Kaki Hockersmith, owner of interior design firm Kaki Hockersmith Interiors, has established a national client base during her 30 years in business. During Hockersmith’s career she has given lectures all over the country for corporate groups, design centers, art and cultural museums and presidential libraries. Her work has been featured in both national and local publications and she has made television appearances on various programs from HGTV to “Good Morning America.” She was honored as “Distinguished Alum” by both William Woods University and Henderson State University.
She redesigned the interior of The White House during the Clinton Administration including the Oval Office, Treaty Room, Family Dining Room, Solarium, Music Room, as well as many other family and reception areas. Acting on behalf of the Navy, Hockersmith also designed selected rooms at Camp David, including the President’s Cabin “Aspen” and his dining hall and lodge “Laurel.”
In 1993, Hockersmith was appointed as a member of the Committee for the Preservation of The White House. She played a leading role in the successful renovation of the Blue Room, Cross Hall, the Grand Entry Hall and Staircase and the State Dining Room. In addition, she initiated a series of exhibitions in conjunction with major American art museums. Entitled, Twentieth Century American Sculpture, the eight total exhibitions in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden were seen by 1.25 million tourists, visitors and guests to The White House annually. Hockersmith’s accomplishments are included in Hillary Clinton’s book An Invitation to The White House; In Celebration of American Culture, published by Simon & Schuster in November 2000.
Hockersmith’s appointment to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for The Kennedy Center (PACA) was in 2010. Members of this prestigious committee serve as national ambassadors for The Kennedy Center and help communities throughout the country utilize the extensive resources and educational programs offered by The Kennedy Center.
Hockersmith was also appointed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) where she serves as a commissioner on the cultural committee. Part of that committee’s work relates to the World Heritage Program. The World Heritage Commission is responsible for determining which cultural relics and national scenery should be protected under the World Heritage Treaty.
Her talent lies in interpreting American design in its purest and most creative forms. Her commitment to the arts: painting, drawing, sculptures and crafts, brings a rare and distinctive style to her designs. Her unique point of view is best seen in her innovative ability to complete and contrast the best of American modern and traditional design.
A number of high profile projects have been completed by Hockersmith in her home state of Arkansas. She designed the Aerospace Education Center in Little Rock. The center, which features America’s history of aviation and space exploration, includes exhibition space and an educational complex including an IMAX theater, art galleries, classrooms and gift shop. She also contributed to the design and refurbishment of the President Clinton’s boyhood home and visitor’s center complex in Hope, Arkansas. She created design plans for the refurbishment of the historic Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs. Her most recently acclaimed project was overseeing the recreation of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room in the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library. This historic recreation included the accurate reproduction of Hockersmith’s original designs. She was also chosen to create the architectural and interior designs for the entire executive level floor of the Clinton Presidential Center.
Hockersmith has designed numerous private residences across the country from Florida to California. Her commercial work has included retail stores such as Dillard’s and a number of banks and restaurants. She recently completed the award-winning design of a corporate office building in Sacramento, California.
She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Arts Center and on the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Association. She recently designed and commissioned a magnificent chandelier for the Great Hall of the Mansion, which incorporated iconic symbols of the State of Arkansas. Hockersmith has been honored by the national ASID organization as well as the Washington D.C. chapter. Her projects have won 16 regional ASID awards, including seven gold awards.
Kaki Hockersmith lives in Little Rock with her husband, Max Mehlburger, in an Italian-style home she designed and built in the Edgehill neighborhood. She enjoys frequent entertaining for charitable organization in her community, and her years of experience in design are reflected in the creative style of her events.