Design

The ‘Little Gay House’ in Portland, Oregon

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

If you live anywhere near Kat van der Hoorn (above, left) in Portland, Oregon, you’ll know her home as the one with the rainbow stairs. “We call it ‘the little gay house,” she says. “I want it to be a celebration of love and humanity in all the possible ways.” Here, Kat gives us a look inside…

LIVING ROOM
Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Rug: Overstock. Basket: vintage, similar.

On starting over: I moved into this house in October 2019 — after I came out as gay and separated from my wonderful, supportive and loving ex-husband. I live here with my two boys — Ethan, almost 6, and Pax, almost 4. My partner Michelle and I consciously don’t live together — we have kids who are very different ages, so for now we’ve decided to live separately but very devotedly.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

On a safe space: The woman who lived here before us was a single mom and she wrote me a note — saying ‘this house has lived through 100 years of storms both inside and out.’ It has always felt like a very safe place to me.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Sofa: Ikea. Coffee table: Cost Plus World Market. Floor lamp: Target.

On family routines: When I’m home with my kids, we spend 95% of our time in the living room — and the floor is covered with hot wheels. The house looked clean for this photo shoot for 25 minutes!

On family artwork: When my father passed away 19 years ago, the painting above the sofa was in his house, so it was a piece I got from him. He was a very vibrant person, so it matches his personality. It’s really special to me.

DINING ROOM
Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Paint: Adriatic Sea by Sherwin Williams. Dining chairs and table: Craigslist. Credenza: Target. Rug: Wayfair.

On choosing colors: I wanted this house to feel like a jewel box. Because the house is small — less than 800 square feet — I tried to make the spaces feel separate and dramatic. The living room is the calmest room in the house, but you can still see this super dramatic room with blue walls and a chandelier; that was a fun way to have color but keep the main living space feeling peaceful.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Chandelier: Cost Plus World Market. Mirror: Family heirloom. Painting of Black woman: Habiba Abdul Rahim. Sketch of woman in flowers: Sarah Gowun Park. Illustration of women embracing: Kaethe Butcher. Photo of older woman: Terry Berenson.

On celebrating the queer community: From the moment I moved in, I had the vision to make this a wall of queer and POC artists, mostly local. I hoped to celebrate women and non-binary bodies and people. Every time I see this wall, I feel so happy and connected to things that are bigger than I am.

KITCHEN
Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

On kid-friendly meals: I do lots of pasta and tacos and grains, and I try to hide vegetables in them. I recently made a grilled chicken pizza with parsley on it, and my youngest was like, ‘It’s good but I don’t like the salad.’ [Laughs] We also do snack plates, which is literally whatever is left over from the fridge, chopped up and put in sections.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

On displaying personal photos: I wanted more photos of my kids up and was trying to figure out how to present them. Suddenly, I was like, this is ridiculous, just tape them up! Because they live here only half the time, I love seeing them all the time. And taped up photos are really easy to change out.

KAT’S BEDROOM
Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Bed frame: Target. Pink wall paint: Naive Peach by Sherwin Williams.

On a significant realization: When I started dating after my marriage, the first person I dated was non-binary. Because they were very masculine-presenting, I expected their house to look like a bachelor pad. But, instead, their bedroom was covered in twinkle lights with fluffy blankets, and I realized, gender identity doesn’t have to cross over with outward expression. It gave me permission to be in the world however I wanted to be. There are no rules, which is terrifying but also really freeing.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Triangle shelf: Portland Saturday Market, similar. Bar cart: Tuesday Morning, similar.

On expressing yourself: When I was living with my ex-husband, our house was totally different — classic, Scandinavian, minimalist, very elegant, what I thought being a grown up should look like. Neutrals! Lovely plants! Leaving that marriage and coming out and coming into myself, I was like, I don’t want to make a house that looks like a grown up, I want to make a house that looks like myself. I really asked myself: what would MY space look like? How can this house be an expression of myself? I wanted my bedroom to express my feminine side and feel like this nest-y nurturing place.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Mural: Michelle McCausey.

On a meaningful mural: My partner, Michelle, who is a fine artist, painted this mural. I was gone for a week and she said, can you trust that I know you and that I’ll surprise you? And it was definitely a trust exercise but I love it so much. The mural is all Pacific Northwest plants, and I’m a big hiker — that’s my therapy (as well as regular therapy!) — and in one corner is a full fern and two small ferns which represent me and my little kids. I cried when I saw it. It made me feel so seen.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

On affordable artwork: These black and white drawings are from a wonderful French art art book — which I cut out and framed. That’s one of my favorite things to do — framing pages from art books. It’s an affordable way of getting to see a lot of artists and artworks, and the art can also change with relative frequency.

BATHROOM
Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Paint: Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams. Mirror: vintage, similar. Shower curtain: YoKII.

On a moody bathroom: The bathroom is very influenced by the interior designer Shavonda Gardner. When I saw her house tour, I was like someday I’ll have a black bathroom! It’s such a small room, and I’m never going to make it look bigger, so I thought I’d embrace it and make it a sexy, dark, moody bathroom. It’s probably my favorite room in the house. Everything is from Ikea or Goodwill, so it was affordable, too.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Painted waves: Michelle McCausey.

On bringing in a nautical feel: I was like, I’d love my bathroom wall to feel like a silver ocean. And Michelle was like, okay, I can do that. She painted the wavy wall with paint markers. Everyone thinks it’s wallpaper!

KIDS’ BEDROOM
Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Grey paint: Fleur de sel by Sherwin Williams. Green paint:  Lucky Green, Sherwin Williams. Rug: Wayfair. Chandelier: free from a Portland mom’s group, similar. Bunk bed: Wayfair. Bookshelves: Ikea.

On choosing colors: I wanted my kids’ room to feel gender neutral but also full of color. When people talk about gender neutral, they think the color beige, but everyone I know who is non-binary or gender queer, are very not beige! So, we went for a vibrant green.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

On sleep rituals: Since their dad and I live in separate houses, we decided to have the same type of bed for the boys in both places, so that going to sleep always felt the same. We ordered the exact same bunk bed for their dad’s house.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

On dreamy artwork: I found these panels in an antique store and immediately knew they’d be really lovely in the kids’ room. They make the room feel celestial.

OUTSIDE
Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

On a passion project: When we moved in, I had another contractor, and I told him that I wanted to do rainbow stairs. He said, You should be really careful because that’s a flag that you’re gay. And that, of course, made the stairs priority #1. They were inspired by these incredible stairs in Italy, and I showed Michelle a photo and was like, can you do that? She did an amazing job. The stairs have become something that people come to look at; people will take walks here and take pictures.

Colorful house tour in Portland Oregon

Doormat: Letterfolk.

On discovering your true self: I came out late in life. I was scared because I didn’t want to lose my whole family. I loved my ex-husband dearly, and the only thing I knew about divorce was that it could be horrible and incredibly painful.

I had actually come out as gay when I was 16. My family was very supportive but said they were worried I would get hurt and have a terrible life. And I was like, okay, you know, it’s not worth it for me. So, I put myself back into the closet. I told myself, I was just experimenting. When I went to college, I exclusively dated men. When I was in my 20s, I moved to New York and met my ex-husband, and we had a really fun time together, and everything was great except sex. And that was the challenging thing to navigate. For more than a decade, I just thought I was frigid. I sought therapy. No one ever said, maybe you want to look at your sexuality. I thought there was something physically wrong with me, especially because I was crazy about my ex-husband.

Those years with my ex-husband were full of running from myself. We moved from New York to Australia and then back to New York and then Oregon. I always felt like I couldn’t get comfortable, I just needed to get out of there.

When we moved to Portland in 2016, I joined a gym — simply because I had two very little kids, and it had $3/hour childcare. It turned out to be the world’s queerest gym. Almost all the coaches were queer, and mostly queer women worked out there. It became this instantaneous home for me, which I didn’t totally understand or analyze, but it was a place I really felt like myself.

Then there was a non-binary person at the gym. I kept thinking, why am I thinking about this person all the time? What is happening with me? Fidelity was very, very important to me, so I talked to my husband and said, I’m developing feelings for this person, and if I don’t explore them, I don’t know if I’ll know who I am. My ex-husband is literally the most supportive human being, and he said, I get it, I wouldn’t want you to be hiding who you are. Those few dates with that person were like, ok, cool, this isn’t a person for me, but I’m definitely gay. There was this missing puzzle piece my whole life, and being with this person shoved this puzzle piece into place.

Honestly, it was freaking horrible — my entire identity was wrapped up in that I’m a New York Jewish girl who grew up thinking, you are going to get married and have kids and have a nice house. And I had all that. Two beautiful boys, a husband who worshipped the ground I walked on, a beautiful house in Portland. But I was like, I cannot be in this life, this life is not mine.

I had a huge, huge emotional falling apart. It was really bad for several months. After a few months, we were like, let’s separate, but we still loved each other; so I was dating with his blessing but we were still married and sharing a home. After a year, we were like, we both need more than this; we both deserve relationships and not just being friends who are living together.

We separated in July 2019 and I moved in here. I identify as gender queer. I dress and present very masculine until I start talking, and then people are like, oh, you’re a girl — and I’m like yes, I’m all of the things. I acknowledge the extraordinary amount of privilege I have to be a well-educated white person in a loving family with access to therapy; I had the privilege to explore this with support and space. And even with all that, it’s still excruciatingly painful. But I don’t feel like I’m running away anymore. It’s a wonderful gift to wake up in this life.


Thank you so, so much, Kat!

P.S. More home tours, including a colorful Seattle house and a high-rise apartment that looks like a cabin.

(Photos by Christopher Dibble for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Kate says...

    Your home and family are both beautiful! Can you share the paint color of your bedroom? It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. (Also saving a pic of your fireplace for the built-ins of my dreams).

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much Kate!!! The color is Naive Peach by Sherwin Williams.

  2. stephanie says...

    This is really beautiful – especially the essay at the end. I wish much happiness and light for you and your family.

    • Kat v. says...

      Thanks so much Stephanie!!! That is so sweet.

  3. This was all so very very lovely. The stories of the gift of the mural from your partner and the relationship with your ex made my heart explode. Thank you for allowing us into your home that is clearly full of so much love. Wishing continued joy.

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much!!! I’m so glad the story brought you joy, fellow Cat (with a C but still!)

  4. Kimmy S says...

    Kat, I LOVE how your home feels both really special and extraordinarily ‘homey’. Really inspiring, especially in combination with your beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much, Kimmy! I so appreciate your kind words. All good things!

    • Kat v. says...

      Kat here just to say, “holy canolli that home is GORGEOUS.” Yes please! Thanks for putting this person’s home/story on my feed!

  5. Cynthia says...

    what a GORGEOUS home and a gorgeous soul. both warmed my heart!

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you sweet Cynthia. I am so grateful for your sweet comment!

  6. Such a beautiful house and story! Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you, Ingrid!

  7. Jenny says...

    This house beams with happiness! Thank you for sharing your bright, lovely home, and the many ways you are making it your own. There’s such a tangible sense of your belonging here, of building a place to be yourself, of homecoming. I remember you from the comments section volunteering your gay jewel box home. CoJ, I adore how this is a home tour about being at home with yourself, when yourself happens to include so much beauty, courage to seek inward, and rainbow stairs!!! 100 years of storms and very full of rainbows 💛💛💛

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much, Jenny! Sending you big joy from Portland.

  8. Caucus says...

    This a beautiful home, congratulations. One thing I do not understand, not being from the northern hemisphere, is how colour is such a signifier of gender. It is just a wall colour! It shouldn’t mean your identity if you choose one or another. With such rigid ideas about gender I am unsurprised that people don’t want to be put in a box and I don’t blame them but I feel it is society’s fault for making such ridiculous associations go begin with. This blue/pink obsession for boy girl, gender reveal parties etc is so unhealthy. Why should it be surprising that a masculine person has a fluffy bedroom? I don’t follow. I hope things change.

    • Kat v. says...

      Hi Caucus! Thanks so much, and I totally agree, the US as a whole has phenomenally rigid ideas about color and gender. If you wander down an aisle, you’ll se the exact same toothbrushes, razors, etc., but with pink on it for women, and blue for men. Toys are blue for boys, pink for girls. There’s even well-known construct called “the pink tax” in which identical products are marketed for women and therefore more expensive. When I was first coming out, I was coming from a more traditionally American, binary perspective, so it took this person to open my eyes! I guess it’s a case of, “you only know what you know.” All good things!

  9. Sabrina says...

    I love it! How have I never seen those stairs? I live right by Bleeding Hearts and wander the neighborhood constantly.

    • Kat v. says...

      Hi Sabrina! I’m a bit of a drive from BHKC (sadly) so that’s probably why.

  10. Amelia says...

    Your house is amazing and more generally, I’m so fucking happy for you!!!!

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much, Amelia!!! I feel very, very blessed and lucky to be here.

  11. Mia says...

    Me and my son can move in anytime! What a lovely home and family. <3 /Mia, Sweden

    • Kat v. says...

      Hahah, you’d be absolutely welcome! Come on over! All good things!

  12. Abbi says...

    I love this house, I love this story, I love this family. What a wonderful, wonderful group of people.

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much, Abbi! I feel very lucky to be surrounded by such brilliant, inspired, kind and wonderful people.

  13. janine says...

    Lovely person, lovely home! And that MURAL in the bedroom, my goodness!

    • Kat v. says...

      Hi Janine!! Thank you so much for your kind words. And the mural is even more wonderful in person, I feel very lucky! :)

  14. Émilie says...

    I love this house and this story so much! Thank you Kat for sharing your home with us. Now, all I can think of is painting my bathroom black! So elegant!

    • Kat v. says...

      Do it Èmilie! The great gift of paint is, if you don’t like it, you can always (admittedly, with dark colors, with some effort) paint it another color! And thank you for the kind words!

  15. Kate says...

    This place is both beautiful and cozy! My favorite part is Kat has so obviously embraced themselves in the decor. What a heartfelt share. <3

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much, Kate! 💖

  16. i love this tour, but mostly kat’s beautiful story. thank you for sharing and be so honest. beautiful to read.

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much, Catherine. It’s easy to be honest with such a open-hearted and supportive community as the COJ is!

  17. Des says...

    What a wonderful story and a glorious home. I wish you all the happiness in the world!

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much, Des! That means the world.

  18. Kay says...

    I love your home, your love story, and especially love your front door wreath!! Did you make your wreath?

    • Kat v. says...

      Hi Kay! Thank you so much!! I totally did not make my wreath, but am so flattered you would imagine I have such skills. The wreath is actually from a local, women-owned, no-waste florist called Coy & Co. They are a phenomenal company and I think they ship!

  19. Kiley says...

    This home tour was so inspiring in so many ways, thank you for sharing!

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much, Kiley!!

  20. bethany says...

    This is so beautiful. Sending so much love to Kat and Michelle and their family. Jo — I am always so grateful that a home tour is never just a home tour, and a beauty uniform is never just a beauty uniform — it’s always a glimpse into other people’s worlds and all of the things that make them who they are. It’s such a joy.

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much Bethany – and I totally agree, COJ is such a magical space on the internet, full of intimacy and truth.

  21. Bee says...

    This is a beautiful and deeply moving story. Thank you for sharing. And I LOVE the blue walls.

    • Rach says...

      Beautiful home and beautiful people! How long did the bathroom wall take with paint markers? Incredible art!

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much, Bee!! One of my favorite names :)

  22. Tracy says...

    Kat’s home is truly the celebration of love and humanity she means it to be. What a lovely person! Her partner, Michelle, and her Ex are obviously awesome people, too. Michelle’s mural is beautiful. I just loved this. Sorry to gush!!!

    • Kat v, says...

      Thank you so much, Tracy!! They are all such awesome people, I am so lucky to be surrounded by them. Have a wonderful day.

  23. Jolee says...

    You have a lovely home. I so enjoyed all of the character and colors. I’m literally planning a trip to pick up more plants tomorrow. It was also wonderful to read your story. I’m excited for your journey to take off!

    • Kat v. says...

      OOOH plant shopping is THE BEST shopping. Have so much fun, and so glad you enjoyed the story, Jolee!

  24. such a beautiful story. thank you so much for opening up + being vulnerable. it brought tears to my eyes.

    • Kat v says...

      Thank you, Sarah! It’s easy to be open and vulnerable in a community with such deep love and support. So grateful!

  25. Sarah W says...

    Thank you so, so much for sharing your story. And your partner’s art and that bathroom – wow!!

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much, Sarah!!

  26. Leah says...

    What a beautiful home and person! This is amazing and so appreciated. Thank you for using this post to paint a picture of your amazing home and self. We need more stories like this in the world. ❤️

    • Kat v. says...

      Thank you so much Leah! I am so grateful to Joanna and photographer Chris Dibble for really painting the story so clearly and thoughtfully – I’m just a lucky duck here!

