As the Lifestyle Editor here at Rue, Kat McEachern is an integral part of the site. She scouts the latest trends in art and decor, interviews top designers, keeps us all smiling after a long day at the furniture markets, and so, so much more. A few weeks ago, her colorful Berkeley home appeared on Apartment Therapy. She shares the space with her husband (Ian) and her darling dog (Gracie). We know firsthand that she took her time decorating, and every decision was thoughtful executed. It’s really a beautiful apartment, and we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it! We had a few questions (mostly about that great blue kitchen!!), so Kat told us a bit more about the space:
“We’ve lived here 6 years and I struggled for a while to find the ideal layout,” Kat explained. “We’re lucky to have a good deal of space, but the kitchen was small and the nook next to it can’t fit a table for more than four.” The couple maximized the square footage by transforming the long living room into a combo living/dining space, a solution that made it perfect for entertaining. The layout wasn’t the only thing that changed, however. “The original color palette was much darker with blues, greens, and a few deep red accents,” Kat recalled. “A major reason for the color shift was the vintage rug I found online through Kaya Kilims. I found it at the same time I was searching for the leather couch. I love how the colors work together with the couch’s midcentury feel.”
Instead of matching the sofas, Kat called on accessories for cohesion. She explained, “The tie-dye blanket by Happy French Gang has the caramel colors of the leather couch and both get a mix of indigo and gray pillows. Then the colorful Kristi Kohut pillow ties in the rug and the art.” Speaking of the art, this room houses one of Kat’s famous DIYs. Laughing, she said “The Matisse knockoffs — or to put it more nicely, my homage to the artist — are just crepe paper and Mod-Podge. I knew I wanted a large abstract piece and DIYing it was the best way to get the exact color and tone I wanted.”
Kat is an excellent cook, so the kitchen — which lacks counter space and storage — definitely needed some work to meet her standards. Kat and Ian added function with a kitchen cart, and made a daring decision that really paid off: painting the cart and the wall behind it cobalt blue. On the floor, a RugsUSA rug covers as much as the linoleum as possible.
The couple kept the bedroom fairly simple. “At the end of the bed is a dog bed/floor cushion (from Kaya Kilims), but Gracie always ends up on the bed anyway,” Kat laughed. “White sheets seem ridiculous with a black dog, but a wash with bleach and they are good to go. They add a really needed brightness to this room that doesn’t get much light.”
Across the hall is the office, a space where Kat’s taste in art shines. “There are some great sources for affordable larger art,” she explained. “I’ve combined UGallery prints with friends’ artwork, framed fabric, and a fun dry-erase board in my office. I kept things unified by using mostly simple black frames with a few gold ones.”
We love that the home is really a representation of Kat’s personality. She said that living in California pulled her aesthetic towards an earthier palette, but not totally. “I definitely think my East Coast/Southern roots show through in my love of color, antiques, and glam details.” She continued, “Collaborating with my husband on the space has encouraged me to edit more, both because his style is more minimal and to be sure we’re bringing in pieces that we’re both excited about.”
See all Kat’s sources and more images at Apartment Therapy.