In the Spotlight - K Tyler
K., who heads our in-house interior design division, celebrates her 10-year anniversary with MWA this year – though she’s quick to point out it feels like she joined our family just yesterday. Find out why that is, along with her real name – and her surprising connection to Price Waterhouse
What does “K.” stand for?
My name is actually Katawna, like the Japanese Samurai sword in the movie Shogun! But I just go by “K.” because the spelling proves challenging for people.
Give us three reasons your ten years at MWA have flown by so quickly.
That’s easy! First, it’s truly a melting pot of creativity. There is a constant, open exchange of fresh ideas and collaboration that’s inspiring and invigorating. I also really enjoy the friendly culture at MWA. There’s an inherent nature of mutual respect and amicability that brings a few good laughs and friendly smiles every day. And on top of that, we have amazing clients and projects, most of which are a designer’s dream. I feel very lucky.
You took a winding road to get here. Tell us about that.
I have a business degree from Southern Methodist University, where I majored in accounting. It’s not the typical designer path, I know. But that degree served me well in my entrée to the world of design as a buyer for Neiman Marcus, and later, as a senior merchandise manager for Baker Furniture. Still, interior design was a calling I couldn’t resist, and so I went back to earn my interior design degree from Harrington College of Design in Chicago. The rest is history.
There’s one other part of your history that’s pretty interesting, isn’t there?
A lot of people are surprised to hear I was an auditor for Price Waterhouse accounting firm and got my CPA license - it’s quite a departure from what I do today. But that experience helps me appreciate the fulfillment I feel on a daily basis doing design. And budgets are a breeze!
Are your passions as well-rounded as your background?
Not surprisingly, I love art and design. Some of my favorite things to do are spend an afternoon at an art festival or walk around a nursery or garden center. I’m also a pretty avid football fan and love to catch a good UFC fight! But my biggest passion is my family. I have a wonderful husband and an adorable six year old bundle of boy who keeps me laughing and on my toes. So yes, I think I’m pretty well-rounded.
Speaking of family, what’s your take on making a house feel like a home?
The main thing is to make it feel inviting. It’s not about your budget or specific pieces of furniture, but rather, making sure rooms function well. Accessories are important, too. Put up art and mirrors to give depth and interest to the walls. Add table and floor lamps to provide ambiance. And use plants! It’s amazing how a little bit of live greenery can add vitality to almost any space. Finally, I would say make it personal. Make it yours. Display photographs and collections of things meaningful to you and your family. Not only will they help your house feel more like a home to you, your guests will love seeing those things, too. They create connections and spur conversation.
Describe your dream house for us.
I would opt for a very modern house in warm woods with lots of glass, overlooking sculpted Japanese- inspired gardens. The interiors would be transitional and clean.
Would there be accessories?
Of course! I’d choose an eclectic mix of abstract, African, and Asian art.