A Conversation with Catherine Lykins
Born and raised in the Colorado Rockies, Catherine has forever had a unique eye and undeniable passion for interior design.
“Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to be an interior designer. In elementary school, I would constantly sketch out and reorganize my bedroom. There was a bedsheet I loved but couldn’t find a comforter to match. My mom, being an incredible seamstress as well as my partner-in-crime, helped me create my own comforter out of the sheet. We based the room’s entire design theme off of that one piece.”
Catherine’s love of design continually grows; from helping her parents remodel their home in high school, to landing her dream, design job after college. Five years and over twenty-four projects later, her timeless take on color and spatial balance breathes new life into her client’s spaces.
Here we get to know Catherine, what inspires her style and how she personalizes her clients’ homes to reflect who they are and what they love.
Can you remember the first space that had an impact on your interior design career?
Parade of Homes in Colorado Springs. I was in middle school and that was it! I had a, “this is me!” moment. When I walked in, the first thing I saw was a sofa covered with pillows. All custom pillows! I noticed the surrounding blue tones in the living room and different themes in the other rooms, but it worked all as one. It was beautiful, cohesive and holistic.
So, is the living room your favorite space to design?
Yes! Well…I have two favorites. I love designing the living room. It’s where you spend so much family time and what I think should be a more vibrant space.
My second favorite is the bedroom; a space that should make you feel refreshed and relaxed. They’re both where you spend the most time, so it’s important that they are very personal; very “you.”
What’s very “you?” What is your style?
My style is very eclectic and monochromatic. I love mixing traditional and modern pieces together, and tend to be drawn towards whites, greys, blacks and textures.
Do you think it’s evolved over time?
Honestly, no. I just gravitate towards things. I’ve always been true to what I like.
What has inspired that?
Growing up as a creative; reading high-end magazines like Luxe and Mountain Living; going to furnishings markets to curate our own retail collection. The markets have an endless variety of furnishings and décor to pick and choose from and we’re getting to see, first-hand, what’s new, what’s trending and what people are progressing towards.
Give us the inside-scoop. Any design trends for 2019?
Deep, forest greens are going to be really popular in mountain homes this year. Mixed metals and brass will continue to trend.
Finish this sentence: Every room needs…
Layered lighting. Overhead and task lighting, floor lamps, table lamps. All best designs have layered and ambient lighting.
What looks do you love right now?
Textured wall art that has dimension. Chunky knit throws. Furry pillows. Anything with texture, I’m all about!
What furniture pieces are you loving?
Nightstands in the bedrooms. Depending on the design; a metal, shagreen or a lacquer finished nightstand is a subtle touch that’s stylish and timeless.
Stylish and timeless. Reminds me of Collective Design Group…
Spot on. It’s been so exciting to see our design team progress while expanding into the retail world. Prior to Collective, I was a designer at a high-end kitchen showroom in Denver. I loved the retail side of design but designing just kitchens wasn’t enough. I wanted the full home experience. Now I have both and couldn’t be happier.
Tell me about your favorite project.
It was a project in Summit Sky Ranch. We had a very personal and understanding designer-client relationship. I still talk to them, too! I’ll come down from my office and walk them around the retail store. They’ll ask, “where can we add this piece in our space?”
How did you create that personalization?
A lot of times it’s just sitting down, talking and encouraging clients to open up. We start by discussing their individual inspiration – material things, places or interests – and build on that.
So that’s how you begin the design process?
Absolutely. We start with a design kick-off meeting where we walk through the floor plans, room by room. We go through pieces that are necessities to get an overall idea of items. We’ll talk about styles and colors; what inspires them most and what doesn’t at all. It’s a constant process of going back and forth, figuring out who they are and how to make the space special.
Any simple starter tips you give clients?
It’s a good idea to stick with neutrals for larger furnishings. That way, as styles and preferences change, it’s easy to update the space with smaller details, like pillows.
What happens if you and your client disagree?
It’s always about the clients. I’m there as an expert and a guide. If they’re feeling uneasy, I’ll reassure them that once the space is complete, the look will be what we envisioned. If it’s a true disagreement, we can always reselect.
Do you try to nudge clients out of their comfort zone?
Always. I help them push their own boundaries while making sure they love what we’re selecting.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on six furnishings and four construction projects. Some of them are in their final stages, some of them are just beginning. I’m picking out fixed finishes for construction and final furnishings for others. I’m getting to touch a little bit of everything.
Do you like beginning or completing a project more?
Completing. My favorite part of design is getting to see it all come together with my clients.