Design HOF 2018: Kelly Johnson

St. Louis Design Hall of Fame 2018
Kelly Johnson
Johnson Design


Edited by Melissa Mauzy
Portrait Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton
Photography by Alise O'Brien Photography


Kelly Johnson has been immersed in the world of interior design for more than 30 years, since marrying Roger Johnson, acclaimed custom home builder.  After years of selecting finishes and fixtures for Johnson’s spec and display homes, Kelly established Johnson Design in 2011 to serve a broader clientele. Johnson Design works primarily on new home construction and renovation projects, but also helps clients refresh their homes with updated finishes and furnishings. Kelly’s work has been featured in local magazines and won numerous awards. Kelly believes good design should be fresh, avoid trends and include an element of the unexpected.

SLHL: What is your design philosophy?
Kelly: Good design really is in the details, generally avoids trends and usually benefits from including an element of the unexpected.

SLHL: What does it take to deliver exceptional design?  
Kelly: The creative discipline to think outside the box for all aspects of a project from aesthetics to space planning to finishes and furnishings.  The surest path to exceptional design for any designer is to constantly embrace the challenge of executing new design elements.

SLHL: What advice would you give to someone just starting a design career?
Kelly: Identify the best talent among the various trades needed to execute your projects and develop those relationships.  You must work only with the best if you want to do your best work.

SLHL: Tell us a place in St. Louis that inspires you in your career.  
Kelly: The Botanical Gardens, with its great variety of gardens, is a great place to go to appreciate color and the beauty of different design styles.

Johnson Design, 314-323-7144