September 15, 2008
“Sit and be comfortable.” In a nutshell, that’s Kim Fancher’s approach to interior design. From the time she was a kid growing up in New York, she enjoyed visiting homes where she felt like sitting down and taking it all in. Now, she zeros in on specific elements that make homes inviting.
“As a designer, you’ve got to constantly be educating yourself,” she says.
Fancher has found her niche in interior design both in Summit and Eagle counties, and in Granbury, TX, where she and her husband plan on retiring. But it wasn’t always that way.
Fancher’s parents moved their family to Summit County in 1978. Fancher “did the restaurant scene,” opened a nail and skincare salon, then became a real estate broker. After five years as a broker, she began helping a developer choose finishes for clients. In 1997, she joined the Summit County Builders Association Parade of Homes Committee (she’s now chairman) and began working for Mountain Comfort Furnishings. She went out on her own in 2001.
What she loves most about interior design is seeing the picture in her head come together and tweaking new ideas from around the country to fit into mountain homes ” though sometimes it takes awhile for ideas to catch on. For example, five years ago, she saw designers in the Hamptons putting microwaves in kitchen islands rather than above stoves.
“It met with some resistance, but now they do it in just about every house (in Summit County),” she says.
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Throughout the years, she has watched Summit County’s tastes develop. When she started, homeowners mostly wanted “cookie cutter” mountain decor ” bears, moose, snowshoes, antlers, etc. Then there was the mauve Southwest phase. (“I can’t tell you how much of that I’ve thrown out,” she says.) Now, people are incorporating elements of what they like from the area they used to live in, along with the mountain style.
“The biggest asset to being a designer is being able to listen and not feeling the need to put your stamp on their home,” she says. “When I hear people say, ‘I’d love to just sit in this living room and have a glass of wine, or coffee,’ then I know I’ve done my job.”