It’s time for another Designer Q & A, and this week we are chatting with the fabulous, charming, talented (I could keep going) Katie Ridder. Katie is one of my favorite designers, and we loved working with her this past year on rug designs for our Designer Rug Collection. I had so much fun putting these questions together for her (Katie, I hope you had fun answering them).
Hope you all enjoy the Q&A!
S4: You and your architect husband, Peter Pennoyer, just designed and built the most incredible home in Millbrook. What was your design inspiration when you began this project together?
KR: Peter has always wanted to design a house simple in shape with lots of ornament and I’ve always wanted to decorate a house using colors I’ve never used before. My only request of him was very tall ceilings and an area attached to the house for a large garden. His only request of me was to decorate as I please and not try to channel him. (His color sense is much more muted than mine.)
S4: If I am not mistaken, I think you have quite the green thumb. Do you like to include houseplants in your interior design schemes? Or do you prefer to bring in fresh flowers from the garden? What are some of your favorites? Sorry for the run-on question!
KR: I requested a large area in front of the south facing window in the dining room to accommodate a marble topped table for plants. I always have cut flowers from my garden or bulbs inside my house. Fragrance is important to me. I love garden roses, peonies,dahlias, daffodils.
S4: I saw some Instagram posts from your most recent trip to Hawaii. I’m dying to visit! Any Hawaii travel tips- favorite beach you visit while there?
KR: I’m from California and we Californians go to Hawaii for vacation. It’s where the Ridders congregate – at my parents house. We go to the big island – to Kona. I’ve never been to any other island. I hear the gardens in Kauai are beautiful. From my parents house we stand up paddle to Kua Bay – beautiful white sandy beach. There is a wonderful inn on a coffee farm in Holualoa called the Holualoa Inn and there is the Four Seasons, Hualalai on the big island. We are next door at Kukio.
S4: On the subject of travel, what’s your dream travel destination at the moment?
KR: India. I want to go with Lisa Fine.
S4: I LOVE your fabric and wallpaper collection. Do you have a favorite design in the collection that you use more often than others in projects?
KR: My two favorites are my two new ones. Turtle Bay and Scraffito.
S4: Do you have any favorite jewelry designers?
KR: James de Givenchy, Mish, JAR, David Webb, Verdura.
S4: Favorite NYC date night restaurant?
KR: La Grenouille for a special occasion.
S4: If you weren’t such a pro at designing your own home, what interior designer would you most like to hire?
KR: Tom, Miles, Jeffrey, Jacques. A combo of all.
S4: What’s your scheming process like for new design projects? Do you tear apart the sample library and throw it all on the table for inspiration? Or are you more methodical and decide on specific color and pattern directions from the start?
KR: I try to think about what will make my client happy. I start there and usually go off on a tangent.
S4: One of my favorite things about you as a designer is watching you work with your design team. I love how everyone’s creativity bounces around in your office and you all seem to help each other make decisions. Interior design can be stressful with tight lead-times and discontinued products. Do you have any advice for how to keep a happy and busy office? You KRI girls just never seem stressed, and it makes working with you such a pleasure.
KR: Well as you know Lizzie, Danielle, Anne, Olga and Nathalie are all pros so they make things pretty easy. It’s important to take ownership and they are all serious so the process works pretty smoothly.
S4: Favorite product in the S4 showroom right now (other than the awesome Ridder Diamond and Gigi rugs)?
KR: My favorite product is one I used for my sons room, the Jaipur wool flat weave carpet. I also love the carpet you are putting in all the Lily Pullitizer stores – In a custom color ground.
S4: If you were a tourist in NYC for a day, what would you do?
KR: As a tourist – There is a macaron making class I want to take by Skillshare. I haven’t been to all the art galleries in Chelsea and the East Village – I would do that, after lunch at ABC Kitchen.
and if you haven’t checked out Katie’s book yet it is soooooo wonderful….