Interior designer Ken Lloyd brought fresh ideas to Lexington when he arrived in the 1970s, a professional colleague said Friday.
"For the Lexington area, he was one of the first to embrace an eclectic look, blending traditional and contemporary. And he had a great eye for detail," said interior designer Roger Kirkpatrick, who considered Mr. Lloyd his mentor, sounding board and a friend.
Kirkpatrick remembered Mr. Lloyd's early apartment on North Broadway that had chocolate brown walls, a blue ceiling and red carpet. "It sounds awful, but it was exquisite."
Mr. Lloyd, 78, died earlier this week at his Lexington home. From Winters, Texas, Mr. Lloyd was a 1961 graduate of the University of Cincinnati. He came to Lexington to work for financier Garvice D. Kincaid as an in-house designer, said his longtime secretary, Tish McDowell.
He and Michael Tedrick organized a design partnership, Lloyd/Tedrick Designers Inc.
Later, Mr. Lloyd went out on his own. He opened Ken Lloyd Inc. at 115 Walton Avenue, where he worked for decades.
Thoroughbred horse owner Anita Madden recalled a time she hired Mr. Lloyd to redecorate her dining and living rooms. Before plans were finalized, she and her family left town for an extended trip. "I usually like to be involved when it comes to decorating the house, but we left in a hurry," Madden said Friday.
When she returned, "I walked in. And I loved it," Madden said. Did that surprise her? She chuckled. "I was surprised that anybody could please me without asking me first. But he had such good taste. He chose things you didn't get tired of."
In his work, Mr. Lloyd used a great deal of color and texture — silks, linens and woven textiles, Kirkpatrick said.
Several of his interior design projects were featured in Architectural Digest magazine, McDowell said.
"He knew architecture as well as interior design, how to take a wall down, enlarge a closet. He had insight into all that," said Carl Meyers, owner of Carl Meyers, a women's clothing boutique on Clay Avenue. Mr. Lloyd redecorated five houses for Meyers; Meyers' mother, Sydelle, was one of Mr. Lloyd's first clients.
"Ken had wonderful taste that never went out of style," Carl Meyers said. "It was not inexpensive. You paid for it. But you got pieces that were lifetime pieces — classic and beautiful. And he had a terrific eye for accessories."
Mr. Lloyd did Lucy Young Hamilton's house on Overbrook Farm in 1985.
"Very little has changed. It's beautiful," Hamilton said. Working with an interior designer is a personal experience because they are in your home, looking at your things, talking about what you want, she said.
"Ken was the sort of person you could say anything to and it would never be repeated. And that is very rare," she said. "He was fun, a gentleman, had marvelous taste, and was a dear, dear friend."
Mr. Lloyd was an artist, and painted in watercolors and oil. He was an inveterate reader, McDowell said, favoring history and biographies.
Several friends commented on Mr. Lloyd's personal appearance — physically fit, trim and always immaculate. "Those pressed khakis," Kirkpatrick said, laughing. "His designs were the same way, everything thought out to the nth degree and polished."
Kirkpatrick added, "He was a designer's designer. He upheld the standards of professionalism to be admired. I'm going to miss him."
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.