One of the great things about the Modsy design network is the diverse backgrounds of all our designers. Some are formally trained, some are self-taught, and many had established careers in a totally different industry before making their way into the world of interior design. (Kind of like some of our favorite interior designers outside of the Modsy world!) We want to introduce you to some of our talented designers—let’s get to know the people behind the screens.
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Modsy designer Kat enjoying the view while visiting friends in Indianapolis, IN.
Today, we want to introduce you to Modsy designer Kat McMillion. Kat has always loved design—and not just interior design, but fashion and graphic design as well. So, it makes sense that she ended up in a creative field.
We (virtually) sat down with Kat to hear more about her personal design style, her approach to working with design clients, and the design tips she swears by.
Where are you from? Tell us about your background!
I am originally from West Virginia. I was born and raised and went to college there! I moved to South Carolina right after graduating to be near the beach and have a fresh start somewhere new. I didn’t know a soul when I moved here with my dog, but now I’m engaged, share a beautiful home with my fiancé, and we have a fabulous friend group.
How did you get into the interior design industry?
I have always known I would have a profession in some sort of creative field. I have loved to draw and design ever since I could hold a pencil. I’m very right-brain oriented—and not so much left-brained. Therefore, to be successful, I knew I needed to choose a creative profession. I was interested in interior design, graphic design, and fashion design. I still love and appreciate all of those, but interior design just won my heart over. I love the idea of turning people’s houses into homes.
How did you find yourself at Modsy?
When my previous job closed due to Covid, I looked into online design. I really enjoyed the idea of being able to do what I love from home! I researched a few different companies and found Modsy. I wanted Modsy to be my new home if they’d take me in. (Thankfully they did!)
Last year, we challenged a handful of Modsy designers to create their dream rooms in Modsy 3D. Kat was so inspired, she created three totally different room designs! Check out her designs and see what she has to say about them.
How would you describe the style of your dream rooms?
Dramatic! I love to incorporate multiple patterns and textures in my designs. I want the room’s I design to feel like somewhere anyone wants to be, whether it’s your personal style or not.
Kat’s 1st dream room design with bold and sophistacated neutrals.
You designed 3 looks for this space! Tell us more about that!
Well, I have personally always been really drawn to colors and patterns and eclectic spaces. However, there have been multiple times in my life where I try to convince myself I’m now a neutral person. I get rid of some bold pieces in our home and replace them with neutral pieces. Then I always always end up going back to my roots and reverting back to color. I don’t know why I even want to change it. Ultimately, I just appreciate ALL design, so I want to try out different things.
When asked to design “my dream room,” I originally thought: “Oh let’s do bold, sophisticated neutrals!” Then, once the room was complete, I was like—”okay I love this, however it doesn’t feel like it would be my space. Let’s create another one.”
Kat’s 2nd dream room design featuring a romantic vintage inspired design with cottage core appeal.
Then I brought in a completely different aesthetic with my love of vintage. I live for the romantic elegance it brings, and I feel like I don’t see it enough, so I wanted to create my ultimate vintage lounge. Once again, I appreciated the overall aesthetic when it was complete but thought, “Okay, the idea behind this challenge was to create MY dream room—so let’s pretend I am living here. What would I do?”
Kat’s 3rd dream room design featuring bold colors and an boho eclectic design.
That’s when the boho design came to life. I love dark walls, bold colors, eccentric accents, textures, mixing metallics, gallery walls, and greenery. This design was finally “me.” However, I still loved and appreciated the other two (completely different) styles. I submitted them all and said the boho design is most “me” but I can’t decide which design was the best! So we decided to keep them all!
What inspired you to create these looks?
I guess I have split personalities? Ha! No, I just have a hard time honing in my “favorite” style because I love them all! I can name aspects of all eras of design and all styles that I appreciate, which you can probably see through these different looks.
A detail of one of Kat’s dream room designs featuring some of her favorite furniture and decor items.
What are your 3 favorite pieces or moments in these spaces?
I’ll give you my favorite piece from each space!
For the black and white design, it’s the continuity of the arches. The mirror on the left, the cabinets in the nooks, the and the leather pouf—the soft curvy lines of each item play a role in making the space flow.
