Meredith Galante/Business Insider
Kathleen Perkins on her patio
When you first enter Kathleen Perkins’ Brooklyn home, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve stepped into an Anthropologie catalog.
But the pieces inside Perkins’ home actually come from foreign countries such as India, the Philippines and Turkey. The lights above the kitchen island are from a boat, and retail at nearly $15,000 from Urban Archeology. And the scarf hanging above her bed is from India.
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The home, in Fort Greene, is a converted carriage house with so much character that it’s easy to see why a celebrity like Kevin Spacey wanted to rent the space last winter.
The actor rented the upstairs for about four months when he was in New York working with the Brooklyn Academy of Music. His assistant lived in the bottom portion of the house.
“The house just really flowed,” Perkins said. “It turned out better than I thought.”
But when Perkins moved in eight years ago, the home needed a complete renovation. It took her six months and $250,000 to fix structural issues and redo the interior.
Perkins is now a self-employed interior decorator and project manager. She’s flipped six homes at this point, mostly in the Brooklyn area.
Perkins often renovates multiple homes at once, so when Spacey moved in last winter, she stayed in one of her other properties. She describes herself as a gypsy of sorts, moving into a home, designing it, selling it, and moving on.
She got her start at Waterworks, a New York-based design company, where she specialized in kitchens and baths. For her very first job, she was commissioned to design the tiles for the kitchen and bathroom of Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley’s Mendocino home. The duo split before the tiles were ever installed.
Perkins has also done design work for Harrison Ford and Whoopi Goldberg.
Perkins’ own home is filled with items from friends or her travels. Old tattered books, Buddha statues, and ceramic bowls can be found throughout.
She rents out the first level, and lives on the second and third floors. The house has two patios, one for grilling and another that she uses for outdoor summer parties.