Design

This Woodsy Home Has a Friendly Ghost

Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

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…

LIVING ROOM:
Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

Prints: Block Shop. Coffee table: Camilla Vest. Black side table: similar. Chairs: family heirlooms, similar.

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.

Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

Sofa: Arhaus. Pillows: Pampa and Minna. Rug: West Elm.

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.

ENTRYWAY:
Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

Console: Blu Dot. Mirror: One Kings Lane. Sconces: Cedar & Moss.

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.

DINING/KITCHEN AREA:
Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

Chandelier: Workstead. Table: RH. Chairs: Terrain, similar. High chair: Stokke. Large photo print: Gentl and Hyers.

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.

Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

Buffet cabinet: West Elm. Table lamp: Menu. Ceramics: ANK and Meghan Flynn. Painting: family heirloom.

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!

Kate Jordan stylist house tour

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.

PLAY AREA:
Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

Cabinets: Ikea. Table: Oeuf. Chairs: Oeuf. Rug: vintage, from Loom and Kiln. Planter: Terrain.

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.

Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

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.

MASTER BEDROOM:
Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

Bed: RH, similar. Shearling pillows: At Land. Faux fur blanket: RH. Rug: vintage Beni Ouarain. Daybed: Kalon Studios. Dream catcher: Electric Love. Pillows on daybed: Bedford House.

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.

Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

Console: West Elm, similar. Art over console: Chairish. Geranium print: Hugo Guinness.

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.

DAUGHTER’S BEDROOM:
Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

Bed: Oeuf. Rug: West Elm. Nightstand: vintage Kartell. Wallpaper: Anthropologie, now eBay. Chair: Land of Nod, similar. Throw: At Land, similar.

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.

Stylist Kate Jordan house tour

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!

P.S. More house tours, including a book-filled home in Copenhagen and a cozy Minnesota place with the cutest dog.

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Styling by Kate Jordan.)

  1. I’m obsessed with the vibes of this home — enough so, that its making me want to leave Brooklyn and decap for Westchester. My parents would be thrilled!

    Question about the cabinets as I need a narrow solution for my tiny space! Did you change the legs and add hardware? I’d love to know as they look so elevated from the Ikea page! Thank you!

  2. Cait says...

    Love the house and ordering some of the coffee now! What a great idea for a coffee company :)

    • Kate says...

      Thank you SO much for your support, Cait!! xx

  3. Lindsay says...

    Where is the sweet black pear print from in her daughter’s room? Love it & need it!

  4. Risha says...

    Such a cozy and light-filled house! My 9 year old daughter is Izzy too! She lit up at the gorgeous pictures of Kate’s Izzy. My Izzy and I are wondering if Izzy is short for anything. My lovely girl is Isadora. We love finding other Izzys!

  5. Co-sleeper for life says...

    I would also recommend turning to the La Leche League’s Safe Sleep Seven for guidance. Many families globally co-sleep happily and safely. Please don’t fear monger where there is no necessity to.

  6. freya says...

    is it weird i wish i could see the bathroom?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Haha some homeowners are happy to show the bathroom, and others really aren’t, so we leave it up to them!

  7. Claire says...

    I really like the warmth this home, from all the golden wood and rich fabrics. I loved ALL of the rugs, and especially the pompom pillows. And so now I also want a relationship with a ghost, or at least an imaginary friend.

  8. a says...

    I love this house and love that they have a big tv in the beautifully styled living room! I always see these lovely home tours with no tv and feel like, are my husband and I the only ones who wind down with Netflix every night and enjoy watching tv!?

  9. This is such a gorgeous home! Thank you for sharing and also all the tips.

  10. What a lovely home! We have so many memories in ours that when I was finally ready to sell a few years ago after my husband had pestered for a long time to get me on board to move, he was too sentimental to let it go! I was shocked. Sometimes we dream of elsewhere, but in the end I don’t know if we’ll ever actually move and I’m ok with that. I like that you see those seeming imperfections as anchors to special memories.

  11. Any chance you know who the artist is of the yellow clown painting in the dining room? It’s so amazing!

    • Kate says...

      I’m not quite sure–it hung in my great aunt and uncle’s apartment for sixty years before it came to live with us. Adore it so much!

  12. Maryann says...

    I can totally relate to Kate’s statements about giving her father-in-law a project. My dad is the same. When he and my mom visited after my son was born, he really needed a project and took it upon himself to fix this random toilet in our basement that we never used while I watched, totally befuddled. Thirteen years later, that’s my favorite toilet and I use it everyday. My kids are scared of the darkness and spiders. But its so quiet and peaceful down there. I’m so glad he fixed it – it was the best new parent gift we received.

