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Enter the World of NYC Real Estate With Alexis Caldera and Kate Cuadro

interior design

Ever wondered what it's like to work in luxury real estate in the Big Apple?

Words by 

Megan Hill

Published on 

April 19, 2023

DMT Design, The Development Marketing team, The Development Marketing Team NYC, NYC-based real estate broker, NYC real estate, home staging, how to stage a home, home staging tips, elegant interior designers, NYC home staging, home staging in NYC, NYC interior design, Kate Cuadro, Kate Cuadro real estate, Alexis Caldera, Alexis Caldera real estate

What makes a house a home? Ask the co-founders of DMT Design, Kate Cuadro and Alexis Caldera. DMT Design is a vital piece of the puzzle at NYC-based real estate broker, The Development Marketing Team. The elegantly designed and staged apartments that set DMT homes apart from the competition are the creative masterpieces of Kate and Alexis.

Backed by almost two decades of experience across interiors, fashion, and real estate, Kate and Alexis have mastered the art of understated elegance and understand how to design a space that motivates consumers to call it “home.” Kate and Alexis offered to give us a peak into the dazzling life of NYC real estate and explain how in a world of luxury and opulence they continue to create designs that are distinctly personal.

Meet the Founders

Alexis Caldera

"I’ve worked in residential and commercial design in New York for over seven years now and have had the opportunity to learn from renowned architects and designers, including Gensler. After completing my Bachelor's degree in Interior Design from the University of Arkansas, my career started off with an internship at a small residential interior design firm in Manhattan. Later, to broaden my skill set, I obtained my real estate license. At DMT Design, I'm able to pursue my passion for both real estate and interior design, whilst expanding my expertise in both areas."

Kate Cuadro

"I graduated with a degree in Merchandise Product Development from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), and have spent the last seven years designing and managing production manufacturing for various womenswear and children’s brands in San Francisco and New York City. Not too long after moving to NYC, I became intrigued by NYC real estate. Eventually, I listened to my nagging intuition, obtained my real estate license, and joined an incredible and well-established team. Of course, I was still very much a designer and so to scratch that creative itch, I launched a luxury home accessories brand on the side. While short-lived, doing so helped me to realise my true calling, blending my interest in real estate and my love for design."

What does a "day in the life" at work look like?

No two days are the same. Some days are spent meeting with clients at a stone slab yard to choose the perfect marble for their home or coordinating furniture and lighting installations on site. On another day, we might be presenting final design ideas to a client, or adding final touches to a finished project in preparation for professional photography. With such a diverse range of tasks, our days are always full of new challenges and opportunities.

What is the most challenging part of your work?

Managing multiple projects at once can be challenging, but this is also where we thrive. Each project is unique and has its own set of requirements, so staying organized is critical. Tracking every detail along the way, from the client's preferences to the project timeline, we ensure that nothing is overlooked. While it can be a lot to manage at times, we find that the variation keeps things interesting and helps us to maintain focus.

Collaboration is the key to success—agreed?

Collaboration is an essential part of our partnership. Working in sync is key, but we also recognise and appreciate each other's unique strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, our working styles complement each other well, and working together helps us achieve better results for our clients.

How do you determine what a client really wants from a space?

Like real estate agents, we often joke that we’re not only interior designers but also our clients’ therapists. We put effort into understanding our clients' lifestyles, personalities, and preferences, allowing us to create a space that truly embodies them. Doing so adds a personal touch to the design process, and results in spaces that are not only beautiful but also practical and meaningful to our clients.

For a project in Greenwich Village, our client wanted a space that felt sophisticated, feminine, and glamorous, without being too over-the-top or cliché. To achieve this, we incorporated a neutral colour scheme with bold black accents, as well as brass and crystal details to add some interest. We drew inspiration from the building's unique architecture and the curvilinear lines found throughout the space. By selecting complementary furniture and decor, we were able to create a cohesive and warm space that stayed true to the original vision.

DMT Design Greenwich village apartment living area
A penthouse apartment in Greenwich Village, staged by DMT Design founders Alexis Caldera and Kate Cuadro.

How do you continually challenge yourself to be creative?

We constantly look for ways to push creative boundaries and produce results that leave our clients feeling inspired. Our goal is to not only challenge ourselves but inspire our clients to think beyond what they thought was possible. It’s so important to always be evolving and finding new ways to be innovative.

Where do you find inspiration?

Our favourite places to draw inspiration from are art museums, nature, travelling, antiquing, reading design publications, and working with other creatives.

What makes a house a home?

Every project is unique, and we want to always be a source of inspiration for our clients but a house is not a home without personality. We work closely with our clients to ensure we match their style and personality so the space truly feels like their home.

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