Katie Mueller is as unique as her one-of-a-kind finds that you will find in her showroom. A Scottsdale interior designer filled with great energy and a sense of humor, it’s not a surprise her company, CeTerra Accents & Interiors is sought out by many. We had the chance to talk with Katie about her love for the American Arts and Crafts Movement, antiques, and Spain. Read on and get to know what influences her work.
In our previous interview you mentioned being inspired by historical residences. Is there a specific century you’re drawn to?
My favorite historic time period is the American Arts and Crafts period. I think that was a really ground breaking design style and it was very new, but it was affordable for all people. The American Arts and Crafts Movement promoted the craftsmen, and locally made furniture. It’s one of my favorite time periods to research, study and read about.
Do you know any specific architects that were prominent in that period?
Louis Sullivan was a very prominent architect of this time. Charles Whittlesey, originally from Chicago, has a huge impact on our state. Gustav Stickley wasn’t an architect but he did a lot of furniture design work. There are also people who stemmed from that era like Frank Lloyd Wright.
The ability to travel has widened your view of art and the world. What has been your favorite trip and how does it infiltrate your interior style?
That’s a difficult question because I think everywhere I’ve traveled has influenced me in a different way. I think studying abroad in China has opened my eyes to a way to appreciate more thorough design process because their culture is so meticulous. It’s really taught me that it takes time to perfect your craft and I learned a lot about their culture. It was an eye-opener to see how lucky we are in the U.S. to have all freedoms that we do.
But as far as design styles and infiltrating it into my design…it’s very difficult because in the Southwest we have such a melting pot as to what would be an acceptable style here. One of my more recent trips to Spain has brought to life ideas of using a more Mediterranean style but also very ultra-modern style -they have such a blend.
Found Object Art – CeTerra Accents & InteriorsFound objects and unique accessories help characterize CeTerra. How do you go about finding these one-of-a-kind items that help your designs stand out?
If it’s one-of-a-kind pieces I generally find them at antique shows. I always seem to find handcrafted, upcycled and recycled old pieces that are so unique. I usually purchase them with my showroom in mind so that I can have it displayed there and hopefully someone will love it as much as I do.
You offer art such as photography and artist originals. Where do you find your artists?
I sometimes seek them out and other times I just run into them. For example, some of my ceramic artists I’ve found at local art shows and others come in to see me. It goes both ways.
How does the ceramic artwork blend with your organic contemporary style?
Ceramics blend with my style because it’s handmade and it’s made locally. It’s made with natural clays and fired in a more old-fashion style of making ceramics. I think that blends well with my style in the store.
On your website, you’re quoted as saying “We believe that creative accents can connect us to what’s most important in life.” Can you elaborate on this more?
We want people to feel connected to the items in their house. I don’t want to have anything in a home that people don’t absolutely love or feel connected to in some way. Maybe that connection is knowing the piece of pottery they purchased is made by a local artist. Maybe they’ve met the artist. I really try to connect people with personal stories and backgrounds of the pieces. I think that it connects people and makes the piece more important.
I also like to reuse what people have. So, it’s not like coming in and telling them they have to get rid of all these things. If there are significant pieces in their life and in their house, we always make these things important.
Simply spending some time hearing Katie talk about design style inspires you to have her redesign your living room. With an eye for aesthetic items and a heart for the makeup of the home, she embraces each project with a finesse that is difficult to find. Katie offers her designer’s touch to every piece and it shows.