Catie L. Quanrud, owner and designer of Speak Easy Interiors, has benefitted from a wide-ranging spectrum of experiences in the design and construction business. Always hungry for a new challenge and happy to learn from and collaborate with other passionate people, Catie has designed and built showrooms, overseen cabinetry installations for multifamily projects, created one-of-a-kind furnishings for estate properties, designed kitchens for everyone from rabbis to billionaire CEO’s, and most recently undertaken the design and construction of luxury restaurants.
Catie’s clients come to understand that she can be relied on from the conceptual stage through their eventual move into their space. She is as likely to be found hunched over a drawing, working through a design as she is to be found at a construction site collaborating with electricians. This fully integrated approach of equal parts design, communication and collaboration produce more realistic designs, more achievable solutions, and more realized dreams.
Notoriously hopeless with crafty endeavors and clumsy to boot, Catie’s longtime collaborators become understandably concerned when she nears a power tool or strong adhesive. Perhaps it is that deficiency that has made her keenly aware of how enormously she has benefitted from her teachers, both formal and in the field. Speak Easy counts among its goals the championing of talented makers, from fine artists to blacksmiths, and carpenters to photographers. Introducing these talented makers to her clients is one of the most rewarding aspects of any project, and an ingredient in creating one of a kind installations every time.
About The Name
Speak Easy Design is more than a clever name. To begin, all Speak Easy designs endeavor to create pieces or spaces that tell a story. In a family home, a kitchen should tell the story of the family who lives there. In a restaurant, a dining room should inspire conversation. It should prompt questions. It should assist the food in creating a unique experience. No one should ever return to the table from the restroom without exclaiming, “You have to see the bathrooms!”
Second, Catie and her collaborators put a huge amount of effort into excellent communication. This can make the potentially overwhelming nature of construction more enjoyable, comfortable and fruitful.
Part of excellent communication is developing the ability to listen carefully. As a young design assistant, Catie’s job was to take exacting notes of every client meeting. Never speaking, she learned the importance of listening to everything the client said, and tapping into opportunities for good design to address needs her clients might not even be able to identify.
Lastly, Catie hails from Minnesota, and frequently travels back for hits of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, their wonderful skylines, fabulous restaurants and good people. Art Deco and prohibition history is as essential to Minneapolis as tomatoes are to Italian cuisine, and though she infrequently uses it in Floridian work, that love of Art Deco fashion, stories, architecture and cuisine courses through her veins.