DESIGNER Q&A: TAKE FIVE
In the world of design, no two days (or projects) are ever alike. Great designers like CAT FRENCH embrace the pace, the variety and challenge. Cat’s founder and principal designer of Catherine French Designs. She comes to the profession classically trained with an MFA and impressive credentials (Allied Member ASID). It’s her style and method that wows clients – and HPxD. Cat is a student of color theory. Her specifications are bold and brilliant, the basis of beautiful rooms, in concert with expert space planning, furniture specification and accessorization. Based in charming Chapel Hill, Cat is just a short skip, hop and jump from equally charming High Point. We look forward to our next encounter.
#1 THEY SAY EVERYONE HAS A SUPER POWER. WHAT’S YOURS?
“Color! Whether it’s walls, furnishings, or everything from the ground up, creating a color story that is unique to each space is one of my favorite parts of design. I love the way an entire house can transform into a beautiful, cohesive visual flow by using the theory and science behind color. My favorite spaces are ones where we bring in a unique color combination. This is something our clients ask for the most!” CF
#2 HAVE YOU ESTABLISHED ANY HIGH POINT MARKET TRADITIONS?
“I like to hit up IHFC on Friday and do a quick spin to get a feel for some of the new vendors showing, see the trends and to absorb the wonderful excitement and energy that Market always brings. On Mondays it’s “team day.” I bring my full staff and we spend our time in some of the larger showrooms of vendors we source regularly. I find it’s important for even my non-designer team members to get the High Point Market experience – we’re so close and it really gives everyone a chance to connect to our vibrant industry.” CF
#3 IF WE HAD 26 HOURS IN A DAY, HOW WOULD YOU SPEND THE EXTRA TIME?
“Playing with my kiddos! We are an outdoor-loving crowd, and we’d probably go for a family walk through the trails around our neighborhood in Chapel Hill. In the summer, we will turn the sprinkler on and make an obstacle course in the backyard. I also love our rainy-day tradition when we open up all of the paints and get creative with color.” CF
#4 IF BY CHANCE YOU EVER HAVE A CREATIVE BLOCK, HOW DO YOU GET UNSTUCK?
“Something that’s important to me is seeking out opportunities to challenge myself and learn. Attending professional conferences and connecting with both experienced and newer designers are things that always inspire me. There is so much talent in our field, and appreciating and experiencing the work of other artists and entrepreneurs renews my creative drive. Mentorship, teaching, and finding ways to give back are also how I keep the design energy alive and well.” CF
#5 WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB – THE PART THAT KEEPS YOU GOING EVERY DAY?
“I love how every day is different. As an entrepreneur, principal designer, and team leader, my role is dynamic and each day challenges me to grow. Some days I’m on a job site working with a contractor to make sure every detail is planned and executed perfectly. Other days I’m in the studio pulling fabric swatches and building out the color story. Each client project is intentionally unique and novel, and getting to know my clients and figuring out how we can create their dream is what keeps me engaged. And also, my team here in the studio — they are a wonderful group of human beings who have become my second family, and I love seeing their faces and creating beautiful things with them each day.” CF