Reader Design: Kendra's Gathering Spot

We're off to Texas today, mutts! Kendra is a musician, photographer, and superb community maker. It all starts with her own home in Houston, Texas, which she shares with her husband.

From Kendra:

My husband and I are big on community, so we wanted our space to be one that is not only cozy and inviting but also one that allows us to intentionally cultivate our growing community. An open floor plan, gathering spaces, and a large dining table were must-haves for us. I’m also a musician and creative, and I want the space I live (and sometimes work) in to be aesthetically beautiful, inspiring, and creatively inviting.
We bought our house one year ago in June and, before that, I wasn’t super passionate about design nor did I know what i really liked. In the last year I’ve learned more about myself through my design style, and it’s turned into a hobby as well as a passion. I love being able to express myself in my own space. When friends, family, and even strangers come over to our house, I feel like they are getting a glimpse into my soul just by seeing how I’ve designed each space, and the attention I give to even the smallest of details. It’s truly special to be able to make a house a home.

Part of the design process has included some self-realization on what styles and trends are truly authentic to Kendra's soul; and like most things in adult life, it took a bit of trail and error.

I would describe my style as a touch of bohemian meets mid-century modern with ALOT of plants. I love the layers of clean-lined, mid-century modern furniture mixed with the elegance, nostalgia, and texture of hand-made items, hand-me-downs, and thrift finds. I think it unintentionally has a desert/western feel.

I think the whole “mid-century modern” trend was a struggle at first. It’s so fun and unique, and i see it EVERYWHERE so that caused some initial hesitation. When we first got married and moved into our first apartment together, I went all out on a specific design style that I completely grew out of a year later (So much regret). In order that I don’t make that mistake again, I keep that in the back of my mind when I’m making big style decisions. I want to be able to keep up with trends, but also make smart design choices that I know and believe will outlast a trend and not break my bank every year!

A sure-fire a way to gracefully sidestep trends is to stick to what you know. And what your family has known for years before.

The piano was passed down to us from my husbands grandma and grandpa and inside the bench seat holds many original songs written by Steven’s grandmother and vintage piano lesson books.

Each room has a special something that makes them interesting and different. The one common denominator? I bet you can guess now that you've seen Kendra's home.

PLANTS! I Keep a fairly minimal color scheme, so I absolutely love the vibrance, color, and life that plants bring to a space. It’s a constant learning curve because you never know how a plant will survive in one space versus another, but I love the challenge and the accomplishment that comes from helping a plant thrive in a space. My mom always had plants in our homes growing up, so it’s something that we can connect on and a hobby that was passed down from her to me.

Kendra, thank you so much for the big Texan welcome! We love what you've created in your home. 

Follow Kendra along on Instagram at @kj.bates for more.

McKenna Sig.jpg

Tricked-Out Industrial Desk

I seriously never know what's going to jump into my cart when I go thrifting.  But that's kind of the point though: go out with open expectations and see what projects will reveal themselves to you.  And on a recent treasure/ trash hunt, I came home with these babies:


Right away I noticed they were just the right height for an industrial-style desk but I needed to find a desk top.  In the spirit of using what you have, I dug up that old  tri-fold chalkboard we used as a giant program at our wedding and decided to repurpose one of the panels.

The chalkboard had been collecting dust in our garage for a few years with the exception of when it got a moss & bookpage makeover to be the "something borrowed" at a dear friend's wedding:

But collecting dust does no one any good (especially if you have allergies) so I introduced a chalkboard panel to one of the sawhorses and they hit it off!

How perfect is that?  The chalkboard surface makes it easy to jot down tasks that can be wiped clean when completed.

I built the hutch out of 3 old drawers that can be reconfigured to suit.  They were also collecting (saw)dust in the garage from a dresser that was too damaged for me to repair and were serving no purpose until I also introduced them to the sawhorse and chalkboard.

They're like a blended family - Mr. industrial Sawhorse meet slender Chalkboard and they adopt three orphaned drawers to make a little desk family.


The desk also comes with a pet cLamp (which is Cate for "clamp lamp").  

It has adjustable angles and an on switch on the cord.  And unclamps for easy repositioning.

(To be honest with you, I'm not sure what person I staged this piece for: a college-bound hipster majoring in psychology with a double minor in botany and art maybe?)

Chelsea and I are currently hatching a plan for the other sawhorse as we speak so you'll have to stay tuned to find out what juicy client project that will turn out to be...

Oh and the lucky buyer of the Desk family can also opt to take home uncle Chair (complete with black leather and thick retro vibes) at no extra charge. 

Industrial Sawhorse Desk [ + Hutch + Lamp + Chair]
[Sawhorse Desk] 72"L x 17.25"D x 30"H
[Re-Configurable Hutch Drawer Shelves] 34"L x 14"W Each
Price: $245

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, please contact