Designer Spotlight: D.B. Kim

We are launching a new series on our I ♥ Interior Design Blog spotlighting a new designer each week and to kick things off we reached out to designer extraordinaire D.B. Kim!

D.B. Kim

Occupation: Interior Designer
Hometown: Busan, South Korea
Current City: New York City and Chicago

Who are some of your personal style icons?
Andree Putnam, Emile Jacque-Ruhlmann, and Rei Kawakubo

What were some of your first experiences with design that inspired you to go in into the profession?
While I was studying in Switzerland, a graduate program provided by SCI-Arc, I had an awakening moment during a studio project with a legendary Ticenese architect Luigi Snozzi.

Westin Pasadena Lobby








When and why did you become interested in interior design?
It was toward the end of my graduate study in architecture when I grew interests in human scale and human experiences in architectural spaces.

How did you land your current role?
I’ve learned a lot and experienced many situations in design, which comes with ones maturity. While I learn and practice my career, I’ve learned to gain support and credentials to lead and to share the design knowledge and opinions.

DB's Apartment

What do you love most about it? What is the most challenging aspect?
I most enjoy sharing my concept process with my team members and having opportunities to answer questions and raise questions. The most challenging part of my enjoyment is to receive design opportunities and remembering patience.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find my inspirations from everywhere; however, art exhibits and design exhibits inspire me most.

While I’m sure it changes from project to project, how would you describe your own style?
I don’t think about my style or having a certain style; however, if I were to describe my preference, I’d describe my own style as simple but complex, efficient but comfortable, and calming but rejuvenating.

Westin Chicago Lobby








What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
Eight years of my contributions at the Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide leading some of their key brands as a design leader.

How have your clients and their expectations changed since you first started?
Working in hospitality design sector, my clients would be the travelers, guests. Contemporary travelers’ expectations have surpassed anyone’s imagination. The expectations are not difficult, but a good pressure on us to become better in design and smarter in design process.

How do you establish a sense of place in your designs?
Designing and establishing a sense of place is not difficult to do while design concepts are inspired from culture and region. I love reminding the audience with familiar details and references.

DB Kim Art Exhibit

What do you use to convey your design to your clients?
Design presentations can be expressed in many mediums; however, the visual references and real samples of work or materials are most frequented sources to communicate with clients. In hospitality designs, at times we build actual rooms to convey ideas and concepts.

If there was one tip you could have really used early in your career, what would it be?
Be focused.

Advice for young designers?
Explore as much as one can.


2 responses to “Designer Spotlight: D.B. Kim

  1. I’m an interior design student. I appreciate the tips on being focused and exploring : )

  2. I love the idea for the Designer spotlight, I will enjoy following! Explore!

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