Katie Ridder’s singular eye for color, texture, proportion and scale has made her one of America’s most sought-after interior designers.
She is the creative visionary behind exceptional coastal homes from The Hamptons to Pebble Beach, has her own line of wallpapers and fabrics and is one of Ocean Home’s Top 50 Interior Designers of 2017 . She is married to leading architect Peter Pennoyer.
What’s your earliest design memory?
When I was 12 years old, my mother told me I could have free rein over my bedroom, so I decided I wanted Marimekko everything. I sewed all of my bedding, dust ruffles and pillows out of Marimekko fabrics – and my love of design was born.
Where do you find design inspiration?
My husband Peter and I love to travel with our family. Most recently we did a trip to Sweden, which was so inspiring. I brought back so many textiles and antiques that I have been trying to sell to clients! I also love to source new ideas from Instagram. It’s very accessible and easy to find a new idea every day.
What are your go-to essentials for a coastal home?
I like to keep colors simple – but never boring – with watery blues and greens. And I tend to look to interior design elements that never go out of style: wicker, linen, painted floors and teak.
What makes a great coastal home?
A home’s design should always reflect where it is. For instance, a house in Kennebunkport, Maine, might be a bit more rustic than a home in Southampton, N.Y., which could be a little more polished.
And all designers creating coastal homes should opt for practical and durable materials. Delicate silks, velvets and other similar fabrics do not do well with sandy feet and wet bathing suits.
I also like to use indoor/outdoor fabrics and textiles on indoor upholstery to accommodate anything that might happen in a coastal house. The same goes for rugs, where I normally opt for a flat weave to aid in cleaning out sand or dirt, instead of a plush, high pile.
What’s the theme of your latest book?
Peter and I collaborated on A House in the Country, which chronicles the design process behind our home in Millbrook,
N.Y. Although we’ve worked together on various client projects, we had never worked on a project so personal.
The book illustrates the ways in which we blended our distinct design aesthetics to create a warm, comfortable and classic country house for our modern family.
Where are your wallpapers and fabrics available?
To the trade, at Holland & Sherry (hollandandsherry.com); Harbinger in Los Angeles (harbingerla.com) sells our products retail. We also recently came out with a line of tote bags that are available on our website: shop.katieridder.com.
What’s the most important advice you give clients?
Trust your designer, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone!
PHOTOGRAPH BY ERIC PIASECKI, COURTESY OF KATIE RIDDER