    • Madie says...

      This cracks me up. Good for you and your private mommy toilet!

  13. Haley Wilcox says...

    I wish we could see the exterior or this gorgeous mid-century home!

    • M says...

      Yes please!!! :)

    • Kate says...

      I’ll try to post one to Insta soon! And thank you!! :) xx

  14. Heather says...

    Did anyone else look up the word “peripatetic” ?

    hah thanks for the lil vocab lesson CoJ!

    • Maia says...

      I had to but I’m so glad I did.

    • Nora B says...

      Yup!! So cool.

  15. Amanda says...

    Beautiful home! Love the modern, cozy and sleek style. Any chance you can find out where the skull is from above the fireplace? So cool!

  16. HH says...

    My favorite house tour to date!!! I love love LOVE the whimsical vibe and the contrast between dark walls/fireplace and light. Absolutely stunning.

  17. Ann says...

    I love her honesty. Our old dog throws up on our lovely area rug occasionally. And the flower tip is awesome. I love the story of the friends planting flowers down the hill. That is a gorgeous sentiment. Thank you!

  18. justine says...

    incredible! just love it – and no, i did not love every minute either :-)

  19. Amy says...

    I agree with the comments left saying that this is their favorite house tour–it’s mine now as well! I think I’ve looked through the photos five or six times now. And that deep pink rug in the playroom inspired me to finally take the plunge and purchase a (deep pink! Praise hands!) rug for my daughter’s play area.

  20. Rachel says...

    I want to respectfully point out that the casual mention of co-sleeping with a newborn is dangerous. I am a pediatric public health RN and sit on a board that investigates the death of children under 5 in my area. I don’t mean to be dark but the dangers of co-sleeping with a young baby are very real. I am also a mother to a toddler and know how challenging newborn sleep can be. The way that co-sleeping is described can be so beautiful (like the description here of a heat seeking missile which rings so true and sweet for me) and I know that when I was a new mother I had a hard time weighing the risks with the benefits. I think that every family needs to weigh the risks for themselves (and I am sure Kate did so thoughtfully) but I think that young mother’s look to spaces like this as a guide. I know that I do.

    • Hettie says...

      The AAP recently had to revise their guidelines to acknowledge that more than half of mothers DO cosleep and there are safe ways to do so.

      Furthermore, there’s an extensive body of research outside the US, and at select US institutions, that shows when cosleeping is practiced safely, it has profound benefits for babies and families. The reason cosleeping is unsafe in the US is exactly because of fear mongering like your comment.

      I strongly encourage you to examine the research and resources on the website of the Norte Dame Mother-Baby Sleep Lab and to share that knowledge with the other medical professionals you work with. https://cosleeping.nd.edu

      This is one place where medicine as preached is far behind the realities of how families live. Instead, an unwillingness to acknowledge both the realities of new parenthood and the practices of much of the world beyond the US are doing actual harm. Cosleeping can ABSOLUTELY be safe, but there are proper guidelines, just as there are for putting a baby in a crib or any other sleep space.

    • A says...

      In total agreement Hettie. The blanket advice in the US against co-sleeping has always bewildered me. Like, how else do they think people sleep in the rest of the world and throughout the whole of human history? How else does every other species of mammalian young sleep except snuggled next to their mother? The risk factors – drug and alcohol consumption, excess bedding etc – are usually easily managed. It is NOT inherently dangerous for an infant to sleep next to their caregiver – if it was humans would have died out years ago. For what it’s worth the part about bedsharing was my favourite bit of this post.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh yes! I think many parents go-sleep here but I think the difference lies in whether you want to or not — if it’s purposeful co-sleeping that’s wonderful, but if you’d rather have your own space but your child ends up in your bed, then that’s trickier!

    • Rachel says...

      I am sure that you are all making the right decision for your families. Co-sleeping does, however, carry serious risks. Humans do all sorts of things throughout the world that carry risks. In certain situations it is safer to co-sleep than not- for example if it is very cold and you have no other way of keeping your child warm. I can imagine that being a factor in other parts of the world and/or history. You know if you are making the right choice for your family. To say there is no risk is false. Children die every year in co-sleeping related situations: blankets, parents, siblings, the crack between the wall and the bed… I have seen so much and spoken with mother’s who did NOTHING wrong but their children died in their bed with them. I am not blaming them or saying you are doing something wrong. I am sharing so there is one dissenting voice in a sea full of “it is natural, humans all over the world do it, ext”. Again, decide for your family but do not make blanket statements that give a false idea of safety. It is rare but it is devastating.

