Kate Lowry on Creativity and Appreciating Good Design

Photo by Gary Pennington
Photo by Nathan Varney
Photo by Nathan Varney

When a family member asked Kate Lowry for help preparing a house for the market, she came up with the idea for a new business. “My wheels started turning,” Lowry says, “and I wondered if this was a service I could provide as my job.” Now, she owns her own business, Kate Lowry Designs, that specializes in staging properties for real estate sales and interior design. She tells MH+D Inside Out why she’s grateful for the people who recognize and support her creative taste.

Q. It seems like you do so many different things. Why is that?

A. Yes, I do, and it’s difficult sometimes to hone in on a few items when you’re creative. It’s very tempting to want to do 50 different things, from designing your own website to actually doing the work that’s bringing in the money. Recently I also started designing fabric and wallpaper, and I found that people really love having something unique.

Q. Why do you think staging is important?

A. People need to walk into a home and visualize it as theirs. There can’t be a list of things to repair. When the home is vacant, I have a whole arsenal of inventory that I rent. When the homeowners are in their house, I work around their lives. I depersonalize the house, meaning I paint over the children’s growth marks on the wall and remove the personal photos. Otherwise, buyers feel like they’re invading someone else’s space. I also want to make it inviting, warm, and accessible, so sometimes that can mean shifting the furniture around a bit to create balance. Sometimes I just pull out some of the excess things that just feel like clutter.

Q. What do you feel like you get out of it, when you help someone successfully stage their home or when you design for someone?

A. Regardless of whether it’s staging or design, I love when the client says, “Wow, I never would have thought of that before.” It makes me happy when people say they couldn’t have done it without me. It’s not like what I’m doing is rocket science, but it comes easily to some people and doesn’t come easily to most, so I’m very grateful for people who appreciate and value what I do.

Q. What difference do your clients see?

A. A place that feels good to them. Sometimes, after I reposition furniture within a house, I watch my clients fall in love all over again with a piece that they already had.