He has three brothers and two sisters who live in other states and are a huge part of his life. He has never snow or water skied in his entire life. He has always loved animals. Especially his Boston Terrier Layla. As a classical ballet dancer, Kegler was the first male Peter Pan. Over the years, he has held a variety of jobs from a go-go dancer at a night club to an usher on Broadway.
Erik Kegler is no stranger to the stage. In fact, before he got his start in interior design, he was a classical ballet dancer.
After retiring from his career in dance, he decided to pursue interior design, as it is something that has always appealed to him.
“My mom was always really good at design,” he said. “So, when I retired from dance, I needed something to interest me.”
He went back to school and decided to take the leap into the world of design. He earned his degree at the Art Institute in Fort Lauderdale and went to work for designer Jack Phillips in Palm Beach, Florida.
Kegler quickly learned that his background in theater and the arts translates well into a career in design. He said interior design feels a lot like designing a person’s theater set for their life.
After making the move to Jackson to try something new, Kegler opened his own firm.
Now, he and his husband Brennan Hovell own Erik Kegler Interiors, which is composed of three components: retail, design and event planning.
Their shop is a one-stop shop for entertainment and interiors.
The retail component includes upholstery, furniture, décor and more. They also have a bridal registry.
As for interior design, they take on projects of all sizes, from refreshing one room in a home to facilitating a client’s renovation.
Kegler describes his personal style as “super eclectic.”
“I worked for a great designer in Palm Beach, Jack Phillips,” Kegler said. “He said you’re not allowed to hate anything. Enjoy beautiful design. Enjoy weird things.”
So, this helped him develop his eclectic aesthetic and love of color.
“It’s just things that resonate with me,” he said.
When creating a look for a client, Kegler thinks of it as designing the theater set that person lives in from day to day.
“The focus is on the client and just allowing them to be the inspiration,” Kegler said. “You want to create an environment that lives like they live. You create it for them, not the way you want it. But I do bring my creativity and style as well.”
One of Kegler’s favorite things is striking the right balance with vintage and modern.
“I think it’s just finding a balance of textures together. That delicate balance,” Kegler said.
He starts with the foundation of pieces present in the client’s home to build on.
“Then it’s that level of looking at the big picture,” he said. “The pieces in a client’s home starts the evolution of how those pieces fit into the final vision.”
Sometimes that means looking beyond the typical use of an item and using it for something else, which requires a bit of imagination.
“It’s not always seeing them for what they’re used for, but looking at things in a different way,” Kegler said. “You have to allow yourself a little more imagination.”
“It’s fun for us. So much of our business is about being creative and being inspired,” he added.
Over the last decade, Kegler said they have grown the final component of the business: special events.
From corporate events to weddings to intimate dinner parties, Kegler said they do it all. They offer rentals and design services for tablescapes and décor, along with helping design the layout of the room and keeping up the flow of the party.
“We have built these businesses to feed our creativity and keep us inspired,” Kegler said.