Modern Matter Blog
Meet the Founder: Kat Mulford
Kat Mulford identifies as a serial entrepreneur and leads marketing and product development at Modern Matter, the company she co-founded with Lee Lesley. Before the idea for Modern Matter even occurred to Kat Mulford and her co-founder, they had their own jewelry atelier. It was when one of their clients asked if they would consider making their jewelry into hardware that prompted them to grow their company into a premium home fashion brand. Using the same artisanal approach to jewelry, their luxury hardware pieces blend classic lines and elegant materials, which are handcrafted and accented with semi-precious and natural stones.
Kat and Modern Matter have collaborated with well-known interior designers like Mark D. Sikes, Sarah Bartholemew, Michelle Nussbaumer, Barrie Benson, Eddie Ross, and more to create custom luxury hardware collections. Small moments can completely change an interior, which drives the designs of Modern Matter. Kat lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her family and pets — two dogs (Kobe and Cowboy) and a cat (Mary Kate, an Instagram hit). We hope you enjoy this interview with Kat!
Describe your style in three words or less:
Collected. Eclectic. Inspired.
What have been the three biggest influences on your aesthetic in your life:
How did you start your company, and/or what is your favorite thing about what you do:
We started out making jewelry for our friends and family, just simple beaded gemstone necklaces. We became obsessed with gemstones and started learning all about the different types of stones. It eventually led to us adding gemstones to decorative items which took us down the hardware path.
Do you have a mentor in your career, and if so, how have they helped to shape your trajectory:
We have had many mentors throughout the years. The best ones just listen and add words of encouragement. Knowing that the challenges and issues we face are not unique to us, has helped us build confidence in our decision-making.
What does your home say about you:
My home says that I need to get a bigger storage unit! I have collected too much weird (but interesting) stuff!
Interior by Michelle Nussbaumer for the FLOWER Magazine Atlanta Showhouse. Photography by Emily Followill.
Where do you find inspiration:
Books, art, music, and definitely flea markets or antique shopping.
What are your key ingredients for entertaining:
Music and good wine!
Do you collect anything:
I love old etched crystal. I also like to collect old frames and use them to frame new art.
Favorite Instagram accounts to follow for inspiration:
@peirceandward - love their design aesthetic! We are launching a line with them next year!
What design “rule” do you always follow, and which is made to be broken:
The only rule I can think of that I follow are the curtain and rug rules—how far they should be off the ceiling and walls.
Interior by Swell Décor. Photography by Laura Sumrak
What are you working on right now:
We are launching several collaborative collections over the next year- Mark D. Sikes, Pierce and Ward, and Pure Salt! They all have very different design sensibilities and it is so exciting to see the new materials they are using for hardware.
I love Pierre Frey.
Best interior style advice you ever received:
Don’t copy other people’s styles!
Best career advice you ever received:
“Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.” - Thomas Edison said this and it’s so true!!!
Designed bySarah Bartholomew for the 2021 Southern Living Idea House. Photography by Tim Furlong
Types of home purchases you invest in, and save on:
Fixer-Uppers with good bones!
Your greatest extravagance:
Wine and travel!
Favorite places to shop for home:
West Palm Beach Expo Antique Show
Most prized possession:
Mac Book Pro.
Your interiors motto:
Keep it interesting.
Your life motto:
Eat now, sleep now.
Advice for someone looking to define their own interior style:
Do what makes you feel happy and surround yourself with things you love.
Interior by Mark D. Sikes. Photography by Amy Neunsinger
Take Ten: My Favorite…
Food: Grilled Cheese
Drink: Coke Zero
Hotel: Chateau Marmont
City: Charlotte, NC
Tea or Coffee (and how do you take it): BLACK COFFEE (all day)
Playlist: Willie Nelson's 90th Birthday at the Hollywood Bowl
Weekend Activity: Hanging with friends
Design Book: A Tale of Interiors by Pierce and Ward
Interior by Barrie Benson. Photography by Anna Rout