Q&A with Kathy Kuo — Interior Designer and CEO of Kathy Kuo Homes
We are excited to kick off our new Designer Spotlight Series at Tempaper, where we sit down and get to know our favorite entrepreneurs and interior designers a bit better by asking them a collection of open-ended questions. In our brand-new Designer Spotlight Series, we’ll be covering a wide range of topics from home life to work life and everything in between!
Today, we would like to introduce you to Kathy Kuo, interior designer, entrepreneur, CEO of Kathy Kuo Homes, and one of our Tempaper dealers! We’ve compiled a list of questions specifically for Kathy to answer, which included asking where she finds her inspiration and if she would reveal her top tips for designing a stylish-yet-productive home office during quarantine.
Kathy was kind enough to provide her answers to our questions below! Read through them, and take a look at some of our peel and stick wallpaper designs at Tempaper!
Read Our Exclusive Q&A Interview With Kathy Kuo
Tempaper: Can you tell us how Kathy Kuo Home came to life?
Kathy Kuo: I started Kathy Kuo Home in the wake of the 2008 recession. At the heart of the business is the spirit of resilience. I was searching for a meaningful next step in my career after the recession had changed my path a bit, and I noticed a huge hole in the market in terms of how people were shopping for furniture. Basically, I realized there weren't a lot of unique options to shop for furniture online and I knew there had to be a better way that was still upscale, rooted in design, and offering high-touch service.
Tempaper: How do you define your design style?
Kathy Kuo: Classic and timeless. I live in a pre-war apartment in NYC by Riverside, which has extremely high ceilings, elaborate tiling, herringbone hardwood floors, and unique fireplaces. My aesthetic has evolved over the years, but I always gravitate towards classic, traditional elements that serve a function without stuffy and inconvenient formality. My current color palette is sage and ecru in my living room — as well as metallic accents and a custom hide-on-hair rug (great for kids and pets!) Then, my dining room is very moody and dramatic and tied together with a glamorous chandelier! So, I do like to mix it up, but the unifying factor is pieces that tell a story and set a mood.
Tempaper: What is your favorite room in your home and why?
Kathy Kuo: I’m in love with the cozy atmosphere in my living room, especially for fall. I have consciously created what I like to call “reading moments” — so the room is just full of spots where you can curl up with a luxurious throw blanket, a good book, and a mug of coffee or tea and really relax.
Tempaper: Who or what inspires you the most? Where do you find your inspiration?
Kathy Kuo: I’m always finding new sources of inspiration! Instagram is the fastest way to fall down a rabbit hole of new architects, landscapes, artists, photographers to follow, books to read, materials, and art I’d like to buy!
Tempaper: Top must-haves for designing a stylish-yet-productive home office?
Kathy Kuo: First, I would invest in a really high-quality desk and desk chair. I recently added a standing desk in one of the rooms, so I have two options to choose from. This is essential to being comfortable, productive, and healthy! Once you’ve taken care of those two larger pieces, I would advise bringing in smaller home office accessories to help you stay organized, such as small storage items or trays that also look great. I have a tray with candles, last-minute makeup for zoom touch-ups, and always a Diptyque jasmine or gardenia candle. Finally, make your home office joyful. On my desk, you’ll find my favorite framed photos of my kids and their artwork surrounds me!
Tempaper: How do you feel Covid and stay-at-home restrictions have affected the way we design and shop for our home?
Kathy Kuo: With everything that’s been upended during the pandemic, I think people are realizing more than ever that home is truly the heart of our lives. I’m seeing people invest more fully in anchor pieces that are going to set the tone for their space. I’m also seeing families prioritize having more space, and more dedicated space for their kids if they have them. Since we’re all spending a lot more time in our homes, it makes sense that certain home decor and improvement projects that may have otherwise fallen to the “someday” column are now in the “priority” column.
Tempaper: What is a favorite removable wallpaper print or use of Tempaper that you’ve seen from your customers and why is it your favorite?
Kathy Kuo: Anyone who knows me knows I love mural wallpaper! I think getting pink right is so hard, but this one is such a great balance of sweet and sophisticated. So wonderful for a little girl’s room.
Get Inspired With Tempaper’s Peel and Stick Wallpaper Designs
We would like to thank Kathy for taking the time to share her detailed answers with us! If you would like to learn more, please visit her website. Additionally, Kathy hosts her own series of interviews on her blog, The Kuotes, where she celebrates and spotlights a variety of female entrepreneurs, founders, and CEOs in the interior design world and beyond.
Are you inspired to begin your own home project using peel and stick wallpaper? Visit Tempaper to browse our colorful prints and patterns and discover just how easy it is to transform your space today with removable wallpaper!