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For more than 30 years, Kevin Cordes, owner of Philadelphia Design Co. in Paoli, is one of the most sought-after interior designers in the area. And though Cordes works in Florida, California and other states, “Main Line clients really give me the opportunity to do a lot of different designs, from traditional to contemporary,” he says.

Personal decorating style:
A combination of traditional and modern elements against a clean, uncluttered backdrop. I like classically designed furnishings of all periods working together with simple fabrics.

Favorite room in his house:
My kitchen. One of my hobbies is cooking—entertaining for family and friends—so I spent a lot of time designing it.

Most prized possession: A client and good friend gave me a pot rack I designed for him in 1985. I made it the focal point of my new kitchen.

Color he couldn’t design without: I always try to envision the next color that will make a comeback. If you watch fashion, you’ll see those color trends showing up in the fabric industry—and then the home furnishings industry—in three to five years.

Crucial design element: Lighting is the key to any interior.

Favorite design trend of the moment: I like what’s happening in the furniture industry. Items that could only be had one way or in one color are now available any way you want. Personalized stain, paint and hardware options give the client a sense that the piece was done just for them.

Favorite rooms to design: I don’t have a favorite. It’s the challenge of the space, especially when a client asks for the impossible—and they often do.

Biggest decorating faux pas:
Starting a project without a plan, without direction and without a budget.

Three words that sum up his design: Less is more. (And generally, more of less is best.)

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