Eye for Design: Kimberly Renner, The Renner Project

Eye for Design: Kimberly Renner, The Renner Project

At some point, you realize that the carrot-orange couch you nabbed from your parents’ den no longer matches your personality—or living room. Whether it’s moving into a new place or just wanting an updated look, everyone is eventually faced with the task of filling and decorating their living space. And while there’s nothing wrong with purchasing entire IKEA showrooms, that futuristic Dutch armoire might not jive with your bedroom’s antique crown molding. It takes more than assembling five-piece furniture sets to accomplish good feng shui. Meet three interior designers who are able to transform people’s homes into livable spaces of art with attention to color, architecture, and the client’s style.

Kimberly Renner, The Renner Project

Kimberly Renner’s work first began over 16 years ago as design-intensive construction and renovation. Her company, The Renner Project, is a construction company as well as a design firm. “I will take a central Austin home from the ‘20s down to the studs, rebuild it, and then develop the interiors as part of the project,” says Renner.

To understand Renner and her design ideals, all one needs to do is step into her office. Everything serves a purpose, from the yellow #2 pencils sitting on top of her steel desk to the chalkboard wall filled with her children’s drawings. Employing utilitarian qualities like industrial lighting and exposed shiplap siding in her projects, Renner strives to express the beauty behind functionality. However, if her client wants frills, she’ll give them frills. “My highest calling is to authentically translate an individual’s or household’s personality into a physical setting that looks like them and works for their lifestyle.”

Her designs are often inspired by “odd, old items.” Her vintage postcard collection translated into a modern lighting installation. Wired hospital glass aided her vision of a stair guardrail. “My favorite is an old steel industrial cart that inspired the fabrication of an entire kitchen’s cabinetry out of steel,” says Renner. “The houses themselves are pure inspiration and will reveal their potential to a careful and intuitive observer.”

Renner primarily works with older homes in her own neighborhood, taking the best parts of their past and infusing them with functionality and design for the future. Through the several months of restoration work, Renner works closely with her clients to ensure the house reflects their interests. “I become friends with them,” says Renner. “I want the house to become theirs. The goal is reached through building a relationship.”