Kate Davis Shares Her “Fresh Traditional” Design Take

HRES catches up with Kate from her beautiful Southampton home to talk summer style. 

Founded by interior designer Kate Davis, Davis Designs is an independent brand of home décor and personalized gifts, known for quality, great taste, and traditional style.

How would you describe your trademark design style?
I would describe my style as “Fresh Traditional”. I definitely have a penchant for traditional lines, styles and proportions, but I like adding a youthful, fun twist — a pop of color, a modern Ghost chair at a Biedermeier desk in a bedroom for instance

What would you say inspires your designs most?
Travel! I adore traveling and there is no better way to find inspiration. Whether the styles abroad or the colors and atmosphere of different exotic countries, there is so much to be inspired by. During COVID, while travel was impossible, I  turned to social media and the internet a lot. With Instagram and Pinterest there are so many fantastic design sources to follow that product and new work is ubiquitous! I follow all my go-to vendors like Bungalow5, Schumacher, Lee Jofa and Waterworks, and really enjoy seeing what they are highlighting and promoting.

Do you have a favorite room in the home to design?
I LOVE spaces of all sizes, quirky shapes, big and small. I am not a fan of the open plan, which is probably why I am drawn to older homes. I love homes that have a funny corner or a round room or a tiny hallway. I have been known to add walls to spaces I design, in order to create more spaces. 

Share a few of your design tricks / accessories you like to add to a room?
Sure! Children’s artwork in beautiful frames; a mirror goes a long way in opening a room up, reflecting light from windows; a brightly painted ceiling or a bold wallpaper for dining rooms; adding high gloss trim in a fabulous Farrow and Ball color.

What is a common mistake you see new homeowners make?
Most new homeowners think that they need to scrap all their old furniture in order to create a new cohesive design in their new home.  Keep your furniture! I love the challenge  of  refitting pieces into different rooms. I recently designed a home in Maine with a mix of pieces from the client’s mom’s NYC apartment, their Hamptons home, and the furniture which came with the new house. It was a giant puzzle but with re-upholstery and re-appropriating pieces, even painting some old chests and sawing down a few headboards, we made it all work. 

See more of Kate’s elegant home collection of accessories and gifts at DavisDesigns.com or on insta @davisdesigns

Photo: Emily Gilbert