Kati & Her Home
If you’re daydreaming of a space filled with warmth and rich color, look no further than Kati Ramer’s impeccable Dallas home! As an artist, wife and lover of all things vintage, Kati identifies with a self-proclaimed “modern-Southwestern” style. After poking around her estate sale finds and gazing at her own painted pieces of art, it’s safe to say that we’ve officially gained a newfound infatuation for desert-inspired décor, too.
Kati credits the unique design aesthetic of her home to the creative collaboration between she and her husband. By blending her own love for the warm colors and textiles of Southwestern design with the minimalist, modern design that her husband admires, this creative homemaker has effortlessly achieved a one-of-a-kind style that they can truly call their own. If the 1950’s dining room table and collection of Frida Kahlo portraits hung throughout the office aren’t unique enough, just study any one of Kati’s desert landscape paintings for a peek into her laid-back, nature-focused lifestyle.
As Kati and her husband (and their pup, Frida) gear up for a big move from Dallas to Austin, Texas, we feltespecially honored to tour the space they hold so dear. We’re certain that the inviting style and passionate personality she exudes will transition with her wherever she goes. So, while we wait for Kati’s new home to be properly peppered with cacti, pottery and textiles galore, we’ll keep ourselves busy with her home tour below.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
I’d probably describe it as modern Southwestern, although I try not to stick to any particular style. My husband is really drawn to minimalist-modern design, while I tend to favor a heavy presence of textiles and warm elements. We’ve worked to find a balance over time by choosing pieces we both really love.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TRAVEL FOR INSPIRATION?
Anywhere with a desert or friends—ideally both. Big Bend National Park and the surrounding small West Texas towns, Phoenix, Mexico.
WHAT DOES YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
Creating our space has just been more organic than intentional. We’ve only been married for three years, and we’ve taken our time to slowly form a vision for our place that is mutually appreciated and feels like home to each of us. It’s been really fun to work together to decide how to approach choosing things that work for us, then hunting for just the right piece. We also really love spending time together on the weekends going to estate sales. We only buy things we both absolutely love.
ANY SECRETS TO EXTENDING THE LIFE OF CACTI, ESPECIALLY IN HUMID ENVIRONMENTS?
The secret is absolutely to find a husband with a green thumb.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PARTICULAR PIECES THAT SHAPED YOUR DESIGN AESTHETIC?
I really strive to create a feeling in our space, so the pieces that shape my design aesthetic are things that make me feel a certain way. We got married on the beach in Mexico and gave all of our wedding guests Mexican blankets as favors, so I love seeing those draped around for the memories. I like to collect and display beautiful servingware and pottery that remind me to gather friends for dinner. I have also really enjoyed the way our dining room table feels like the centerpiece in our current place because, while it’s a gorgeous piece of furniture, a table represents so much more. It’s the heart of the home.
WHO ARE SOME CREATIVE PEOPLE THAT REALLY INSPIRE YOU?
I’m an absolute Liz Lambert groupie. Liz is the reigning Queen of Texas, as far as I’m concerned. Her aesthetic goes so far beyond furniture or décor, and speaks to the emotions each place evokes. She has carefully built an experience for her guests in each location. Each time I’ve stayed at one of her properties, I’ve felt like she’s allowing me to interact with the city—Marfa, San Antonio, Austin—in the truest way possible. For me, creativity is the ability to draw someone into a feeling or an experience, and Liz defines this.
MY HUSBAND IS REALLY DRAWN TO MINIMALIST-MODERN DESIGN, WHILE I TEND TO FAVOR A HEAVY PRESENCE OF TEXTILES AND WARM ELEMENTS. WE’VE WORKED TO FIND A BALANCE OVER TIME BY CHOOSING PIECES WE BOTH REALLY LOVE.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SECONDHAND FIND?
My dining room table. We saw it at an estate sale a few years ago and I fell in love. At the time, we were living in such a tiny place, so it made absolutely no sense to buy a dining room table. The man running the estate sale overheard me telling my husband how much I loved it, and ended up selling it to us for a song. Turns out, it’s a rather rare 1950’s Drexel Heritage piece that was part of a collection designed by Kipp Stewart. One chair is worth way more than we paid for the entire set. It lived in our tiny place with the extensions folded down for quite some time.
The happiest day was finally moving into a bigger place, extending the table fully, adding end chairs for a full set and having dinners with our friends there. It’s glorious and I think I’ll own it forever.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO IN DALLAS?
