Published by Catherine Nguyen

Fall is my favorite season. Here in North Carolina, the temperatures have finally dropped as the heat and humidity of summer slowly yield to the crisp winds of autumn. I love the energy of fall –moods feel lighter and more hopeful, so I’m relishing this moment. With new seasons come new routines, and as we settle into our new schedules, it’s a good time to take stock, recalibrate, plan, and prepare to celebrate the holiday season before hunkering down for winter. 

For me, change is on the horizon. My husband and I placed an offer on a new home in Raleigh, and we’re (hopefully) moving this fall. We're so excited about the new space as we embrace the challenge of designing and furnishing our new home to reflect the next phase of our lives.  

Styling this new home will require me to flex different muscles as I shift my perspective from being an image creator to a bit of a designer. When I work with clients, I often help them with styling photo shoots by giving them suggestions for placing decorative objects and florals based on how they are viewed through my lens within a composition. This is an element of my photography practice that I truly enjoy. On my shoots, I work with amazing artists, designers, and brands who share my passion for bold design, classic style, and meticulous detail; together we create a visual story that defines a living space. Some of my most trusted partnerships with interior designers involve collaborating on photo shoots to ensure that the lighting, composition, and symmetry that I create within the images I shoot evokes the style and persona of the spaces that our clients live and work in every day. As we design our new home, I will rely on their advice and expertise. Some of them we have worked with in the past, and when I look at photos of our house listing, I’m reminded of their stellar work. 

One of the features of my former home that I will miss dearly is my bedroom, which was designed by Lauren Burns of Lauren Burns Interiors. In addition, we commissioned my friend Caroline Lizarraga to create our bedroom walls. A San Francisco-based artist, Caroline paints customized wall, flooring, and furniture finishes that mimic shapes and patterns found in nature. In her work you’ll often find the banded ring patterns and sinewy veined finishes found in agate and quartz or shaded scales that are reminiscent of reptile skin. Her distinctive designs occasionally extend to ceilings and floors where her bold, graphic patterns envelop a space. In our bedroom she created an abstracted Ikat design using a soft, calming palette of blues, gold, and bronze (that she crushed by hand and mixed into the paint), and the waves from the Ikat slowly fade to a whisper light line on an adjacent pale parchment wall. Combined with a pair of hand-blown teardrop-shaped pendant lights that Lauren sourced from Restoration Hardware, the lighting and pattern in the space transformed my bedroom* into a calming sanctuary that I simply adore to luxuriate in. As much as I want to take that design with me, I cannot wait to see what Caroline conjures up in our new space! (*Stay tuned for our bedroom reveal in Walter Magazine's November 2023 issue!)

I’m assembling my mood boards, and I am excited to see how this process unfolds. I would love to take you along with me on this design journey, and I'll be sure to share the lessons that I learn along the way with you. Please subscribe to Cat Space for future updates on the process and the amazing people who will be working with us to bring my design dreams to life. 

As I embrace fall as a time of renewal, I hope that you do too. Whether you’re re-designing a room, refreshing your wardrobe, or re-calibrating your life, I hope that this season grants you the time and space to thoughtfully plan and prioritize what the idea of “change” means to you. 

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