This Trending Hue Has Always Been Katie Rosenfeld’s “Super Color”Words by Morgan Goldberg
Photo by Read McKendree
Katie Rosenfeld’s bread and butter may be traditional design, but one secret keeps all her rooms feeling fresh.
Not one to limit herself to ornate wallpaper and antique furniture, she loves to sneak a few streamlined pieces in with more historical decor. “My style is rooted heavily in tradition, but I like to mix in newer vintage, whether it's Art Deco, mid-century, or even contemporary pieces that create a more modern feel,” Katie reveals.
In her Showroom cart, The Expert dares to blend romantic floral fabrics, wingback chairs, and worn Persian rugs with Scandinavian floor lamps and contemporary art for a “neo-traditional” aesthetic that strikes the perfect balance of old and new. Here, she shares the brands she loves, the pieces that always anchor a space, her favorite color palette, and more.
How I curated my cart
It was very intuitive and natural. I picked a lot of things that I've used before and you can actively see in my portfolio. It’s meant to help people recreate my aesthetic. I love the juxtaposition of contemporary with traditional. I picked really fluffy, traditional fabrics and wallpapers, while the furniture, lighting, and art are a little sleeker.
What makes a room feel cozy
Layers. Layers and layers of stuff. Fabrics, pillows, art, accessories, and throw blankets. I just like to pile it on.
Brands I’m loving right now
I'm a big fan of Schumacher and Lee Jofa because, especially when you're doing larger projects, they have such a humongous selection of fabrics and a price point for everybody. I also really love supporting small businesses. I'm one myself—I'm getting ready to launch my own products—so I was excited to include the lights from Evolve Lighting Co. It's run by a fellow Expert, The Misfit House, and I love her products. They're so beautiful. I also love Lawson-Fenning, a Los Angeles small business that makes really artisanal pieces. I use them a lot and they're really unique.
The pieces that anchor the space
Wallpaper. Given the opportunity, I would wallpaper anything. I like to load as many textiles as I can into a room. The rug is an important element, too, especially when it’s pulled and time-worn and has a pattern that's faded in different places. It makes the room feel like it has character and like everything's not just newly decorated.
My favorite colors to use
I have always loved brown. Brown is my super color. I love earthy tones like lavender, army green, mustard yellow, tea-stained rose. I don't do true primary colors. I like them to be a little bit mud-ified. I like things to look slightly aged, it feels more classic. I love black, too, to give the room a little bit of a pop.
How I mix colors and textures
The older I get, and the more I do this business, the less I want colors and textures to match. In fact, I deliberately don't want them to. It really bothers me if the room feels too matchy. Most clients will only let you push a certain amount, but I love the idea of things being completely thrown together. So that's actually what I try to do.
A no-fail piece that every space needs
A really good ceiling light. It's the jewelry that polishes off a room. And I am not a lover of recessed lights. They're not pleasant to look at. They're not pleasant to have burning down on you. Decorative lighting is so much prettier and more interesting to look at.
What I always buy vintage
Anything that my client lets me buy vintage, I do. Art, objects, baskets, quilts, needlepoint. Anything that can be a layer. I prefer old rugs. In fact, I won't buy a new hand-knotted rug, I only buy old ones. Some people really want everything in their house to be nice and new and perfect. I happen to love things that have some edge and some crust on them, but not everybody does.
The finishing touch that always elevates a room
Definitely art. No room is complete without things on the wall. It's very difficult because these are things that you collect over time at flea markets and galleries. You don't just go out and buy them. But art is a non-negotiable. It has to be on the wall or the room's never going to feel finished.
My go-to recommendation that clients love
The New York Athletic Club Chair from Hollywood at Home. People love that chair. It’s just a very big crowd pleaser. The fact that it's woven and wood, you can put a cushion on it, you can partially upholster it, you can leave it natural. It really adds a lot of texture to the room. The lines are very simple and clean, so you can use it in a traditional or a less traditional setting. It's just extremely versatile.