The interior designer arrived in Kansas City nearly 30 years ago, with the intention of making a temporary stop before moving on to a bigger metro. What happened?
Interior designer Alan Karlin of Alan Karlin Design has lived in Kansas City for almost 30 years. He moved to KC after college “with the idea that it would be temporary, until I decided which big and glamorous city I would move to.” Karlin says, “After visits to many cities in the USA and abroad, I decided Kansas City had everything I was looking for and more.”
Favorite Place: Rozzelle Court at the Nelson-Atkin’s Museum of Art.
The first time I stepped through the doors I was taken to another time and place. It’s an amazing blend of art and architecture with delicious food served in a casual style. Other favorite museums include the Kemper Museum and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art at JCCC. First-time visitors to Kansas City are always impressed by the world-class art and museums, and they are accessible to us everyday.
Interior Design Inspiration: I find inspiration in the vibrant art culture that is constantly changing and growing.
For me, this includes theatre, music and visual art. Our local theater scene is a real treasure. Recommendations: The Unicorn Theatre for its cutting-edge productions and intimate space; musical theater at Starlight Theater and the Music Hall. The Music Hall’s art deco interior always puts a smile on my face. The sleek lines, rich colors and luxury materials really enhance the theatre-going experience.
On Art Galleries: My idea of the perfect shopping experience.
Galleries are like mini museums where you can buy the art. Time flies as I look at art, talk to the gallery owners or attend a showing. First Friday in the Crossroads is a perfect example of the energy created by people, artists and art to inspire and entertain.
On Fashion: Fashion is a combination of interior design and art.
It can be creative and bold or simple and comfortable. You get to decide, at any moment, to look and dress for the way you feel or how you would like to feel. It’s much easier to change an outfit than to redecorate or move to another house for a change of pace. Karlin’s Go-to clothing stores: Hudson & Jane and Halls. They carry great quality and current styles while offering amazing service. I was happy that J. McLaughlin opened a store here. They have an updated preppy look that I always find easy to wear.
On Food: It’s a necessity that I try to enjoy as a daily pleasure.
I don’t like to cook much, but I really enjoy dining out. Favorite Restaurants? Cafe Sebastienne in the Kemper Museum has excellent food and two great spaces for dining, either the cozy space with walls covered in art or the sunny enclosed courtyard. Cafe Europa is my ideal bistro with the menu to match, even the burger is terrific. For alfresco dining, the days are limited when it is actually “perfect.” On these days, I might venture to the River Market and find a spot on the quaint patio at The Farmhouse.