Prop stylist Kate Jordan works her magic for companies like West Elm and the New York Times Magazine, and she also helps style our house tours (like this and this). So, we’re excited to finally share her beautiful home. She lives in Pound Ridge, New York, with her husband, David, and their three-year-old daughter, Izzy. Here’s a peek inside…
On black paint: Shortly after we moved in, my father in law came to visit. He’s the kind of guy who always needs a project. My husband was like, no, he’s got to relax! But his dad kept asking, and he ended up painting the fireplace black in two days. He’s a saint.
On arranging flowers: Whether you get flowers at the bodega or a fancy place, here’s the secret: Buy all the same thing, and get a lot of it, and you’ll make an amazing statement. For Trader Joe’s tulips, instead of getting one bunch, get three. Or put branches in a vase until it won’t hold anymore.
On a communal space: Our life is always happening in this room. Izzy loves building fires with David in the winter. We had our wedding reception at home, and there are still marks on the floor from everybody’s high heels dancing around! I was in labor in this house. There are wonderful memories.
On marriage debates: My husband loves clean lines and 90-degree angles, while I like everything soft and falling apart a little bit. So, finding a sofa was like a needle in a haystack. Plus, we need stuff that’s durable for old grouchy dogs and cats that puke on everything. Thankfully, we finally found one.
On a roommate: I’m pretty sure our house has a ghost. A previous owner passed away here, and I always feel a strong presence by Izzy’s room, like we’re not the only ones there. But he’s super friendly, so I’m never freaked out. I think he’s just stoked that there’s a fun little kid who lives here. He had ordered daffodil bulbs right when he was getting sick, so when he died, all his friends and neighbors came and planted them down the hill going to the lake. Every spring they bloom, and life circles back to him.
On golden hours: I love the light in our house. Even on a yucky rainy day, there’s beautiful drama. If I’m working from home, it’s how I gauge the time. I just have to be better about washing the windows. I do it only once or twice a year, and every time I’m like, why don’t I do this more often?
On peripatetic art: I’m always switching artwork around the house. Moving pieces around the best way to redecorate — and it’s free! The floral print is by Gentl and Hyers from a big auction every year to benefit an AIDS foundation.
On home-cooked meals: We’re all vegetarian, and we can’t get delivery out here in the woods. We grill salads in the summer (lettuce is so good when grilled!), as well as veggie burgers, corn and watermelon. David is Thai, and he has delicious family recipes in his repertoire. The only thing I ever make is scrambled eggs, but I always overcook them. I mean, scrambled eggs, come on! Just take them off the pan!
Incense burner: Norden.
On a side project: David and I launched our own coffee company, Lokah, this winter. We get all our beans from women-led farms. It has become a labor of love for us. We spent a year working on the packaging at night and on weekends, constantly noodling. David was always like, should I move the stripe 1/8 of an inch to the right? We auditioned so many different paper clips and ways to close the bags. We wanted to get it to a place where we thought it did the coffee justice.
On a play area: Izzy’s first love has always been horses, but she likes to play dinosaurs, too. She sets up elaborate dinosaur worlds, and she knows all the types. I think I know them, too, but they’re always changing the names! No, Mom, it’s an apatosaurus.
On a decor trick: The best — and cheapest — way to give life to a room is to open the windows. Sometimes I’ll get stuck trying to figure out a work problem, and I’ll open the windows, and I’ll be like, yes, I got it! It makes the whole place feel better.
On three in a bed: Izzy has slept in our bed since she was a baby. Now she’s an enormous child who kicks and rolls around. Recently, I was like, you must get back to your own bed! But she still ends up in ours. Children are like heat-seeking missiles, their limbs always have to be attached to yours.
On favorite stores: At Land in Westchester is super beautiful, and I love the kind woman who owns it. Bedford House sells home goods and treasures. Hedgerow has beautiful florals. Mille for the closet I’m constantly dreaming about — I love their photography and the way they see womanhood. And, of course, the shop with the dreamiest jewels: The Golden Carrot.
On playful wallpaper: When we were decorating, I kept emailing David different pink floral wallpapers. Then he found this one, and I fell in love with it. It’s wild but neutral. Izzy always talks about the animals.
On a new mother’s chair: I spent days in this rocking chair. I legit spent days. After three months of maternity leave, I didn’t want to leave Izzy and go back to work, but at the same time I felt so isolated and lonely with a newborn in the woods in the winter. At a music class one morning, another mom was like, “Aren’t you loving every minute?” and I was like, “Really? EVERY minute?” My favorite part of being a mom has been this last year and a half. I can have conversations with this tiny person about all different things. Learning how her mind works is the most rewarding thing.
On the night sky: We don’t shut our shades at home. I love looking out at the stars and moon. When friends come up from the city, they’re like, ‘Oh my god, you have STARS!’ It’s incredible to see the Milky Way and the Big Dipper and watch meteor showers. We also have coyotes and bald eagles and snakes. There’s something so soothing and special about the woods.
Thank you so much, Kate!