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Inspiring Conversations with Katie Salove

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Salove.

Hi Katie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Hi! Thanks so much for having me, I’m excited to meet your community! Growing up with a father in real estate, I was constantly surrounded by architects, designers and construction teams. Floorplans were the literature of choice in my childhood home, and from an early age I took interest in how these buildings would transform from a cavernous abyss into a restaurant, hotel or retail space.

As a creative kid, I was enamored with the world of fashion. I loved picking out my clothes in the morning, accessorizing and playing dress-up. When I was seven years old, my parents collaborated with an interior designer while building a new home for our growing family. I vividly remember my mom and dad bestowing a number of fabric samples upon me to choose from for my bedroom – from the wallpaper and drapes to the trim on my canopy bed. It was then that I learned you could marry space planning and “fashion” in the awe-inspiring universe of interior design, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

After graduating with degrees in Interior Architecture, Fine Arts and Art History from George Washington University, I apprenticed under residential designers featured in the AD100 and Elle Decor A list as well as hospitality icon Soho House. The mentorship I received and the experience I gained from these boutique firms gave me the confidence to start my namesake studio in early 2020.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I’ve been tremendously fortunate to have dear friends and family support me from the start, making any obstacles I face feel less daunting. Designing can be deeply personal for home and business owners, so I very much honor the relationships I develop with clients throughout the process. One of the challenges I constantly face actually comes after a project is complete… making time to maintain and nurture the friendships I’ve formed with clients once we’ve moved them into their space, as the built-in time we had from collaborating is no longer available to us.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Katie Salove Design Studio is a full-service interiors firm. I take each project from concept to installation whether it be a ground-up development, renovation, or home furnishing. I offer solutions to a variety of design needs including space planning, technical drawing packages such as interior construction documents and millwork sets, selection of interior/architectural finishes and elements, and procurement of furniture, fabrics, lighting and accessories. The studio also consults on art direction as well as landscaping.

I am equally confident and experienced in designing homes as I am in boutique hotels, restaurants, and retail spaces. I am adept at working with a wide variety of styles; from modern and Italianate to Spanish haciendas and farmhouses.

My priority is understanding my clients’ aesthetic and functional goals so that we can collaborate to create an environment that reflects how they’d like to live. I focus on the relationship between colour, texture, and light while honoring any pre-existing bones to create a layered yet cohesive environment for my clients; curating from antique dealers, furniture galleries and auction houses as well as designing custom furniture and lighting.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
Make friends! Network! The industry is highly referral focused and you never know where a new connection will lead – a mutual friend could become a client or introduce you to a fabulous resource, or you may end up working alongside an old classmate at a future firm.

Be patient with yourself. Give yourself grace when you’re starting out – it takes time to establish a company, find a client base and build a portfolio. Be patient with vendors – they are oftentimes dealing with conditions out of their control. Being rude at a showroom will not get your furniture out of European customs any faster. Be patient with your clients – they’ve hired you to enrich their quality of life. They have the right to take their time in deciding how to spend their money, and they reserve the right to change their mind.

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