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Located in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara, California, H3K Design specializes in design consultation and project management for house and building remodeling. From Victorian to Mid-Century Modern to Industrial Modern, H3K Design can help you make your dreams come true. Our outstanding team has the credentials and experience to help you get to where you want to go.
Howard’s passion for design and architecture began in childhood through his father’s real estate business, which included renovating and restoring Victorian homes. He not only learned the trade of construction and detailed finish work, but also fine-tuned his eye for design and composition of space and scale.
As part of his Bachelor of Science degree in Urban and Regional planning at the University of Southern California, Howard spent a semester studying the history and architecture of Los Angeles, which exposed him to the breadth of architectural styles across the LA basin. During his tenure at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, he furthered his appreciation of significant architecture through his involvement in projects that included the preservation of historic buildings.
Raised in Hawaii, Kevin’s exposure and early interest in design and architecture was greatly influenced by the traditional Hawaiian style of indoor-outdoor living. His familial roots in architecture extend far beyond the Aloha State, however. Kevin’s great grandfather, Edward C. Kemper, devoted nearly 35 years of his life to the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.) as executive director from 1914 to 1948. In fact, each year the AIA presents the Edward C. Kemper Award to an architect member who has contributed significantly to the profession through service to the A.I.A.
After earning his degree in Television and Film Production from the University of Southern California, Kevin worked in the entertainment industry for talent agents and production companies. When he and his partner Howard moved to Santa Barbara, he became involved with Howard’s family business of renovating Victorian houses. This is where Kevin’s passion for renovation and architecture took flight.
The search is on for an amazing contractor that will help you make your dream midcentury home a reality. So, where do you start? As owners of H3K Design, Kevin Kemper and Howard Hawkes have the knowledge and experience to share their insight on what to look for in a contractor. “We specialize in whole-house renovations for second homes and vacation homes, and we have a passion for Midcentury Modern design,” they say. “Part of our job is helping our clients find contractors that will work with us to build their dream homes.” Here, they share their top questions and considerations when hunting for a MCM contractor.
1. Check their MCM experience.
Contractors are used to tearing things down and working with a fresh start. To ensure that your contractor shares your desire to preserve MCM features when possible, it’s best if they have experience with period homes. “Renovating MCM homes is more about restoration and keeping and improving upon the things that are already there,” says Kevin and Howard. “If you want to keep things that are valuable, you need someone who is experienced, so they can think outside the box and come up with solutions for problems that may arise.”
This is also relevant to materials used. “Let them know the aesthetic is just as important as the function,” they say. “They may want to choose the path of least resistance and go with travertine tiles when you want cork or linoleum, or they’ll suggest cheap vinyl windows when you want aluminum. Decide what you want to do with your restoration and stay true to those roots.”