In her Palm Beach condo, entrepreneur, plus-size style icon, and sometimes
New Yorker Katie Sturino gives way to all the tropical delights and clashing prints her new city has to offer.
Her ability to take risks comes from trusting who she is: “I always say, you’ve got to put your confidence on first. People are very quick to go, ‘I can’t do this.’ And those are self-imposed rules that obviously they’ve inherited from society. But I think you can have a lot more fun if you stop putting those rules
Even if she rarely follows the crowd, after a year and a half of living in Florida, Sturino is slowly succumbing to the snowbird mentality. She goes to the beach, hangs out at the tennis courts, and enjoys a slower—and sunnier—pace of life. And even then: “There’s a New York–adjacent feeling here. Palm Beach is like winter New York,” she says, before realizing, “I’ve been designing my life for Palm Beach years before I lived here.
I had my caftans ready.”
Custom Katie Kime wallpaper is the catalyst for a clash of other patterns, from a Label 180 desk
and chair in a floral Liberty London print to a striped bed frame from the Inside to an assortment of Hive throw pillows atop a Jonathan Adler Ether Cloud
settee. Vintage nightstands, painted in Clover Green by Benjamin Moore and topped with Jonathan Adler Riviera table lamps, add an extra pop.
Far left, a Hill House Home Nap Dress and Sankaty
bath towels turn the laundry room into a Barbie dream house. Left, Sturino’s workstation is as
fun as she is—a Label 180 desk and chair, Hive mirror, and Jonathan Adler mirror provide an inspiring setup for her Megababe products. Above, Kensington Blue paint from Benjamin Moore
makes the guest bathroom a can’t-miss space.
Not that Sturino cares about what others think. “If a print makes you happy, just go with it,” she says of her approach to style. “I find the thing that people say to me most often is, ‘You’re gonna get sick of it!’ And I have yet to wish something was beige when it’s not. You have to listen to yourself. Usually, when I try to
go trendy or neutral, I end up not liking it.” That mentality is how she ended up with the other quirks within the condo: a Barbie-themed laundry room, a guest bathroom decorated in tennis balls (she has been playing more since living in Florida), and a bunch of tiger-print tufts from the Inside.
Even though Sturino experimented with colors and shapes in this home, she didn’t deviate when it came to one thing: a palm motif, which she has incorporated into every bedroom she’s had for the past 10 years. After reviewing options with her friend Katie Kime, Sturino asked if there was a way to pay homage to Underpants, her Internet-famous dog that has since passed away (she is also mom to the late Toast and Muppet). Kime came back with a custom pattern that included Pants’s image scattered throughout the trees. “It looks so natural,” Sturino says
of its place among a black-and-white–striped fabric headboard
and a custom Liberty London Label 180 desk. “And we love
seeing her there.”
“Did someone give a baby a checkbook?” Sturino jokes
of decorating her new space. A pink Lovesac sectional, decorated with Jonathan Adler Ripple pillows and a blanket from the Kemble Shop, is the centerpiece of the living area. Each detail of the room is carefully considered and fits within her chosen palette: from the Palm Beach
Regency armchair and the Safavieh rug to the palm
floor lamp, ottoman, and side table, all from Heath &
Company. Everhem curtains cover the sliding doors leading out to the balcony.
So it makes sense that when Sturino moved into the apartment
in December 2020, the first thing to go was the “very ’90s yellow-cream walls,” she says, a decision that may not have been the
most cost-effective (she ended up wallpapering over the fresh coat of bright white she hired painters for) but was worth it nonetheless, because “I couldn’t live with the shade.” In its place is an explosion of Palm Beach–inspired hues and tropical prints. Designer Nathan Turner, whom Sturino knows through his role
as the creative director of Wallshoppe, gave her this simple but impactful advice: “He told me, ‘Just stick with three colors and you can’t mess it up too bad.’” It was then that the pastels in her chandelier became her North Star.
Beyond trying to make the two-bedroom look like a cooler version of a Golden Girls 2022 reboot, Sturino’s overall design philosophy prioritized ease. “We’re comfort-first people,” she admits. It’s
why she rarely sits at her dining table (the custom chairs, which she says were the biggest splurge in the apartment, have a “nonsensical and heavy bottom”) and instead spends most of her time in the living room, lounging on what she calls her “pink couch island” from Lovesac. “I always wanted a sofa where you can really lie down and no one’s got that weird side position,” she says. “It can seat eight, and I love it.” On the living room walls, pink grasscloth wallpaper provides a playful juxtaposition
to the cabana-striped entryway.
The one bummer of the place? The entryway’s height. “I’m not
a low-ceiling kind of girl, so I thought, how do I turn this into a party?” she says. While browsing Turner’s Pinterest feed, she came across a photo of a client’s home where he put navy striped wallpaper on the ceiling. “It draws your eye up,” she says. “At first, everyone who walks into the home is like, ‘Oh, this is insane,’
but then they get used to it.”
If a print makes you happy, just go with it.
I have yet to wish something was beige when it’s not. You have to listen to yourself.”
Katie Sturino says of its shiny brass base and baby blue, pale
pink, and seafoam green acrylic orbs. “So I designed everything around it.”
After 20 years of renting in New York City, the Megababe founder and plus-size style pro says she found herself in the midst of a “real-estate renaissance.” Since the pandemic began in March 2020, she has made two major purchases: a property on the water in Maine and a condo in Palm Beach, Florida. While the former
is still very much a work in progress, the latter has become a reprieve for Sturino and her husband—plus it’s a place to show everyone the inside of her pastel-painted brain.
It all started with a candy-colored Jonathan Adler chandelier. “I came across it before
we even bought the place and thought: This is the apartment in a light fixture,”
Palm Beach – FL
Clover Green Paint
Globo Five-Light Chandelier
Jonathan Adler, $1,995
Camelback Bed Frame
The Inside, $1,029
Tennis Balls Wallpaper
Photography by VENJHAMIN REYES
Words by ERIN CUNNINGHAM
Styling by DESIGN ASSISTED
Above, Ottiu’s Angel dining chairs, pulled up to an Electrum dining table by Jonathan Adler, are a perfect match for the turquoise bulbs in the brand’s Globo chandelier. The tableware is from Hive. On the entry-way ceiling, below, Wallshoppe cabana-striped wallpaper lends a playful touch to the Totally Furniture mirrored credenza, bamboo mirror from Palm Beach Regency,and Heir Looms vintage rug. Below right, a vintage rattan chair and faux bamboo bar cart, also from Palm Beach Regency, are modernized with
a Jonathan Adler sconce.
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