Before Cathleen puts lead to vellum, she initiates an open dialogue with each client about their unique individual needs and wishes; functional and aesthetic. Upon further exploration, she unveils the client's unique lifestyle and personal history. She believes, only then, she can embark upon the design process for others; infuse the work with artistry, purpose, and uniqueness.
Cathleen does not subscribe to any one particular design genre. Her dossier ranges from traditional to modern; often with a very subtle Asian inspired zen aesthetic that distinguishes her work. Her art form mixes clean lines with organic elements to celebrate contrasts in form, line and texture. She favors classic shapes and silhouettes that are tailored yet comfortable. She seeks to balance volumes with voids, as she harmonizes and celebrates custom finishes.
Cathleen’s work carries with it a special mystique that is the trademark of her work as a designer. This comes from the conceptual design sensibility that she obtained through her Master’s Degree at the Rhode Island School of Design, one of the most prestigious design schools in the world. Cathleen has also been trained by some of the most distinguished design firms in the industry. There is a unifying story and an unspoken process unique to Cathleen’s vision as an artist. Clients, upon experiencing her finished work often remark, "I don't know why, but this is so cool, and it is so me!".
As a curator of design, Cathleen seeks out authentic materials and finishes that are exquisite, unique, beautiful and sustainable. She relies on the artistry of the bespoke—the custom, the handmade, and unique. She calls upon a myriad of talented design professionals to execute the design for her clients including craftsmen, cabinet makers, floor artisans, wall finish artists, furniture makers and other proprietary sources accumulated from her tenure in the interior design trade.
The furnishings and spaces that the designer curates are well traveled, and luxurious; as if collected over time. The spaces she designs are deceptive in their simplicity as they are layered with complexity. One can only truly discover the richness of each space by visiting it multiple times.
Cathleen believes that certain fixtures and accessories should be unusual, functional and eclectic. She embraces the belief that artistry should be as present in the details as it is in the space as a whole.
Along with impeccable lighting, her spaces create a sense of calm—which is what most people seek after a long day. Clients find her spaces to be inspired, luxurious, refined and comfortable with a nod to the androgynous. Her work appeals equally to both sexes—unless the client's design wishes lead otherwise.
Through collaboration and mutual respect, she invites her clients to invent the extraordinary.
Cathleen Gouveia is the Design Principal of Cathleen Gouveia Design, an award-winning design firm based in Belvedere-Tiburon, California delivering high-end residential Interior Design and Project Management services to the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe, the Napa and Sonoma Wine Region, the Hamptons, Nantucket and beyond. Her work has been featured on Home and Garden Television (HGTV), “California Home and Living Television”, in The San Francisco Chronicle, and several other periodicals. Cathleen is the 2016/17 President of ASID California North, and an Associate Member of the IIDA.
Cathleen Gouveia Design was founded in Sausalito in 2004. Cathleen previously designed spaces for prestigious residential design firms in San Francisco. Her work has appeared at The Traditional Home Napa Showhouse (2012 and 2014), The San Francisco Decorator Showcase House (2011), The Elle Décor Home Tour (2011) and the Marin Designers Showcase House (2004, 2005, 2007, 2010). The San Francisco Chronicle named Cathleen a, “San Francisco Stylemaker”. Ms. Gouveia was the recipient of The 2011 ASID Cal North Design Excellence Award for, “Best Sustainable Residential Interior Design Project”; The 2015 Design Excellence Award for, “Best Showhouse Design” (1st Place); and, “The Best Residential Project Under 3,000SF” (2nd Place).
Cathleen graduated with Honors from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where she received an MFA Degree in Interior Architecture and Design, and received The Departmental Award for Design Excellence. She studied European Architecture, Art and Design in London, Paris, and Rome; and completed post-baccalaureate studies at The School of Visual Arts (SVA), and The N.Y. School of Interior Design.
The hallmark of Cathleen’s style is a conceptual perspective unique to the history and vernacular of each building and design client. Cathleen has established a cornucopia of unique sources, artisans and suppliers.
In her free time, Cathleen may be found indulging her passion for travel, art, design, music and boating. She divides her time between San Francisco, CA; Bay Head NJ; and East Hampton, NY and one day plans to open a design studio in Nantucket, MA.