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Kate Butler

Design Manager

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Who are you?
Kate Butler

What’s the day job?
Design Manager at Habitat

What does your dream day look like?
The beauty of my job is that it is very varied and I enjoy a lot of different elements. Probably my favourite aspect is product development and the travel that is involved with that so my dream day would be waking up somewhere like Portugal, having a pastel de nata before heading out to a ceramics factory to work on product for the next season. This is very creative and hands on and working with artisans on beautiful shapes, colours and patterns is what inspires and excited me. We would then break for lunch somewhere rural and off the beaten track but extremely delicious and then go to more factories to work on more product and then end with another delicious meal. Food becomes quite a focus on trips, especially when I’m in a country where the food is a good!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
That is a tricky one as I love London but I suppose, distance, work and family aside it would have to be the South of France – the weather, scenery, space and fresh produce with exciting markets to cook delicious meals are the main factors that make me want to live there.

What’s the first thing you check out when visiting someone’s home for the first time?
I love seeing people’s homes and don’t look for anything specific – just the general feel of the place. I love textiles so always notice beautiful rugs.

What’s your interior addiction?
I own a lot of ceramics and love my collection which is always growing so it would have to be that.

What makes you really angry?
Littering and prejudice – they both suggest ignorance and a lack of awareness.

Pick a favourite film, book and song.
Too many to choose from – my favourite film is probably The Last of the Mohicans – it reminds me of my mum and of a time in my life when I was very happy and carefree and in love with Daniel Day Lewis! My favourite book is harder to pick as I love to read but I suppose the one that springs to mind first is Edmund De Waal’s The Hare With The Amber Eyes. My favourite song is again a little tricky – anything by Prince!

Best place you’ve ever been on holiday?
The Isle of Mull – my family have a house in a place called Carsaig. It is so beautiful with sea views and rolling cliffs. It is very remote and the focus is all about being outside – hiking, swimming in the sea, fishing, boat trips. There are deer, otters, and sometimes even whales which you can see from the beach or when walking along the rocky shore. In the evening when the temperature drops we have log fires and delicious hearty food. There is no tv and no phone signal so you feel completely cut off from the daily grind.

What’s your favourite smell?
I am quite nostalgic for my life in Zimbabwe where I was born and grew up (I moved to England when I was 18) and there is nothing that beats the smell of the air after it has rained for the first time in a while. I can’t explain it but it is very distinctive and always makes me have quite an emotional reaction.

What single thing would improve your life?
More time each day – working and having a young family (I have two children. My son is 4 and my daughter is 20 months) really takes its toll and I feel I don’t have time to pursue my interests or wind down/relax/exercise etc.

What are you bad at that you wish you did well?
Sport. I have no coordination and love being outdoors so would take pleasure in sport if I was good at it.

What would be your Death Row meal?
A really good glass of red wine, duck confit and dauphinoise potatoes followed by Paris-Brest. I love food and cook a great deal so this could change depending on my mood but I love French food and try not to eat it too often as it is so rich and fattening!

Latest posts by Kate

Bonfire Night Treats: Pumpkin Pie With Cinnamon Creme Fraiche

If, like us, your fridge is bursting as a result of overzealous gourd carving last weekend, allow us to come to the rescue with this deliciously warming recipe for your...

Behind The Design: A Buyer’s Trip To Portugal

Join Malin as she tells us why Portugal is the place to be for ceramics

Cook it, live it – apple and Greek yogurt cake

Delicious recipes, stylishly served

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