Ever since she fashioned “rooms” in the bamboo forest near her childhood home in Silver Spring, Kate Ballou knew she wanted to be a designer. Her mother, a ceramics artist, encouraged her to take art courses at the Corcoran during high school and build a portfolio. “I was lucky to have that push from home,” she recalls.
Ballou studied textile design at the Rhode Island School of Design before earning an interior design degree at Parsons. After college, she landed prestigious positions at Matthew Baird Architects in New York and, following a move back to DC, Jacobsen Architecture and Robert Shields Interiors. “I couldn’t have asked for better experience,” she reflects. “I learned very quickly what to do and what not to do.”
Since launching her own studio in 2013, Ballou has completed residential projects and is also designing The Avery Georgeton, a boutique luxury inn opening this fall.
Working with Baird and Jacobsen, both minimalists, shaped Ballou’s design process. “I’ve been trained to look at furniture in a very specific way,” she explains. “I like basic forms and that definitely stems from those influences.”
Interior Design: Kate Ballou, Hendrick Interiors, Washington, DC. Photography: Aboudi Kabbani.