interview with target’s home design director

February 25, 2014

A few months ago I was talking to one of Inner Circle’s contacts at Target when I off-handedly made a comment about how its home line, Threshold, pretty much rocks my world. While I’m totally lost when it comes to design and decorating, all of a sudden Target took me from browsing past its home aisles with pretty much total disregard, to completely causing me lake work nights a result of my two-hour procrastination debating lights, pillows, frames, baskets and other accessories (I mean how great are these mirrors, below?). threshold logo

Upon my love affair mention, the folks at Target generously offered to connect me with Tim Kehoe, associate design director brand management + trend — basically, he leads the teams that bring designs to life and also is involved with creating the conceptual designs. I must confess this interview was done months and months ago, and while it’s taken me forever to get it to you (mostly because of our cute little baby boy!), so much of what he says resonates with me on a regular basis. Excited to bring his expert design insight, some of our Threshold favorites, and tomorrow, how I decorated my Threshold bar cart. Shall we begin?

TAGG: Tell me about the Threshold line. Why/when did Target to create this collection? I recognize Target has stepped it up in a major way with home, and Threshold, along with Nate and other lines, are a true testament how people of all income levels are heading to Target for quality, on-trend pieces. 

TK:  Threshold is a more style brand instead of a “trendy brand,” with the purpose of having a longevity to the pieces. People can invest in them. It’s about evoking style and design in your space so that it’s warm and inviting. We’re creating pieces that make it seamless to put together with what you have in your home to help evolve personal style.

Target didn’t have a large number of brands in the interior space so in order to control what we put into the store and ultimately the experience we provide our guests, Threshold was created. We can also create better value because we design internally, manufacturer smarter and source globally.

threshold, target tables

threshold side tables: gold // silver // mirrored // mixed materials // grey

TAGG: What are you recognizing as the major home trends this season? Think these will last us a few years?

 TK: It’s classic design through modern lenses. Simplicity in lines. Focusing on how to layer and create beautiful moments, again, all through a modern lenses. Trends in home tend to grow over a period of time; then in time, grow and evolve.

More specifically, metallic finishes are huge. Coppers and golds and other new finishes are in the future. And, contrary to that, matte black is huge with its emphasis on modernism. Mix the metals. For example, mix two but say, add in joining objects like champagne flutes or placements or table linens that bring them together.

Also, group objects in three or five in relationship with building assortments. It’s about “finding friends.” {TAGG: love this phrase!}

Just remember that not everything has to be showroom ready. A house can still be really beautiful and express the person.

TAGG: How many designers/people are on the Threshold team? About how many pieces are in the collection each season?

TK: Right now, the team has about 200 designers to paint patterns, technical designers, etc. There are about 150 new objects season season, or possibly more. We start with anywhere from 300-500 and then edit down. All patterns, hand sketched details have been personally hand crafted by our design team.

To create the frame you see on the shelves while browsing Target: a team could have traveled to Indonesia to source the wood first. An extensive amount goes into each piece.

TAGG: What three pieces are you personally most excited about right now?

 TK: 1. The bar cart. Think of it as a functional piece instead of just as a bar cart. We have seen some really inventive uses. It can be a table, a side table next to a couch, a place to stack books. 2. Drinkware: the Threshold line’s amazing quality and shape is outrageous. Certain pieces are made in Italy and France. All are unique iconic shapes that require new molds. 3. Details: more and more attention to detail, texture, fabric manipulation, is being placed in each object.

Threshold_drinkware threshold drink wearstemware collection //decanter // blue highballs //  black/stripe ceramic mugs //  clear tumblers

TAGG: What are your favorites tips to modernize/update a space without spending a lot? Where can I get the best value? 

Editing is the first step. Take out everything and then slowly start adding it back. Take a fresh start and think about pieces in new situations. Add back in pieces in increments of 3’s or 5’s. Always think, “where in this room do you want to make your moment?”

Take advantage of your walls. Play with scale.

6. I’m such an interior design novice that I’m not even sure what I should be asking! What else should the average girl know about Threshold and styling her space? {very open ended, I know!}

Take advantage of your walls. Play with scale (and use a laser level and command hooks to hang; use little labels to mark the right spot).

Remember: Your house should reflect your personal style. Not anyone else.

Want more from Threshold? Shop it here: 

Target Inner Circle

Disclosure: The Average Girl’s Guide is a member of Target’s Inner Circle, a small group of social influencers around the country. They graciously connected me with the designer, and provided me a gift card to purchase the bar cart you’ll see in tomorrow’s post, however all opinions are 100 percent ours; this post originated based on my love for the Threshold line. Thank you for supporting brands that support TAGG!

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  • Lyddiegal

    Great interview - its amazing how much goes into these lines that we never even think about. I love Target’s Threshold pieces and my weakness for housewares leads to a lot of wallet emptying!

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