A Story to Tell

May 22, 2017 at 4:34 PM 12 comments

I haven’t been designing for clients for the past nine months as I’ve taken time off from my business to schlep after my three littles. However, I’ve felt desperate lately to keep that joy that decorating brought me alive and so I’ve been listening to James Swan’s podcasts, where he interviews many of my design heros, while I clean.

One thing that comes up time and again are how designers are storytellers. Our home has such an interesting and unique story as we are the third generation in my family living in it.  So, I want to be intentional with the decor telling our story.
Take for instance this small vestibule at the top of a few stairs before you enter the hallway to the children’s bedrooms.
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Growing up, this nook held a gorgeous bookcase filled with fantastical chapter books that I would devour. I had planned on keeping the bookcase for this next year until my mom uses it in her future home. However, it occurred to me that this was telling the story of my childhood not my kids.
This past Saturday, while Graham was out golfing and Rowan slept, the girls and I set out to reset the little nook to our own family.
I took an antique side table which I absolutely love that was growing cobwebs in our garage. The chic tortoise table was found on the streets of our Pacific Heights SF neighborhood. I snatched it right off the street (it had a “free” sign on it), knowing some socialites trash was my treasure.
I then took a blue and white cache pot and a very sweet gold mirror that I found at an estate sale. I was going to put a faux shrub in the cache pot and call it a day on the little area. But then I thought again how this wasn’t telling our story and so I wandered around the home to see how I could personalize it and I ended up on this final look.
The lamb has hung over the crib of all three of my babies. I see it as the silent, sweet soft mama lamb who watches over them while I get the most needed sleep of my life!
The blue and white lamp is a lamp I bought years ago because I loved it but I never could find the right spot for it in our old home. The shade was a plain white one and so I recovered it myself with fabric that my sweet in laws brought back to me from India. I have absolutely loved the fabric and how special it is so I’ve waited years before cutting into it and using it.
The staffordshire dogs came from an estate sale in woodside I went to a few months ago. Estate sales are my absolute favorite place to go but it’s extremely rare that I have the time to pop in. I found myself with just Rowan and I treated myself to an estate sale visit and these were the treasures that I came home with.  I also like how the pink in the dog’s nose match the pink in the shade fabric.
The books all have meaning to me. Anna Spiro – my number one design love.  Apartment Therapy – the blog that helped me heal after my dad’s death – I read it for hours as my escape from the pain. And Design Sponge who  rejected me for a house tour years ago and so I put the tour on my own blog and it was then picked up by My Domaine and Pop Sugar and many other huge blogs which taught me to keep at it even after rejection.
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I’m really pleased with the collected, whimsical and storied nook. One that expresses us and let’s you know you are entering the kid zone with the three little wild animals that occupy it.

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Design Update Breakfast Room Updates

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. debby manning  |  May 22, 2017 at 4:45 PM

    Wild animals or Little lambs?! I vote for the Lambs. . . this story is wonderful and i feel as though I know the house even though I’ve never stepped a foot in the door. Keep telling these stories and sharing your loves w/ us. Books, children, vignettes, victories, setbacks; all that makes a life. Priceless.

    • 2. katecollinsinteriors  |  May 26, 2017 at 1:49 PM

      Yes – lambs most days. Although, wild animals as of late. Thank you so much! I will try to continue to story tell. Your comments keep me going so thank you!!

  • 3. Beatrice  |  May 22, 2017 at 6:36 PM

    That was really GREAT and a trip down memory lane. When your mom and I were little our doll collection was in that bookcase. Once we grew out of doll collecting ( I never did, still collect)it’s where the four of us shared the phone. That nook looks better than ever before. Congrats Kate.

    • 4. katecollinsinteriors  |  May 26, 2017 at 2:01 PM

      Thank you so much, Aunt Glovie!! It’s so much fun to hear the story of the bookcase. I didn’t realize that it was your parents first. From a doll collection to a book collection and now to this. Thank you so much to say it looks better than ever before. That truly made my day! Love to you and all the family!

  • 5. Fran  |  May 23, 2017 at 9:58 AM

    Kate I love this little nook and how it’s so personal! And, how all the pieces tell a story (like you said)! I love the lamb – it’s such a perfect addition to a sweet little spot!! And, I can’t believe AT rejected your house tour – the gall! 😉 It’s their loss!! Love everything you touch!

    • 6. katecollinsinteriors  |  May 26, 2017 at 1:51 PM

      Thank you so much, Fran! It’s fun to be taking my time on this home and to continue practicing decorating while I put my business on hold. It was actually Design Sponge that rejected me. I never did try Apartment Therapy, although they did end up posting that rejected apartment on a round up article. So life came full circle I guess.

  • 7. Amy Kacher  |  May 23, 2017 at 1:23 PM

    Hi Kate! I love this post! And I love even more that you have three little kids! Such a blessing! Yay!

    I LOVE that lampshade so much the fabric is AMAZING. Did you cover the shade yourself or did you find someone to do that for you?

    So happy to see you settled with your sweet young family.

    Xo Amy Sent from my iPhone


    • 8. katecollinsinteriors  |  May 26, 2017 at 1:59 PM

      Hi Amy! So great to hear from you! I hope all is going well with you and your family! Yes – up to three kids now. Can you believe it?! I’m feeling very blessed.

      Thank you so much about the lampshade!! I actually covered it myself after I watched a couple tutorials on youtube. It’s not the best job but it works. I don’t have someone local who can recover them but I use Cruel Mountain Designs off of ETSY. She is awesome and she’ll do pleated shades as well. Hope that helps!

  • 9. pierceandpost  |  May 23, 2017 at 8:33 PM

    So sweet, Kate! Jonathan Adler would be very proud of you, creating a space in your home with only beloved objects ; )

    Love to you and your wild animals!


    • 10. katecollinsinteriors  |  May 26, 2017 at 1:52 PM

      Thank you so much, love!! Ah, Jonathan Adler – only the best compliment ever! The wild animals need some Allie babysitting time.

  • 11. Mary Karen Euler  |  May 25, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    What a charmingly creative nook, Kate! Who’d a thunk to use that fabric on that pot…brilliant! And being so familiar with the house itself. over time I will enjoy seeing your designs that much more. And you are so clever in your “foraging” and then personalizing “finds”. Not only do I adore your designs, but also your process. Thanks for sharing all with us!

    • 12. katecollinsinteriors  |  May 26, 2017 at 1:52 PM

      Thank you so much! I knew the fabric was a mismatch to the pot but I thought it would be fun and playful and I love how it turned out. Thank you for reading. Will be fun for you to see!


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