The Design Questionnaire with Kendall Wilkinson

Kendall Wilkinson Living Room

In this edition of Love Happens’ Proust-style Design Questionnaire, join us for a peek inside the creative design mind of Kendall Wilkinson, Principal of Kendall Wilkinson Design. The San Francisco-based firm creates bespoke residences with an emphasis on beauty and comfort.

Read on to learn more about Kendall Wilkinson. And be inspired by a selection of gorgeous projects by her eponymous firm!

Kendall Wilkinson, Principal KWD
Kendall Wilkinson, Principal KWD

Inside KWD

After a career in film and stint with a rock band, California native Kendall Wilkinson re-discovered her passion for design during a year in Paris. Kendall returned to the Bay Area and continued her education at the Academy of Art before founding her own firm in 1992 and establishing her self as one of the nation’s top interior designers.

Today, Kendall Wilkinson Design crafts delightfully unexpected spaces breathing life into the old and blending it with the new. From elegant startup offices to artful private residences built from the ground up, the design firm combines a thorough understanding of space planning with the latest innovations in technology.

Mid-century Retreat modern rustic interior design by kwd
Mid-century Retreat

Mastering the art of combining classic with contemporary design, Kendall is one of the most sought-after designers for leaders in tech, finance, retail, and hospitality. Her portfolio ranges from Pacific Heights estates to coastal Mexican vacation getaways. Geographically her projects span the nation and beyond.

kendall wilkinson design open floor plan kitchen dining room living room with stunning views - amethyst

A Peek Inside the Fabulous and Inspiring Mind of Kendall Wilkinson with the Lh Design Questionnaire

Kendall Wilkinson Design, Fabricut
Kendall Wilkinson

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Walking along the Seine in Paris, and enjoying a picnic between Notre Dame and Île St Louis.

What is your greatest extravagance?

During this quarantine, I was genuinely able to be fully present in my home and appreciate what I created so many years ago. To see how all the spaces are used and how safe and cosseted we all feel. Of course, allowing myself a glass Pouilly Montrachet more often doesn’t hurt!

nahema chair by koket - brass hands

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My two sons, especially over the last three months in quarantine, watching them, their kindness towards one another, their love for me, and the little ways I see them expressing it almost every day.

What profession does your alter ego have?

A rock star – one part Chrissy Hynde, one part Stevie Nicks. Not many people know that I was a singer in a rock band in my youth!

The project you will never forget.

I love this project for many reasons – first, the clients are just incredible, and secondly, we achieved a perfectly balanced mix of a brand new structure, with modern lines paired with a mix of old and new, modern and antique in a perfectly nuanced way. It is the perfect marriage of luxury and comfort and is definitely in line with my aesthetic.

kendall wilkinson design dining room warm tones and giant square dining table
The project Kendall will never forget 🙂

Your favorite business tool or resource.

Necessary evils of the digital age – Instagram, iPad, and iPhones have become indispensable. I spend as much time looking at a screen as I do physical materials, but it is imperative to be aware of everything happening in my business and the world as a whole. These devices ensure the near-constant flow of information and access to my team vendors and clients.

The most timeless design.

Elsie de Wolfe has always inspired me as a designer and as a woman because she broke convention, and created an entirely new aesthetic movement that is still emulated today.

The biggest design faux pas.

If you are not viewing the project as a whole, but instead focusing on individual elements while not understanding how everything relates to everything else – the design will suffer. Great design requires skill, vision, education, and more critical is organization! No one can afford the mistake of an under scaled, postage-stamp-sized area rug or a sofa that won’t make it through the doorway!

Penthouse at 181 Fremont
Penthouse at 181 Fremont

Your motto.

“Order equals calm!” – we can also say “All good things go together”

Love happens when…

I’ll let you know when it happens… again!

Explore more of Kendall Wilkinson Design’s beautiful work at

By Anna Beck Bimba

Check out Kendall Wilkinson’s stunning bathroom design in Vol. 2 of Lh’s Print Edition