A Breathtaking Farmhouse on Martha's Vineyard

Designer Kathleen Walsh Helps a Family Bring Their Vision to Life

A Breathtaking Farmhouse on Martha's Vineyard | Interior Design by Kathleen Walsh of Kathleen Walsh Interiors | Photography by Eric Roth | Modern Sanctuary | Interior Design Inspiration | Living Room Inspiration | Rustic Living Room | Seating
Photo by:
Eric Roth
03/13/2017

It takes courage to make a major life change, so when you do it, you want a clear vision and the best partners possible. When this family was moving to Martha’s Vineyard to start a new chapter in their life, they knew that having a warm and comforting home would be an integral part of their plans. They also knew that the perfect partner for this endeavor was Kathleen Walsh of Kathleen Walsh Interiors.

Kathleen describes the surprising phone call. “When my clients called me about starting an organic dairy farm, The Grey Barn and Farm, on Martha’s Vineyard, I was floored. It was so surprising, and such a departure from their previous life, one couldn’t help but let their jaw drop. However, I could immediately hear how clear the thoughts were about ‘the why’ and the goals. It all seemed so simple: to create a life that was literally and figuratively rooted, to produce something and share it, to live in a positive place and raise their boys, to live within a community that was home to people from all walks of life and was both small-town and cosmopolitan and savvy. Add the firm of Hutker Architects and landscape designer Kris Horiuchi, Holmes Hole Builders and an extended group of smart, clever and team-spirited folks, how could I not be on-board?

“This family will always hold a special place in my heart, as they were the ones who gave me my first full residential project, which I did freelance while working at another firm. Then they came to me again with a project tempting enough to let me make a daring move of my own and start my business in 2004.”

With an undertaking this large, it was critical for Kathleen to connect with the necessary functionality for the home, and more importantly, its soul. “With some probing, the common threads began to reveal themselves: tangible texture in all materials, creamy shades of white, a collected but de-cluttered sense of accessorizing, lots of glass and windows – but enough wall space for art, beautiful light quality, distinct lighting, some color in measured doses, some whimsy and room for quirks, and bravery.”

The end result is nothing short of specular; a modern, functional home and a calming sanctuary after long days working the farm.

Photo by:
Eric Roth
Photo by:
Eric Roth

“Fabrics were chosen for their character and how they would soften or stay strong over time. Natural and organic fibers were used throughout, and their superior quality, while subtle, reveals itself with just a touch.”

Custom Designed Sofas: Christian Liaigre

Photo by:
Eric Roth
Photo by:
Eric Roth

The property doesn’t just look great, but it is a place where you feel a certain energy. People are working and living, creating and producing. The land and animals are respected, the landscape is honored, and in return it provides for all within reach of the farm and its business. Kathleen Walsh

Photo by:
Eric Roth

The contemporary lighting used throughout each space is beautifully contrasted against the warm rustic bones of the home.

Chandelier: David Weeks

Photo by:
Eric Roth
Photo by:
Eric Roth

“The La Cornue range is a showstopper.”

Photo by:
Eric Roth

“Martha’s Vineyard is a special place, I visit each year and if you love this place, you really love it with all your being.”

Table: Custom KWI Table: John Thayer | Chairs: David Iatesta

Photo by:
Eric Roth
Photo by:
Eric Roth

“With regard to items bought for previous homes, there again was that clarity; the old furnishings were well loved and enjoyed, but it was time to move on to make way for a new aesthetic. A few especially loved and distinct pieces made the cut for the new design, and we started with a clean a slate.”

Rug: Edward Fields

Photo by:
Eric Roth

“One thing we try to include in projects are the perfectly imperfect items that are found in things that are made by hand- or at least in items where you can see the hand of the maker.”

Photo by:
Eric Roth

In the powder room, an antique marble sink is paired with two vintage mirrors.

Photo by:
Eric Roth

“Lighting was sourced by small independent designers, emerging designers and from vintage and antique shops, and none were deemed right until there was agreement from everyone on the team.”

Chandelier: Lindsey Edelman

Photo by:
Eric Roth

 “Natural materials are just always the way to go- they will nourish you. Maybe its a primal thing but the feel of pure linen, wool, silk, cotton, hemp, aloe- the list goes on but when it’s real- it is just perfect, it has integrity.”

Nightstands: BDDW | KWI bed: Interiors By Royale

Photo by:
Eric Roth

 “In the master bathroom, Lacava basins sit atop a Hutker Architects designed vanity.”

Photo by:
Eric Roth
Photo by:
Eric Roth

This is one of my most favorite projects because I was able to witness my clients dare to make a bold wish come true. We all imagine dropping one life to follow a dream, and for this family that was actually doing it, it was, and still is, immensely inspiring.  Kathleen Walsh

Meet the designer Kathleen Walsh of Kathleen Walsh Interiors
Bio:

Kathleen Walsh’s tailored and serene interiors are the right balance of interesting details, luxury, and the perfect imperfection of things that are made by hand.

The New England–raised entrepreneur entered Pratt Institute for fashion but discovered what she really loved was the tactile, three-dimensional qualities of fabric, and the transformational qualities of color. Interiors allowed her to combine both with her love of architecture and sculpture. She finished her studies with a BFA in Interior Design and then earned her MBA in Management from Baruch College.

Walsh spent a decade working with some of New York’s leading designers and architects on residential and commercial projects internationally and throughout the greater New York area before establishing her own firm, Kathleen Walsh Interiors, in 2004. Her boutique firm’s projects include primary and secondary residences in New York City, Brooklyn, Greenwich CT, Westchester and Fairfield Counties, New England, and on Martha’s Vineyard. Ms Walsh lives in Brooklyn NY with her husband and two young daughters, and her first seating collection with Edward Ferrell-Lewis Mittman will debut late spring 2017.

What is your Modern Sanctuary?
My sanctuary is my bedroom in my newly renovated townhouse in Brooklyn. The house is not terribly wide, even as city houses go, so the room is the full back-end of the upper floor. It has a full-width window and window seat all across the back wall which overlooks our garden, and has a canopy of a very tall tree above.

The room is mostly shades of white, which for me is calming since I work with color all day, but my linens are a cool, crisp percale cotton, the rug is woven and provides a pleasingly slighly rough texture to wake up my feet, and the light in the room is divine.

I don't like blackout shades and in the city, there's always a little light level that's constant. What that light level allows, though, is for the tree branches to create a shadow pattern across my linen shades at night, so its the last thing I see before falling asleep.

When I need to be still and gather thoughts, I can sit on the windowseat and just watch birds or the squirrels scamper about in the yard. Living in NYC for the last 25 years, I can tell you this calm we've been lucky enough to stumble upon is a saving grace in a noisy busy place. I am so grateful my family has this little spot of peace and calm, even my girls have started understanding it and I've found them there too, catching a few minutes of "me-time".
Copy by
Cynthia Baxter
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