Meet Ethan Allen Design Star FRAN KROLL

Our designers are among the best in the business—and we’re always on the lookout for the best among them. When we discover a gifted designer—like Fran Kroll—who represents the essence of Ethan Allen, we know we’ve found our latest Design Star! Meet Fran in this exclusive interior designer interview. Find out what inspires her, what projects are her favorites, and what she brings to the design table. Take a peek into the life of an interior designer who truly loves her work—and makes beautiful homes happen every day.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Brazil. I moved to Massachusetts when I was a teenager and fell in love with the American lifestyle. I have lived in a small town a half hour outside of Boston for almost fifteen years now. I have been married for ten years and we have a three-year-old who’s my joy in life.

I love organizing! I enjoy giving away stuff and making everything neat and spacious. I love travel, architecture, and visiting art museums. My home style is classic and timeless. I try to be smart with my purchases, buying things that won’t go out of style quickly. I like clean, straight lines, soothing neutrals, and multifunctional pieces.

Professional experience:

When I first started thinking about a professional career, I had no doubt that either an architecture degree or interior design degree would take me to my happy place. I’m creative and have always found myself helping friends decorate. I started with a two-year interior design degree at a local community college and found my passion.

I understand the importance of organization, education, and commitment to my work. Because I’m from Brazil (and of German descent), I’m fluent in three languages—and I believe that has contributed to my success. My very first client didn’t speak English and I helped her furnish most of her home here.  When I travel and see interior design styles in other countries, it inspires me to be more open and creative in my design work.

What is your favorite aspect of the job? Why?

I love seeing the end result. Nothing is more rewarding than hearing that a space is everything your client dreamed of—and more.

What questions do you ask a new client?

I like to walk through the Design Center with the client and see how they react to certain styles or pieces. I usually ask about the activities that take place in a space. It’s important to me to make a room beautiful, but also functional and relevant to a client’s everyday life. A home visit is really the best way for me to understand them.

What do you want clients to know about you?

Listening to my clients is my most valuable skill. Listening ensures that we’ll create a space that that belongs to them and them alone.

What is your favorite Ethan Allen piece? Why?

I love the clean lines of our Emerson sofa and chair. They’re easy to work with and go with almost any style.

What does every room need?

Details, details, and details! Accents, lamps, pillows, rugs, artwork. Without them a space never looks complete.

Tell us about a favorite Ethan Allen project.

Last winter I had the pleasure of meeting a client who initially came in for a floral arrangement for her kitchen nook. We ended up doing seat cushions, pillows, and a Roman shade for the space.

As she got more comfortable with me and the design process, we moved onto larger, more complex spaces, including the foyer and family room. I learned that sometimes a client just needs time to get used to the process. It’s not necessarily about money; it’s about trust.

I loved the way the project came together, but mostly I loved seeing how happy it made my client. At the final delivery she told me, “You nailed it!”

What’s your all-time favorite design tip?

“Less is more.” Too many objects will make a space look cluttered, so when choosing accessories, start with just a few. Always give the eye a place to rest.


You can check out more of Fran’s work on social media:

And to see more beautiful rooms by designers like Fran Kroll, subscribe to The Art of Making Home.

CATEGORY: Design Star

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