Decorators that Inspire: Karin Blake

Country Inspiration
Throughout the years, I have followed the interior design work of many talented individuals. Perhaps the most inspiring for me, has been designer Karin Blake.  She was a minimalist before there was a word for it and her restraint is her signature.
She tends to use the same fabrics and furniture styles in many of her clients homes but somehow each project seems fresh and new.  The incorporation of Americana and folk art invokes a museum like quality without seeming stuffy or too important.  Notice the white firkin and the windmill weight (chicken)  on the coffee table.  Windows are almost always left bare.
If you are looking for a collection to start, look no further.  Any of the items in Karin's rooms are worth hunting for.  Many can still be found on ebay or at auction.  ie:  firkins, rag and hand woven rugs, wooden signs, primitives like wooden ware and treen ware, etc..etc...
This chair in the photo above is timeless, as is the four poster bed.
There are volumes of empty space to set off the furnishings.   Empty space is a design element often used in print advertising and invokes  a similar effect when used in Karin's design aesthetic.  The industrial quality of the grey tones is softened by the floral rug.
A typical Karin Blake kitchen seen below.  She uses these bar stools over and over.  I also love the light floors.  Ebony floors are everywhere today and the light color of these floors seems new again.

Notice how many trikes and bikes are in her portfolio.  The use of recycled pediments and architectural house parts has been her signature for years.

LovE...LOve...loVE..... the galvanized bucket of flowers and the barn doors behind Karin.  Black and white is a country staple but not overdone here.  Another windmill weight chicken below.

Karin has been on the Architectural Digest top 100 designers since its inception.
How perfect and inviting is this bathroom.  The birds eye maple four poster bed is another timeless piece that can be found as a reproduction through many resources.  Note the simple unadorned window treatments and minimal floor coverings.
A nautical inspired room; not overdone or cliche.  The fabric is subtle but a significant it!

Her use of Firkins and sugar buckets prompted my own collection.  She uses vintage mercantile signage and graphic art work throughout.
The juxtaposition of contemporary art work and the native American rug are so complimentary and interesting.   The perfect white sofa seems to grace almost every residence she works on.
I love this entry with the painted floor and mercantile sign.
For additional inspiration go to  All photos Architectural Digest.
  1. Loved this post, but the link didn't seem to work.
    Where can I see more of Karin's work?


  2. Kelley - I am a fan of Karin's too. Of course, her design eye is spot on for everything and anything chic. I think her fall away from the stuffy, fussy, and over indulged is so refreshing, don't you? I absolutely love the galvanized bucket with the white flowers. That's really something. I'm definitely going to have to borrow that idea for tomorrow ...

  3. Karin Blake is a "country" designers dream. kel

  4. Blown away. Saw her work in AD - that led me here. She allows the workmanship, craftmanship, architecture and every detail stand on it's own - while all working together, effortlessly. It's playful. It's approachable. It's dreamy!

  5. Karin Blake puts the cool into country. Love her madly.

  6. Love Karin Blake and love that kitchen! Trying to find a link to her for my blog's link list. Can't. Do you per chance have her site address?

  7. Karin's style is so refreshing and I love the contrast of sweet country prints against minimal architectural elements...truly a wonderful combination.
    The light floors are nice to see...hmmm, might we be seeing a switch soon?
    Thanks Kelley...oh, and love your little picture, just saw that!
    xo J~

  8. This is the best designer in the world, she's fabulous!!!!!!!!!! How does she do it? She is so talented!!!!! Can't wait to see more.

  9. The most cute blog I've seen these days.


  10. A magnificente inspiration for our Brand!

    This post is also a great tribute.


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