Kathy has been in love with design ever since she got to choose her bedroom’s paint color in the 7th grade. Surrounded by that lavender, she read magazines and dreamt of being a writer. Many years later, she started the blog My Interior Life. After that, her design business was the next step. Now she gets to share her talents with her lucky clients.
Matt has traveled the world on photo safaris, each time coming home with beautiful objects and even more beautiful photos. Kathy has skillfully blended these items with modern pieces, vintage, and flea market finds into an easy, stylish home that reflects both of their personalities.
Turning a 1990s suburban home into something less than cookie cutter is no easy task. And after 8 ½ years there’s still work to be done. But really, when it comes to decorating, are we ever really done?
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: A mix of classic (often vintage) pieces with a good dose of Chinoiserie chic
Inspiration: Art and iconic interior designers like Billy Baldwin and Albert Hadley and current-day designers like Miles Redd and Celerie Kemble
Favorite Element: I love how the combination of beautiful and unique things I’ve found or collected over the years have come together to make our home feel comfortable and familiar.
Biggest Challenge: Making our suburban 1990s house feel different from the usual fare.
What Friends Say: Since I’m often shopping for clients (or sometimes myself), I find a lot of treasures along the way. Friends often ask where I found such-and-such. My answers tend to sound a bit repetitive – Craigslist, estate sales, the flea market. I find a mix of styles much more interesting.
Biggest Embarrassment: Our extremely beige and boring master bath that hasn’t been altered since we moved in 8 years ago (or since the house was built in 1997). It’s on my list when funds allow. (Photographer's note: the Master Bath was not photographed.)
Proudest DIY: I’m not a huge DIYer, but I tend to gild things that aren’t the right finish (if a drapery rod happens to be the right style/shape, but the wrong color, I’ve been known to break out the gold or brass paint).
Biggest Indulgence: A couple of years ago, we got new French doors that lead from our main family room to our deck. They look and function SO much better than the dated sliding glass door that was there before. I had them painted black to match our front door and all our main level interior doors.
Best Advice: Just be yourself when decorating. If you love blue but the “color of the year” is orange, go with blue. Stay true to what you love, and your house will reflect your originality. Also, take your time when decorating. It’s not a race. Rooms that evolve over time look much more authentic and personal.
Dream Sources: 1stDibs, Mecox Gardens, the Paris Flea Market
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLOR
- Main level: Wheeling Neutral, Benjamin Moore
- Dining Room: Seashell, Benjamin Moore; Ceiling: Grizzle Gray, Sherwin Williams
- Playroom: Sonnet, Benjamin Moore
- Powder Room: Mysterious, Benjamin Moore
- Master Bedroom: Ashley Gray, Benjamin Moore
- Office: Tricorn Black, Sherwin Williams
- Son’s Room: Eco Green, Sherwin Williams
- Daughter’s Room: Arctic Blue, Benjamin Moore
- Chest - Antique Mall
- Rug - Estate Sale
- Loop Chair (recovered in Braemore fabric) - Nadeau
- Mirror - Kirkland’s
- Lamp – Clearinghouse Consignment
- Umbrella stand – Antique mall
- Buffet/Sideboard – Grandmother’s
- Large white ceramic Asian lamp - eBay
- White temple jar – Homegoods
- Chair (recovered in Marimekko’s Joonas fabric) – Tag sale
- Burl Art Deco-style stool – Estate sale
- Sofa - Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
- Throw Pillows – World Market, Etsy, Homegoods and custom
- Milo Baughman-style pink chair - Craigslist
- Velvet Slipper Chair - Lee Industries (online auction)
- Rug - Persian Home Decor
- Mastercraft brass coffee table – Craigslist
- Black Paul Hanson Lamps - Goodwill
- Raffia Tray - West Elm
- Black Moroccan-style side table (repainted black with gold detail) - Thrift store
- Lucite side table - Estate sale
- Brass Garden Seat - Estate sale
- Scorched Bamboo Cabinet/Bookcase - Antique Mall
- Waterfall Sofa Table - Estate sale
- Square Stools (under sofa table) – Thrift store
- Chin Hua Desk by Century – Estate sale
- Art – Collected (or painted) over time
- Photography – Matt McGee Photography
- Cream Ceramic Lamp – Estate sale
- Basket – Target
- Rope Chair – Thrift store
- Vintage burl Thomasville pedestal table – Estate sale
- Curvy black chairs – Habitat for Humanity ReStore (recovered in Nate Berkus fabric)
- Black Chinese Chippendale bench – purchased from Instagram friend
- Gray Wool Rug - RugsUSA
- Gold-leafed faux bamboo and glass console table – Estate sale
- Vintage goddess lamp – Nashville Flea Market
- Gold laurel leaf mirror – Classy Cat Consignment
- Large Abstract Art – Anton Weiss
- Pastel Drawing – one of my mother’s art class drawings
- Brass Chiavari chairs – Estate sale
- Brass arrow sconces – Craigslist
- Cream draperies – Estate sale (added trim for interest and to make right length)
- Table – Habitat for Humanity ReStore
- Tobias IKEA chairs - Craigslist
- Faux bamboo pagoda chandelier – Circa Who
- Brass étagère – Antique Mall
- Most items on shelves are from estate sales, the flea market or family pieces
- Counter stools - Wisteria
- Headboard – West Elm
- Bedside chests – Bellevue Antique Mall
- Asian panels – TAG (Treasures, Antiques & Good Stuff)
- Century Chin Hua dresser - Craigslist
- Mirrors – Estate sale
- Lamps – Homegoods
- Bedding – West Elm, estate sale & Homegoods
- Lumbar pillow - custom
- Bench (recovered in ikat fabric) – Thrift store
- Art – Estate sale
- Rug - Nepal
- Sofa - Craigslist
- Hanging Chair – English & Co.
- Orange-Red Campaign Cabinet – Habitat for Humanity ReStore
- Bean Bag – PB Teen
- Mastercraft Credenza – Thrift store
- Rug - eBay
- Black Cabinet – Pottery Barn
- Most art is our personal art
- Desk – West Elm
- Shelves - IKEA
- Louis Ghost Chair – Nouveau Modern
- Rug – World Market
- Vintage Loveseat – Craigslist
- Credenza – Estate sale
- Mirror – Estate sale
- Stiffel lamp – Clearinghouse Consignment
- Curtains - IKEA
- Art over window – Kathy McGee
- Most items on shelves are from estate sales, flea market, etc.
- Bed – Wayfair
- Curtains – PB Teen
- Bedding – PB Teen/World Market
- X-Benches – Online estate sale auction
- Credenza – Estate sale
- Chandelier – IKEA
- X-Base Side Table – Southeastern Salvage
- Nailhead Chest - Ross
- Rug – Land of Nod
- Lamps – Homegoods, flea market and estate sales
- Bed - Wayfair
- Red Egg Chair – InStyle Modern
- Dresser – Land of Nod
- Bedside Campaign Chest – Estate sale
- Bedside drum table – Nashville Flea Market
- Curtains – PB Kids
- Overhead Lighting – PB Kids
- Rug – Shades of Light
- Bedding – IKEA & Homegoods
- Art – family pieces
Thanks, Kathy and Matt!
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Re-edited from a tour originally published in 2015 - AB