Meet the Designers: Kate Watson-Smyth

Mad About The House, the interiors and design blog crafted by talented journalist & designer Kate Watson-Smyth, is a daily source of enjoyment & amusement for us. With a new range of furniture just launched with and a penchant for beautiful chairs, we asked Kate to share a little inspiration with us in this, our first in our Meet the Designers series.....

Visit Kate's amazing blog Mad About the House for your own daily inspiration!

What’s your favourite item in your workspace?

When I work at the kitchen table it’s my giant fiddle leaf fig which I absolutely love. It’s partly looking at the greenery and partly just nodding at it in tacit recognition that it’s still alive. When I work upstairs in the loft I tend to stare out of the window at the view – I can see Ally Pally through the trees and next door’s rather lovely garden.

Exhibition you’ve been to recently or in the past that has left an imprint?

Hmm, I really struggle with exhibitions in London because they are always so crowded, or you get a timed slot and you have to rush through craning your neck to see. A few weeks ago we were in Helsinki and we had a spare couple of hours on the morning we were leaving. We’d done all the usual sights and were wandering past the Natural History Museum. We decided to visit on a whim and it was wonderful. The displays were really imaginative and clever and it was a really cool museum.

Most loved thing you’ve ever owned (or wanted to own)?

I love my Marni boots – do they count? And my Kindle – I need to have a book with me at all times and I love that I can carry a library in my handbag.

A day in the life: what’s your average day in less than 50 words?

Alarm. Kids. Coffee. Gym. Coffee. Writing. Coffee. Then I might go to a press launch or maybe a photoshoot, have an interiors client or a meeting with someone for content on the blog. Coffee. Kids. Homework. Writing. Supper. Wine. Decaf. Bed.

Ultimate item of product design that you love:

I’m very keen on my Stelton Coffee Press. I love the minimalist tall thin shape of it and the fact that it is plastic means that it is unbreakable. The double plastic layer means the coffee stays hot and you can also close the lid to keep the heat in.

What’s made you laugh this week?

My 15-year-old has a wicked sense of dry humour that is developing all the time. He makes me laugh every week. Actually not this week because he’s doing his mocks but the week before and I’ve got high hopes for the end of next week.

The book you loved so much you gave away multiple copies to friends:

Hmm that’s a tough one. I think it’s terribly hard to give books to people as you just can’t tell whether they will find the same things in them that you did. One of my favourite books of all time is Life A User’s Manual by Georges Perec. I also love Alice in Wonderland and keep telling people they should read the Donna Leon series about Brunetti – anyone who loves Italy, or more specifically Venice, that is.

Presents you want to receive or to give this Xmas:

I really, really want the Oree stylograph which is a beautiful leather bound notebook that you write in with a special pen and it transfers to your phone or computer. I love the design and the look of it and I can’t justify the cost (believe me I have tried) and I’m not sure that I would use it that much but I WANT it. I can’t tell you what I want to give in case the recipient is reading it and it would be good if he was, given the paragraph above….! I can tell you that it’s proving hard to track down.

Song of the moment:

Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac