Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Duffy.
Hi Kate, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always loved design, as far back as I can remember. In fact, this kind of ties into the name of my Design Business Sicily & Main Interiors. Growing up, I would spend summers in upstate NY in a small village called East Aurora. Both sides of my family lived there, and so I spent my days walking from one Grandmother’s house to the other. My Sicilian Grandmother had an old house inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement that swept the village in 1895 at its founding by Elbert Hubbard. Her home was filled with antiques and collectibles that had a deep history with her Italian roots. My other Grandmothers house was over 100 years old and were a huge white house that sat on Main Street. It had numerous levels and these beautiful old wood floors and banisters. She had filled the foyer with this kitchy green velvet flower wallpaper that I have to admit was pretty fabulous. I remember getting lost in imagination in both spaces when I visited and I was absolutely in love with the esthetic of each. So later on in my college years, I studied Interior Design and art at Georgia State and graduated with a BFA. A different career path originally steered me away from pursuing design full-time. Then I became a mom pretty young and decided not to work for their early years, though I touched on design sporadically through those years taking on a project here and there. When my youngest went into middle school a little over 3 years ago I decided it was time to pursue this full time and I decided to start my own Design Studio.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This is a hard question to answer 😉 When my kids were young, the obvious struggle was trying to juggle even a small project while also raising 3 kids that were pretty close in age. I struggled to find my sense of identity sometimes during those years, and honestly felt stifled at times creatively because I didn’t have a consistent outlet to pursue my “art”. But looking back, I wouldn’t change the path I took at all and I’m very grateful that I approached those years the way I did.
Since starting my own business, yes, it’s been challenging at times but honestly equally rewarding. The challenges have been starting something on my own completely from scratch, and in that having to figure out the ins and outs of this business because there is SO much to absorb. I’m still learning, every day I continue to learn. Early on, I didn’t have a mentor or a support group to reach out to, so it was a lot of on-the-job training and having to figure things out as I went along. But the on-the-job training is invaluable and I am so grateful for it. I’ve realized along the way that there is likely always an answer or solution to whatever solve I’m pursuing, so I tell myself to take a breath and walk through it. Usually, I come through at the end having grown in my ability and knowledge, making me a better designer than I was when I started.
A few years in I was lucky to come across a very supportive group of Designers, and have created several invaluable friendships as a result. We all support each other and bounce ideas, questions, and thoughts off each other on a regular basis. I am very grateful for my Design Tribe!
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m an Atlanta-based Interior Designer. I specialize in Full-Service Design for clients in the Atlanta and surrounding areas, working on projects that range from Residential to New Builds. I do my best work when I can take a space (or home) and design the interior from top to bottom, meaning I take a blank space and pull together a complete design from the area rug on the floor to the chandelier in the ceiling. I love to push the envelope with my designs, pulling in either a bold color or an artistic or architectural element that will set the space apart. Though I strive to connect with each client’s personal home style and work to create a designed space that specifically speaks to them, my favorite design projects are those that are bold and modern, with a slightly edgy feel. Since Interior projects can often take months to complete, I work to connect with and get to know my clients. I love that these projects connect me with people I otherwise may have not had the opportunity to meet. When a new project comes my way, I walk the client through several exercises that help me really pinpoint the exact look and feel they want to accomplish in their home. My goal is that by the time I present the design, all the research we did at the beginning will allow me to nail the overall look!
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Hmmm, another interesting question. Short answer is that I am naturally an introvert at heart and a homebody. I love going to events and connecting with people, but love being at home in my space more 😉
- Website: sicilyandmain.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sicilyandmaininteriors/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sicilyandmain
Angelica Yim ayphotodesign
Marc Mauldin Marc Mauldin Photography, Inc.