  27. S says...

    What a gorgeous home and story. This home tour and what Kat shared serves as a wonderful window into a life that illustrates at our core, we are all the same – we want love, acceptance, and to be seen for who we are, regardless of how we identify ourselves. As painful as the journey, how wonderful that you have a supportive ex and family. Your children are truly lucky to have all that love and acceptance surrounding them.

    The note the former homeowner shared is so beautiful – I hope you framed it. Wishing you health and happiness.

    It’s also refreshing to see a house tour that shows more relatable furnishings that are within reach vs high end. A beautiful home can be carefully curated and affordable.

    • Kat v says...

      S, thank you so much for your sweet words. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and support. I, my kids, and my family are indeed so very blessed and lucky. Sending you all good things.

  28. Lena says...

    Kat, if you happen to read this, could you share a little, even the most general story about how you and Michelle found each other? I’m in the messy part of things and can’t believe I’ll ever meet someone who will love me as I am, late coming out, kids, co-parent ex, significant trauma, and all.

    • Kat v says...

      Hi Lena,
      First of all, just know I wish I could give you a big hug and promise you that it will really all look so different soon, and much sooner than you can imagine, but right now, I know it’s the frickin’ worst.

      I’d be delighted to share some of our meeting story, particularly as it highlights some of the delight of the queer community.
      We were actually set up by a woman I had gone on two dates with, and (in a typically queer way, I’ve come to learn) when it didn’t work out, became friends with. She is a hobbyist match maker, and was trying to find someone for Michelle. She originally had someone else in mind, but when Michelle told her what she was looking for, she changed her thought and soon after, I got a text that said something like (again, in a typically queer way) – “Michelle: [age], Pisces, two kids, painter. Perfect for you” with a photo. I saw her photo and audibly gasped – this human was HOT! We started messaging and I was soon equally entranced by her poetry of spirit, conscientiousness, and ridiculous and often bawdy sense of humor. We met about 10 days later, and have been on the ride of my life ever since, with my person.

      Now, it’s also important to note that this story, while charming and lovely and true, does not share any of the hard times that do come from the things you have asked about – embracing deep love even in complicated circumstance, having 4 kids ranging in age from 3-14, each of us co-parenting, and having created full lives before even knowing the other existed. However, also know that every single moment of effort and hardship, both while we’ve been together but perhaps especially in the before times, have not only been worth it, but also have created an extraordinary frame of reference from which to base my new life upon – each moment of work is exponentially because it brings me closer to this human who I am grateful every day the universe (and a queer butch Matchmaker) sent to me.
      I hope this helps, Lena. Most important, please know you are not alone. I have cultivated a community of “late in life queers” who are precious and have much shared experience. We’re actually not that hard to find, if you know where to look (and if you want a bit more help finding some folks, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on instagram!
      All good things,
      Kat

    • Lena says...

      Kat,
      Thank you so so much for the tender generosity of this reply. It brought tears of relief. Your and Michelle’s story together is so beauty and REAL, hard won and all the more radiantly lovely for it. I am so grateful that you took the time to reply and share. It was unbelievably kind of you, and your words gave me hope for the future, all its non-sugarcoated possibilities, how I can channel my own hard learnings toward love. Thank you.

  29. Lee says...

    I have nothing original to add — just gotta chime in about how beautiful your home, you, and your story is! It really made my night. Thanks for being an inspiration ;)

    • Kat v. says...

      Thanks so much Lee! I so appreciate it.

  30. Bridget says...

    My favorite home tour on COJ ever!!! Important questions: 1) How do you store the hot wheels? We have about 5 billion and it’s a mess all the time. 2) How did you help your kids pick a bed- top or bottom bunk? I have two boys about the same age and I fear the future battles over the top bunk if we ever take the bunk-bed route.

    • Kat v. says...

      Hi Bridget! I am so glad you liked the tour!
      Important answers:
      1) I store them in an empty cardboard box that the cat food came in. Wish I were kidding. The back porch of my house looked like a dumpster while this photoshoot was happening.
      That said, I really love these for our toy storage and they’d work great for hot wheels, but I have two of them and I refuse to buy a third. https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/trofast-storage-combination-with-boxes-white-white-s79228571/
      2) My kids personalities perfectly match their bunks, so it wasn’t ever even a discussion. Ethan is loud and spacious and spends most of the days leaping off the top bunk repeatedly. Pax is quieter and more snuggly and likes the den-like feel of the bottom bunk. That said, Pax often asks if he can have “sweepovahs in bwuther’s bed” which I both allow and encourage because it’s so cute. Hope that helps!

