In a city like Austin, where the vibe is cool and so are its inhabitants, it takes something special to stand out—which is why the name Katie Kime keeps popping up all over the city. Designer of furniture, fabric, apparel, wallpaper and accessories, purveyor of her eponymous downtown Austin shop (as well as the online version that kicked it all off in 2013) and burgeoning lifestyle maven, Kime has been anointed as a tastemaker to watch.
And she is being watched, most recently at the just-wrapped Austin City Limits (ACL), where her team was brought in by festival promoter C3 to fashion the high-priced Platinum Lounge, ACL’s most premium option for rock-star festival treatment, with her “prints, decor and signature style,” she said. Her takeaway from the festival experience: “All this beauty, art, creativity and hard work surrounding me was inspiring. It was a needed reminder that, ultimately, love, goodness, creativity and beauty are bigger.” (You can check out her impassioned blog post about the experience here.)
Indeed, Kime is ever seeking inspiration for her designs, in an effort to further cement her design philosophy: “Style and substance are not opposing philosophies.” It’s evident in her hot home decor shop in the Austin Market Square neighborhood, a quick jaunt from famed Sixth Street and Whole Foods’ flagship store. And in the limestone-dressed Austin home a few miles from downtown, with walls dressed in queen bees, banana leaves, mums and oysters — all part of Kime’s bold, cheeky, must-have wallpaper print collection.
Kime’s exquisite home competes with her stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, for best showcase of her unique style. And don’t forget about the topless, mint 1975 Ford Bronco in which she tools around town. Yes, this North Carolina transplant has embraced all of her adopted city’s flavor, added her own mix of flirty and quirky and feminine, and turned it into a colorful and energetic, impossibly chic brand that everybody, quite literally, wants a piece of.
As founder and creative director of Katie Kime Inc., Kime has more than 10 design lines offered. And while she has, not surprisingly, a full list of go-to production resources (“amazing local Lucite guys to create custom hardware”) and some fave online resources (“I tend to find most of my rugs online and scour sites like eBay, Etsy, One Kings Lane, Lulu and Georgia”), she’s also curated a collection of Austin haute spots for everything from vintage items and restaurants to the perfect place to grab a little motivation for her next piece. Thankfully, she shared a few of them with us.
Uncommon Objects — 1512 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704
It never ceases to amaze me what they have, from albino peacock taxidermy to milk glass to one-of-a-kind chandeliers. I often find myself trying to find a place in my house for various pieces that I certainly don’t need but sometimes just can’t pass up!
Kick Pleat — 624 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78703
I’m a big fan of their clothing, and their new location — they just moved to a new, larger store — on N. Lamar is amazing.
Jonathan Adler — 1011 W. Fifth St. #130, Austin, TX 78703
I find a lot of light fixtures on Etsy, but I also love what they have here. When I’m in a pinch to find something locally, I can always find something on the floor that I like.
Clark’s Oyster Bar — 1200 W. Sixth St., Austin, TX 78703
When I think about my favorite restaurant, Clark’s Oyster Bar is right up there, especially for lunch meetings. Elizabeth Street Cafe is a close second. For dinner, you just can’t beat Uchi.
The Spa at Four Seasons Austin — 98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, TX 78701
Massage is definitely my favorite guilty pleasure. Kind of like yoga, it can totally reset me and give me time to breathe, relax and process whatever is going on. I frequent the Four Seasons, as well as , as often as possible!
Moody Theater at the W Hotel — 310 W. Willie Nelson Blvd., Austin, TX 78701
My husband and I are both big music fans, so we see a lot of live music. Moody at the W is generally our go-to, because there are so many artists coming through there. And since it’s fairly small, it’s always a great show.
Lady Bird Lake — 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St., Austin, TX 78702
This is definitely my favorite outdoor spot in Austin — especially as it has expanded east. I could spend hours at any given time, walking, listening to music and people watching.
Hotel Saint Cecilia — 112 Academy Drive, Austin, TX 78704
Travel is probably my greatest source of inspiration, but, locally I love to go to Hotel Saint Cecilia and set up shop for a few hours at a time to work. Every detail there is so beautiful and well-thought-out that it’s always inspiring and productive.