Friday, April 21, 2006

Interior Designer: Kathia Emery

There is a very nice article by Cathy Lamb in the Homes & Gardens section of The Oregonian entitled delicate Merger. It features local interior designer Kathia Emery. Emery describes her decorating style as "traditional, with a strong emphasis on country French and English-with a romantic overlay. She recently combined households with ex husband of 2 1/2 years James Kahan. They had divorced, she remarried for 32 years until her husband died in 2004. In 2005 they hooked up again after Reed College invited Kahan to speak. They plan on remarrying on December 15th.

Kathia Emery has some tips for Combining Households Gracefully:

Buy a Home together - Then it's not one person moving in on the other, and there are no "ghosts" of the ex or deceased spouse.

Let the style of the home dictate what to keep - If you live in a Colonial, toss the retro stuff.

Sort, toss, give away, sell - Then look at your stuff and do it again. Two households morphing into one equals clutter.

Compare the "weight of importance" - If one person feels strongly about something - a painting, for instance - let that person win.

If there are duplicates, give one away - keep the pieces that are timeless and will stay in style forever.

As for photos - Children will need photos of the family, including the parent who is no longer in the home. Family photos from both sides can be hung together, although Kahan recommends separate family photo walls. Otherwise, "It's like you're trying to make a melting pot that won't melt.

Buy a new bed and bedding - Absolutely.

Accomodate, compromise and give in - Don't come to blows over a coffee table.

Hire a professional - designer or organizer to act as intermediary

Before Michael and I were married, he had been married twice before. (Third time's the charm) He wrote this poem about his experiences:

Moving Day


I travel light
when I move in with a lady
I don’t disturb her d├ęcor.
only problem…you don’t know I live there.

I am a new male model American
my ex-wives are housekeepers.
I move out they keep the house.
What I own fits in your standard four door sedan.

It’s moving day back to the same apartment complex
with the same floor plan…
that way I know from past experience
where to put my hairdryer.


As we baby boomers age, there will probably be more circumstances where households are combined. Kathia has some great advice.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery
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