Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Hey everyone, I hope you guys have an inspiring and productive week. I am heading to Manhattan today with my Mother In-law! I am so excited to see something fresh and check out some new shops, hotels and restaurants. Because I never seem to fit enough hours into a day while in the magical city, I am telling you now not to expect any posts this week. I will however be instagraming and tweeting my little heart out so make sure you're following @kaytedesigns! Have a great week!

Friday, August 24, 2012


Pop-up Shops and Restaurants have been all the rage for a while now. Vacant properties let concept stores, collaborations or trending individuals set up shop, anywhere from a one time midnight show to a month long exhibit. The Gourmet Tea and architect Alan Chu have taken the word pop-up quite literally with this unfolding shop in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The whopping 10 square feet shop pops out into a fully-stocked retail space and when it's not open it's a beautiful and vibrant mural. My favorite part is the hidden signage, it reminds me of a Christmas Advent Calendar.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


As Rachel Zoe says, "Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak". I love picking up on my client's personal style. A good designer should be able to have an idea of what a client likes before they can even explain what they like. 
I met with one client regarding a work space; it was a brief introductory meeting but I had a good idea of what direction I was going to go before I walked out the door. He wore a soft vintage American motor t-shirt with clean, well fitting jeans. He leaned back comfortably in his chair and spoke very knowledgeably about his business and the commercial property he owns. He swore casually and used a lot of funny analogies regarding relationships with women. From this first impression I knew he wanted an inspiring and humors place of business and I worked off a concept of Apple meets dive bar. Vintage neon signs, quality and eclectic artwork, simple industrial materials- all within a budget that made sense in relationship to the property's value. To say the least he was very surprised how far I was able to go based off of a first impression and I got the job.

As I sift through Tumblr and Pinterest for inspiration, I especially enjoy the fashion photos. I had the idea to pick a picture I was drawn to and to try imaging the client behind the photo. This pretty girl below has a casual and cheerful style. In my imagination she's girly, a little nerdy at heart and cares about the environment. That's why I pulled together a solar powered outdoor dining room for her. The color pallet is directly related to her outfit, the subtle geometric patterns blend well with the ruffly solar lanterns and humorous brass corkscrew. Our beautiful blonde and her study buddies can gather around the farm table for late night conversation over a couple bottles of organic wine.

her look is from Nordstrom

1. Solar Birdhouse from oooms
2. Stackable Acrylic Wine Glasses from Crate & Barrel
3. Brass Muse Bottle Opener from Jonathan Adler
4. Farm Table from Seabrook Classics
5. Surya Rain Area Rug from Rug Studio
6. Soji Solar Lantern from SFMOMA
7. Hot Mesh Chair from Blu Dot
8. Rope Ice Bucket from Haus Interior
9. Cross Dye Napkin Set from West Elm

Monday, August 20, 2012


Happy Monday friends, today I bring you another collection of affordable art. Yesterday was a little wet and dreary in Atlanta, so you may see that reflected in this moody and cool selection. In my opinion, each piece stands alone eloquently but together they create a little blue family of unique and affordable art.
1. Bourgeois 21 by Louise Bourgeois from Artriver: $49.00 for an 11 1/2" x 16" on Book Page

2. Here It Comes by Galaxy Eyes from Society6: $39.00 scooped profile framed 12"x12" ultra smooth cotton rag, limited edition

3. Silence Series of Causeway Bay in Hong Kong by Lam Pok Yin from Etsy: $45.00 12"x15" on 310 fine art paper in a matte finish

4. Francesco Clemente #1 by Francesco Clemente from Artriver: $49.00 11 1/2"x9" Book Plate

5. Choose Your Own Adventure by Joel Robison from Etsy: $25.00 8"x8" original printed on high quality resin-coated, silver-halide color archival paper.

6. Sleeping Couple by Clare Elsaesser from Etsy:  13"x19" print of an original oil painting made with archival pigment inks on fine art cotton rag.

