Feeling Kathryn Ireland

If you have been reading along with this blog for some time, it will come as no surprise to you that I am struggling to pin down "the look" of my own house.  I talked a little bit here about letting the house speak for itself and dictate what it becomes.  I have talked somewhere about always wanting to have it two ways: while I love a number of things consistently, I don't come down hard on one specific overall look.  (This desire has even spawned a series.)  To top it all off, I jumped in impatiently with this house from the get go, and have changed and tweaked and completely redone all the bedrooms at least once in less than 3 years.

At some point I should have made a plan.  (But where's the fun in that?)

Part of the challenge is working with so many items that I have had for years, and feeling locked in to a style direction and a color palette based on those.  So when we took the dining room rug to be cleaned earlier this year, I got to "see" the dining room possibilities without the piece that set the palette, the piece that I love (love love love) but that may be fighting with the house and that, in truth, I bought when I was 25.  Times change.  Styles evolve.

Are you still reading?  Wordy, I know.

Without the rug, I threw some new, way-on-sale yellow hand-blocked Pottery Barn pillows on to the old church pew and I fell in love.  Looking at this vignette day after day, I found myself thinking of Kathryn Ireland.  The Indian-inspired textile, the quirky antique church pew, the off-kilter formal window treatments.

Kathryn says: "Always accept hand me downs, even if they are not exactly your style."  This is what I have done over the years, and I love that I can turn to her for inspiration to pull it together and make it all work.  Kathryn Ireland has a more-is-more attitude (amen!), tempering all the exotic textiles and strong color with antiques, rustic wood, oversize lamps, and casual rugs.  I love that she uses formal elements (like dressed-to-the-nines beds) without her spaces feeling formal at all.  It's a hard trick to pull off.

(Let's look at some of her work together tomorrow, shall we?)

What this means is I am re-thinking the rug situation again.

Womp womp womp!

I torture myself, oh how I do!

Heather Peterson