KEITH'S MAIN BEDROOM SUITE
In 2020, our firm's Creative Director, Keith Fortner, sold a larger new-construction home with a pool and right-sized to a condo conveniently-located in the middle of Palm Springs. Undergoing a major renovation during the worst months of the pandemic was not without its challenges.
I sat down with Keith at his chic new home, for happy hour, to discuss all the details of the remarkable transformation of his main bedroom suite.
Read on as I ask Keith to share all the details of his main bedroom transformation.
CK: Wow, this bedroom is so, well, serene and peaceful. Are you perhaps suggesting that your job is stressful and you need a retreat?
KF: No comment.
CK: No comment? You. I don't believe that.
KF: We do know each other well...
Let's just say that things move fast at Christopher Kennedy Inc., and we have quite a few irons in the fire. Which is wonderful, and I know that we are both very grateful for the opportunities we have and wonderful clients we serve.
We also have a lot of stimulus coming at us, visual and otherwise, all day long. So, yes, I really did want my bedroom to be a soothing sanctuary.
CK: Well, you nailed it, while also making it dramatic and chic.
KF: Thank you! It means so much to me that you approve. (eye roll)
Main Bedroom: Before + After
CK: Tell me about the "before."
KF: Two words:
CK: I hated beets as a kid!
KF: Didn't we all?
CK: Makes me wonder about the former owner. Can you imagine them looking at a bunch of paint swatches and deciding, "Yep, that's the one! Let's do ALL the walls!"
KF: Well, it keeps us in business. (they click drinks)
That beet color was, how to say it, not to my taste? (Pun intended.)
But, I actually kept it for 5 months until I couldn't take it anymore. During Quarantine, Todd and I decided the least we could do to pass the time was paint. It took 3 coats of primer and 3 coats of paint. We actually spaced it out over 2 tedious weeks.
CK: Color me impressed. You know I have never painted a wall in my life.
KF: I am well aware. (sips his drink slowly, with side eye)
CK: What size bed is that in the before photo?
KF: I have no idea. Didn't care, because I knew the room was generous despite its poor staging.
The main appeal of this unit, other than the vaulted great room, was the generously sized main bedroom. Not only is it 6 feet wider than all of the other units, but it also had a walk-in closet that the others didn't have. A MUST for me. But, we will get to the closet later.
You know they offered to sell me the furniture....!
CK: (choking on his drink) Get out! You politely declined, obviously...
KF: Or maybe not-so-politely...
CK: You're always polite. Though, both of us...I think we sometimes can't hide the look on our faces.
KF: It's true. And, you are really bad at poker.
CK: Ok, back to the transformation. Wow, is it ever one! This room is so spacious. Crazy to think they only had, what looks like, maybe a full-size bed in here.
KF: Exactly. If a couple slept here, they must have really liked each other.
CK: This is a big room! You managed to get not only a king-sized bed in here, but also a sitting area and a desk area. How did you go about furnishing it?
KF: The design started by combining pieces I had brought from our previous home.
The bed, nightstands and Jeré sculpture had been in my former guest room. The lamps, demilune table and accent chairs had been in my Main Bedroom. And I still had room to add a desk and chair!
CK: Wait, you work when you are at home?!?
KF: No comment.
Above: The artwork is from the Christopher Kennedy Collection for Wendover Art Group, available here.
Above: The bed is by Crate & Barrel, the coverlet and shams are through Christopher Kennedy available here, and the sculpture is by Curtis Jere, available through Christopher Kennedy. The bed scarf, Euro pillows, and lumbar pillow are custom.
As far as color and vibe, I knew I wanted it serene but with a strong personality.
On the headboard wall I used a vinyl sisal from Phillip Jeffries (8488 Chrome Shadows) and I had the paint colored to match. I found inexpensive drapery fabric in almost the same color and gave it extra pizzazz by adding a cool Samuel and Sons trim. Add in some interesting fabric for the custom bedding (from Lee Jofa)...and Voila!
CK: The bathroom saw quite the transformation as well.
KF: Yes, it did and I am so happy with the choices I made.
The original vanity was too low and I HATED it. It was also a non-standard size, therefore I knew I couldn't order a pre-made new one.
What to do? The vanity you see is actually a dresser that just fit! It was also more shallow than a standard vanity so I bumped it out from the wall which allowed for the plumbing to go BEHIND the whole thing so all the drawers would still be usable.
CK: I love the idea of using a pre-made cabinet or dresser as a vanity! Genius. What about the countertop?
KF: I added a piece of quartz as a bathroom-friendly surface. My kitchen countertop fabricator had a scrap quartz remnant.
CK: That's a great tip! Most fabricators have remnants laying around, and many people just don't know to ask. The fabricator is usually willing to sell a remnant for a good price.
KF: For sure. I had the countertop cut so that it deeper than the cabinet itself, so you don't see the gap nor realize that the cabinet is shallower than normal bathroom cabinets.
CK: Aren't we all a little shallower than normal? KF: Speak for yourself.
CK: Tell me about the wet area.
KF: It needed a little love, too.
The shower/water closet originally had a door that swung in, meaning you always had to step around it, especially to shower. And, when the door was open, it blocked half the shower and so it made the space seem dark and cramped. I changed it to a pocket door and it made all the difference in the world.
CK: It's so important to make the investment to get those sort of details right.
Back in The Closet
CK: "If my closet were like this, I never would have come out of it."
KF: You know that you quoting "Will & Grace" never gets old for me...(sips vodka soda)
CK: I mean, c'mon, it's pretty fabulous! Karen Walker would be proud.
KF: She would not have been proud of the "Before!"
CK: Well, you made lemonade out of lemons. I love that your closet includes artwork and personal mementos, and is really styled like a proper room.
KF: The closet is -- or should be -- a proper room!
Most of us begin and end our day in the closet. Both the aesthetics and function of your closet space can really help establish your mood before venturing out for a busy day...or crawling into bed for a good night's sleep.
CK: Well, now I know why our design library is so organized!
KF: I am super OCD when it comes to my closet.
As unorganized as I can be in other parts of my life, my closet has to be perfect. All the hangers match and everything is color-coded, then hung or folded by category, including my socks! I am proud of that sock drawer, I tell you.
CK: (sotto voce) I gotta step up my closet game. (sips vodka soda)
KF: I heard that. And, yes, you should! I hope this inspires you as you work on your own new house.
Our friends at Garage & Closet Butler helped me figure out how to use every inch of space! Along with the obvious hanging space, there are drawers, sweater cubbies, a hamper, a valet tray...and shoe storage for 36 pairs.
I have been known to take a glass of wine in there and just sit for an hour or so when I feel overwhelmed. This closet calms me!
CK: It should. It's really gorgeous.
KF: Thank you. Now get out of my closet.
Design: Keith Fortner
Photography: Public 311 Design
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