We are thrilled to feature the work of local full-service interior and graphic designer, Kathleen Hay, and her successful firm Kathleen Hay Designs. Find her on Instagram @KathleenHayDesigns, give her a ring at 508-228-1219 or message her at [info]@kathleenhaydesigns.com.
We have no longer an outside and an inside as two separate things. Now the outside may come inside and the inside may, and does, go outside. They are of each other.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
We are all starved for a breath (or many) of fresh air after more than a year and a half of uncertainty and lockdowns, social distancing, and restrictions on movement. But even before we found ourselves living a new normal in a post-pandemic world, the lines between indoor and outdoor living were blurring. Outdoor “rooms,” including full kitchens, open air cabanas, and even tents fit for glamping have become a norm, especially in high-end homes. Sheer walls of glass that open completely to the outside are seen more and more in residential architecture, providing wide open views to the natural world just outside one’s door.
It is understandable that modern living has turned its attention to capturing the outdoors as part of the interior landscape given new focus on sustainability and wellness, as well as the ability to greatly expand the footprint of living space in a home. The rhythm and beauty of nature are calming succor to our human souls and the visual connections with the great outdoors bring us closer to that place of peace, to our moments of Zen. The great outdoors also invite adventure, expanding our horizons and satisfying our need for sunshine and clean air.
I think the collector in all of us jumps at the opportunity to discover treasures in nature. They capture our memories of simple pleasures enjoyed outdoors, of places we have traveled, of time spent with family and friends. Our collective wanderlust is piqued by the promise of exploration. Collecting gifts from the sea has been a pastime of many a vacationer through history and conjures images of children with plastic sand pails filled with natural baubles.
I have for years referenced the outdoors in my work and always look for ways to incorporate natural materials and objects in interior landscapes. I find it especially impactful to build collections of like objects. Objects from nature lend visual interest to a setting; they often tell stories of places we have been. These objects form one-of-a-kind, curated collections that cannot be replicated, and they give a unique sense of place to a home. I also love to incorporate furniture and lighting created from natural materials which gives unexpected texture to a space.
Nantucket holds a treasure trove of gifts from nature, plum specimens ready for the taking, be it seashells, rocks, birds’ nests, insects, flora and fauna, feathers, or stems and boughs. These natural souvenirs create beautiful tabletop montages or layered cabinets of curiosities. Used on their own atop a stack of books or placed on a bedside table, they capture the essence of summer and the rapture of lazy days spent whiling away at the seashore. Stack them in a clear glass bowl as a centerpiece, spread them on a textural raffia tray in your entry foyer, tuck them on windowsills or fireplace mantles. There are myriad places to display your found treasures. Happy hunting!
Find out more about Kathleen Hay and her work at kathleenhaydesigns.com.