Meet The Team

Kelly Lankford, IIDA, LEED AP - Principal Interior Designer/CEO 

Principal Interior Designer

A 2015 Heartland Design Award Winner, Principal Designer Kelly Lankford brings her wealth of knowledge and desire for design as the heart and soul behind KHL Design Studio. From her Midwestern roots, Kelly has successfully completed projects from coast to coast, along the way building a creative and imaginative portfolio of interiors that run the gamut in project type, style, and scheme. Kelly is NCIDQ certified, LEED AP, and a member of IIDA. Although KHL has completed projects across the country, the Kansas City Metro Area is our home base, with offices in vibrant Downtown Lee’s Summit, Missouri, inside the 12 on Third Building.

KHL Design Studio serves both sides of the Missouri-Kansas state line, including Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Leawood, Prairie Village, Mission Hills, Johnson County, Lee’s Summit, Liberty, North Kansas City, Raytown, Independence, Blue Springs, Warrensburg, and Cass County.

Erica Forsythe - Junior Designer 

Erica received her B.A. in Business Communication from the University of Kansas in 1990. After spending time raising her family she decided to follow her passion and went back to school and graduated with an Associate Degree in Interior Design from JCCC in 2015. During her time at JCCC she was a member of NKBA and the student ASID.

Since graduation, Erica expanded her knowledge in residential design by working one-on-one with homeowners on various design projects through a local showroom.  By helping client’s coordinate countertops, tiles, backsplash, and different flooring, she has a great understanding of materials, budgets, and the project’s big picture.  She looks forward to bringing this knowledge to the KHL team.

Susan Stevenson - Senior Designer 

senior designer

Susan joined KHL in December 2014 and consults on both commercial and residential projects. She brings 24 years of experience in interior design with an emphasis on kitchen and bath design. She is an NCIDQ qualified interior designer and a LEED Accredited Professional. Susan is especially knowledgeable in design communication, lighting design and interior finish materials. For her, working at KHL Design Studios is an opportunity to be creative and work with people to solve their interior design needs.

Susan is also an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the nationally accredited interior design program at the University of Central Missouri and holds two degrees in interior design from Virginia Tech and a PhD in Environment and Behavior Studies from the University of Missouri.

Abby Elson-Williams - Senior Designer 

Junior Designer

Abby received her B.F.A. in Interior Design from the University of Central Missouri (CIDA accredited) in December of 2015. Coming from a furniture retail background, she started as an intern in the spring of 2015. Now as a Senior Designer, she brings a thorough understanding of color & furniture selection, space planning, kitchen & bath design and communication skills to the table.

Working at KHL for 4+ years has allowed her to gain real-world experience in both commercial and residential design. With these versatile abilities, Abby aids in helping the studio maintain its unparalleled commitment to clients.

Megan Mitchem - Intern

Megan joined KHL Design Studio as an intern in the summer of 2019. She is currently a design student at the CIDA and NASAD accredited University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Being a member of the University of Central Missouri's Interior Design Student Association has encouraged an out of classroom education with hands on field experience. She is eager to work with our team, clients, new technologies, materials, patterns, and colors to make a distinct design plan that embodies each client's specific needs and desires.

Grace Hawkins - Intern

Grace is the latest addition to KHL Design Studio as an intern this summer.  She is currently attending the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO, where she is majoring in Interior Design and is an active member of the Interior Design Student Association.

Grace is excited to further her education by getting hands on experience with the KHL team. Her love for reading, living a healthy lifestyle, water coloring, and being a lifelong learner are a just a few of her favorite things that she is excited to combine with her passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces.  In addition to her on-the-job learning, she will work with both residential and commercial projects focusing on materials, colors, furniture, and finishes, to keep projects organized and running smoothly.