Colin King: Surfacing Elegance Across Disciplines
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The many fans of multi-hyphenate creative Colin King can identify his work from a distance: elegant, cool, minimal without rigidity. His interiors expertly thread the needle between luxe austerity and warm expressiveness, thanks in part to his inspired use of handworked textures and products. It’s little wonder that his serpentine path to his expansive, present-day brief – from contemporary dance to interior design, editorial styling, creative direction and product design – has some of its roots in the attention he earned through styling the homes of ultra-high-profile types, including Drake and members of the Kardashian clan.
Indeed, King’s early route was circuitous: His career in dance ultimately led him to work in Los Angeles as a trainer for Tracy Anderson, the fitness star whose client list has included Gwyneth Paltrow, Christy Turlington, Madonna and many others. Exposure to that rarefied world gave King a bird’s-eye view of exceptionally high-end residences – and he parlayed that knowledge into his career pivot, heading up social media for a homewares brand. From there, he was able to leverage his access to beautiful homes in exchange for opportunities to style their interiors. King capitalized on these opportunities to a massive degree, as he developed his now-signature style and moved beyond it, into creative direction and product design. “For me, interior styling led to creative direction which has then led to product design, and in that order,” he says. “As each one has been in company with another, what’s guided my journey overall is this sincere curiosity to keep trying. Keep exploring – arranging and rearranging, no matter what the task at hand is.”
As King’s professional brief grew, so did his need for a highly adaptive website, which could showcase his diverse talents – along with the beautiful images that tell his unique design story. Squarespace has provided the foundation on which King has built his brand and his business, with a super-customizable website and an easy-to-implement luxe aesthetic. “It’s not enough to just have a functioning site anymore,” he says. “Squarespace has helped me own a platform that’s both sophisticated and easy to use. I definitely like the fact that the templates offer the perfect platform for those who like to streamline – the flexibility of editing, changing and refining content is what empowers businesses to keep up with new ideas and better directions.”
Squarespace has given me a very custom, high-end-looking online experience.
In his case, King worked with an outside agency to arrive at the perfect solution. “The template I arrived at is this amazing hybrid between a Squarespace original and a custom coded edit by Studio Rubric,” he says. “The fact that traditional templates can transform and suit whatever your content needs is so helpful; it’s a must-have in the design industry.” For King, Squarespace felt like it was made to complement the work of visual creatives. “The ability to carry full bleed backgrounds into smaller gallery pages was important in order for my work to be seen at its best,” he says. “Interior styling holds so many treasures; tucked away details and little moments. As much as a hero shot shines, I love that my site can also show the little corners of a room’s tucked away nuance.
For a crash course in King’s aesthetic, there’s value in searching Instagram for his #stayathomestilllife hashtag, created while he waited out the pandemic at home, like many others. “The #stayathomestilllife series I created during the pandemic will always be my favorite quarantine memory,” he says. A look at the hashtag reveals that while King’s images set the visual tone, many participants were simply inspired to follow his lead, finding creative inspiration in their own homes during a historically difficult time. He’s proud of the community participation that resulted from his endeavor. “Being able to carve out beauty from the isolation and quiet – and then watching as others joined in to do the same – will always be a special memory in my life,” he says.
King believes that the pandemic and its aftershocks will change the way we view our homes. “I feel – and hope – people will further the value of their interiors,” he says. “The pandemic showed us how important it is to have a place to crash and be ourselves.” He also envisions a future of welcoming our community back inside our homes. “Now that we have our spaces set up, what will we do with them?” he asks. “Ideally of course, we’ll host. And embrace community again. It’s a notion we’re not unfamiliar with, but I do think the ‘home’ will have a renaissance. The art of conversation and inspiration is something in line with the intention to open up and cultivate a space that gives. And I think this is a concept we feel probably more strongly about now than before.”
Part of creating a warm and welcoming home is by layering in organic elements, something King achieves to a masterful degree. “I am so inspired by nature and what it produces – nothing about nature is linear or symmetrical or immune to decay,” he says. “It humbles me and reminds me to abandon perfection. And that’s exactly where the beauty lies; there’s a balance taking place when you see perfection placed within imperfection.”
If you’re ready to share your own vision with the world, or building a new brand, take the first step today with Squarespace. Start your free two week trial and use coupon code DESIGNMILK when you’re ready to get 10% off your first domain.
Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.