As soon as we met globe-trotting writer-editor Katie Armour (born and
raised in Cali, she’s logged in time in Switzerland, New York, and
West Virginia), we were completely smitten. Not only are the two
online publications that she directs utterly adorable and inspiring,
personally, she’s got style in spades, too. On the eve of Matchbook
Magazine’s Issue Four release, the classics-loving lady (cigarette
pants, black ballet flats, and a silk blouse are her daily steez)
invited us into her charming Alameda home to chat about her favorite
local restos, her high-low obsession, and finding health and happiness
in the Bay.
Name: Katie Armour
I live on: The island of Alameda in the East Bay
How did you get into the website game?
"After working in interior design in San Francisco and New York, I took a leap of faith and moved to West Virginia to live with my then boyfriend (now husband, my plan worked out!). As an outlet to gush about my design obsessions, I started a little blog. I had no idea what I was doing, but all these nice girls from around the world started reading it. We've since moved out West and I’m now blogging full-time. In January, I teamed up with my college friend, Jane Lilly Warren, to launch Matchbook, an online lifestyle magazine celebrating 'the classics—shaken and stirred.' We're learning as we go and having the time of our lives doing it!"
What are your favorite parts of your work?
"I love meeting new people. Everyone we feature is ridiculously inspiring, kind, and creative. The Matchbook photo-shoots are an especially fun time. I so enjoy getting to know the ladies and gents we feature and helping them feel comfortable in front of the camera. Personally, I am far more at-ease behind the camera than in front of it!"
How does San Francisco inspire you?
"I love being walking distance from the beach and a 15-minute train ride to downtown. We like being outdoors and walking our pugs around the neighborhood with all its charming Victorian homes. And yes, San Francisco has great dining, shopping, and museums, but what really strikes me is that it's generally just so healthy and happy. My New Englander husband used to smoke a pack a day, but he quit when we moved out here a year ago and is now training for a marathon. I'm convinced there's something in the air."
Describe your daily uniform or the pieces you wear to work the most.
"I definitely gravitate toward classic, tailored pieces. I practically live in cigarette pants, black pumps or ballet flats, and a silk blouse. I like to accessorize with lots of jewelry picked up along my travels or 'borrowed' from my grandmother's vanity. My staples all come from places like J.Crew, Kate Spade, and Club Monaco. And I, like my Matchbook reader, appreciate things that are both chic and affordable (tossing in an investment piece here and there for good measure). I love mixing my Chanel bag with a Zara blazer—high and low is a fabulous thing."
What's your favorite local distraction from work?
"My husband and I have become big film-goers since moving out West. In downtown Alameda we have a fabulously restored Art Deco theater from the 1930's and every Wednesday they screen a classic like Casablanca or All About Eve. Some are newer classics—last week we saw Annie Hall, one of my favorite films. It was such fun to see it up on the big screen. If we ever move away, I'd miss our local theater dearly."
Last meal in S.F., where would it be?
"It would be here on the island: Pappo on Central Avenue just off Park Street. We had our wedding dinner there. The food is divine."
What of your work do we have to look forward to?
"Matchbook's fourth issue is coming out next week and it features some fantastic creatives from San Francisco, New York, Charleston, South Carolina, and more. I think Refinery29 readers and Matchbook girls alike will appreciate the latest roundup. Long-term, we have lots of crazy, ambitious dreams for our little magazine—stay tuned!"
If someone recognizes you on the street, what would you like them to say?
“You looked swell on Refinery29!”
Photos by Spreadhouse