Images: Kristyn Blackard //
It’s true. Most of the homes we cover here are colorful maximalist spaces, indicating vivid personalities with vibrant vibes, but that doesn’t mean we do not appreciate neutral palette and white walls, in a house that a short digital tour in it can replace our 30 min daily meditation.
Meet Kristyn Blackard, who lives her laid-back life with her high-school sweetheart and their three children in their gorgeous townhouse in Evansville, Indiana.
“It is a simple town where you don’t have to fight traffic and my kids go to the same school I did growing up. Everyone seems to know everyone, and we all look forward to the county fair every year. I’m a country girl who married a boy with a big city heart, hence the reason we built a modern farmhouse (blends both of our personalities). I am married to my high school sweetheart, Barry, and we have three children- Drake, Dominic, and Nola. We are big animal lovers and have two Sphynx (hairless) cats and a rescue Pit Bull. Our life’s motto is to Work Hard and Be Nice to People. The Schoolhouse Electric sign with that motto hangs in our home as a reminder each day. I teach my children each day to help others and try your best, and that’s all I can ask.”
It’s amazing how the looks of a house reflect the identity of the person who designed it. But before we’ll dive more into that, let’s start with the obvious question: how do you design an entire house from scratch?
Where to start is the most common question I get. I always say to find an inspiration piece for that room
“In designing a whole house yourself, it can be quite overwhelming thinking of each decision you must make, especially once you get to the decorating process. Where to start is the most common question I get. I always say to find an inspiration piece for that room. Usually, that inspiration piece can set your whole color palette, tone, or vibe and then everything else flows from there. I love to start with a print a lot of times (my favorite is juniper Print Shop).”
“In my master bedroom, their print WHITE SANDS solidified my color palette and the calming vibe I wanted to go for. In my master bathroom, it was my black clawfoot tub. I saw it and knew I wanted to go with a retro-mod vibe. Once you find an inspiration piece for each room, then I feel like it gives you a guided road. It can be easy to get lost when designing a space as well, so I always create a folder for each space and just add to it when I come across items I like. Then I open each folder and weed out or finalize choices. It just helps my brain stay clear.”
I always create a folder for each space and just add to it when I come across items I like. Then I open each folder and weed out or finalize choices.
You have to admit this is the most practical advice you’ve got in terms of designing empty spaces from scratch. It’s always so frustrating to understand the amount of money you have to spend for any design vibe to be noticed. It’s easier to start with an anchoring-piece and move forward from there.
“In order for your house or space to have that holistic and cohesive feel, I think it just needs to represent “YOU!” I am a clean-line, black and white, with pops of color kind of person. Each room in my house has that kind of vibe.”
So… let’s talk about you for a little bit
“We custom designed and built our home about a year ago. I decided to document our build on Instagram and that decision would forever change my life. Over the past year, I have had the joy of helping other people going through the building process. I know how hard the process is, so I dedicate my account to helping people design and build their homes. It brings me joy and fills up my design cup. The best part of starting my home account is the friendships and connections I have made. Because of these relationships, I finally gained the courage to open up my Rug Shop.”
I know how hard the process is, so I dedicate my account to helping people design and build their homes
“I own a vintage rug shop called Violet Vintage Rugs. It’s funny the route I took to get here, but I finally feel like I am finally right where I should be. My father is a doctor and from a young age, I always thought that was my path as well. I earned a Chemistry degree and even took entrance exams to medical school, but the arts always intrigued me. I think my parents thought I was crazy when I did a U-turn and attended Culinary School instead of pursuing medicine. I just always needed to be doing something creative!”
“After working for years as a chef and caterer, I had my first child and decided to stay home with all of them. Once all of my children entered school, I found myself itching to get back into the “arts” in some way. That is how the rug business started. I had always had a fascination with them as well as interior design, and with the support of family and friends, I just woke up one morning and said “let’s do this! ” Actually my husband said, “what do you have to lose??” In the back of my mind, I thought pride, time, confidence…..but I just told myself my motto ” Work hard and be nice to people” and It will work out. It has, and even better than I ever imagined.”
“My favorite space in our home is our kitchen window area. I literally spend the most amount of time here, sadly even more than my bed. I am so thankful every day that we chose to put that wall of windows there. It really brings the outside in and lets so much natural light into our home. I love watching the deer each morning while drinking my coffee. I do a lot of rug sourcing and Instagramming sitting right at my island looking out these windows. I can see my children playing while I do dishes and it literally brings me joy each morning when I walk into the kitchen and it is flooded with natural light. I am a huge advocate for letting as much natural light into your home as possible!”
“The biggest advice I can give people that want to do a career shift is just to be confident in yourself. If your heart is pulling you in a different direction then it is just meant to be. I think a lot of times people are scared of the long road it takes to make such a change, but the journey is part of the fun.”
“I’m constantly learning, constantly improving, and constantly challenging myself to do even better. All because I love my job. I would say the hardest part of my job is the balancing act of family and work. I have never worked while I have been a mother, and that has been quite the learning curve.”
The biggest advice I can give people that want to do a career shift is just to be confident in yourself. If your heart is pulling you in a different direction then it is just meant to be.
How would you define your style?
“I have tried to nail down my style for years. I always say it’s a modern eclectic farmhouse and I think that covers it haha. I love the clean lines of modern styles and I definitely love black and white! I also love all of the romance and charm of a farmhouse, hence all of the shiplap, gas lanterns, and wooden accents in our home. But I tend to lean toward eclectic decors, like my green couch and vintage rugs. I just know when I see something I like- I know it. I’m intentional about decorating and that’s probably why it takes me so long. I am not an impulse decorator, but I am decisive if that makes sense.”
Who’s your design inspiration?
“I would say my two biggest design inspirations are Studio McGee and Jenny Komeda. Any project they are doing always inspires me and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”
Tell us a funny story that happened in the process
“I wanted a grand newel post that had an eclectic feel, so I ordered one that I had never seen. It arrived and it was the size of my contractor……it was the biggest newel post I had ever seen and it looked ridiculous. My contractor called me right away and assumed I was playing a joke on him. Needless to say, it is still in our basement in storage and I laugh every time I walk by it. It just shows me that not every vision I have works out the way I intended.”