Back in the spring of 2020 as I set out on my creative journey as an interior designer and decorator, I found such an amazing community of female entrepreneurs and other independent creatives through Instagram and my day-to-day life. That spring, I decided to highlight my current friends and new Instagram friends that were running their own businesses in a weekly feature simply called “Feature Friday.”
Fast-forward more than two years later and I’m bringing a permanent “Feature Friday” to the blog.
This series will highlight the amazing women in my community of creatives, whether we serve the same type of client, offer the same service but in a variety of aesthetics, or simply inspire me as a solopreneur for a variety of reasons. I stand behind these ladies’ work, know their hearts, and would recommend them in an instant to anyone I know!
This month’s Creative Feature is Katherine Young, of Katherine Young Home. Founded in 2021, Katherine Young Home is a new tablescape destination offering seasonal capsule collections for all of your entertaining needs. We take the guesswork out of online shopping, providing you with a perfectly coordinated look every time.
Katherine and I clearly have a passion for the same aesthetics, as we “shared” one another’s stories and posts, and as I lived vicariously through her most recent trip to Paris. When Katherine shared with me that she lives in Oregon, I mentioned our upcoming move to Washington (state) and she instantly assured me that our aesthetic is “a thing” in the Pacific Northwest. Honestly, I was so relieved to hear this and from there we continued to connect over must-see locales while we’re stationed in the PNW. But enough about me, let’s get to know this fabulously inspiring lady and her beautiful capsule collections!
Bee: So tell us Katherine, what inspires you? Are there any places that are particularly inspiring to you?
Katherine: I’m inspired by colors and prints and usually start there when I begin creating our seasonal collections. I’ll see a swatch or a print that I like, and then my brain starts running away with 100 ways to style it, how to change the colors to suit the season, or to make it go perfectly with the dinnerware I have in mind. I’m a very business-minded person, so when I am making product decisions I draw a lot on “What worked last season” and “how do we replicate that success this time around?”
I also really look to my customers for inspiration. How are they using our products? What do they want to see more of? We’ve been very fortunate to work with some really talented Content Creators/Influencers who are amazing at what they do. I continue to draw inspiration from their creativity as well!
Bee: Oh girl, can I ever relate to the jumping off point from color & print, and the creative brain runaway! It’s a beautiful thing to experience and I love seeing how you’ve worked in both inspiration and methodically to curate repeated success. As a designer & decorator, I love using your tablescapes as a jumping-off point to what color palette I may want to design a space around. Creativity sure is a circle! Speaking of inspiration and business, how did you fall into this business?
Katherine: About 4 years before starting my business I started noticing images of elevated, but not traditionally formal, tablescapes percolating around Instagram. I really loved the way these women (and a few men!) were using their table as a reflection of their personal style.
I was inspired by the way they layered pieces, mixed different levels of formality, and, most of all, how much they leaned into color! I thought that there might be a hole in the market for a boutique selection of tableware structured as an online-only destination. Although people have moved away from registering for formal china like they used to, it did seem like people still wanted to have that same
outlet for creativity and to style an inviting scene for their guests, just in a different way.
I don’t live in a city where I can buy most of the things I stock, and certainly not all in one place. I thought others probably shared in my difficulty. I’m really proud to say that what we are doing resonated and that people seem to like what we are offering!
Bee: I never really thought of your business as a modern alternative to registering for formal china, but I can absolutely see that trend! As a bride, I didn’t register for china because I inherited my great-grandmother’s (blue and white) china, but I am always looking for ways to zhush up my existing collections, and therein lies what I love about your curated collections! And as someone who lives in a large city (at least for 2 more months, ha!), even I have trouble finding such beautifully collected items, so I think that the online boutique is a beautiful solution for one-stop shoppers! So tell me, do you have a favorite color palette, design style, or inspirational interior designer or artist you look up to?
Katherine: I love blues, greens, and soft pinks, and we tilt heavily on the traditional-with-a- twist side of things. That said, I really surprised myself with how much fun I had using browns, oranges and golds last fall! While I wouldn’t necessarily want to live with those colors, I loved getting outside of my comfort zone and experimenting with colors that are a little outside of my usual fare.
