Kathy Slater had spent more than three decades as an interior designer when she started seeing the same piece of furniture over and over again.
“I went to a home tour, and I think on that home tour I saw the same coffee table in three different houses,” Slater says.
Sensing an obvious opportunity in the market, Slater started toying with the idea of designing and creating her own furniture.
“I was looking for a coffee table for a client, so I decided I would make something,” she says. “I got inspired by this cast iron baluster leg that I found at Orleans Ornamental, and I made this coffee table and it was a big hit.”
From there, Slater began creating her own custom finishes to go with her coffee tables, which are also customized to fit specific rooms and needs.
“Every time I say ‘Okay, I’m just going to do standard sizes,’ someone will call me for a custom order and I don’t turn them down,” she says. “The pieces are made to order, and that’s what makes us stand apart.”
After mastering the coffee table, Slater started branching out into other types of furniture. Her favorite designs incorporate aspects of Louisiana and French culture, especially the popular Audubon and Pontchartrain tables.
“We started doing beds, and we’re doing these really pretty hand railings,” Slater says. “We’re now doing iron stair railings, with different finishes on them. There’s a lot going on.”
From that initial spark of inspiration drawn from an old baluster, Slater has now almost come full circle, back to designing iron balusters.
It’s yet another product of a restless design mind.
While designer furniture once seemed to become less comfortable the more high-end it was, Slater never loses sight of functionality when she comes up with her designs. “The piece has to relate to the room, and it has to function in the room,” she says. “We can help a client do all that. We can make a piece of furniture look really good in the room and go with the room and also function for the need.”
Kathy Slater Design Collection, 3908 Magazine St. (by appointment), 504-400-9032 firstname.lastname@example.org, KathySlater.com