Dallas is so underrated. I’m also super nostalgic about the whole thing as we prepare to move to Austin this month, so I can’t name just one thing. Here are several favorite activities in no particular order (and accidentally mostly revolving around food): Double-fist a chai latte from Method Coffee and a lavender latte from Magnolias Sous Le Pont, take Charry’s class at Plum Yoga, go browse The Loveliest and The Gypsy Wagon, have lunch at Kalachandji’s, take in the glory that is American art (especially Georgia O’Keeffe) at the Amon Carter (technically Fort Worth, but really worth the drive), eat dinner at Mot Hai Ba and finish it all off with a glass of Texas wine on the patio at Times Ten Cellars.
WHAT IS YOUR EVERYDAY BEAUTY ROUTINE?
I’m pretty stuck in my ways on beauty. I don’t like to test and try new things very often, so I’ve got it down. I always go straight to my Kiehl’s Rare Earth Cleanser, Hydro-Plumping Serum, Ultra Facial Cream in the morning. On days when I wear makeup, it’s Trish McEvoy Beauty Balm, Nars Concealer, bareMinerals Vintage Peach Blush, L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara, Malin + Goetz or Fresh Sugar Rose lip balm.
WHAT IS YOUR MORNING ROUTINE?
I blame my artist brain, but I’m not much of a routine person (or a morning person, for that matter). Most mornings, it’s some combination of quiet meditation or yoga while our pup, Frida, interrupts me looking for snuggles, walking to get coffee with my husband or convincing him to be a little late to work and going to grab acai bowls together at our favorite local breakfast spot.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
That creating and adding beauty to the world is a worthwhile pursuit.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOME AND WHY?
The office/art studio is my little sanctuary. I spend 95 percent of my time in this room, whether I’m sitting in the little meditation corner, painting or working at my desk. It’s also flooded with natural light at all hours of the day because there are so many windows. Usually while I work, Frida is perched atop the guest bed keeping watch out of the window or napping.
YOU NAMED YOUR PUP AFTER FRIDA KAHLO, AND THE ARTIST’S PRESENCE IS HINTED AT ALL THROUGHOUT YOUR HOME. TELL US WHAT YOU FIND SO INSPIRING ABOUT FRIDA!
I’m completely enamored with her eccentricity and commitment to her culture. It always strikes me how deeply personal her art was, constantly exploring the idea of her own body and the ways it failed her, the feeling of simply being in it. She was impossibly complex, intelligent, political and entirely herself. Her life reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “Don’t be delicate, be vast and brilliant.” She had many struggles in life but was also incredibly prolific. There’s something to be said about such grit.
WHAT FUTURE PROJECTS ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
I’ve just hung my very first gallery show, so I’m busy dreaming about what the next collection will look like.
WE LIVE MOST OF OUR LIVES FEELING ISOLATED, SEPARATE, ALONE. A PAINTING HAS THE ABILITY TO DRAW US INTO A MOMENT IN TIME, INTO A PLACE OR INTO A FEELING, AND THAT EXPERIENCE IS SHARED BETWEEN THE ARTIST AND THE OBSERVER.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR PAINTINGS? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE?
The ultimate inspiration for me is the connectedness that art can produce. We live most of our lives feeling isolated, separate, alone. A painting has the ability to draw us into a moment in time, into a place or into a feeling, and that experience is shared between the artist and the observer. The painting is simply an invitation to feel something alongside someone else, a reminder of how deeply connected we are to each other and to the source.
Richard Rohr writes of St. Francis of Assisi, “…Francis of Assisi must have known, at least intuitively, that there is only one enduring spiritual insight and everything else follows from it: The visible world is an active doorway to the invisible world, and the invisible world is much larger than the visible.”
I paint the desert because it’s the place that makes me feel most connected, and I want to share that experience and remember it always.
WHEN YOU FEEL BLOCKED, WHERE DO YOU GO FOR CREATIVE INSPIRATION?
I think we often look externally for inspiration, but looking inside never fails to produce the most authentic art for me. Turning on Kirtan or classical music to calm the mind, then working through a meditation or yoga movement practice can help to center and focus thoughts and creative energy.
WHAT’S A GETAWAY WEEKEND IN TEXAS?
I think anyone who visits Big Bend will fall in love with Texas. It’s absolutely magical. For the perfect quick trip, I’d head straight to the Gage Hotel in Marathon. Be sure to take a swim in the pool and have cocktails at the White Buffalo Bar. Then get inside the park, take an early morning hike on the Lost Mine Trail, raft or paddle through the Santa Elena Canyon. Camp in the Basin, eat hole-in-the-wall Mexican food and drink cold beers in Terlingua. Swing through Marfa, eat at the first place with an “open” sign (a rare sighting here), stay at El Cosmico and then spend the next day figuring out how to live your life anywhere but West Texas.