Designer Crush: Christine Markatos Lowe


1. Who is your biggest role model?

I have been fortunate to have many influential mentors during my design career. However, the most important would have to be my sculpture professor at The University of Pennsylvania, Maurice Lowe.  As a sculptor, he taught me how to see the space between the forms and ultimately he encouraged me to find my way into interior design post- graduation.
2. Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?

Indiscreet, a 1958 romantic comedy that stars Ingrid Bergman. She has this chic London flat that is decorated with a mix of pale upholstery and antiques. The walls are dove gray and there are jewel tone accessories throughout. I especially love the colorful collection of picture frames flanking the fireplace. Seems incredibly modern today!

3. What is the best way to gauge a client’s personality before starting a project?

I work with a variety of clients who have many different interests. I believe it is my role as their designer to understand the complexity of their lifestyles and to provide them with an aesthetic that supports that. 

4. What new design elements are you excited to integrate into your work?
I believe the best design is created by tension between the materials, the polish of lacquer mixed with the roughness of abaca as an example. We are excited by finding new combinations to mix together.

5. How do you completely unwind?

Spending time in nature. Whether its hiking deep in the woods or on the back of a horse, I am most relaxed when unplugged.

6. If you hadn’t become a designer, which career would you have pursued?

Vintage jewelry dealer. I have an obsession with vintage jewelry which began when I worked with Michael Smith. We used to go to auction houses where he would find amazing pieces for some of his clients. I caught the bug!

7. What’s the worst pre-designer job you’ve ever had and why?

One summer in college, I had the misfortune to work as a caterer on Nantucket. My preference would have been to attend the parties not serve the drinks.

8. What’s your favorite recipe?

I am a big fan of any of the Barefoot Contessa’s cook books and my children adore her lemon chicken recipe.

9. Who is your designer crush?

Duro Olowo, a London designer, who designs the most magical dresses! Pattern and color is cut and combined together with the eye of a fauvist. The dresses are magnificent.

Lightning round!

10. Would you rather shop new or vintage?


11. First celebrity crush?

As a child of the ’80s I’d have to say Rob Lowe.
12. What’s your hidden talent?

Apparently its poker. I placed fifth in a charity tournament never having played the game before.
13. Best restaurant in your area? Where is it?
Cassia, in Santa Monica. Fresh vibrant flavor from Southeast Asia with a California sensibility.
14. SF or LA?

LA rocks! Apologies to my friends up north but SF is JV.

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