7. The Dance by Elle Moss from Society6: $85.00 13"x13" Limited Edition 1-1/2" stretched canvas.

Friday, August 17, 2012


After my post on De Intuïtiefabriek's handcrafted furniture, I went on a big copper hunt. The material is so beautiful; it adds a romantic warmth to stark contemporary spaces and if you allow it to oxidies and patina it will add an old world charm to a traditional space. It looks great in a cool setting, like below in the photo number 5. There are a couple brand new products on this color board below. The Etch Shade by Tom Dixon is one of my favorites; I recently used it in gold at a nightclub and the price is untouchable for the quality and design. Dixon just released this beautiful copper version and I can't wait to see it in person. Another new item is the Real Good Chair from Blu Dot. This laser-cut chair has been around for a while in colorful powder coated steel. The copper plated option is new and I'm sure it ages to a beautiful patina finish over time.

1. Sherman Residence via Dwell
2.Void Light Mini and Etch Shade in Copper by Tom Dixon
3. Grid Cylindrical Vase by Jaime Hayon for Gaia & Gino
4. Copper Mirror by Michael Anastassiades
5. Beautiful bedroom with copper accents pinned by Erin Lepperd
6. Copper Real Good Chair from Blu Dot
7. Brushed Copper Standing Mixer by Kitchenaid

Below is a copper bar top I commissioned for Escorpion Tequila Bar and Cantina, check out the chemical finish that will continue to change and age with time. Part of the bar was already built in the space with a traditional pub edge, so to get this look we inlayed a sheet of copper.

A small piece of advice I like to give to my clients is; don't be afraid to mix and match metals. If you like some of these copper pieces but your accessories are all brushed steel, get in deep with a variety of metals. In interiors or fashion I like mixing metals; if you consciously mix metallics then you don't have to stress out about your door hardware matching every last piece of metal in the room. Throw on a rose gold, a silver and a gold bangle and you have the freedom to use whatever other jewelry or shoes you please. See what I'm talking about below.


Designer's Portfolio HGTV

Inspired Design


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Industrial and Furniture Designer, Charlotte Lancelot's most recent work for Gan Rugs and Gandia Blascos outdoor furniture was featured at this summers The Oporto Show. The young and talented designer is from Brussels and began her career by working for architect/designer Alain Berteau for a couple years before going out on her own. The awards and press under her belt at the age of 32 are pretty freaking impressive! She aspires to improve the living conditions around her with her work. Her philosophy is described best on her website and seen below: 

Convinced that objects can change the world, Charlotte Lancelot tackles all their dimensions. Starting from observation and study of functions, she draws attention to the emotional well-being that they procure and the new lifestyles that they suggest. It is with subtlety and refinement that she develops her products, making them clever and poetic in her absolute commitment to meeting our requirements. 
Aware that objects are a matter of desire and that we only acquire them because they speak to us and about us, Charlotte Lancelot devises creative and playful concepts around the theme of durable development, which is one of the main lines of her research.

Lancelot's work that was featured in the The 2012 Oporto Show was an extension of her Embroidery Rug Line. The exclusive collection for Gan includes; Canevas Rugs, Canevas Modular Pouff, Canevas Soft Puf and Canevas Cushion. Each one is personally constructed by Lancelot and she chooses the materials felt and wood because she can use factory scraps for her knit-work tecnique.

This patterned rug below is by far my favorite piece!

Here are a few other noteworthy products by Charlotte. The Orchid Collection is a line of tableware place mats and coasters, made out of polypropylene. The organic, lacy floral pattern gives the host an opportunity to be creative set up their table. It would be great for adding interest under serving pieces on a buffet table or for any shape dining table. I have a small round dining table that looks terrible with square or rectangle place mats, I bet this set up would look great :)

Format 10/10 is a wall-covering made of felt and Kvadrat fabrics. It's decorative, sound absorbent and can work as a tack board. A product like this is very valuable in opens spaces like lofts or giant offices. 

I like the idea of Felt Floor as an alternative to traditional square carpet tiles. The rectangle shape would offer a variety of patterns and synthetic wool is durable and helpful for sound control.

Conical Chair is made out of plywwod and foam. The curved wood frame is stackable and the opening in the back is an attractive carrying handle.