    • Rachel says...

      https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162938

      Also, someone above mentioned the AAP which I think can be a valuable resource for decision making. I thought I would include a link. I really don’t mean to be contrary. I just feel an obligation to show another side to this serious decision in case anyone is navigating this right now.

  21. Yasmine says...

    Love this home and its sweet vibe :)

  22. Kirsten says...

    Those little bunny chairs! Love them!

  23. Cynthia says...

    I like all the sunlight coming through. The children’s chairs with the ears are so cute!

  24. Katie says...

    I love the rug in the living room but the link is just to the general West Elm site and not the specific rug. Do they still carry it? I would love to know exactly which rug that is. Thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      sadly, it’s sold out! it was from a number of years ago.

  25. Jenn says...

    This home is so beautiful! I totally subscribe to that flower philosophy. Grocery store flowers can look as sumptuous and expensive as any florist’s bouquet if they are abundant and cohesive. And amen on the dinosaur thing. I like to tell my 8 year-old budding paleontologist (who has an encyclopedic knowledge of them) that when his daddy and I were growing up, there were like, 5 kinds of dinosaurs. Don’t @ me with your apatosaurus, kid.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha

  26. Kristin says...

    Oh, I also meant to say that I am super curious about the kitchen. Is that it adjacent to the dining room through the counter seating area? Was it not included for a reason?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Kate says she hates the kitchen! :) it’s super old and clunky so we just got the peek of it in the dining room photo. You can see family photos in a grid hanging there which is a lovely touch.

    • Kate says...

      Yes! We’re hoping to change it up soon, but then boring, not-so-glamorous necessities like a new roof and proper insulation keep bumping it lower on the list! xx

    • Emma Bee says...

      I’d love to see it. I think most people’s homes are in various states of being updated. I know ours is! Would make these home tours feel more like my real life….

  27. Kristin says...

    What a gorgeous home! I especially love Izzy’s room. So cozy, bright, and inviting. Is that acoustic paneling between the beams?

    • Adrienne says...

      I especially love Izzy’s room, too. The instant I saw the photo, I thought, “I want to sleep there every night! :)

  28. Michelle Bengson says...

    Kate just seems so authentic and kind that I want to be her friend.

    • Em says...

      I totally agree with this! :-)

    • Kate says...

      Let’s be buds!! xx

  29. RashmiK says...

    I would move here in an instant! What gorgeous light in the home! Can you please please tell me what is the thingie on wheels next to the side table in the living room? It’s… adorable, even though I have no clue what it is!

    • june says...

      Svan wave scooter

  30. J says...

    Gorgeous home. I love your furniture choices. Izzy’s bed is to die for. I hear you on the “every minute”. To be fair, I’m an older kid/teenager kind of mom. I love this phase where most people are frustrated by it. Being able to discuss in depth topics with the kids is really fufilling. But I certainly wouldn’t go around assuming that other people felt the same as I do.

  31. Christine says...

    I love the story about the daffodils…

  32. rach says...

    what a gorgeous little girl!

  33. Katherine says...

    I love the honestly of “really? EVERY minute?” Can relate!

    • Brittany says...

      Yes! I was just thinking this – so honest.

  34. Kate says...

    I’m also a Kate married to a David (!!) and this describes us EXACTLY: “My husband loves clean lines and 90-degree angles, while I like everything soft and falling apart a little bit.” THIS IS ME!!! Fortunately he’s pretty much always right about all the design and decoration aspects of our home so I’ve learned to just say yes and go with it :)

  35. MJ says...

    everyone has a favorite house tour and this might be mine. i live in southern california and could easily see that translated here, actually so many of the pieces are similar to what we have…this just gives me inspiration to add and switch some things. love, love, love!!

    • Mel says...

      Agreed… I live in Australia and this is my favourite too, it feels like it could be my neighbours house… just sub kangaroos and blue-tongue lizards for coyotes and eagles (but still snakes, of course).

  36. Kelsi says...

    I’d love to know if they did any renovation on their house or if it was as-is… so curious about ceilings (is that some kind of fancy particle board??) and the wood on the walls (Doug fir?) and the gorgeous flooring.

    • Mary W says...

      I would also like to know about the ceilings. We have similar exposed joists and need to replace the boards with something besides drywall.

    • Kate says...

      Hi Kelsi!
      The ceiling, paneling and flooring are all original to our midcentury home! I have a love/hate relationship with that ceiling, but yes, it’s pressed straw board. Keeps the room from having an echo and softens the sound of the rain hitting the roof! Not sure about the exact kind of wood on the walls, but I love the warmth it adds to our space! Otherwise, we just painted pretty much every wall, indoors and out, when we moved in. :) xx

    • Mary W says...

      Thanks Kate!

