The Sky’s the Limit
Interior design firm celebrates 25 years
This April marks the 25th anniversary of Big Sky Design, one of the area’s interior design firms. The company is known for creating innovative interior spaces for commercial and residential sites throughout the Wilmington area as well as in Raleigh and South Carolina.
“Growing the business has taken a lot of hard work, but I love what I do,” says JENNIFER KRANER, Big Sky Design’s founder and owner.
No job is too big or too small for Big Sky Design. In addition to designing the interiors of entire buildings and homes, it assists clients with smaller projects such as kitchen and bath renovations. Also, through its retail store, customers can find the perfect furnishings and accessories for their home or office decor.
At the heart of Big Sky Design’s success is the personalized service it provides. Its outstanding designers and support team bring a wealth of talent to each project, says Kraner. They strive to discover who their clients are and how they want the space to feel, and then they work to make that happen.
Big Sky Design’s growth has been gradual but steady, Kraner says. Initially, the company focused only on commercial spaces, and Kraner landed a number of major projects such as the renovation of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and Wilmington’s historic courthouse.
“My love then was to enhance interior public spaces, so it would be enjoyable to be in areas such as a doctor’s office, library, or courthouse,” she says.
However, in 2002, Kraner decided to add residential interior design to Big Sky’s offerings. Doing so allowed her to offer customers a different and wonderful array of materials, she says. An added bonus was that Kraner could establish intimate relationships with her customers while improving their homes.
As the company grew, so did its need for more space. To solve the problem, Kraner took her business to her clients. She created a mobile boutique and filled it with the latest fabrics, accessories, lighting and other resources the company could use for design projects of all types. The mobile boutique, named Bea, became the site of numerous potential client consultations, Kraner says. When not being used for more serious business meetings, Bea moonlights as a go-to spot for pop-up parties and is a popular venue for girls’ night out home decorating parties.
WILMA got an inside look at Big Sky’s mobile boutique in the latest print issue.
“We wanted our customers to know we were a step ahead in our knowledge of design trends, to improve outreach, and to make it fun,” Kraner says.
In 2020, Big Sky Design moved into a new location, which includes office space as well as a 4500 square-foot retail area. There the company showcases a variety of design concepts. A vast array of furnishings, wallpaper, lamps, artwork from local artists, and more are on display; and customers can buy pieces off the floor. Also, many of the furnishings can be customized to fit with a customer’s decor.
“Big Sky Shop provides inspiration for people to use our services or to do design on their own,” says Kraner.
As Big Sky Design enters its second quarter-century, Kraner’s joy in creating the perfect space for its customers shows no signs of waning.
“Seeing a space being loved and used and the special design details come together is a very rewarding experience,” she says. “That’s what it’s all about.”
To view more of photographer Aris Harding’s work, go to arisharding.com.
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