is April 14-18.You’ll find our newest designs at:

Uttermost Showroom
Location: IHFC – C447, Commerce, Floor 4
Shuttle Stop: 1 (Transportation Terminal).

If you can’t come to the 2018 High Point Market, check back as we add our newest products to our site.

Follow us on social media for updates

What is the High Point Market?

To learn more visit or watch this video.

Wolcott 5-Light Golden Pendant

Interior Design Style #3: Industrial

Inspired by the restoration of old factories, warehouses and other industrial buildings into urban residential homes and offices, the Industrial Design movement continues to thrive. Picture wide open spaces with soaring ceilings, imperfect concrete floors and exposed brick, pipes and steel.

And while most of us don’t live in a restored urban loft, you can still incorporate industrial design into your home or office décor.

The philosophy of Industrial Design

You may be a perfect candidate for industrial interior design if you connect with these ideas:

  • Unpretentious
  • Simplistic
  • Utilitarian
  • Pragmatic
  • Hard working
  • Historic

The colors and textures of Industrial Home Décor items

The colors of Industrial home décor are primarily a variety of shades of cool grey, black and white with warmth and texture added by:

  • Unfinished, weathered wood
  • Rough exposed brick and steel beams
  • Cast iron, stainless steel, aged copper or brass

Other materials that are common to this style include:

  • Concrete
  • Raw and burnished Steel
  • Galvanized or Corrugated metal
  • Aged or rusted Iron
  • Exposed steel beams

Looking for industrial home décor items

To add a bit of industrial flair to your home or office design, you can look for salvaged items like:

  • Old Street Signs
  • Vintage furniture
  • Faded oriental rugs
  • Salvaged bolts and gears

In addition to the salvaged items, look to add furniture, lighting and accessories that that have the same vibe.

View the #CarolynKinder products designed specifically to reinforce the industrial interior design.

Pairing industrial with modern

Industrial home décor pairs well with modern or mid-century modern styles. The addition of new, modern elements that are in stark contrast to the sometimes chilly feeling of industrial design can really warm up a room.

For example, a huge abstract art piece with pops of saturated color can make a bold statement on a neutral concrete or painted brick wall. And black and white photography, old and new, with simple black framing will add a personal, historical touch.

Strictly speaking, most industrial spaces do not have window treatments or rugs, but the practicality and comfort of these items — as well as the impact of the juxtaposition of hard and soft, old and new – make these items at home in the industrial styled room.

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 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