For the vintage design, it’s the sofa. The combination of the fabrics with the curvature and contrasting piping—it’s a showstopper. Anthropologie is great for unique pieces like this!
For the boho design, it’s the gallery wall. Gallery walls bring in so much personality and I love that you can use different patterns and styles and colors to create one cohesive statement wall.
Another view of Kat’s boho eclectic inspired dream rooms design.
Kat loves nature and can be seen here literally drinking in the scenery on a recent trip to Iceland!
When it comes to getting inspired for your own home or your clients’ projects, where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere! Nature, TV shows, blogs, online shopping, hotels, restaurants—we’re surrounded by inspiration everywhere you look.
In your opinion, what is the secret ingredient that transforms a good design into a great one?
Understanding the client and bringing their personality into the design. Any designer can create a well-thought-out design that people can appreciate. However, a great design will make the client know it was designed specifically for them because their needs and vision were heard and understood.
What are the 3 design tips you swear by?
- Start with the rug. It’s like artwork for the floor and really helps set up an entire space.
- Forget symmetry. Add some warmth and personality by giving a room balance with asymmetrical elements.
- Always add greenery! If a room is feeling incomplete, I swear if you add a tree in the corner or a plant to the coffee table it gives it the finishing touch the room needs.
A landscape by French impressionist painter Paul Signac exemplifies the moody and expressive colors that Kat so enjoys in impressionist art.
Do you have a favorite design movement or design era?
It’s more art history than design—but I love impressionism. I love that this movement is the one that abandoned the established palette of muted greens, browns, and grays for landscapes, and instead opted for a bright and expressive range of colors. I also love the Pop Art era because it was so unique and non-traditional for it’s time and brought a completely new concept to art.
A still from the 90’s Nickolodean cartoon Hey Arnold showing depicting the titular characters bedroom.
What interior from a movie or TV show would you live in if you could?
I’ve never really thought about this one, but you know what really random room appeared to my mind first? The bedroom from the Nickelodeon cartoon, Hey Arnold! Arnold’s bedroom was incredible. You walk upstairs into his attic room and he had an all-glass ceiling with a ladder that allowed access to go lay on it and look at the sunset. He had built-in bookcases above his bed with lots of areas to display fun things, including his TV. He had bold-patterned walls and carpet. He had a remote that flipped out a hidden couch from the wall. The room was certainly not lacking any personality. I would never leave my bedroom if that were mine!
An example of Kat’s design pet peeve—a too small rug ruining an otherwise great design.
What’s your interior design pet peeve?
When people use too small of a rug! I cringe when I see a beautiful design with a postage stamp rug in the middle. A large area rug makes or breaks a design in my opinion.
Image of a design by Modsy inspired by Miley Cyrus’ home for our blog on the pop star’s icon interior design style.
If you could design a room for anyone, who would your dream client be? Why?
Probably Miley Cyrus. She is so fun and care-free that I know she would let my creative juices flow and would not be afraid to go all out! Plus, I would love to just hang out with her during the process because she’s awesome. (Miley if you’re reading this, hit me up!)
Kat’s favorite piece of furniture.
What’s your favorite piece of furniture or decor in your home?
I have this massive mirror-front armoire that will always be my (big) baby. We needed more storage in our bedroom, but the only place to put it would mean moving our floor mirror out of the room. Every bedroom needs a floor mirror, so I didn’t want to part with that. We searched high and low and finally found this massive mirror-front armoire that was a must-have. It was the very last one this company had.
They actually tried to deliver it when we were out of town and we had a friend let them in. They told our friend it would be impossible to fit up our stairs and into the room, so they left with it. We called and insisted they try again when we were home because we did exact measurements and knew we could make it work. We even offered to help them. They came back, and we got it in. (It wasn’t easy, but we did it!) Now we’re afraid if we move someday it will have to stay with the house! We love it so much, it actually has a name: the “Hawth.” (The store it was from was named Hawthorne.)
Kat displays one of the beautifully crafted handmade wooden signs she likes to create in her spare time.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I love to craft and woodwork! In my free time, I make custom wood signs!
Want to work with a Modsy designer like Kat to bring your dream room to life?