Color the World Beautiful
Writer Amanda Christmann
Photography Courtesy of Jessica Peterson
Sitting behind his desk in his busy office near Scottsdale Airpark, Kevin Sprague is in his element. With stacks of papers divided into neat piles, he keeps a growing number of projects organized in his busy mind.
Richly textured fabric samples are stacked upon his desk, and newly delivered furniture sits wrapped in plastic just outside of his door. Two brilliant yellow chairs make a splash in the design room where two associates are busy at their desks. Fun and functional lights illuminate the space, and a long workbench covered with plans and ideas crosses the room.
For Sprague, this is what being creative is all about. Sprague, owner and principal designer of Kevin Robert Interiors, is using this space to conceive timeless, comfortable designs that, after only five years, have already begun to make their mark among Paradise Valley and Scottsdale homeowners.
Kevin’s affair with design began over 20 years ago with a successful art finish painting business. His outstanding reputation was born from a keen eye for color and his innate ability to translate this special relationship with color to a unique design aesthetic. This passion for design led Kevin to complete his certification at the American Institute of Interior Design with honors.
Sprague’s own predilections tend toward mid-century-inspired design made contemporary through neutral palettes, matte finishes and natural fabrics like leather, linen and hemp. Still, he avoids pigeon-holing his work, and never insists that his clients conform to his personal taste.
“My design style is whatever you want me to give you,” he says. His eyes form a smile behind round-rimmed glasses, and he continues. “Everyone has their own taste, but not everyone knows how to put it together. They’re afraid. I’m there to take the fear out of it.”
Sprague’s journey into interior design came honestly. He grew up in Mesa, where his mother had an interior painting business. He went off to college at ASU thinking he’d become a meteorologist, but he soon realized he’d headed down a road not meant for him. Upon graduation, he returned home to help his mother with her business, eventually taking it over.
Sprague found that the biggest rewards were the smiles on clients’ faces when he created a new look with designer finishes. Why not, he thought, do that on a grander scale?
“Seven years ago, I decided that’s what I wanted to do,” he says. “I closed my painting business and went back to school at the American Institute of Interior Design. Now, here I am!”
Sprague seems to have found his niche.
Browsing through his designs, it’s clear that he listens to his clients. Though there is always a distinctively “Kevin Robert” flair to each project, whether reflected in a piece of art, a combination of fabrics and textures, or even in the simple elegance of a space, the designs are as eclectic as their owners.
“I have an appreciation for all things beautiful,” he explains. “I tend to go for ‘timeless’ and I stay away from trends. Trends go away, and I like my designs to last.”
Often, especially during remodels, that means creating unexpected mixes of old and new. Sprague loves the challenge of incorporating antiques or existing pieces into his work. Whether it’s utilizing a painting that has been in the family for generations or reimagining an existing sitting area, Sprague breathes new life into the rooms he designs.
Functionality is at the center of what he does, but he manages to accomplish that by weaving a tapestry of aesthetically pleasing colors, textures and patterns. A Kevin Robert Interiors room is one that immediately feels warm and inviting—that feels like home.
He uses colors and artwork with a rare panache, sometimes whimsically, as with a rug he chose for a vacation rental printed with bold orange slices. While his clients love the seeming spontaneity in his designs, nothing is truly left to chance.
“I like to create beautiful spaces for people without falling victim to fads,” he says. “In remodels especially, I thrive on creating 100 percent transformations.
“There is nothing better than sitting down with clients at the end of a project, enjoying a glass of wine, and seeing them smile in their new space.”
Whether he’s designing a remodel, a new build, or a commercial space such as a med spa, Sprague seems to manage a balance of comfort and openness, and a natural combination of traditional and contemporary styles. For him, it’s art—almost a poetic effect.
Through Kevin Robert Interiors, Sprague is living his dream. Still, there’s one project he hopes to land in his increasingly distinguished career.
“I would love to do a restaurant,” he says, his face alight with ideas. “That’s where I could really go for it because it’s nobody’s personal space. Every time I go out to eat, I envision so many things in my head. It would be just a beautiful steakhouse, traditional, yet modern …”
He trails off, then adds, “I know I’m not explaining that well, but I see it in my head.”
There is no doubt that, whatever he has brewing in his mind, it will be wonderful—as are all of his designs. Between his attention to detail and his ability to conceive what others can only dream, Sprague is truly gifted.