F5: Kelly DeWitt Shares Her Favorite Time of Day, a Love of Light + More

07.15.22 | By
F5: Kelly DeWitt Shares Her Favorite Time of Day, a Love of Light + More

Kelly DeWitt believes in the inherent beauty of a shared space. As Founder and Creative Director of KKDW, her work revolves around designing and building environments meant to be experienced by many people. She’s worked on restaurants, bars, offices, storefronts, and retail spaces over more than ten years in the interiors industry. Kelly’s sharp sense of aesthetics paired with her creative approach to technique and materials produces spaces with longevity. They feel as good as they look and they tell a special story along the way. Her work is warm, welcoming, and inviting, with a focus on color, light, and texture. Originally a furniture designer and maker, Kelly brings one-of-a-kind designs and custom pieces to every project she works on – always influenced by the unique space, client, or brand she’s designing for.

Passionate about experiencing and creating beauty in all its forms, Kelly draws heavily upon her love of photography and travel to inform her work. She’s been featured in Dwell, Wallpaper, Texas Monthly, and Elle Decoration. Kelly currently lives outside of Austin in the Texas Hill Country with her husband, young daughter, and three dogs.

Today, Kelly DeWitt joins us for Friday Five!

light-skinned woman with long, dark hair sits on an outdoor deck with three dogs

Kelly DeWitt

two dogs in a field at dawn

1. Mornings

Waking up early before the world comes to life feels sacred to me. I’ve always been a morning person, but since my daughter June was born I’ve tried to find balance between time with her and time with my work by embracing morning time even more. She sleeps until about 7:30, and I’m up and at ‘em by 4:30 getting into the flow. I don’t know that things will always be like this, but I do know that mornings are always where I find inspiration, energy, and confidence. When the world seems quiet, my ideas can be loud.

light-skinned woman with long dark hair sitting on the floor in a shadow and writing in a notebook

2. Learning French

Almost a year ago, I started learning French (j’apprends le francais depuis presque un an!). It’s been the greatest gift to myself. It allows me to explore, learn, and daydream about everything I love – travel, people, food, architecture, art – while also satisfying my need to feel like I’m growing and evolving. Plus, homework. I love homework.

vase of flowers, two sofas, and art hanging against a white wall

3. Light

I am endlessly inspired by light – the way it moves across a piece of furniture over the course of a day, the way it bounces or gets absorbed. I envision and design a space or a piece by imagining the way light will interact with it, and I see the final work in the context of the photo I’ll eventually take of it. Looking at the world through a camera lens helps me focus and appreciate everything around me. Light is my life, my energy, and my work.

landscape of the ocean and an outcropping of land, someone stands in the midground

4. Ireland

This is the place I think of every single day. I traveled here with my husband, Travis, in 2018. We went back the following year and had plans to go in April of 2020 (but you know the rest of that story). I find Ireland – its colors, its light, its people, its history, its sea – endlessly inspiring. I often think of the old pubs we’ve visited when we’re designing a bar or restaurant. I’m always striving to create that effortlessly communal, convivial space where people can gather and leave feeling better, and no one does it better than Ireland.

light-skinned man with a dark beard carries a baby in a front carrier outdoors

5. Everywhere with Travis + June

Whether it’s a faraway destination or the woods outside our front door, everywhere with Travis and our daughter, June, feels like a one-of-a-kind adventure. Travis has more confidence than I have to explore off the beaten path (quite literally, in many cases). June is fresh and in awe, and her sparkly curiosity and general tenacity encourage me to try new things and share what I already love with her. The two of them make me want to do more, see more, be more, and together, we have quite a bit of fun.


Work by Kelly DeWitt:

long, low wood console in front of a large wall mural

KKDW Console

long light wood table with dining chairs and a large white orb of lighting suspended above it

KKDW Daydreamer Table

three modern stools

KKDW Stools

chunky modern armchair against a blue background

KKDW Pipe Chair

outdoor space with tables and benches sitting on top of gravel


Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.