Tag Archives: CJ Dellatore

The New Guard: Kati Curtis

At the crossroads of technical prowess & refined taste

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Several weeks ago my young friend Dustin O’Neal brought Kati Curtis of Kati Curtis Design‘s work to my attention.  In ‘The New Guard’ we feature designers who’ve been in business for themselves somewhere around 10 years or less, and whose talent we feel exemplifies the best of interior design today.  Kati certainly fits the bill.

I contacted her last week, and asked her to join me for coffee.  We spent an engaging hour chatting about design (honestly I ended up feeilng like we’ve know each other for decades), about her successful career in contract design, and about how she brings a mastery of mechanical knowledge to her stylish residential interiors.  Here’s an excerpt of our conversation.

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Business & Design: The Compensation Debate

Perspective on changing interior design fee structures

Hourly vs. Commission


In recent years there’s been a notable shift in the way interior design professionals are choosing to be compensated for their work: precipitated by ever-increasing internet access to once guarded trade resources, and the struggling economy.

Many design firms are adopting a fixed fee structure, or an hourly compensation rate for their services, as opposed to what has long been the industry standard of percentage mark-ups on merchandise and services.  I decided to ask one such firm, as well as the interior design industry’s leading legal council, to explain why the shift is advantageous to designers and their clients alike.

I also canvassed residents on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for their opinions.  I think you’ll find what I learned interesting.

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My house, Upstate NY

This is the living room of my cottage upstate, in Claverack NY.

I decorated my house with 76 different fabrics, all shades of green.  The sofa (which I also designed and built) was covered in a wool boucle from Unika Vaev, the plaid pillow fabric is also my design (gros grain ribbon on linen).  Perhaps the best find in the room was the dyed burlap I used for the roman shade, from Rosebrand supplies in NYC, it was $6.00 per yard!