Nashville-based designer Kate Figler hand-picked our prettiest pillow bundle yet! Keep reading for more on Kate, her style and her custom pillow choice!
First off, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was raised in northeast Connecticut and moved to Nashville in 2019 with my husband and three kids. I grew up in the restaurant business and many of my parents’ customers were interior designers or in the fashion industry in New York City. This exposure to the design world resulted in me being very interested in it from an early age. While I went into teaching out of college, after several back to back moves, I saw how much I enjoyed decorating and renovating homes. I eventually found myself starting my business with a focus on residential interior design, renovations and new construction. I love to blend the charm I grew up around in New England with the traditional elements we see in the South - this combination really resonates with me and motivates me.
How would you describe your style? Where do you find inspiration?
I am a traditionalist at heart but also have an appreciation for the whimsical. While I love antiques and classic pieces I also am drawn to color and pattern and find the tension between the old and the new to be at the center of most of my projects. I incorporate as many beautiful textiles, wallpapers and textures into my designs as my clients are comfortable with and try to really listen to and respect what their goals are for their homes. I am an avid reader and find my collection of design books and old magazines to be incredibly inspirational. I can still remember several of the rooms I saw as a kid reading my mother’s House Beautiful’s and Veranda’s - those designs continue to influence me to this day.
What does your home say about you?
I joke that the inside of my home looks like a bag of Skittles. I think almost every color in the rainbow is in my house somewhere. I just painted all my interior hallways this really soft peachy pink and it makes me so happy! I like to think that my style feels classic and layered but approachable - a houseguest the other day told me that my home feels like summer and I thought that was the nicest compliment. Who doesn’t love summer?!
Walk us through how you styled the pillows! How did you choose which patterns and piping to use?
Blue and lavender are two of my most favorite colors and so I was very excited to pair these two fabrics together. The geometric Ginger works perfectly with the floral Emma and the soft tones in both make them a great match. Brush fringe is a go-to for me when trying to bring texture into a design and the long Emma lumbar felt like the ideal place for it. The velvet contrast piping on the Ginger pillows is another unexpected addition of color and texture to the space.
How do you approach styling with different sizes? What's your rule of thumb for how many pillows go on a sofa or bed?
I typically like to have four pillows on a sofa, and most commonly specify (2) 22x22’s with (2) 20x20’s in front. For king beds, I love (3) larger patterned pillows each around 24x24 with one bolster in front or one long patterned bolster around 16x48 in front of (3) euro pillows in the client’s bedding material. I always like to incorporate special details to the pillows, such as custom trims, turkish corners or flanges to make them feel truly one of a kind.
Do you stick to any design "rules" when mixing and matching patterns and colors?
I start with one pattern that tells the color story for the space and build off of that - this pattern is typically a floral or something with a lot of movement and/or color. I will then add a smaller geometric fabric, like a check or plaid, to counterbalance this movement. From there, we make sure that the trims and other additional design elements pick up on the colors in the room - but we don’t want everything to match perfectly. So for instance, we might go with a slightly darker purple for a pillow’s trim if the main fabric has lavender throughout it. I usually tell clients if the colors work in nature then they will work in your home - I regularly look to the outdoors for inspiration (think sunsets, landscapes, flowers etc.) Some of the most interesting combinations are just beyond our front doors.
One of our mottos is "a little goes a long way". What are a few ways to elevate your living room/bedroom that don't require a full renovation or splurging on new furniture?
Pillows for sure! They are some of my favorite items to design and are often underrated or put on the backburner by clients. Many don’t like how expensive they can be, but I try to remind people that they are often one of the things you remember most about a room when you leave it and so they are worth the money. The pattern they inject into a space can completely change the feel of the room and so they are the perfect accessible design element. We also highly recommend clients leave room in their budgets for colorful lampshades, fun artwork and accessories - they add so much personality to a space and many of these items cost nowhere near what a renovation can run.
Favorite design book?
I find myself going back a lot to Ashely Whittaker’s The Well-Loved House.
Color crush of the moment?
Wallpaper or paint?
Wallpaper all day every day!
Favorite project you’ve worked on?
I love designing cabinetry and am wrapping up a project where we came up with lots of fun custom details throughout the home. In particular, we designed these really cool louvered doors in my client’s mudroom - they are so unique to the space and feel old school in all the right ways.
Love Kate's picks? Shop her pillow bundle here!