When I’m deciding on our prints for the season I look to our teams in India to help me choose the block print designs that we think will have the right look and best showcase our colors for an upcoming season. Sometimes we’ll carve new blocks and sometimes we’ll use an existing traditional design. They are masters of their craft, and I think deferring to their wisdom has brought a lot of value to our
I am very inspired by the late Furlow Gatewood. (If you’re reading this and haven’t had the pleasure of reading One Man’s Folly by Julia Reed, I highly encourage you to run out and buy this beautiful and delightful book. His mix of design styles and eras is an endless source of inspiration, and a great reminder that you are never too old to take on a new challenge!) [Bee: >adds to Amazon cart<]
Bee: A quick note on your fall collection, I’m much the same (blues and greens rule our home) in that I don’t typically gravitate to traditional fall hues, but I found myself really drawn to your brown & green “Thistle” and “Turning Leaves” linens, paired with bamboo plates, it was a refreshing take on brown! Within your own aesthetic at home, what would you categorize your tablescape design style to be? Is there a go-to item that you use from one setting to the next, a “universal” piece, if you will?
Katherine: I would consider our style to be Traditional-With-A-Twist and dressy- casual. While I love formal tables, and do sometimes set them personally, I usually tend towards a layered mix of color, print, and texture. If I could give one universal suggestion for all tables it would be that every table needs texture, otherwise it looks a bit flat.
For our tablescapes at KYH, my go-tos are rattan chargers and our bamboo flower arrangers. The texture helps to create visual space between our prints and the other accessories. I do think this advice applies to formal tables as well, although the texture can be more subtle, such as bringing in certain types of
foliage to your centerpiece, or adding chargers with a raised design.
I am not an interior designer, and in fact don’t really consider myself a designer at all! If I had to put myself in a box I’d say that I am more of a trend forecaster and creative director. One thing that I have always been really good at is understanding how people live, and what they’re going to be interested in 2-3 years down the road. I look forward to the day that we grow enough to hire trained and talented textile and product designers so that I can focus on the areas where I think I excel such as marketing, determining our product mix, and guiding the direction and strategy of my little company.
Bee: I would say you very much have a designer’s eye, even if you wouldn’t consider yourself one by traditional standards! I find your work extremely inspiring, and I think that’s one of the most beautiful aspects of design is that it can be inspired by many things! As we’re moving (slowly) past winter and towards spring, is there a holiday or season that really invigorates your collections?
Katherine: Easter/Spring is definitely my favorite season. The colors are so fun, and people are really excited for something new as we emerge from winter. Fall is a close second, because the colors are so rich and cozy. Easter and Fall also have the best accessories – who doesn’t love bunnies and pumpkins?
Bee: I certainly love bunnies, topiaries, green and flowers after the bare starkness of winter landscapes! So with 2023 still fresh, where do you see Katherine Young Home going this year?
Katherine: Oh goodness, where to start?! After Easter I can officially say that we will have done every major entertaining holiday twice, so I’ve learned a lot about which products are our customers’ favorites, and, equally important, the items we need to shift away from. I’m really looking forward to focusing on our top product categories and expanding the variety. It’s been fun to develop more KYH-exclusives and expand our relationships with our best-selling vendors. I very much hope everyone will love our upcoming collections as much as I do! We are getting close to doing the volume where increasing our private label offerings will make more sense in the coming seasons, which will really allow us to expand our creativity and make room for unique designs.
Bee: Well I’m all in for your upcoming private label and unique designs, there is so much potential when you reach that level of production, I’m just thrilled for y’all!
Before we go, will you give our readers a tiny bit more insight into your personality and share with us a favorite piece of yours (could be a trinket, piece of art, photo) and a little story behind it?
Katherine: This is a fun question! My favorite piece (or group of pieces) is my Herend collection. I used to tag along with my mom when she would go to our local china shop to purchase wedding gifts, and I fell in love with Herend animals when I was in elementary school. I guess it’s no surprise that I ended up selling small, fragile things in adulthood!
My mom gave me me my first bunny for my 8th grade graduation, and I’ve slowly added on to it over the years, and have started collecting Rothschild Bird serveware. I love mixing it with our Lettuceware too for a whimsical garden party-inspired tablescape.
Bee: I absolutely love that story & of course, such precious figurines! It never ceases to amaze me how the objects, places, and people we are surrounded with in our childhood often serve as the foundations for our true passions later in life, and if we’re blessed enough, our careers!
Thank you so very much for sharing with our readers more about Katherine Young Home, and yourself, the creative behind the brand. It’s been a joy getting to know you and I’m so excited for our move to Washington, where my husband & I will be able to take some of those amazing Oregon road trips you’ve suggested, and hopefully be able to meet you in person!
See you next month as we highlight more creatives and share design tips & tricks!
Brittany “Bee” Zimmerman