Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With KT2 Design Group

The creative dynamic duo, Kevin Ten Brinke and Kahla Talancy have the luxury of working alongside each other while creating bespoke interior spaces. As a husband and wife power team, Kevin and Kahla make all of their client’s dreams come true by going above and beyond when providing high-quality design services. The pair has had the opportunity to create homes all over the Massachusetts area while also becoming a community staple. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Kevin and Kahla of KT2 Design Group.

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Bringing the beach in is usually a sticky, sandy mess, but for Kevin and Kahla they knew exactly what pieces to bring into this space to keep it sophisticated and coastal and including art by Lauren Marttila and a soft toned sofa from Lee Industries. 

Bringing the beach in is usually a sticky, sandy mess, but for Kevin and Kahla they knew exactly what pieces to bring into this space to keep it sophisticated and coastal and including art by Lauren Marttila and a soft toned sofa from Lee Industries.

Andrew Joseph: What is the last book you read:
Kalah: Wintering by Katherine May – it made me love the idea that our lives have many winters – and that is okay.
Kevin: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave – anything historical fascinates me.

Andrew: If you could live in any home or television series, what would it be?
Kalah: The Island house from the Thomas Crown Affair.
Kevin: The South of France Villa from the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again.

Andrew: If you weren’t a designer/architect, what would you be?
Kalah: A painter – barefoot and beachside.
Kevin: A surgeon – I’m still in charge of all wounds and sports injuries at our house.

Andrew: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Kalah: A mojito with Don Q rum and mint from the garden.
Kevin: A stiff Gin and Tonic with Barr Hill Gin and extra lime.

Andrew: What are your ideal weekend plans?
Kalah: Waking up early, watching the sunrise with a bottomless cup of coffee, reading a bounty of magazines, floating in the ocean, having friends over for a beachside dinner and a bonfire.
Kevin: Waking up late, having a great cup of coffee, going for a run, painting outside, having a delicious well-crafted sandwich, and wrapping up the day with a cocktail hour crossed with family game night.

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In this refreshing open kitchen designed by KT2 Design Group, you can find custom cabinetry by Jewett Farms that continues the welcoming feeling carried throughout the home.

In this refreshing open kitchen designed by KT2 Design Group, you can find custom cabinetry by Jewett Farms that continues the welcoming feeling carried throughout the home.

Andrew: Are you a good cook? What is your specialty?
Kalah: I am the family baker – and have even become the neighborhood baker. My most requested treats are Lemon cake or Snickerdoodles. We just went on holiday with some friends on Nantucket and I was asked to do a traditional Genoise Cake with whipped cream frosting – I love a challenge.
Kevin: Grilled salmon with mango salsa and coconut sticky rice – This is a recipe that was inspired by a dish I used to order once a week at a local seafood joint. It’s not exactly the same – but it’s close!

Andrew: Style or Design Icon?
Kalah: India Hicks – so effortless.
Kevin: Santiago Calatrava – his seamless blending of extraordinary engineering and architectural design.

Andrew: What are three things you can’t live without?
Kalah: Coffee, my dogs, a soft blanket (I could literally sleep anywhere with a soft blanket.)
Kevin: Coffee, Laptop, Sneakers.

Andrew: What’s your current TV obsession?
Kalah and Kevin: 11.22.63

Andrew: Secret talent?
Kalah: Hanging art without measuring – sometimes it terrifies clients.
Kevin: Juggling a soccer ball – a holdover from my high school days.

Andrew: If you had one more hour in the day, what would you do?
Kalah: Take a hot bath with all the skin care products.
Kevin: Go for a hike.

Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Kalah: March to your own beat – it’s something I repeat every day to our girls – because there is only one you.
Kevin: Stay the course. There are so many times in life where you just have to persevere – it’s easy to see in hindsight but an important reindeer in the present.

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Keeping a nautical environment in this living area was KT2 Design Group’s main goal along with providing true comfort and functionality for this beach home.

Keeping a nautical environment in this living area was KT2 Design Group’s main goal along with providing true comfort and functionality for this beach home.

Andrew: Embarrassing quarantine habit?
Kalah: Throwing laundry on the floor of the laundry room instead of into the hamper.
Kevin: Wearing matching family plaid pajama pants.

Andrew: What are three binge-worth TV shows/movies?
Kalah and Kevin: Schitt’s Creek (late to the show…we know), The Queen’s Gambit, Uncle Frank.

Andrew: What were the last three things you panic bought on Amazon?
Kalah: Paper towels, Zuke’s Dog Treats, Swim Goggles.
Kevin: Projector, Sketchbook and Dental Floss.

Andrew: What’s your go-to snack between Zooms?
Kalah: Dates with almond butter on them and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Kevin: Roasted Almonds.

Andrew: What do you find yourself daydreaming about the most these days?
Kalah and Kevin: Tropical beaches – especially those in Mexico. We got married in Ixtapa and always feel a gravitational pull if we haven’t been to Mexico within the last 12 months or so. Oh – and a quiet house or children that actually go to school.

Andrew: What top three questions have you asked Alexa during quarantine?
Kalah and Kevin: We are both very convinced that we are always right – Alexa lets us know the real answer.

Photography by Michael J Lee Photography.


blankAbout The Designers | Collaboration between Kevin and Kalah is second nature. They have a unique connection. Before they were married, they were creative cohorts for over a decade. Their connection is the most natural and symbiotic part of their business and a key ingredient in their success. They do not always agree, and they like that. When they work together, they challenge each other to be their best and trust and respect each other’s vision. They welcome client input. If Kevin’s vision has a window where Kalah wants to put a bed they discuss both perspectives, add the client’s requests to the mix, and develop the best solution.

What truly sets Kevin and Kalah apart are their daily dialogues. There is no pretense or reservation about the designer talking to the architect when he is just down the hall. There is no detail that gets lost in translation. They are a true design team. As a result, every step of the process is infinitely more enjoyable for everybody, especially their clients.


Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for aspire design and home magazine. See more of his work here.

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