Popup is a light-weight wool wrapped foam ottoman when closed up and a lounge chair when it's opened. I think this is a great design for extra seating in a tight living space.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I'm currently working on a project where I am designing a built-in bench for an office break-room. While looking up construction details and inspiration online, I came across tons of killer breakfast nooks with built-in benches, banquettes and booths. What's the difference? A bench is not upholstered, it may have pillows or a detached cushion but the actual furniture piece is made out of wood or metal and in most cases it's not fixed into place. A banquette is long built-in seating, most commonly against a wall. For dining; tables and chairs are pushed against a banquette. A booth can be U-shaped, double-sided and at the end of a row you can find a one-sided piece. In restaurants you typically see banquettes and booths with a back height similar to a sofa but in night clubs they can reach as high as the ceiling or as low as an arm rest.
I love seeing built-ins like these in residential design! There are endless options in making a built-in breakfast nook custom to your taste; starting with the base (exotic woods, trim work to match the room, built-in storage, completely upholstered) and finishing with the details (tufted, channel back, no back, pillows). It's a great opportunity to save space and show some personality. Check out the range in style in these built-ins below.
1. Palmer Weiss Interior Design  2. Better Home and Gardens  3. Better Home and Gardens

1. Amy Bergman and Linda MacArthur  2. Jill Johnson via Elements of Style  3. Harry Braswell Inc via House of Turquoise

1. Hustler of Culture  2.Marmol Radziner via Remodelista  3. Bloom House by Gregg Lynn

1. Better Home and Gardens  2. Pinterest via Shirly Nudelman  3. Mix and Chic

Monday, August 13, 2012


Earlier this year Google released a huge collection of free web fonts; they are super easy to look through and collect. You can download your collection of favorites directly to a website or you can save them on your computer. I just learned about Google Web Fonts recently and blew a better part of an hour looking through the growing list. For now, I downloaded my collection to my hard-drive and then drag them to my Mac FontBook to play with. If you use blogger and you would like to try some out, you can also find some of them in your Template Designer, under advance settings. For any other website use, google search for specific instructions on how to add them to your site. Below are a few of my favorites..
Google web fonts

Friday, August 10, 2012


I'm feeling a little funky this morning! I've been cooped up inside all week and I am ready for the weekend. And so, today's color board is inspired by my $8.00 Old Navy flip-flops. Typically, I'm stomping around in heels but this summer I've found myself rocking these neon yellow flips with almost any outfit. I don't really own any yellow clothes but these shoes surprisingly look great with a lot of the items I do own and hello- $8.00!

I have to say, I think my favorite item on this color board is the super flashy trash can. It's not only good looking, it's also pretty smart; hover your hand above the lid and it opens. Everyone needs to put their trash somewhere, why not use this opportunity to add some personality to your space. Also, the Boomie's pillow is on sale currently.

1. Blissliving Home "Empire" Decorative Pillow from Bloomingdale's  2. Barbara Stool by RAD  3. Color Pop Juice Glass from Anthropologie  4. Go-cart Yellow Rolling Table from CB2  5. Sense Touch-free Bin from Made.com  6. Clear and Yellow Highlighter Necklace from T+ J Designs  7. Barn door in Spring Moss (3007-3A by Valspar) from Southern Living

Once I got started on this sunny yellow board I noticed the color in a couple other objects around my house.

On the left is David's flashy dry cleaning bag and on the right is a Home Goods mirror that I painted with My Color: inspired by Pantone Paint in Dandelion (13-0758). You may have seen it in the My Paint + My Mirror post,

Thursday, August 9, 2012


As an Interior Designer, a large part of my job is shopping around town and online for my clients. I'm not going to pretend that while I walk through my favorite boutiques or check inventory online, that I don't drift into "oh, I want that" mode. Today I share some things I've seen recently that I'm a little bit obsessed with. 

A. Right Angles Scarf from Anthropologie
This scarf reminds me of a Color window you would find on InDesign or Photoshop. The cheery array of colors make this silk scarf the perfect accessory for an outfit in any color.

B. Vintage Moon Globe 
This 1969 Rand McNally Globe is available at Vintage Cals Etsy Shop. I have a globe addiction and I love it when Moon Globes pop up at vintage shops.

C. Signature Spade Earbuds from Kate Spade
Kate Spade just released these super cute earbuds, a great accessory for your iPod or phone. They are available now for pre-order and they will be in stores on August 14th.

D. Wood Glass Canisters from Merchant No. 4
I am always attracted to little organization containers. These wood and glass canisters would be a perfect solution in any room; for office supplies, bath products, cooking ingredients and so on.

