Home/Room Tour: Prop Stylist, Kate Martindale


4 years ago

Hi Everyone,

I am really excited to introduce you all today to Kate Martindale. My excitement is multifold, too so get ready for a fun read. The first and most apparent isKate's interior decor style is different from a lot of the homes we've toured in the past, which is fun to showcase and explore. The otheris simply to introduce you to Kate herself and learn about her(in my opinion) very cool career as a prop stylist. Growing up, prop stylist isn't exactly an occupation that most of us are even aware exists let alone say that's "what I want to be when I grow up." As I've evolved into my own non-traditional career, I really find it fascinating to meet fellow professionals who sort of paved their own way.

To begin, let's start with how Kate and I met... I'll let her tell the story, so without much further ado, Kate, won't you take it away?

Kate Martindale at home with Gray Malin

Hello everyone and welcome to my requested, I'm happy to share the story of how Gray and I met. To begin, though I was first introduced to his work by my client as well asa mutual friend of Grays', Lauren Conrad, whom I have worked with on a variety of projects including her book, Celebrate.Through Lauren related events, Gray and I ended up at the same place so many times that I finally just went up to him and said we are meant to meet each other. From there, we exchanged information and I ended up working with him on his Dining Room Revealphoto shoot and now, I'm excited to share how I've decorated with my very own Gray Malin piece.

What do you connect with the Gray Malin brand and why'd you choose this particular print?

I love his brand for so many reasons. It’s colorful, playful, modern but vintage. It helps connect so many dots in designing a wall for any room. For this particular print in my kitchen's dining area, I chose it for its pops of red, as I like how it mixes with the varying shades of pink in my home.

California Decor Style - Gray Malin

Do you approach styling your own home differently than your work? If so, how?

My personal aesthetic is “make your space yours, don’t get trapped by trends.”

When I do interior projects, my focus is really on the clients aesthetic. If they do not have one I try to help them develop one with looking through magazines and other homes that appeal to them. I then guide them to good decisions that keeps the project on track. If you want something that is purely trending, your space will look like everyone else's. But, you can still use pieces that are current and relevant.

Speaking of styling, this feels like the perfect segway into what being a prop stylist is all about. Will you tell us about how you got your start?

I was studying to be a graphic designer, but stumbled across the occupation of “prop stylist.” I went on a field trip while in college to a catalog house and saw a stylist working. A light bulb went on that has never gone off, and I immediately applied for an internship with this company called Three Score. They had never hired a prop stylist intern, but I told them I would literally do anything they asked as long as I could learn and watch other stylists. I cleaned disgusting things, shopped in hot Atlanta weather, came in on weekends and eventually landed a paying assisting job that led me to a full-time stylist job that led to me being hired as the youngest art director at the company.

Vintage Eclectic Interior Design Inpiration

Very cool! For those of us who aren't familiar, what's does being a prop stylist entail?

A prop stylist is a huge part of any shoot that requires a story. We give weight to the storytelling through objects.

First, it’s about seeing your clients vision through an art director, then it’s about shopping for all the beautiful or sometimes not so beautiful objects. Lastly, it’s about setting up those objects or using them to help tell the story on shoot day. Sometimes the objects and how you present them is everything for the shot.

I can certainly see what you mean, I love the way you styled these two small Gray Malin framed prints!Your home is filled with so many things that seem like they have a story. Do you have any favorites?

The pieces that are my favorite would have to start with my bar cart, then my pink tiles table and a lamp. All of these objects have been found through shopping in vintage stores or flea markets. I love these objects just because they all speak to me in a way that I think they could describe me. Pink, feminine and crafted with care.

Vintage Decor Inspiration Decorating with Coffee Table Books - Gray Malin Beaches

With that in mind, it's fair to say you clearly migrate towards a particular color palette but what would you say your interior style is overall?

I like mixing old and new, it’s why I love Gray’s photography hanging on my wall. It adds a modern touch that feels nostalgic to all the things I have collected.

Gallery Wall - Vintage Decor Inspiration

Well, you do it beautifully! What's next for Kate Martindale?

I am turning my attention to expanding the entertainment component ofmy brand.

The idea and hope is to take what I have done for many clients and translate into what I can successfully now do for myself. So many vintage pieces that I bring to shoots I would love to produce so others can enjoy them. I also would love to share tips and ideas to throw a great dinner party for anyone and any occasion.

I think I can safely say we'd all love to see you do just that! To keep up with Kate be sure to follow her on Instagram at @katemartindalestylist're pretty much guaranteed to get major decor inspo! In the meantime, if you enjoyed her print selections, be sure to check out more in À la Plage for more Bahamas as well as my series shot at The Beverly Hills Hotel and in Bermuda.


xx GM