She left Wall Street to create whimsical East Coast abodes.
By Brooke Showell
1 of 5Photo: Kristina Young
The Free Spirit
Injecting upbeat Floridian influence into traditional New England homes, interior designer Katie Rosenfeld’s work radiates a cheerful disposition in a pop of chinoiserie on a pillow, spirited seashell wallpaper in a bath, or pretty turquoise benches at the foot of a cushy bed.
“I grew up in Florida, so I come from a warm-weather point of view,” she says of the oceanfront shingled houses and Cape Cod remodels near her Boston base that she infuses with pattern and pep. “I like rooms to feel naturally coastal, but not themey.”
2 of 5Photo: Michael J. Lee
The Free Spirit (cont.)
Her background is just as unorthodox as her approach. After a brief Wall Street career, the philosophy/art history major began scouting unsigned artists in New York City, a calling that morphed into her design business.
“The derivative of everything I do is fabric; I start with it before I even measure a room. I’ve always been a little rebellious, and it translates into my work. It’s important to have the whole process be fun.”
3 of 5Photo: Michael J. Lee
What’s your favorite part about designing beach houses?
I would have to say that with a second home, most of my clients are less constrained and more willing to take leaps of faith with concept and color. For me, this of course, makes it a lot of fun. I also love the relaxed atmosphere—it’s a venue where things slow down and nothing is taken too seriously, which is perfect for me!
What is one thing that every beach house needs?
Good weather and nice people.
Is there a color combo that you’re currently loving?
Greens and Corals/Melons, Blues and Purples
Left: Rosenfeld's Boston home's media room/guest room sports her grandmother's tole chandelier and Lee Jofa Nirvana Shadow drapes.
4 of 5Photo: Courtesy of Katie Rosenfeld via Instagram
Q&A: Beach Lifestyle
Under the sun or under an umbrella?
Umbrella, but only after exposing myself for about an hour, worrying the whole time, but convincing myself I have enough sunscreen on.
What are you typically reading at the beach?
Trashy Magazines/Tabloids and Listening to Podcasts
What’s your favorite beach vacation memory?
During my childhood, my Mom and Aunt would take myself, my sister and two girl cousins each summer to the Don Cesar Hotel in St. Petersburg, FL, only a few minutes away from where I grew up. The hotel is so old, majestic and such a throw-back—like a Mediterranean palace—and it’s pink! We would eat fried grouper sandwiches and snow cones and literally burn ourselves to a terrifying red crisp. To this day, we still take my girls each Spring, and they call it the Pink Palace. But we no longer lay on tin foil blankets and rub Johnson’s Oil on our skin.
5 of 5Photo: Courtesy of Katie Rosenfeld via Instagram
Trend Watch: Fabric
“I adore all the new indie lines that are cropping up, block-printed and rustic. I will never tire of chinoiserie, though—never!" says Rosenfeld.