Kate Beebe, Brand Marketing Specialist for Frontgate, knows how to make an impression. Her home in The Baldwin on Gilbert Avenue is a sight to behold. Between the myriad colors of the wide-ranging collection of curiosities and artifacts that adorn nearly every surface of her home, Kate's apartment is a technicolor wonderland that dazzles the eyes and instantly stops you in your tracks when you see it. She has, in her own words, had a "fabulous time filling the interior with hunted treasures" over the years.
There's no shortage of scenery to enjoy. To understand what I mean, check out the photo gallery above. For context, we asked her about her style, how she feels about her home, and asked her for advice on how to spruce up our own living spaces.
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Cincinnati Refined: What’s the inspiration for your personal style? How would you describe it?
Kate Beebe: In a nutshell: collected and eclectic. It started when I was young. When my grandparents downsized out of their six-bedroom home, I was the only grandchild who pulled up with a moving truck to take the junk no one wanted. For instance, I scooped up a shoebox full of my grandfather’s dance cards from the 40s—pencils on string still attached. You’re probably thinking, “what kind of person wants those sorts of things?” The collector, of course. I find so much meaning and beauty in the most minute of objects. I encased the dance cards in a large acrylic box and placed them on my coffee table for all to see. It’s my goal that my space be a wonderment to every eye who enters. I want people to see something new every time they take another glance. I want them to be prompted to ask, “What is this?” or, “Why is this here?” or, “Where did this come from?”
I’ve mixed original art and antiques with collected mementos (yes, there’s a Barbie Doll hanging on my wall) and modern pieces from Frontgate. Anything goes in my space. (I recently have even begun justifying my expensive fashion purchases with, “can I hang it on my wall so it will pull double-duty as art when I’m not wearing it?” Too far?)
CR: How do you feel when you’re in the apartment surrounded by your style choices?
KB: I am always happy when I’m at home. When I walk through the front door and am greeted by a flock of flamingos (my favorite animal) on my gallery wall, I smile. When I take off my earrings and safely store them in my massive hidden jewelry mirror, I smile. When I read a book on the sofa and look up at my framed silk scarf signed by my favorite interior designer (Carleton Varney), I smile. Before I turn off the light to go to sleep, I look up at the disco ball hanging from my canopy bed and I smile.
How can you not? The apartment may be a rental, but it’s anything but cold and commercial. It’s home. Truly.
CR: What was your reason for moving to The Baldwin? What do you love about it?
KB: Aside from being nearly 100 years old and chock full of history, the 13-foot ceilings and expansive windows have provided the perfect backdrop for my eclectic decorating taste. I’ve lived in many lofts spanning New York City to Chicago, but The Baldwin is the most special place I’ve ever lived. So much of its historical charm has been preserved and well-maintained, from the original cement columns at every turn to the grand piano in the lobby.
Additionally, it’s the perfect location: across the street from the Cincinnati Art Museum. I go every Thursday evening to be inspired and frequent the café there for lunch on the weekends. (I’m obsessed with eating a bowl of soup surrounded by Hunt Slonem’s Bunnies.) Oh yeah—it’s also one turn away from I-71/75, a quick walk to Mirror Lake and Mt. Adams, and a $4 Uber ride to Fountain Square.
CR: Any advice or words of wisdom for others who want to do-up their own living space?
A well-collected home knows no bounds. Forget the rules, and simply build a space you love.