The Design Questionnaire With Katherine Newman
In this edition of Love Happens’ Proust-style Design Questionnaire, join us for a peek inside the creative and inspiring mind of Katherine Newman of the eponymous multi-disciplinary design firm. Based in Toronto, Katherine Newman Design is renowned for its perfect blend of services including architecture, interior design and decorating, landscape design, and construction project management.
Led by two principles, designer Katherine Newman and architect Peter Cebulak, Katherine Newman Design sees no distinction between architecture, interior design, and art. With a unique attention to detail and diverse knowledge of bespoke, the firm’s clients list consists of many repeats and generations. Since 1991, they have completed an impressive number of prestigious residential and commercial projects throughout the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. So it is of course no doubt they are on Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Architects and Designers list!
Read on & be inspired in the Lh Design Questionnaire
with Katherine Newman
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I read an article recently about the value of psychologically rich experiences being defined as “experiences that are out of the ordinary, varied, complex and which can cause a shift in perspective”. To me, happiness is very much tied to experiencing these interesting and perspective changing processes with those close to me. And practicing gratitude for the shared experience
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
From a professional perspective, my greatest achievement is reflected in the fact that the majority of our projects continue to be endeavours shared with the same clients who started working with us close to 30 years ago and their extended families. Our work has never been about design solely for the sake of design but rather we see ourselves as editors helping our clients discover and express their aesthetic preferences within a considered context, addressing both domestic and public functional requirements. In this regard, Brooklyn Point is the sixth and largest project we have done with Extell development to date and we are quite proud of the collaboration.
What profession does your alter ego have?
A constitutional lawyer and scholar. There is nothing more important than the truth.
The project you will never forget.
I do not think I could forget any project as each involves such an invested and intimate process. However, Brooklyn Point certainly stands out as the most ambitious endeavour to date which involved applying the level of detail, complexity, and craftsmanship associated with our single-family residential projects to a high rise residential tower with the expectation that the developer would have both the inclination and capacity to facilitate such a process. Extell did not disappoint.
Your favourite business tool or resource.
My extensive textile Library which is replenished almost daily by very supportive showrooms both in Toronto, New York, and Europe. And our group of artisans who collaborate with our firm exclusively and make almost daily visits. In real terms, we function as a historical guild furthering the development of our craft.
The most timeless design.
The magic of timeless design is achieved by a curated yet imperfect combining of finishes and contents which express exquisite craftsmanship and quality. A combination defined by a host of nuanced elements as opposed to broad strokes.
The biggest design faux pas.
Not considering context.
Your design motto.
Cohesive design involves a multidisciplinary process combining architecture, interior design, interior decorating, landscape architecture, and construction project management. Such a combined approach was historically defined within the single scope of the architect. Our firm follows this comprehensive model.
Our publisher KOKET makes statement décor, if you were to design a room around one KOKET piece, which would it be, and why?
Although I do not design spaces around a single element or piece often a large or several upholstered forms allow for the use of a textile as a colour block element. Koket’s Lux Velvet textile in a variety of colourways would be perfect for such an application.
Love happens when…
Positive human qualities of passion, sorrow, patience, empathy, tolerance, benevolence, knowledge merge into one single meaningful existence.