  31. Naomi says...

    Love this piece!
    I really relate to how Kat talks about feeling right and feeling at home in a place. I teared up when I saw the bedroom mural and read the story about it.

    I few years ago, I made a (kinda forced) move from a place I adored and felt most authentically myself, back to my home town. My least favourite comment back then was “You must be so happy to be home!” (I was like, “No.No.No.No.No.”). It’s been a tricky process coming to peace with the move, and finding ways to love (or at least like) the new house that has felt so little like me.

    • Kat v says...

      Hi Naomi! Thank you so much for the kind words. I so relate to the “coming to peace with a place that feels so little like me.” I’ve had many of those experiences, and all of those homes (including one in which the only toilet was on the back porch!) have taught me something and brought me to this home. All good things!

    • Abesha1 says...

      Naomi,
      I am also about to move “home” and while there will be some great things about this move, a big part of me is also saying no no no no no…

  32. ruth says...

    This is absolutely beautiful.
    Thank you for this.

    • Kat v says...

      Thank YOU, Ruth! All good things!

  33. L Watts says...

    From a fellow Portlander, WHAT GYM THIS IS?!?! I know they’re all closed now but damn… the future is bright!

    • Kat v says...

      Bleeding Hearts Kettlebell Club, and we’ve got zoom classes!!! Come join us!

    • Just a beautiful story and beautiful home. ❤️ Posts and people like these are why I love this blog so dearly. So happy you found your happiness, Kat!

  34. Rhianna says...

    I love Kat’s house, but more than that I appreciate their story! They have so much depth, and their story, which very different from my own, is super engrossing. People are so often put into boxes (or put themselves into them), and to hear Kat recount breaking out of theirs is inspiring/fascinating. They’re also very articulate — love “I’m all of the things.” Would love to see more content featuring them (beauty uniform maybe? I haven’t seen anyone identifying as gender queer do one yet!)

    • Kat v says...

      Oh my goodness, Rhianna, thank you so much for the kind words! I admit, I had a giggle at the idea of a beauty uniform. On a fancy day, my wardrobe is “On the theme of Mr. Rogers.” On a normal day, it’s “A symphony of sweat pants and flannel.” Not exactly riveting content 🤣 But I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the kind words.

  35. Allie says...

    Can you come decorate my house? Love it. Also, you sound like an incredible person (as does your ex). Your boys are lucky!

    • Kat v says...

      Hi Allie! Thank you so much for your sweet words. I love decorating, but gosh it takes me a millenia to pick anything. Seriously, ask Michelle – it took me *no joke* six weeks to buy a pack of underwear. I’d be a nightmare of a decorator for anyone else but me!

  36. Jocelyn says...

    What an absolute beautiful home tour and story! Thank you for opening up your home and sharing it with us (figuratively and literally).

    • Kat v says...

      You are so welcome, Jocelyn! Thank you for your sweet words!

  37. Kat says...

    This is a lovely home! Would you mind sharing where the painting (photograph?) above the fireplace is from?

    • Kat v says...

      Thank you! The painting was a gift from my mom to my father from the 80’s, of the pond near their cottage in Otis, Massachussets. It’s actually a fun story – my mom worked in an advertising agency, and a friend of hers who worked in the creative department was starting as a painter. This painting was his first commission. These days, he’s a very well-known painter! (his name is David Peikon.)

  38. “Yes, I’m all of the things”.

    This is a liberating and necessary affirmation for women who are constantly growing and rejecting stifling, normative assignments projected on to them by well-intentioned people. In an effort to categorize me and put me on the appropriate shelf in their lives, people often try to tell me what kind of person I am. I can’t stand for it. I don’t allow it. I’m all of the things.

    Gorgeous post. Love the home and the vulnerable story shared here. Thanks!

    • Kat v says...

      OMG Tash, I love this comment so much. Thank you so much for sharing this and your strength! So wonderful.

    • I love that quote so much, too. I’m going to share it with my college students to (hopefully) help them see themselves as terrifically expansive!