Designers Discourse - Kate Maloney Interior Design, Cambridge MA

Kate Maloney’s goal is to design rooms that are as beautiful to look at as they are comfortable to live in. 

“At the end of the day, my passion is creating spaces that people can love to live in,” said Maloney, owner of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Kate Maloney Interior Design.

A designer for 12 years and a business owner for 10, Maloney combines antique and modern pieces to create her designs. She’s known for blending color and texture to enhance a space, and she enjoys giving new life to found objects.

Learn more about Maloney’s style, favorite projects and her approach to trends in this latest installment of Designer Discourse.

Q: What inspired you to become a designer?

A: I have always loved all things color and fabric. Actually, when I first learned about the world of interior design, I couldn’t believe that someone would actually pay me to make their selections. Once I realized that was an option I dove right in and started to help people with their spaces. I learned very quickly that there’s a lot more to it than just making selections of fabrics and furnishings.

Q: Do you have a specific "look" or style, or does that depend on the client?

A: It definitely depends on the client or the project itself. I am by nature more of an electric designer, so I like a lot of different styles. If someone wants a little more traditional, I can pump up the traditional. If somebody wants a little more classic and tailored, I can punch that up a little more. I can play with the formula based on what they’re looking for.


Q: Do you have a favorite room of the home to decorate? 

 A: I really love family rooms. I feel like that’s where a lot of my clients spend most of their time. I take into consideration all of the family members, creating a little bit of a space for everyone, whether it’s for toys, reading the paper, watching movies or playing video games. You learn the most about your client when you talk about the family room, and I get the most enjoyment out of that.

Q: How is your own home decorated?

A: My husband and I just bought a house and we completely gutted it, so we’re starting from the ground up - or the walls in, I should say. So it’s been interesting to have make selections for myself. It’s really much harder.

My clients always say my style is Bohemian preppy. So that’s kind of what I think the house will end up being.

Q: Tell me about one of your favorite projects.

A: It’s always the second house I do for a client. The trust level is already there. You already know their style and their aesthetic and lifestyle, so you can really push the envelope for them, and everyone is excited for that. They take a few more risks with us and everybody’s working together to get the best final product.

I did a home in Lake Sunapee that was actually a second home for a family in Wellesley. It was really a fun process because they were willing to take the leap. That was one of my favorites, for sure.

Q: What's your opinion on trends - follow them closely or stick to more classic and timeless styles?

A: I really try not to be a trendy designer. Once something really hits the mainstream I avoid it at all costs. I think that clients are coming to me for something they don’t see every day. They can find the trends on their own, so we like to push past that and give something that is unique and interesting and now, but also something we can imagine being timeless. I might throw an ikat pillow on a sofa - ikat is big right now - but that’s something they can swap out. I wouldn’t necessarily do an ikat chair or sofa.

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