Trivers is proud of our highly skilled team of diverse professionals passionate about creating architecture and design of lasting positive consequence. Get to know them in our recurring team spotlight series.
Kelly Kirtland, NCIDQ, LEED Green Associate, is a senior interior designer with more than a decade of experience designing upscale multi-family housing, educational environments, boutique hotels and more. She shares her journey to design and the many projects she has worked on at Trivers.
Q: Why did you choose to become an interior designer?
I have always liked working on and solving puzzles, and for me, interior design and space planning allows me to do just that. Because most Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors, it is also meaningful to be able to shape and form peoples’ thoughts and feelings about their spaces. The environment you’re living, working or learning in has a profound impact, and I enjoy creating places that allow people to have the most positive experiences possible.
Q: What interested you in working with Trivers?
The breadth and variety of projects that Trivers takes on is appealing to me. I also like how the people at Trivers are not afraid to take on challenges or push themselves to come up with fresh and innovative design ideas.
As a native St. Louisan, Trivers’ contributions to many of the city’s most iconic landmarks was impressive, too. Before moving back to St. Louis in early 2020, I lived in Miami for several years working as an interior designer mostly focused on hospitality and multifamily housing projects. By the time I was ready to return home, I thought working with Trivers would be an incredible opportunity to contribute something of lasting positive consequence to the place where I grew up.
Q: What do you like best about being an interior designer at Trivers?
I love all the opportunities I have to be creative. Whether I am engaged in space planning, developing concepts or visiting a job site, I like finding different ways to come up with the best solutions possible for our clients. Trivers’ emphasis on elevated, leading-edge design always inspires me to discover new ideas to bring to the table.
Q: What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on at Trivers?
It has been fun to work on wide range of projects in a variety of industries, from housing to hospitality to workplace. Right now, I’m enjoying an adaptive reuse project we are doing on the historic Butler Brothers Building, which occupies an entire city block in downtown St. Louis. It was built in 1906 as a warehouse distribution building and has been vacant for more than 20 years, but now we are renovating it with nearly 400 modern apartments, retail space and more.
Almost everything I worked on in Miami was new construction. At Trivers, I have learned how to preserve and celebrate historic buildings by adaptively reusing them. St. Louis has so many architecturally significant buildings, and it has been an honor to help give ones like the Butler Brothers Building a new life.
Q: You recently led an International Interior Design Association (IIDA) tour for a project you helped complete. Can you share more about that?
The two-story atrium of the Broadway Tower in downtown St. Louis was one of the first projects I started working on after I joined Trivers. It used to be a dark bank lobby with waiting areas and a wall of teller windows, but my team and I renovated it to make it a premier office building destination. It is now filled with natural light, has one of the biggest green plant walls in the region, co-working lounges, a café and more.
As a member of the IIDA Gateway Chapter serving on its Advocacy Committee, I recently had the chance to help lead a tour of the atrium for 20 interior design professionals who are also a part of the organization. It was exciting to show off all our hard work and hear so much positive feedback from our peers.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Since moving back to St. Louis, I’ve tried to immerse myself in the city and find new ways to get involved. I volunteer as a tutor with Boys Hope Girls Hope of St. Louis, which helps middle and high school students in need achieve academic excellence and become successful in college and beyond. I also like to run, so I joined the Dogtown Running Club. I’ve enjoyed experiencing some of the popular annual events the city of St. Louis has to offer like Soulard Mardi Gras and the Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park. I’m an avid traveler, too.
Q: Where are some of your favorite places you’ve traveled to?
I do a lot of hiking. A few years ago, I hiked the Grand Canyon. I’ve also traveled to Peru to hike and just recently returned from a hiking trip in Sedona, Arizona. For my next adventure, I’d love to go outside the country to Switzerland or Ireland.
Trivers is looking for two full-time interior designers who share the desire to create thoughtful, lasting and inspired design. Learn more and apply at trivers.com/careers