Designers that Make a Statement

Meet some of the top Kansas City designers

Kristen Ridler

Kristen Ridler Design


Kristen Ridler of Kristen Ridler Design was drawn to interior design due to her love of art and building. “I lived at the Nelson Atkins during design school, and one of my favorite classes was the study of cathedrals around the world.” This design firm specializes in all inclusive new construction interior design. They like to start with the architect's plans and help clients find and source all items for their home—from outdoor finishes to appliances to furniture. Kristen Ridler Design is known for more of a modern, clean aesthetic. They love to work in different styles but will always strive for balance and clean lines.  “We are very hands-on and like to start with design board inspirations and work renderings of specific areas.,” explains Kristen. “We gather samples that we look at and analyze before showing the client. We also work hand in hand with the builder and love to be a part of the entire process.”  It can be both an exciting and stressful process to build a home, so Kristen explains that they really enjoy helping the client navigate that process so that it is smooth and that their needs are met.  “Great communication is important,’ says Ridler. “Make sure your designer understands your design style, or if you aren’t sure, they can help you figure that out. Trust your designer. They will usually pull you out of your comfort zone to create the perfect space that fits your lifestyle.” 

Leann Lynn, Laura McCroskey

McCroskey Interiors


McCroskey Interiors is a full-service interior design firm, overseeing, managing, and designing new builds, remodels, custom homes, and commercial projects from start to finish across the United States. Laura McCroskey began her career by studying fashion design, but she has always been inspired by couture and classical European design. Since then, her international travels and love for cooking have informed much of her eclectic style. For Leann Lynn, design has always influenced her life, from her chic personal fashion sense to her choice of career. After graduating with her interior design credentials, she started her professional career with a firm in Dallas before making Kansas City her home. For McCroskey, using classical design elements in clean contemporary ways, she creates personal interiors that are fresh, livable, and beautifully coordinated. She is known for her attention to detail, her elegant design solutions, and passion for all things beautiful. In addition to that, she creates personal interiors that are fresh, livable, and beautifully coordinated. Leann Lynn's expertise is in textiles, and her flair for current design trends brings a fresh and innovative approach to all her projects. Her ability to transform her client's dreams into stylish and functional spaces makes her not only an inspired designer but also a pleasure to work with. She's built a reputation for creating timeless rooms that are classic with a little edge. She thrives on creating spaces with a sophisticated, less is more approach. McCroskey Interiors has quickly become known in Kansas City and beyond for their use of natural materials – especially their sliding marble panels. "For us, the design process begins with a discussion about what you need your home to do and what aesthetic will bring a spark to your life," says McCroskey. "I also firmly believe that, when designing your kitchen, you should walk out a recipe to make sure everything is in the right place to suit your lifestyle. Cooking zones are imperative to a well-designed kitchen."  Leann Lynn adds, "Design your space for how you want to live in it. Don’t design around a trend, keep your decisions true to yourself. And, of course, that you can't go wrong adding black to a room."

Kurt Knapstein

Knaptein Design

 Kurt Knapstein has an incredible love for architecture and interiors. Growing up, he couldn’t wait to look at any shelter magazine.. “Creating beautiful spaces for people to live in is so satisfying,” he explains. Knapstein Design is a full service interior design firm that works primarily on residential design. Whether it’s a custom new-build, a remodel, or just furnishing a room, they work with clients making sure their space becomes uniquely theirs. They assist with every aspect of a home’s interior and even exterior hardscape design. They are known for their attention to detail, and timeless interiors that are always current but never trendy. Knapstein believes that you shouldn’t let someone talk you into something you absolutely don’t want, but at the same time it is important to  trust the process.” Let your designer push the boundaries with you and create a space that is elevated from what you ever dreamt possible. People should walk into their homes every day and feel they’re so lucky to get to live where they do. I get to make that happen for my clients.”

Sara Noble

Noble Designs


 Noble Designs is a full-service interior design firm that works on new builds, large renovations, and simpler interior updates through furnishings. Sara Noble started her career in finance, but after realizing she didn’t enjoy working in corporate America, she gravitated toward design and began to learn everything she could by taking part-time jobs and learning the trade and eventually started Noble Designs. They thrive on providing a plan that is not only beautiful but functional for your family, and they truly believe good design can enhance your life. “I love the team at Noble Designs,” explains Noble. “Our vision statement discusses the power of positivity.  We have a fun, positive, and creative staff that makes each day fun to come to work.  The projects and clients we have right now are also inspiring me and keeping me excited about the work we do.” 

