A horse photograph, which Byrd edited with a vintage flair, is mounted behindthick acrylic. Byrd topped an antique brickmaker's table with honed Statuario Venatomarble to make a statement piece. Photos by Sarah Walor
Kenneth Byrd's journey to establishing a design firm wasn't a straight line from a world-class arts school to an office on Church Hill. A map would show a starburst of diverse routes from his hometown in Chesapeake, an apprenticeship in Los Angeles, some training in New York City and a visual merchandising job in D.C.
"I grew up rearranging the furniture in my parents' house and in my room," Byrd says. "But the combination that really solidified things with me was visual merchandising and eventually getting into real estate rental, sales and property management."
The marriage of those experiences led to Kenneth Byrd Design, which specializes in outfitting model units for upscale multifamily developments. After only two years, his Midcentury Modern style has proved so popular that he's forced to turn down jobs, and his furnishings and accessories have a niche at DéCOR and Orange in Carytown.
The interior of Byrd's Westover Hills home is dressed in masculine grays and white, but it isn't without humor. A brass wine rack from Target gets a bump in class thanks to its placement on a bar cart from Arteriors. "I love to mix high and low — put something outrageously expensive next to something that cost five dollars," he says.
Although designed to perfection, the house is ready to go on the market. Byrd wants a spacious Fan home that he can gut and redesign. "It's time," he says. "About every two years, I move on to another project."