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As chief content officer of Domino, Kate Berry knows what it takes to bring spaces to life — quite literally — with a touch of greenery, the perfect finishing touch, or a combination of the two. She has a special knack for seeing gorgeous spaces, envisioning their full potential, and ensuring they’re captured perfectly by the photographer’s lens (as you’ll see below). Read on to learn more about Kate’s distinctive point of view when it comes to design, her special love of plants, and more, and see some of the spectacular spaces that have been featured in Domino. Then, be sure to shop her collection of Chairish favorites to get a taste of her unique personal style.

Photo : © Julien Fernandez / Amandine et Jules

How would you describe your personal design aesthetic? How would you say that impacts your own interiors? 

As an editor, I see and can appreciate every design style. So when it comes down to my own personal style, I’m into it all. My home is very eclectic. I live with a lot of pieces that belonged to my husband’s grandmother, who collected everything from French Art Nouveau and Deco pieces to Danish Mid Century Modern furniture. I’ve layered in some 70’s travertine and burlwood and plants that soften and warm up my home. The plants are the common thread.

In your role as the chief content officer of Domino, you’re responsible for creating and crafting countless shoots of gorgeous interiors. What are some things everyone can do to craft their own beautiful, magazine-worthy (and Instagram-ready) interiors?

The homes and spaces we feature in Domino are all so different and unique in the fact that they are a reflection of the person we are featuring, rather than just a gorgeous space. Mementos people have collected from their travels, pieces passed down from family, or handmade anything are often the lynchpin to making an interior magazine-worthy because it’s what shows one’s personal style. I simply come in and arrange them to flow or have a rhythm in a picture. I try to use as much as I can that’s already in the home, then I edit some things out so others can shine. Lastly, I’ll bring some kitchen accessories, a throw blanket, maybe some pillows to accessorize. And I always bring plants and flowers. I don’t tend to do flower arrangements, but rather more casual cut flowers if the home calls for it. For me, plants and trees really bring a home to life. 

Your home has been featured in Domino… was it a surreal experience opening your doors to your own publication? How did you prepare?

Well my home hasn’t really been featured in Domino in a home tour, per se. We did a Plant Parents story where I talked about my plants, so it was really just a few vignettes of plants in my home. I really didn’t do very much to prepare other than clean up some clutter. We do a lot of shoots at my place so I’m not really precious about the experience. My home is always evolving and I have since moved into another apartment which we’ll be shooting, so stay tuned for lots of little stories and a home tour from that on Domino.

Photo: Douglas Friedman

You’re also known for your gardens and your love of greenery. Any tips on easy plants for beginners? Also, what are some of your favorite plants to decorate with?

I’ve always had homes with great light, where most plants thrive. I love all my plants and I have favorites for different reasons. Some have been with me for a long time and have sentimental value and others are just aesthetically pleasing. For outdoors, I love my Stewartia, all my honeysuckles, fig trees and my pear espalier. As for indoor plants, I am a big fan of Begonias. I have nine different varieties and have a little propagation station in my kitchen so I can share them with my friends. I adore my Velvet Leaf Alocasia and my two show stoppers are my trees — a Bucida Buceras, commonly known as an ornamental Black Olive and my Fiddle Leaf Fig.

What are some of your favorite design trends or styles of the moment? And what do you think is here to stay?

I’m very conflicted with the concept of trends. I feel like everything comes and goes and everyone has their own style, and the way they live and how they choose things should not be dictated by what other people are into or over. I do think it’s helpful to see curations of trends so you can see what’s new or resurfacing. I guess if I were to say what my favorite design trends are at the moment, they are things I’m decorating my new home with. I have a new ivory boucle sofa coming from Hay. Comfortable furniture and cozy materials have been on trend as a result of people staying home because of the pandemic. Even though a lot is opening up, I think that comfort and natural materials are here to stay. Vintage anything and everything is also a trend. With building material prices through the roof and sustainability at the forefront of the conversation, this is obviously more than a trend. There’s so much out there already.

What’s a design trend you wish would go away? 

Sure, I’m bored of seeing things like caning, bentwood, arches, terrazzo when they are all used in the same manner at a trade show, but I love those materials and concepts in spaces and homes. I don’t think any of these trends should go away, but perhaps just not all live together in one space or used repeatedly. But if that’s your jam, that’s cool too. 

Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson

On Chairish & Vintage Shopping

What do you find most compelling about Chairish?

The accessibility to such a wide range of styles and price points. The UX is really good and the process after purchase is clear and easy. And of course, the curation is always fun to receive in emails. 

How does sustainability factor into your design choices and love of vintage?

Like I said in the previous question, sustainability is top of mind for a lot of people. There’s so much already out there and while it’s great to get that brand new thing, I equally love unwrapping that “new to me” thing that has had a life before me. 

Are there any dream vintage/antique “gets” you wish you could have? What’s a dream piece for you?

I’d love to have a secretaire desk. I have a lot of stationery and used to do calligraphy as a side hustle and would love a place for all my writing supplies.

Photo: Martyn Thompson Studio

Some Design Favorites… 

Favorite way to create a statement-making moment in a room:

Add height with trees.

Favorite decorating “cheap thrill:”

A pop of color with solid color pillows

Favorite iconic piece of vintage design:

A Finn Juhl Lounge Chair

Favorite paint color:

Farrow & Ball Calamine

Favorite piece of decor in your home:

An Art Nouveau demilune table and mirror that belonged to my husband’s grandmother

Favorite designer or artist from the past you most often turn to for inspiration:

Donald Judd

Favorite style icon:

Yves Saint Laurent

Design destination every creative should visit at least once:

Milan

Best piece of career advice you’ve ever received:

There is always a solution and you just need to make it happen.

Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson

Some Lifestyle Favorites…

Favorite vacation destination (the next time travel becomes an option):

Everywhere in Italy

Favorite hotel that’s inspired your work while traveling:

My friend Claire is the creative director who designed The Chiltern Firehouse. Every detail inspires me.

Favorite restaurant:

Oh that’s tough to just name one. I love Zuni in San Francisco.

Favorite small museum:

Dia:Beacon

Favorite podcast:

Design Time

Favorite Instagram accounts to follow:

@somewhereIwouldliketolive and @samyoukilis   

Favorite hostess (or thank you) gift:

Anything tabletop

Favorite flower:

That’s a tough one. 

Favorite adult beverage:

A natural light red wine like Gamay.

Favorite way to unwind at home: 

Gardening is the best way for me to unwind.

Favorite entertaining essential:

Pretty drinking glasses

Lead image courtesy of Kate Berry, photographed by Cody Guilfoyle

July 21, 2021

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