About an hour and a half from her office in Little Rock, Katie Rees of Katie Grace Designs took on a challenge to craft bright, sophisticated spaces with the occasional rustic touch that could stand in style on their own, but would also allow the surrounding scenery to take center stage when called for.
We caught up with Rees to talk about the Danville home, her process and a day in the life of a busy interior designer.
About the Danville Project
Was this a new build or remodel, and what were the major goals of the homeowners?
KR: New build. We aimed to blend their tastes that were somewhat different and make it a perfect place to host family and entertain.
What is your favorite room in this home and why?
KR: It’s hard to choose one room of the house. The great room opens to the kitchen and dining room. When you walk in from the entry, you’re immediately captivated by the gorgeous views of the golf course. But if I had to choose one room, it would be the kitchen. Although the view cannot be beat, the kitchen has so much interest and character. You’re struck by the oversized island, the custom-built hood vent and the patterned marble backsplash.
The home has many incredible views. Was that the initial concept?
KR: We helped this client from the start of the project from drafting with the architect to construction and installation of the furniture. We worked with the architect to maximize the beautiful views this house would have.
What do you love most about this home?
KR: The views of our gorgeous state from every room.
All About Katie
How did your interest in interior design start?
KR: I grew up within the industry because of my mom and my aunt. I discovered I had a natural talent for it in my mid-20s after being published for my personal home, and people started asking me for help and offering to pay me. From there it evolved into what it is today.
What was your first design project?
KR: My first paid project was for an acquaintance who had seen some of my work. I helped her do her new daughter’s nursery around 11 years ago.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
KR: What’s great about this career is that every day looks different. Some days consist of several meetings with contractors, builders and clients. Then some days are dedicated to picking out materials, thus lots of driving back and forth to different suppliers. Other days are designated to furnishings and presentations, which require more office time. That’s one reason I love my job. No day ever looks the same.
Where do you go for inspiration when beginning a new project?
KR: It always starts with an in-depth interview with the client to discuss their dreams, wishes and styles. From there we can brainstorm color palettes, textures, materials and looks that speak to that particular client.
What's your favorite part of the design process?
KR: Seeing it all come together for the client!
What do you like most and least about your career?
KR: I most like getting to know my clients. It’s definitely a people job — which I love — making relationships with clients, builders and subcontractors. But since the pandemic, several things have gotten difficult in this industry with lead-times, quality issues and price increases. It’s made it hard to complete projects in a timely manner. Thankfully we have sweet, patient clients that haven’t minded much.
Any special projects for the future?
KR: We have a lot going on right now with smaller updates and with new construction. Five new constructions in Arkansas and a few in Florida, and they’re all super exciting.
If someone wants to work with you, how should they prepare when reaching out?
KR: There’s a questionnaire on my website that asks the questions I need to get a good feel for the project and needs a person has. The quickest way to start is to head to the website and answer those questions that come directly to me!
Keep up with Katie's design adventures on Instagram.
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