Finding Inspiration Abroad and at Home

Interior designer Dawn Wilkinson finds inspiration in a variety of outlets, but her primary source of creative influence has long been travel.

“Experiencing other cultures and seeing how other people live their lives is an inspiration,” says the CEO and president of Seattle-based Six Walls Interior Design. Wilkinson takes an annual trip with her mom, visiting cities ranging from New York and Paris to Nashville and Palm Springs. “Having those experiences to get out of my own bubble has been huge.”

However, given the COVID-19 crisis has temporarily halted leisure travel, Wilkinson is finding inspiration in her own home — and especially in her kitchen.

“I’m spending more time than usual in my kitchen, and since we’re all here together, my family has been more involved in the cooking process. It’s been fun,” she says. The increased amount of time spent cooking at home has reinforced her belief that selecting the right appliances is paramount when designing a kitchen.

“Right now, I’m really appreciating how much easier and enjoyable it is to have high-end appliances,” says Wilkinson, whose full-service design firm strives to create spaces that reflect a customer’s personality and lifestyle.

Wilkinson has been drawn to design since elementary school, when she would frequently redecorate and rearrange her bedroom. “Even then, I liked the idea of experimenting with space and spaces — not only to function better but to look better.”

Balancing form and function is essential in good design, and that’s particularly true in the kitchen, says Wilkinson, one of 18 designers chosen to serve on the inaugural Monogram Designer Council. As a member of the council, Wilkinson shared professional input on aesthetic design as well as user experience — both of which are crucial in a kitchen appliance.

Wilkinson is currently putting the finishing touches on a California kitchen project that features these Monogram appliances: French door refrigerator with custom stainless-steel panel, gas range, microwave drawer, and built-in dishwasher with a custom white cabinetry panel.

“From a designer perspective, I feel like the visual appearance of an appliance and how it’s going to fit into overall design is very important,” she says. “But if it doesn’t function well, then the client won’t be happy.”

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