By: Juliana Pires Johnson
There’s chic and then there’s Sharon. Sharon Lee Clark, Founder of KRANE Home is on a league of her own. She is an artist, who tells a story with every piece created, with the highest sensibility of space and décor. Focused on bringing her Korean Heritage to the forefront of her work, each design is alluring and meaningful. Sharon isn’t afraid of mixing prints and having fun and teaches us, below, how to mix and match, where to start, and how to breathe new life into your home in 2021 and beyond. Whether it’s getting that new home office space set up, or setting the tone to host and entertain again, she has you covered.
Our conversation left us completely inspired, enlightened and ready for some wallpaper on the ceiling!
Follow her at @kranehome and @sharonleeclark
Q: What was the motivation to start KRANE Home? What did you feel was missing in the industry that you could create?
A: While I was working as an interior designer at Michael Smith, I noticed that the companies selling Asian inspired art, textiles and furnishings were not Asian owned and the history behind the designs was getting lost. Growing up with an artist grandfather and mother, I wanted to share the beauty of Korean Art in connection with our rich and layered heritage. In 2012 I went out on my own and in 2013, I turned my paintings inspired by Korean Art into meaningful textiles and décor.
Q: Where to start in the process of customizing home décor? Is it selecting a theme? Color Palette?
A: Choosing a lifestyle goal is a great way to start. If you are finding yourself working from home, doing a home office transformation by adding a printed roman shade along with an inspiring piece of art or art print will inspire you throughout the day. If you’re excited to prep your home to entertain again, a table runner, tablecloth and picking up some new napkins is a no commitment way to add décor to your dining room. For a mood boost, doing some bold wallpaper in the entryway or on a wall in your bedroom to greet you each day is just what the Dr. ordered.
Q: What are some of the first items to invest in for an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade a room? Is it Art? Pillows? How to start slowly and start adding up pieces? Or do you have to do an entire room/ home at a time?
A: You want the most visual bang for your buck. This means focusing on a few key pieces that work together in each room. Start with the item you’re most excited about. If you love art, start with a piece that speaks to you and build around it. If you have never had decorator quality throw pillows, deck out your sofa with a pair of square pillows on each side and a lumbar (rectangular pillow) in the center. You can build your own on our site 24/7. If you’re longing to wallpaper your first room in your home, start with a small one everyone will see such as the powder room! You definitely do not have to do an entire room at once. Many of our clients have worked with a designer to do the whole home, and as home life inevitably evolves, we help them add or edit décor to certain rooms to suit their changing needs.
Q: How do you mix and match without going nuts? What is the secret of mixing up art and prints within a room? Within a home?
A: When I design patterns for Krane Home, I always make sure it relates to the other patterns and colors in the line to make it easy. I really think you can’t go wrong when mixing prints! The only thing I will say is be sure you have 1 large scale, 1 medium and 1 small scale print in a room if possible. Or one of each. For colors, look for 1 related color within at least 2 of the patterns, and then the third can be an accent or a pop of color.
Q: Main/ popular trends you are seeing in interiors lately?
A: I love wallpaper on a ceiling!
Q: Main elements of Korean Art/ your heritage that you bring into your designs?
A: Everyone should have our Korean tigers somewhere in their home. In Ancient times, families would commission a tiger painting by an artist and hang it by their front door to offer protection and to ward off danger. For that reason I created Tiger and Magpie for my older son’s nursery, and it remains one of our most popular patterns.
Q: You just moved to Dallas from LA – congrats! Does being in a new city inspire you to decorate your home in a totally different way or do your preferences stick (i.e. one likes what they like)?
A: The wonderful folks in Dallas love their wallpaper and that gives me full license to wallpaper almost every room in the new house! My home in Santa Monica was very wallpapered obviously and was definitely an anomaly. Here, if you peer inside people’s homes from the street, almost everyone has some visible pattern in their formal rooms. So I guess you could say I feel inspired to unapologetically be myself and go crazy!
Q: What keeps you inspired?
A: Flipping through my collection of Korean Art books, seeing what my mother is painting lately, and going back through my archive of images that I’ve saved.
Q: Proudest moment on the job and personally?
A: January 2020 I went direct to consumer and designer with all our products exclusively under one roof at our online storefront. It was a gut-wrenching decision to pull out of 12 multi line showrooms and strike out on our own, but it proved to exceed my expectations. We beat our sales from the year before even without the showroom action!
Q: Favorite part of the job?
A: Working on art commissions that are tailored to the client’s story, and creating custom-colored wallpapers and fabrics.
Q: Favorite meal/ drink?
A: Right now I’m so into Tex-Mex and I love a White Claw when I finish work.
Q: Favorite flower?
A: Peony because it is the most auspicious in Korean art. It symbolizes wealth, prosperity and abundance in your life. It appears in screens that are used for wedding ceremony backdrops including my own. My mother painted ours and we brought it to Dallas! I’ll have it forever.
Q: Any wellness rituals that keep you sane?
A: Something I learned from my actor sister Greta is to plant your feet down firmly on the ground next to your bed right when you wake up, before you check your phone. Keep your eyes closed and do a short meditation, then get out of bed. Right after I get the kids ready for school, I take my dog for a longish walk to Starbucks to clear my head and set an intention for the day.
Q: Biggest lesson learnt from 2020 that you are taking into 2021?
A: Take risks and go for the big scary goal even at a time when everything is against you because that is when you’re doing something right.