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Sunday, January 24, 2010

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Kat Burki, Interior Designer and President and Creative Director of Kat Burki Inc.

Since the beginning of her career, Kat Burki, interior designer, and president and creative director of the lifestyle brand Kat Burki Inc., has been transforming living spaces into beautiful places of sanctuary, elegance, and luxury. Her keen eye for chic furniture pieces, mixed with her unwavering ability to unite all aspects of a room, has proven to be a most successful combination – helping her to create classic and stunning design scenes, while transforming houses into homes. Her philosophy of bringing an updated spirit to traditional décor, along with an emphasis on comfortable elegance, has awed the many interior design clients and peers with whom she has worked. 
Kat Burki’s interest in design and all things beautiful came about at a young age, when she began redecorating her bedroom and drawing floor plans for design schemes she imagined. She grew up in Princeton New Jersey, but lived all over the country, including Manhattan, Scottsdale, St. Louis, and Westport, she drew inspiration from her various environments that always impacted and inspired her. She studied visual arts and painting before her detour to law school where she earned a double major in business and law. However she returned to her passion for design while working on various projects for family members and friends. After receiving an award and publication coverage for her work, along with a bit of soul searching, Kat Burki decided to pursue what she loved most, and made the commitment to interior design. 

Kat Burki began her interior design business in 2002, in Fairfield County, CT. Her reputation for impeccable style and classic vision quickly resonated throughout the county and New York area, garnering her several projects in and around the city. Clients gravitated towards her colorful palettes, use of both antiques and modern pieces in the same room, and precise attention to detail. Soon her work was featured in many design magazines and publications, including The New York Times, House Beautiful, Panache, Traditional Home, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, AtHome, DHome, St. Louis Home, Westport Magazine, Lyn Peterson’s Real Kitchens, and Spectacular Homes of Metro New York. 

We have featured Kat Burki as a brand previously:

As her business grew, Kat Burki found it difficult to find just the right furniture pieces or accessories to complete the look and feel she wanted to achieve. She found it necessary to create her own pieces to match her and her clients’ standards, and developed a network of talented artisans to produce her creations. Her artistic and business backgrounds united, and formed Kat Burki Inc., a lifestyle collection of home furnishings, accessories, and a full body & bath line. The brand also includes the Kat Burki Collection, a self-designed line of fabrics that is currently sold to the trade through seven Stark locations nationally. One of these fabrics, “Notte”, was chosen by Elle Décor and used for the invitation covers and decorations at The Lexus Young Collectors Night at Christie’s in New York, December 2008. 

While Kat Burki spends much of her time designing and creating new products to add to her collection, she is still very much involved in the interior design scene, working on several projects throughout the year, and participating in design events, such as the Hampton Designer Showhouse in 2009. Just recently, Kat Burki was commissioned by internationally known artist Patricia Nix to redesign her Manhattan and Paris apartments.

The melding of Kat Burki’s artistic flare, impeccable taste, and keen sense of high quality has proven to be a winning mix throughout her career, as she receives recognition from anyone who sees her rooms – from design icon Albert Hadley, to Hampton showhouse attendee, Mayor Rudy Giuliani. By bringing together the classic, the chic, and the comfortable, Kat Burki not only creates stunning rooms, but brings happiness and pleasure to those who inhabit them.   We are so pleased to present Kat Burki as our latest Mover and Shaker!  

Peachy Deegan interviewed Kat Burki for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: Did you like to design as a child?  Did you have a dollhouse?

Kat Burki: Yes, I did.  I laughed out loud when I read this question, I just pulled out a bag in our basement and showed my husband, it was filled with all my old dollhouse furniture.  We got a kick out of it, it was Persian rugs, art, etc, not too dissimilar to my current taste, in miniature version of course!

Are you glad you went to law school?  Why or why not?

I am very glad I went to law school.  Although I dreaded my classes towards the end, as I was designing in the meantime, I am very happy to have the knowledge that I gained from it.    

What defines your lifestyle brand in your mind?

Pampering, luxury, with a feminine appeal.

What room of a house do you typically like designing most and why?

The bedroom! You can design the bedroom with emphasis on comfort, elegance and personality and usually where your clients spend most of their time. 

Who was the most interesting client you had and what made them interesting?

I have so many clients that I truly like and admire but interesting, I will have to say Pat Nix.  Maybe because I am currently working with her but really because she is so talented, and she understands everything in an “I’ve already been there” kind of way, that is intriguing. 

What do you do when your client won't take your advice?

I really thought about this question and I think a good designer will make whatever it is the client is adamant about and make it work.  That defines a good designer – your job is to take what the client wants and make it functional and beautiful.  

What do you believe defines a sanctuary?

A space where you can be yourself and never experience a negative thought.  

What are the keys to decor success to balance the opinion of men and women when they merge into one dwelling?

In reality the couple generally will allow rooms to be designated the more feminine retreats like the dressing room, and more masculine rooms like the library or study.  In the rest of the house, the couple generally work this out on their own, for instance a chandelier in the bedroom for the woman but without crystals, to placate the desires on the man.   (Oh Kat we do hope you are reading Chandelier Peachy!)

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?

My husband.  I can’t believe I said that, and won’t let him know (haha) – but, he truly has been the biggest fan of what I do and in some silent behind the scenes way encourages me.       

What are you proudest of and why? My children, they are wonderful people who are caring, polite and loving.  

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?

I like to do some type of motivational work with other designers and/or entrepreneurs who are just starting out to assist them with all the hidden unknowns and all the lessons I had to learn the hard way.    

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
Serendipity3 - I also love the D&D believe it or not.  

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
Loro Piana

What is your favorite drink?


What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?

LaGoulue – I hope they find a new space soon!

What is your favorite Manhattan book?

New York’s 50 best places to take children. 

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Trying to keep up with my husband in heels.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?

Walking down Park Avenue, Madison Ave, 5th Avenue – there is nothing like it.  

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Seeing Lou Reed at CBGB’s in the late 80’s (yes I am sure I was too young to be there!)

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?

Underrated: Soho Art Galleries
Overrated: Carriage rides through the park.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it? 

Peachy's Pantry, I love anything and everything related to gourmet food.
What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 

I’m a huge astrology lover!
How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?

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