Today I am so excited to introduce to you Kathleen from Kathleen DiPaolo Designs. I met Kathleen through Tobi Fairely’s Designer MBA. Can I just say that I have met some really amazing & talented designers through Tobi’s program! If you have been thinking of signing up for one of her events- I HIGHLY recommend it!
Anyway back to the incredibly talented Kathleen!! You are going to swoon over these spaces she has designed!
Now lets get to know a little more about Kathleen…….
When did you know that Interior Design was your passion?
I think I new something was brewing when I asked for an antique secretary for my 10th birthday! Ha! I would say that I didn’t know that Interior Design specifically was my passion until about 7 years ago. I have an Art History and Italian Studies undergrad degree and thought I was going to study art all day! My first “real” job was at an art gallery and then I moved to DC to work at the National Gallery of Art. I knew I needed more business education, so I went back to school and got my MBA. After graduating, I worked for the Walt Disney Stores managing their art and collectibles business. I had just gotten married and we bought our first home. That started me in another direction! I got my Real Estate Broker’s license and started buying houses, fixing them up and selling them. 300 properties later, I started designing the interiors. Then, I had my Aha! Moment. Why not combine everything!! I am a Property Solver! When I meet with clients, I want to know the value of the home in the area (my Broker’s license), so I can design their interiors (interior design) to maximize their return on investment (MBA!) It is the puzzle that I try to solve every time I meet with a new client.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My favorite source of inspiration is travel!! I grew up traveling to crazy places and I always bring home a piece of another culture. I think I was about 8 when I went to China, Japan and Hong Kong and haven’t stopped since. Next stop? Morocco in April with my daughter, Posy who is 11. Her two older brothers are busy, so why not divide and conquer?
What is your favorite book/magazine on design? How about your favorite site?
I love them ALL! I find inspiration in so many books and magazines. I am looking up and reading titles. Barbara Barry’s Around Beauty has a ton of sticky notes flying out of it, as does Alexa Hampton’s awesome book, The Language of Interior Design. Alexa’s book has such great instruction! As for sites, this may sound funny, but I love the Wall Street Journal! I live for my Friday journal and read the entire Mansion section on my iPad so I can view the great images.
What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as designer? The most rewarding one?
I will start with rewarding. I love the comments that happen after my clients have been in the space a while. I just got one that said, “Everyone is gone and I’m drinking a glass of red wine, smiling at my ‘new’ home!” As for frustrating, I am impatient with people/vendors who promise something and don’t deliver. I can work with any answer a vendor gives me, but please, don’t change the answer over and over. I communicate with my clients based on their answers and I don’t like to mess with my clients.
What decorating techniques/ideas/projects would you recommend to a homeowner who wants a quick update to their space?
Declutter! Take a day and take every accessory and tchotchke out of the room. Then go to sleep. Wake up and walk in the room with a new perspective. Peer at your tchotchkes again and select only a few to put back- in different locations. Make sure they are things that bring you great memories. Don’t include something that you feel you “must” bring in because it is Auntie Jo’s favorite thing. Your room will be filled with YOUR personality and become a happy room filled with memories. Always leave some space. Then, you will be inspired to go on a trip and bring something back to add in to the mix!
What is something you should never skimp on when decorating your home?
Never skimp on the finishing touches- the drapery, the accessories, the pillows and the art. Those items turn a house into a home.
What is your favorite color combination lately?
I just specified black, gold, silver and green for a project. Sounds gross, but it is soooooo gorgeous!
What is your most cherished possession?
My most cherished possessions are antique furniture that has been handed down from my family. Every time I sit in or look at the furniture, I think of my family.
What would my dream project be?
My dream project would be to build a new home for my family!
Thank you so much Kathleen for joining us! and if you would like to see more of Kathleen’s work visit her portfolio here and her blog. and follow her on Instagram for sneak peeks at her projects! She is the queen of finding amazing stone and tile!!