Asian-Inspired Craftsman Goes Organic
Vicky Matthews and her husband downsized to a dilapidated 1910 Craftsman home in the heart of Woodbury, Georgia. Though she’s often traveling as a flight attendant, Vicky also serves on her local town council.
Her house was renovated, keeping the historic character and charm, but it wasn’t finished. Then came the request that she put her home in the Christmas Tour of Homes. “I was overwhelmed,” said Vicky. “I had put my colors on the wall, but it was sitting unfinished.”
Vicky had clear tastes: a rustic modern aesthetic, a love for Asian antiques. “I needed draperies and area rugs. I have the original hardwood floors.”
She had a great foundation. But she needed help. Some guys at the Atlanta antique market suggested checking the ASID website for a local designer. Vicky explained, “I’d never thought of using an interior designer. I thought it was for people with big mansions and unlimited budget.”
Vicky found Kristi Westlake of Westlake Design Studio in Newnan. It was an instant match. “One thing I like about Kristi: she’s approachable. She listens. She’s honest, easy to work with and down to earth.”
“I was drawn to her because we’re really into recycling and reusing. I liked that she was eco-friendly. She offers sustainability. I called her and she came down and we met,” said Vicki
“I told her I needed help with soft stuff and fabrics,” she said. Other than a hard deadline for the Christmas Tour, Vicky’s priorities were in usability and in adding warmth to the space with rugs and drapes. But it all had to be dog-friendly, too.
Vicky appreciated Kristi’s photographic memory. How she remembered rooms, how she understood Vicky’s style immediately.
Besides the full time job and the local council, Vicky helps her husband run several businesses. “She made it less stressful for me. She did all the work that was not fun,” she said.
Kristi brought two or three organic fabrics to the table as drapery choices. The simple choices made it possible for Vicky to pick without feeling overwhelmed. Kristi also suggested a beautiful, but easily cleaned rug for the office, where Magpie the Dog likes to sleep.
Together, Kristi and Vicky also made several trips into Atlanta. Kristi, as a professional interior designer, shared access to several trade-only marts and showrooms. Vicky found some choice pieces, lamps, rugs. It made her home more custom. Vicky said, “If you just put things in the house from a catalog, it just looks like a catalog.”
She continued, “Kristi helped me choose everything that worked for us. We enjoy all of our house. We don’t have any wasted space. Our house is only about 1300 square feet. She helped me use every inch of it well.”
That included adding extra cabinetry in the laundry room, and making sure it’s a style match for the rest of the house. It gave Vicky a place to store her seasonal dishes and put her husband’s golf clubs, which used to be always out in the living room.
Vicky said she now has a “zen-like” bedroom, with organic fabrics, a pagoda-like bedside table, and another that matches the style, but isn’t matchy-matchy.
Kristi solved several functionality problems in Vicky’s bathroom. “She custom-made a bench with pull out drawers for storage. I put my beach towels and bathroom supplies in there. We sit there and get dressed in the morning,” said Vicky.
Was it ready for an audience by Christmas? “We had it all done, and it came together beautifully. It was fabulous. Kristi even came down and helped me with setting up the house for the Christmas tour.”
Kristi had the home professionally photographed, and it was featured in a book, Green Interior Design. Kristi brought Vicky a copy of the book wrapped in red ribbon. The chapter mentioned the reclaimed barn wood floors that Vicky takes pride in, and the earth-friendly paints and fabrics. Vicky framed the pages for her kitchen.
Vicky continues to call on Kristi for color consultations on her other properties. She also refers her to friends. Vicky said, “Kristi can go to any setting. That’s a good designer.”