Kate Singer’s home base is Huntington, but her clients’ homes range from Montauk to Manhattan. Maybe it’s because they know a Kate Singer-designed space will be comfortable, practical and livable, all while enhancing their individual tastes. With a style rooted in the traditional and classic, Singer prefers an understated, less-is-more approach to creating rooms that are fresh, up-to-date and suit today’s lifestyles. She has been featured in numerous publications and design books.
Long Island Pulse: Who/what inspired you to become a designer?
Kate Singer: Both my mother and grandmother created beautiful and welcoming homes here on Long Island and in Palm Springs, California. Eileen Kathryn Boyd gave me my first job in this business as a design assistant in her Main Street showroom 14 years ago. I also attended a study program at the KLC School of Design in London and have always been inspired by British design and the work of Nina Campbell, who taught a master class at KLC.
LIP: What inspires you in your own designs?
KS: Wherever I am and whatever I’m doing inspires me. In nature, it’s the beautiful beaches of Long Island, the colors and textures of the sand and sea. In the city, I’m inspired by fashion, the stylish women and couture clothing in shops on Fifth and Madison Avenues. I’m inspired by the arts, in particular, the ballet with the breathtaking scenery and costumes at the Met.
LIP: So, what’s hot right now?
KS: I’m not one to tap into the hottest style or trend of the moment, although I am enjoying the comeback that good Lucite and mirrored furniture has made the past few years. I prefer classic, timeless backdrops with a touch of modern, up-to-date elements.
LIP: What advice do you give clients?
KS: It’s imperative to let your own style and personality shine through in your home. Be involved and don’t be afraid to express your desires and those of your family. If you hire a designer to create a home with little or no input from you, the end result may not be at all what you wanted.
LIP: Tell me about your participation in showhouses? Which ones have you done? Why?
KS: I’ve enjoyed working on six designer showhouses in the past five years from the Orchard Hill Showhouse at Old Westbury Gardens to The Hampton Designer Showhouses in Water Mill and Sagaponack to most recently, the Normandy Manor Showhouse at the Vanderbilt Museum. While the creative process and opportunity to showcase one’s work is fantastic, the philanthropic aspect of these projects is very appealing and important.
LIP: And lastly, people would be surprised to find out that you…?
KS: …were a television writer and producer before becoming a designer. I enjoyed a TV career working on The Phil Donahue Show, Regis and Kathie Lee and producing some advertising for The Cosby Show back in the late 80s and early 90s. Some day, I’d like to merge those two worlds and careers together.
Design Tip: Beauty can be created on any budget. A single stem or small bouquet of flowers, whether in a Tiffany vase or something from the thrift shop, can still evoke a feeling of luxury and beauty.