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.
“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
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
The contemporary lighting used throughout each space is beautifully contrasted against the warm rustic bones of the home.
Chandelier: David Weeks
“The La Cornue range is a showstopper.”
“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.”
“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
“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.”
In the powder room, an antique marble sink is paired with two vintage mirrors.
“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
“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.”
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