At Noble Designs, they believe their job is to guide the client through what can be a stressful investment into the most important structure in their life.  “We want our client's homes to be classic and fresh and a reflection of their style and family,” says Noble. 

Noble Design is  known for using color.  “I have always loved color and infused it in my designs even when it was not as popular,” says Noble. “However, creating classic designs that stand the test of current trends is my goal.

Kendra Miner

Evolve Interiors

Evolve Interiors is a full service design firm focusing on residential and new construction remodeling. They assist clients with every aspect of the construction process through completion, and assist in sourcing furniture, art and accessories. They are able to provide clients with 3D renderings of their space with actual material selections so that they can visualize what the space will actually look like when finished.  This allows them to make adjustments on selections such as lighting, paint color and countertops if the clients desire to do so. Kendra Miner of Evolve Interiors believes that having a functional home that works best for each client is critical. Considering if they have children or a pet or if they like to entertain are things that should be considered during the design process. “The balance between functionality and beauty can be challenging but is critical in designing a home.  Kendra Miner is known for designing unique ceiling details and one-of-a-kind fireplaces that are built out of unexpected materials.  When asked if she had any advice for our readers, she responded, “Make sure to clearly define your expectations and roles, and then let the designer introduce you to resources that you might not be aware of to help you create your one of a kind home. “ She also noted that social media highlights unique designs but does not show all the detail that goes into creating that look. Working with a qualified interior designer can save the clients time and money to achieve the desired look they want in their space.

Katy Cassaw and Kat Benson 

Nest Interiors


Katy Cassaw and Kat Benson of Nest Interiors have both always loved art and anything creative. Being from small towns, they weren’t introduced to the interior design profession until college. Katy initially went to school to become an art teacher, and Kat planned to go into fashion. However, they both ended up taking an introductory class for interior design at college and never looked back. Nest Interiors is a full service interior design studio specializing in residential design on all levels from new construction, consulting and finish selections, furnishings and remodeling. They are a team of talented designers and professional women who offer a full service design experience from start to finish. “Our goal is to always have our client’s home tell their story,” says Kat. “ Nest Interiors is known for creating spaces with an eclectic mix that are not only stylish but also approachable and livable. “We want people to use and enjoy the spaces we create while interjecting a little Nest twist to any design,” says Katy. “We start by sending clients a design questionnaire asking them questions about their family, what kind of places they like to travel, and where they like to shop, for example. We review inspiration and what the main goals are in each space in terms of function and design.  We like to try to jump inside their brains and understand how they live before creating spaces for them. From there, we take a team approach to each project which gives multiple eyes on each project and an overall collaborative design experience between our team and our clients.” They believe that the client should stick with what they truly love. Trends change quickly so if you design a space that feels uniquely you, it will never be out of style. 

Kara Kersten  

Kara Kersten Design


Kara Kersten has been dreaming about design since she was 6 years old, but those dreams originally began with dreams of being an architect. Once she was introduced to the Interior Architecture and Product Design program at Kansas State University, she fell in love with the more artistic and colorful side of the architecture department which led her to interior design. Kara Kersten Designs takes clients all the way from the planning stages of remodeling to new construction projects to move-in ready, furnished and styled spaces that feel like them and function for their family. They are involved throughout the entire process and handle everything so that they don’t have to. They also offer compact consultations for clients who don’t require full services. Kersten knows that even a good design choice isn't right for everyone.  They like to notice the nuances of their client’s personality and tastes, listen closely to their ideas, and care deeply about who they are and how they want to live in their home.  This empathetic approach gives each client an amazing project experience and lets Kersten’s team create highly personalized designs that resonate with them on a deep level. Kara Kersten Design is known for bridging the gap between interior design and construction - transforming outdated and dysfunctional whole home layouts as well as guiding clients through the entire construction process; which includes speaking fluent 'contractor.’ Kerston says that the earlier that a designer can be involved, the better. “Trust your gut on picking someone that feels right to you, and then once you do-lean into their process and guidance.”

All rugs pictured as a backdrop are courtesy of The Rug Studio. rugskc.com/ 

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