E. Sperry Top-Siders for J. Crew 
The New Englander in me is giddy for these bubble gum pink Sperry's! Check out the other summer colors made just for J. Crew.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I stumbled across the company Woodcut Maps on Fresh Home. They create one of a kind laser-cut wood maps out of a variety of hardwoods like; Ebony, Mahogany, Zebrawood and Wenge. The way it works is, you pick your spot on their easy to use interactive map, then pick the size you want and your woods. They have some recommended wood combos available or you can customize which wood you want for land, water, landmarks and roads. After you've finalized everything and placed your order, they laser cut the design into wood veneer and hand assemble the pieces. The process takes a couple weeks from start to finish, then your map is delivered ready to mount! I think this is a really unique way to capture a memory like; your favorite vacation spot, your hometown, where you went to college or your wedding location- really the list is endless. 

Above here is the interactive map, size/shape options, some recommended wood combinations and the last bar is the customizable wood options. I tried out a few maps myself, the one right below is of my home town Old Saybrook, CT (in honor of my upcoming reunion this weekend) and below that one is the Westside District in Atlanta. Try making your own map here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I posted about the furniture company De Intuitiefabriek last week. I especially love their Curio Table, as seen below. The layers of smoked glass create such a beautiful effect, that it sent me on a search for more smoked glass. I really like the rich, milky look of the material; it's neutral and very sophisticated. Check out what I gathered below the Curio Table. 

Curio Table

1. Curio Table by De Intuitiefavriek
2. Set of 3 Hanging Lights from Gallery L7
3. Clark Dining Table by Minotti
4. Fruit Bowl by Rogier Martens
5. Stone Stool from Kartell- $258.00
6. LED Desk Lamp No. 70775 by Kichler at Lumens- $158.00
7. 6 French Vereco Stacking Cups from Frenchdip- $42.00

Monday, August 6, 2012


Happy Monday everyone! Please enjoy another collection of art, each for under $100.00. When buying art for your home don't limit yourself based on the decor and color in your space. Having artwork that matches your design can make a room look pulled together and cohesive but it doesn't alway have to match your scheme. Art should speak to you on a personal level; your collection should be unique to you. Walls full of art that relates to you can be powerful and cultural; don't be afraid of a abstract painting if you live in an Antebellum style home and be proud to hang a classic impressionism painting in an ultra-modern penthouse. Good art is in the eye of the beholder and a good collection of art should be a representation of you. 

1. NY. 11. #12 by Jennifer Sanchez- $60.00 for a 14" x 11" limited edition print
Jennifer Sanchez one of my favorite contemporary artist. She's based out of New York and her work is typically colorful, optimistic and reminiscent of urban street art. NY. 11 #12 is much darker then most paintings by Sanchez and I think it would look great as a print. There are only 25 left of the limited-edition, signed and numbered prints from 20x200.

2. Abyss of the Disheartened : IV by Heather Landis- $35.00 for a 10" x 7" limited edition
This seriers of underwater photography is sweet and eerie at the same time. The photo above is printed on ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, archival paper. Check out the rest of the series here.

3. Set of Butterfly Photographs by Irene Suchocki- $30.00 for a set of four 5" x 5" original photographs
I mentioned one of Irene's photos last week but I couldn't resist showing another one this week (very different from the last). This set of 4 archival quality photographs can be hung together, separate, in a row or in the square formation shown above. I love small series like this, so pretty.

4. Desert Collage by Michelle Tavares- $13.00 for an 8" x 10" signed print
This piece was originally a collaged photograph, it has been reproduced and printed on a heavyweight, satin photo paper. Georgia based artist, Michelle Tavares, does a lot of unique work with photographs and watercolors.

5. Collared Aracari by Todd R. Forsgren- $60.00 for a 14" x 11"
The Washington D.C. based photographer is very interested in ecology, the environment and natural history. He photographs birds as they are briefly caught in a net, the result is a vulnerable and delicate composition, the net almost looks like a line drawing in the background.

Here are some examples of artwork that look amazing in a room even though they don't "match" the style of the decor. One thing these rooms have in common is that the artwork tells a story about it's buyer.



epitome of chic


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As a lover of all things creative, I've created this blog to inspire and admire crazy good design. I own Kayte Designs, a small interior design firm with a focus in Hospitality, Residential and Office Design. We are based out of Atlanta, GA.