Designer Crush: Katie Martinez
As fans of bright, eclectic California spaces, we're naturally drawn to the work of San Francisco–based interior designer Katie Martinez. With an aesthetic that toes the line between classic and modern and feels at once casually comfortable and incredibly sophisticated, Martinez's work displays a beautiful sense of balance—one that we know is incredibly hard to achieve and one that understands the ethos of "a life well lived." Though her name may not sound familiar to you now, we can assure you it will be on the tip of every design lover's tongue in no time. Read on to learn more about this swiftly rising designer and discover why we're totally crushing on her.
San Francisco–based interior designer Katie Martinez is one to watch. Spotlighted by Domino, The Wall Street Journal, Homes & Gardens, Home Beautiful, Lonny, 1stdibs, Curbed, Refinery29, Mother, and more since she launched her design firm just two years ago, she’s taking the design world by storm with her fresh transitional interiors and her tasteful blending of styles.
Martinez’s love for interior design and decorating began when she was a little girl, she says. “My mother’s great friend Diana Hambleton is a decorator; she really nurtured my interest when I was young. In college I briefly contemplated other paths, including architecture, but in the end I think I’ve always known what I wanted to do.”
Prior to launching Katie Martinez Design in 2013, the designer earned her chops working for the likes of noted Bay Area designers Nicole Hollis and Paul Wiseman, as well as The Rockwell Group in New York City. “Once I started to manage and design my own projects and felt confident in my creative and organizational skills, I knew it was time to go off on my own,” she says. “I was also lucky enough to have a few successful and stylish friends who needed my help.”
Interiors that are “elegant and sophisticated, but also comfortable and easy.” Rooms with character that “feel personal and truly reflect their owner.” French modernist design: “I am always inspired by the simplicity and beauty of furniture designed by Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Chapo,” she says. Un-lacquered brass: “I love the warmth brass brings to a space, and un-lacquered brass develops a patina with age, which I think is beautiful.”
Her light, bright spaces; her restrained and thoughtful accessorizing; her balanced mixtures of woods, metals, and textiles; and her succinct use of pattern.
Martinez has her hands full with a mix of residential and commercial projects, including homes in San Francisco, Marin County, and Monterey, as well as a winery in St. Helena.
When she’s not creating stylish interiors, Martinez tells us, she loves to draw and paint, but her biggest “side project,” and what a wonderful endeavor it is, is her beautiful 2-year-old daughter. “She fills up most of my free time these days!” she says.
“Color. I’m gravitating towards bright colors and patterns,” she says. “I’m about to take some risks with color in my own home. I’ll keep you posted!”