Style Profiles is back for September, and I’m thrilled to welcome today’s guest, Katherine from Pender & Peony! Katherine’s blog is a one-stop shop for entertaining tips, decorating ideas, recipes and the loveliest vintage and antique curios. (You can also find her on Instagram @penderandpeony – she holds a decor sale every Thursday evening!)
I love Katherine’s cheerful, colorful home style, a wonderful example of the layered ‘grandmillennial’ traditional style. She’s also a fellow former museum professional! Read on to learn more about Katherine, her style, and her tips for choosing a color scheme.
How has your background in History and museum work shaped your taste and style?
I knew from an early age that I wanted to work at a museum and immerse myself in the vestiges of history. I really pursued that goal from high school through college and then into grad school. After which I spent many years working at historic plantations, art museums, and then a fine antique auction house. That background shaped my taste and style in every way imaginable. I owe so much of my knowledge about the decorative arts to the wonderful collections and curators I had the chance to work with. It was really a fortunate education because I got to see and touch all the “good stuff” from haute couture Chanel to Boudins and Lalique to historical ephemera of George Washington.
When you are that up close and personal with such beautiful art and handicraft it can’t help but affect you. It definitely helped me develop an eye and learn about proportion and the foundations for classical design.
When choosing a color scheme – either for a room or for holiday decor – what are the primary factors you consider?
I think the first factor everyone should consider when choosing colors for the interior is the emotional connection, so how does a color make you feel? What memories does it stir? Do you feel energized or relaxed when you see it? And then you can start to put together colors with how you want the room to look and feel.
You can always tweak colors to be warmer or cooler playing with undertones to suit a north or south facing room, etc. But you’ve got to get the emotional connection right first.
What do you wish more people knew about traditional/’grandmillennial’ style interiors and decorating with antiques?
Traditional doesn’t mean boring, and grandmillennial is not a new phenomenon, rather it’s a revival of traditional style coined under a catchy name! It’s a new generation of home enthusiasts saying, “hey, maybe my grandmother did get it right!”
In terms of decorating with antiques, I see a lot of people mistaking vintage for antique, and that concerns me. I want people to do their research and understand the value they are getting for their hard earned money, and I want more sellers to be transparent about this.
How does being from the South influence the way you entertain? Tell us more about how you define entertaining with a Southern flair.
I have this 3×3 black and white photograph from the summer of 1959 pinned to the mood board behind my desk where I can see it everyday. In it my family is gathering around a long wooden table under my grandparents’ oak trees. There are dogs and kids running about, and everyone is in motion coming to the table. It’s just a snapshot. I don’t know who took it. I don’t even know who all is in the photo, presumably my mother is one of the kids running around. But for me it signifies the heart of casual Southern entertaining.
I grew up with a mother and grandmother who always made extra for dinner because you never knew who might drop by for dinner and they were so welcoming – the more the merrier! Dinner time was for conversation and jokes and good food.
They invested time and energy into making meals from scratch using recipes that were generations old, and they did it with pizzazz. There were always flowers on the table. There was always pretty dishware and beautiful linens. It wasn’t necessarily the most expensive china, and the flowers were cut from the garden, but there was attention paid to everyday occasions. My grandmother was a homemaker, but my mother worked full time and earned her doctorate degree while having us kids, so she didn’t always have time for that, but she made it happen.
They instilled in me the beauty of elevating the everyday and how to extend warm hospitality. I think that is really at the heart of Southern entertaining — it’s making guests feel at home and having a damn good time! It’s about the impromptu picnic…the ease of laughter…and yes the taste of hot biscuits!
Your fashion sense is so classic, and seems to really complement your home style! Who are some of your fashion icons?
First of all thank you! I’m so glad it comes across this way, because it is something I work at. I think the older I get, the more I really dig into my personal style and colors and patterns that suit me both for my clothing and my home. In terms of fashion influences, I love old movies from the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. I always want Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe from Funny Face or Sabrina. I also love Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair. The tailored femininity is so chic!
Favorites in your closet right now?
For fall, I’m most excited to get out my Sarah Flint suede brogues and this really stunning moody botanical Gucci silk scarf designed by Accornero.
And finally – if you could spend a week anywhere, where would you go?
The English Cotswolds.
All images appear courtesy of Pender and Peony and may not be reproduced elsewhere.