  37. Christy says...

    “Really? EVERY minute?!” Hahaha, same! Once when my daughter was still a baby and I was really going through it, a lady told me she had loved every minute of raising her kids, and I had this same reaction. Like, whoa is there something wrong with me? Because that sounds crazy to me.

    • ann says...

      same!!

  38. Abbie says...

    My grandmother’s home in Pound Ridge (sold almost a decade ago now) had similar window views and It’s so lovely to see another family enjoying that natural beauty.

  39. shannon says...

    THANK YOU for not painting all the wood paneling. It’s gorgeous and lends so much depth to the space.

  40. LB says...

    This! I love everything about this house. I’ll take all of it, even the ghost, haha.

  41. Ellen says...

    Gee, wonder if Izzy insists on sleeping with you guys because THERE’S A FREAKING GHOST HANGING OUT BY HER ROOM?? Jk, but only kinda!!

    • Kate says...

      Hahahaha, I’ve actually thought about this!! But based on the multitude of nights that I’ve conked out with Izzy while putting her to sleep in her room, I can confidently say that she doesn’t receive any ghostly visitors at night. If anything, it’s the cat that comes in and wakes her up! ;) xx

  42. celeste says...

    Love the flower tip, and the daffodil bulbs. Xoxo

  43. Frances eleanor says...

    A really beautiful home. It is nice to see a home that kept it’s original architectural details, and wasn’t done over to look like everyone else’s homes of today.

  44. Colleen says...

    Can you get the intel on that dollhouse pretty please?

  45. Katherine says...

    I love her comment about life happening in the house. After we renovated I was devastated when we dropped things and created chips and dings. However, I am growing to appreciate our “patina” and like the idea that the physical marks are a reminder of all of the happy memories we’ve made in our home.

    • Amy says...

      “I am growing to appreciate our “patina” and like the idea that the physical marks are a reminder of all of the happy memories we’ve made in our home.”

      Oh I really hadn’t thought of that. I’m such a perfectionist and I get frustrated over these dents, etc. I love this new way to look at my home. Especially since these babies are growing up so fast. Thank you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I totally agree with the patina philosophy! I adore when a home looks worn in and well loved :)

    • Mc says...

      There is a Willie Nelson song called This Face and the chorus goes “worn and lived in, through the tides of time, worn and lived in” and every time one of our kids dents the floor or chips the paint on the wall my husband sings this in his loudest Willie voice (and I give my biggest eye roll).

  46. Em says...

    The floors are so beautiful! Are they waxed? (She said, hoping for tips for her 1950s parquet.) And how do you protect them from the cat puke (same problem, sigh . . .)?

    • Kate says...

      Thank you, Em!! I just use Bona floor cleaner when I have the time/when there’s a need! xx

    • Em says...

      Thank you so much, Kate!

  47. Agnes says...

    I LOVE THIS HOUSE.

  48. KS says...

    What incredible light! I know people often ask for home tours that don’t feature white walls and neutral tones, but I can’t imagine a better style for that particular kind of light.

    QUESTION! Kate mentions moving artwork/pictures around often… if they are frames hung on the walls, how is this done easily? I mean, with different sizes (therefore different heights to hang them by), is there a secret fixing that can be used for any size – or are people filling up the old holes and putting new hooks each time? I’d really love to know!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’ll ask her! Xoxo

    • Cat says...

      Command strips, my friend! Life changing.

    • M says...

      I do the new hooks / filling up the old holes thing ……with white toothpaste. For white walls this does the trick !

    • Kate says...

      All amazing tips! Maybe I’m just lazy, but I also espouse the ease of simply leaning art against walls/on top of surfaces (like in our playroom). No hammers involved when you want to switch things around! xx

  49. Ssl says...

    What a lovely person and a lovely, peaceful home. Her capacity to not take decorating (and maybe herself) too seriously is very endearing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she really is the nicest person! hanging out with her feels like a breath of fresh air xoxo

  50. Hannah says...

    “Children are like heat-seeking missiles, their limbs always have to be attached to yours.” So true. Our almost 3 year old always ends up in our bed and this morning at 6:00 am when she was literally on top of me snoring all I could think was “this is so beautiful and I’m so happy we just ordered a king bed”.

    • Kate says...

      Yes! And enjoy every minute, it goes so fast! Though my adult daughter still kicks her Dad out of bed and sleeps with me when she visits and we talk and laugh long into the night………such a lovely part of parenting!

    • jade lees says...

      I am 28 and still love to climb into bed with my Mum. One of life’s simple pleasures.

    • Hannah says...

      Kate & Jade – your comments made me smile. I hope my daughter still wants to sleep with me when she’s older!