What Does Your Home Say About You?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

“Your home is not the place to apply a formula, but a place to truly express who you are.” — Kati Curtis, interior designer

From a pre-war condominium in Boston to a non-granola, eco-friendly Central Park West apartment in NYC, designer Kati Curtis applies her “form follows function” aesthetic to achieve unique, sophisticated designs.

GN: How did you come to develop your style?

Kati: My style has developed as a result of my background in architecture, my travels and my love for all things Eastern. About 12 years ago I became involved in yoga and Eastern studies, and that definitely added a spiritual and exotic sensibility to my work. In coupling that with my architectural training and a strict “form follows function” aesthetic, I find ways to balance restrained modernism with comfortable color and style.

GN: Tell us about the last project you worked on.

Kati: The latest large project we worked on was an entire gut renovation of a pre-war condominium in Boston. The biggest challenge for me was not knowing what we were going to find once we took the walls down. It all turned out fine, and the fact that we had thorough drawings and solid specifications prepared us for any surprises. The most fun was working with a young, creative client who shared my aesthetic and was willing to take risks, be colorful, and mix modern and antique.

Nirmada Interior Rendering

[Image: Nirmada Interior Rendering]

Kati: Another favorite recent project I completed was for a young family on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The core of our business is sustainability, and although the client wasn’t concerned with eco-friendly design upfront, when they got pregnant halfway through the project, everything I’d been preaching to them finally made sense. Although eco-friendly, the design is sophisticated, comfortable and very non-granola!

[Image: Gregory Holm]

Living room

[Image: Gregory Holm]

GN: What advice would you have for homeowners in hiring and managing contractors, whether it be for paint, flooring, handymen or big remodels like custom-made closets?

Kati: Hire a designer! You need a third-party advocate to work on your behalf. Why not have someone who knows what it takes to get things done and manage the process for you? I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a good, complete set of working drawings and an accurate set of specifications. This way, you know what you’re getting from the beginning, eliminating costly surprises and holding the contractor accountable for bringing things in on budget.

GN: What’s your idea of a comfortable home?

Kati: A comfortable home is one that reflects your lifestyle and values, and here in Manhattan provides respite from the busy world outside.

If you have pets, there are ways to design accordingly using durable materials that stand up to wear and tear. If you have young children, it’s not practical to have sharp edges and white upholstery everywhere. Despite  challenges like these, I believe it’s possible to create a sophisticated and appropriate interior that works for your personal way of life.

Most importantly, your interior should reflect who you are and be a sanctuary. Display your child’s art, collections from your travels, your personal photos—as long as it’s done right!

GN: What's your philosophy on creating meaning in the home?

Creating meaning takes time, but a good designer can extrude what’s most important to you and select or design pieces that reflect who you are. We are curators, and it’s our job to determine what is important to you, your family and your lifestyle. Objects from your travels are a great place to start. Art that speaks to you, heirloom-quality carpets and rugs, custom-made furnishings, one-of-a-kind handcrafted objects—all have meaning, cannot be replaced and are truly timeless. Your home is not the place to apply a formula, but a place to truly express who you are.

[Image: Nirmada Interior Rendering]


Ooh love the wallpaper in the first photo! Where is it from?
By Anonymous 2286 days ago

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