IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, NCIDQ
Kaylyn appears in the Top 100
U.S. Business Leaders magazine.
Kaylyn Schmer, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, NCIDQ
It’s rare that passion and career come together. But when they do, the results can be extraordinary and have an astounding impact on the lives of others. Such is the case with Kaylyn Schmer, the creative mind and noble heart behind Bristle + Bauble.
Kaylyn has always been captivated by the power of design and the idea that well-designed spaces could inspire, empower, and encourage. At an early age, Kaylyn dove into learning about every aspect of the design industry, from architecture to interiors, construction to universal design. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University’s highly competitive Accredited Interior Design program—and didn’t stop there. She is a professional member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, with a Building Design and Construction Specialty (LEED AP BD+C), and holds an Interior Design License through the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).
After a nearly decade-long career with nationally and globally recognized firms, Kaylyn brought her entrepreneurial dreams to fruition in 2018, when she founded Bristle + Bauble. Bristle + Bauble is a flourishing multidisciplinary design firm that fuses interior architecture, graphic design, visual communication, and systemic analysis, all under the research-based design umbrella. Based in Denver, Colorado, Bristle + Bauble serves a host of local and international clients, helping to enliven and streamline their brands by designing every touchpoint of their businesses and homes, and creating physical and digital environments to help clients meet their goals. Always seeking to elicit a response, make an impression, and serve the community, Kaylyn’s designs are as impactful as they are beautiful. As the passionate CEO of a growing firm, she is committed to bringing design excellence to all that she does.
With her reputation as an innovative design leader continuing to spread, Kaylyn has been featured across media, including VoyageDenver, Shoutout Colorado, and Our Response:ability. We had the privilege of sitting down with her to discuss how Bristle + Bauble empowers people and businesses through intentional design.
Let’s start at the beginning, Kaylyn. What led to you to start your own firm?
After working for some of the best firms in the business, I realized I needed more. I needed to explore deeper aspects of design, delve into research, and connect with clients whose passion mirrored my own. By going out on my own, I was able to dedicate myself to what mattered most to me. The power of design captivates me, and I’m continually learning how I can use design to make significant, positive impacts on people’s lives—in their homes and their workplaces. Owning Bristle + Bauble allows me to work on influential projects, reach a broad audience, and hold a more meaningful role in helping people and businesses flourish.
How does Bristle + Bauble differ from other architecture and design firms?
We are passionate about research-based design, and understand that design is most powerful when it can be traced through every aspect of a business or home. We excel at analyzing the big picture, while ensuring the minute details advance the overarching goal. We’re nimble and efficient in our offerings. Our projects and clients receive our full focus and attention, which is rare in an industry where firms simultaneously serve hundreds of clients.
Since design excellence is a prevailing language, we are able to work on a variety of project types and phases—concept exploration, spatial analysis, branding strategy, business development, web development, art direction, photography, and marketing. We manage every phase of the design process, from ideation to execution, which broadens our reach. We offer design services for companies, individuals, brokers, and realtors.
Most people look solely at the aesthetic appeal of a space, but your design approach goes much deeper and begins with “design thinking.” Will you explain this for us?
Design thinking is the psychology of how a space or visual experience affects a person, and how this knowledge can be utilized to improve lives. Design goes beyond the face value; there’s a reason behind everything you’re seeing—and not seeing. From visual connections to the outdoors, to the feeling of safety and ownership in a public space, to the wayfinding experience in a commercial space, everything is placed or designed for a reason and based on the psychology of how users interact with their environment. A user may not be able to articulate the reason behind their sense of serenity in a well-designed space, but most assuredly, a designer meticulously and thoughtfully crafted that experience.
What design services do you offer brokers, realtors, and buyers, and how can they benefit?
Among a host of offerings, Bristle + Bauble provides buyer walk-throughs and spatial analysis. We help residential and commercial clients understand the possibilities of a new space, and help ensure the space will meet their growth goals. We can also provide 3D models, digital walk-throughs, and marketing images to help demonstrate a space’s potential. These cost-effective project visualizations can help move a property from “for sale” to “sold.” Finally, we offer design packages for client closing gifts. This allows clients to get the most out of their new space from day one, and serves as a daily reminder of who the client can work with for their next real estate transaction or remodel.
You also help clients virtually design their spaces, correct?
Absolutely! We can work virtually to bring the power of design to anyone, on any budget. We start with a video call, where the owner walks us through the space while we take screenshots, and ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and project goals. From there, owners measure their space to help keep costs down—don’t worry, we guide you through the whole process! Finally, we create the floorplan and move into the design development phase where we bring the project to life. We work directly with our client’s general contractor or architecture team to help guide the process, and ensure adherence to design standards, which saves time, money, and produces the best return on their investment.
Speaking of virtual design, tell us about Place + Space and your Staging Snippets series.
In the spring of 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sean Ewers, a local realtor, and I co-founded Place + Space. We saw a need to help sellers stand out in a highly competitive market, so we decided to bring residential design services to a broader audience—virtually. We created Place + Space to help home sellers net more money on their home sales, without any cost. In our Staging Snippets web series, we present simple, DIY tips for sellers staging their own homes. Through Place + Space, Bristle + Bauble offers virtual services, including existing conditions analysis, staging recommendations, color consults, and project visualizations, all with realtor-exclusive pricing.
Bristle + Bauble’s design expertise extends to website development, graphic design, photography, and writing compelling content. How does this all come together to help businesses grow?
We value building people up. To do this, we work closely with our clients to distill a meaningful “why.” Why are they doing what they do? Why does it matter, and why do people care? We get to know our clients’ businesses, passions, and interests, and make sure every aspect of the design and language supports these. Our attentive and authentic approach enables us to create genuine content people can connect with.
Let’s end with a personal question. What do you enjoy most about your work?
What I love most is being able to create something beyond a client’s wildest dreams. When we design a solution that’s beyond the realm of anything our clients had considered—all in a time- and cost-effective way—there is no greater feeling.
Kaylyn Schmer, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, NCIDQ
Founder and CEO
Bristle + Bauble
LinkedIn: Kaylyn Schmer
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