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Meet Katja Lauterbach of Duett Design in Dunwoody

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katja Lauterbach.

Katja, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I always liked design and being creative but I wasn’t aware of all my options after school.

It was a very interesting time just after the Berlin Wall came down. My friends and myself have been without a clear plan for the future. So I went to Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany) and got a Master in Business Administration, thinking that I can always earn money with a business degree. After some years in the corporate world, a move to a different continent (America), 2 kids and a Bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering I decided it is time for my own “American Dream”! I quit my job and went to Design school, following my passion. Duett Design, a boutique Interior Design Firm was born in April 2013. At that time the Duett was an Architect (friend of mine) and myself … our ways parted last year. Duett Design is still about doing things together and I see my customers and myself as the Duett, creating spaces (interior and exterior) that are beautiful as well as functional making living and lifestyle dreams a reality.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not a smooth road at all … but I call it challenges and it would be boring without them!

The biggest challenge in my professional life so far has been the buyout of my business partner. Many steps had to be taken to formalize the exit. It was tough and emotional, definitely not what I had envisioned for our business. But we made it thru and Duett Design is blooming giving me the chance to even further live MY dream without the need to compromise.

Another challenge always was and will be the language (English is not my mother tongue) as well as cultural differences. I am learning something every day.

The biggest personal challenge has been the fell of the Berlin Wall. Being born and raised in East Berlin I had to learn to live in a totally different society. Nobody was there to help and guide me since my family had no idea either. But this event has also brought so many opportunities, I would not be here without it and I am proud I was able to use these options to the fullest!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Duett Design story. Tell us more about the business.
Duett Design is a boutique Interior Design Firm located in Atlanta, GA. Duett Design is about Collaboration – doing things together. We are involved in residential and light commercial Interior Design projects thru out the South and Europe.

We are also working on a chair for the hospitality industry, bringing innovation to a timeless design. This project is in cooperation with Signature Piecez a local artist with a great vision. Our chair will hold any handbag in place and is called “The Notch”.

My style is modern with a European touch! My designs are inspired by my travels and clearly communicate a global view. I bring a different vision to the traditional southern home.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Our industry is always in high demand. Everybody wants to have a nice home. I do not think that will change. Change does and further will occur on the technology site. We are using tools that make visualizations much easier and quicker. I hope for more user-friendly tools for my daily work. I also think that this will further push e-design, helping us to expand in geographical areas, which were unavailable before. There are just no boundaries anymore, which is great!

I also think that materials used in a home will change in the next years. There are so many different things available and our natural reassures are limited already. It will be interesting to see what people come up with. I cannot wait for new inventions … recycling and reusing of old pieces are already a big trend and promote a more sustainable lifestyle.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Katja Lauterbach, Tara Carter Photography

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