Kelley Proxmire, Principal
Kelley Proxmire’s lifelong passion for interior design began in her parents’ living room. In her pre-teen years, she was fascinated by the transformation of rooms by interior designers. “I would sit for hours,” recalls Kelley, “studying the fabric mix, the scale of the furniture, the interplay of color. When everyone else bought Seventeen, I was buying House Beautiful.”
She went on to immerse herself in the designs of rooms by classic greats such as Billy Baldwin, Mark Hampton, Frances Elkins, and Michael Taylor. These influences laid the foundation for a style defined by what is beautiful and enduring, pretty yet practical.
Interior Design Approach
In her 20-plus-year career, Kelley has developed a matchless eye for crafting what she describes as “tailored traditional” interiors. Her projects suffuse warmth and hospitality while maintaining excellent balance, proportion and scale. Her love of color is combined with an appreciation for the fresh sophistication of white and the daring elegance of black. Adept at mixing traditional pieces with unexpected finds, Kelley creates environments that are attuned to the client’s world and faithful to the architecture and setting of a home.
Press and Project Accolades
Kelley was named the 2016 Designers’ Choice Hall of Fame Designer by Home & Design magazine and inducted into the Washington Design Center Hall of Fame in 2009. Kelley has participated in 25 show houses since 2001 and has garnered local and national coverage for her contributions to the Washington Design Center's Design Houses, as well as those benefiting local charities such as Women’s Committee of the National Symphony Orchestra. She was selected as a designer for the DC Design House benefiting Children’s National Health System in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017. These projects, as well as residential projects throughout the Eastern Seaboard, have been showcased in publications such as Traditional Home, Southern Home, Southern Living, Luxe, Coastal Living, Washingtonian, Home & Design, Bethesda, The Washington Post, and The Georgetowner, among others
Sara Costello, Senior Designer
From a young age, Sara has had a passion for expressing her creativity through art and design. Sketches of dream homes and their interiors were something she often did in her spare time. Her mother would bring her to local antique stores and flea markets where she’d find herself envisioning entire rooms inspired by a unique piece she’d seen.
Sara later attended the University of Maryland and received a degree in Family Science. While she loved this field, she later realized that interior design was not only a hobby, but rather a field she’d like to explore as a career.
She returned to school to study Interior Design and since then has greatly enjoyed learning and working in local residential design firms, showrooms, and workrooms. Sara is thrilled to continue exploring her passion for design with Kelley Proxmire’s team, building professional relationships and assisting in the creation of beautiful, practical interiors designed to complement clients’ lifestyles.
Michelle Brunner, Junior Designer
It’s no wonder Michelle eventually found her way to interior design. As a teen, she put up a Greek key border in her bedroom and hung architectural prints of Roman ruins instead of the usual posters spied in adolescent bedrooms across America.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Pittsburgh, she earned a post-graduate degree in Architectural History and Studio Arts. Upon graduation, she moved to New York City, where she spent two years working in an architecture firm before transitioning to print journalism. A magazine editor for many years, she held senior positions at several titles, including Luxe Interiors + Design and This Old House, where she covered design, helped build small projects and style photo shoots. After relocating to Washington DC, she continued to write about design for the Washington Post, Domino, Architectural Digest and Washingtonian before committing to interior design full-time at Kelley Proxmire.
Michelle enjoys a design challenge whether it’s helping a client with a small budget or stumbling upon a problem-solving floorplan for an awkward space. Her spare time is spent fixing up a perfectly imperfect 1904 Wardman rowhouse, where she lives with her husband and son.