i+D - November/December 2021 - 34

In the Mix - By Diana Mosher
An inspired color palette helps different
design periods and styles to blend beautifully
in this pied-à-terre by Kati Curtis Design.
(Image: Eric Piasecki/OTTO)
Respecting Proportions
During a recent meeting with a new client, Kati Curtis, principal
of her namesake design firm, was asked, " Where do you
start? " According to Curtis-who is known for her rich use
of color-the inspiration for each project usually begins with the
architecture. " Color can connote certain time periods or styles,
but it's really how we use it now that matters, " she explains. Her
work is a layered blend of design periods, East and West Coast
sensibilities, and city and seaside living. Whether super-modern
or English Tudor, the house is the starting point; but, Curtis, who
has a minor in art and architectural history, doesn't ever do true
period decorating. " We mix it up, " she says.
A mid-century piece or small Bergère chair that Curtis might
use on the East Coast is not going to be proportionately
appropriate in an ultramodern LA home overlooking the ocean.
For a client's apartment at 108 Leonard, a luxury Tribeca condo
in the restored McKim Mead & White landmark building in
New York, Curtis painted the ceiling with a patina inspired by
the copper dome on the classical building's exterior. She also
did some Louis XVI chairs in a fun ZAK+FOX monkey fabric to
bring elements of this hip, downtown location into the interiors.
Curtis does not seek out reproductions. She is attracted to
antiques with provenance, especially since they can be fetched
up quite inexpensively at auction now. " I don't think there
should ever be a room that's all the same period, " she says,
" and that includes buying everything new right now. " She
doesn't cringe when a client says, " I have a rug that was my
grandmother's. " In fact, she loves incorporating inherited or
heirloom pieces. The sustainability aspect is an added bonus
for sure. It also helps from a supply chain perspective, and it
adds character and meaning to the project. Curtis says reusing
older pieces really ticks all the boxes in a way purchasing all
new items just can't.
" We're telling the story of the people who live in the homes
that we're designing, and that includes where they love to
travel, " adds Curtis. If clients have a tapestry that they brought
back from Bali or a piece from Japan, she blends that in.
" If you're considerate of proportions, you can mix a lot
of different styles quite successfully, " Curtis says. " One
Moroccan chest can look really great too, by adding a little bit
of edginess, and it isn't too precious or perfect. Sometimes
a room just needs that edgy piece to make it look lived in and
have more soul. "
Kati Curtis (Image: Brittany Ambrigde)
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i+D - November/December 2021

i+D - November/December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i+D - November/December 2021

i+D - November/December 2021 - Cover1
i+D - November/December 2021 - Cover2
i+D - November/December 2021 - 3
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