Interior Designer Katie Paulsen Knows Her Eras AND How To Make Them Modern

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There are Interior Designers that focus more on couches, end tables, and ottomans and Interior Designers that take a look at each room and reworks the layout including electrical, lighting, and cabinetry.


Katie Paulsen, Interior Designer for Maestri Studio, is the latter. And cabinetry is where she really shines. She loves designing the most beautiful and efficient spaces and never seems to have a shortage of stunning ideas.

She moved here from Kansas years ago and enrolled in the Art Institute of Dallas. After she graduated, she became Eddie Maestri’s intern and was pretty much immediately hired. Back then it was just the two of them, a dining table, and big dreams. Today the firm is responsible for some of the most impressive and highly regarded residential remodels in the city.

One of Paulsen’s favorite projects was a 1930s traditional with and 1960s add on in The Cloisters over by White Rock Lake. She said above everything else she loves period pieces. There are so many details to go off and build on and one of the things Paulsen does so well is merging the style of the era with modern day.

As you flip through the photos for the Benedict Drive Project the thing that leaps out is how sleek and stylish and very, very “of this era” it all looks. Dig a little deeper with the designers and you’ll learn it was all very intentional. The cabinetry, the colors and the accents were all inspired by elements of the original home. The final look? Incredibly cohesive and brilliant.

Paulsen grew up creating cohesive spaces. Her mother was an interior designer and was “always redoing rooms.” She let Paulsen redo her room as well and the little Interior Designer dove right in.

As for what’s trending today, Paulsen said she’s seeing a lot of Art Deco creep in and oust the once UNSHAKABLE Midcentury Modern. She’s also seeing modern farmhouse, Shaker cabinetry and shiplap fade away along with stark whites and all the grays.

Moving in in their place? Softer colors, warm woods, greiges, and “cashmere tones.” Which is about the most incredibly cozy and rich description we’ve ever heard.

Paulsen said in place of shiplap, there’s a “new layered cabinet with a stepped layered front” that she’s been loving. “It really pulls in an Art Deco vibe.” Discovering new ways to bring a look to life and “always thinking of what’s new and never been seen” is one of the things she loves most about her job.

But where does she find inspiration? “Pinterest. All the time.” She follows designers from around the world and particularly loves what’s coming out of Paris, England, and Australia right now. Australia? Yep. Paulsen said they have a good mix of ornate plus modern. And to that we say, say no more.


Nikki Barringer

Nikki Lott Barringer is a licensed real estate agent at Ebby Halliday/Preston-Keller. She’s also a freelance writer that loves interior design and architecture. Though she will never remember if it’s Midcentury or mid-century and honestly, she’s okay with that. Other fun facts: Nikki loves cake for breakfast, shopping online and powerwalking her pants off. She’s also much younger than her hobbies would lead you to believe.

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