At home with Kelly Harrington

Creativity radiates from Kelly Harrington (@Kellouhar on Instagram). With a job title that includes Designer / Trend Forecaster / Vintage Archivist for a large Swedish retail group, as well as her denim-focused Instagram feed, we knew there would be lots to talk about. We were right.

She’s full to the brim with stories, mindful about what she spends her money on, and loves a flea market. We’ve loved her home on Instagram (especially her green USM Sneaker cabinet that she bought from us recently) and wanted to share a look behind her creative life and get a peek into her home.

All photographs credited to @kipkat

Your job is interesting - you're a trend forecaster, designer and vintage archiver who travels a lot and loves denim. Can you tell us a bit more?

I work full-time forecasting trends, yes, so I get to travel a lot. With that and my denim work and brand collaborations I get to explore all areas of my creativity. 

Where’s home to you?

I live in a 30s house in Surrey. It’s filled with pieces from my travels, I love to find unique bits and pieces and bring those stories back into my home. It’s what makes it home for me. I’ve got some vintage Herman Miller posters, toffee apples and more.

From our Zoom call I feel lucky to be able to see her surrounded by her eclectic collection of rare posters, Vitra dolls and lamps. Kelly loves lighting.

Who do you live with? What’s it like at home on Sunday mornings for you?

I live with my husband, just us, no pets. If you come to mine on a Sunday morning, I like to eat scrambled eggs with chilli flakes and an avocado. My husband does the cooking. Then I chill out in my Kimono on my Vitra sofa- the super soft one IS really comfortable, and I watch Netflix or browse Pinterest, that’s like my own personal scrapbook. I start every project with a Pinterest mood board.

My house is filled with stories. Pops of colour and lighting. I love Louis Poulsen lights. I have a bucket list and I always know what I want. I like to buy things I’ve considered and wanted for a long time.

What would you pass down / on?

The Eames Lounge Chair. My dad used to work for Herman Miller as a chair salesman so appreciating these chairs is inbuilt in me. There’s a story behind this one, I actually bought it for my husband on his 30th birthday, so it’s his chair really, but we have lots of chairs! I love the wrinkles and lines as it ages.

Or maybe my Nan’s old dresser. I love it, it’s sentimental. She’d be like ”Why do you want that old thing?” and laugh at me. But I do and I’d like to pass it on for those reasons.

Where do you go for home inspiration? 

Pinterest. The Chinese social media site Red, I love how people in China and Korea put their homes together, and their clothes. They are very cool and make the most of small spaces that are filled with lots of trinkets.

Facebook MarketPlace - I recently bought a giant foot poster from the 1972 Olympics, I’d liked it for ages on Pinterest. Who else would have a giant green foot in their kitchen? 

I later Google the poster, it’s by Pop Artist Tom Wessellman. It looks great in her kitchen.

I have a thing for blue and green - the USM Haller cabinet is bright green. When the delivery guys brought it in I was like, “Wow, it’s even better than I thought it would be”. I keep all my sneakers in there with my handbags underneath. I love its colour and its functionality.

I like to collect pieces over a long period of time. I love the PH5 Louis Pulsen light, I bought it second-hand in Copenhagen years ago and carried it back to my friends house on a bike and then on the plane back to the UK!

I’m very inspired by my travels. Pops of colour are everywhere on the streets of Copenhagen and that’s reflected in people’s homes. The Hay aesthetic is like this. Colourful, vibrant but also really functional and I think that’s representative of the Danish aesthetic today.

On Instagram I love frama cph, Cheap Old Houses, Hem, Sabine Marcelis, Too Good and Verner Panton.

What does your dream home look like?

I love brutalist architecture. Before lockdown the Barbican would be my dream home, but now, since lockdown, I appreciate nature more, so a modern house in the country!

How would you describe your home style / aesthetic?

Eclectic. For sure. I love the “bucket list” classics but I like modern brands too - like Hay. They’re great. I went to their Copenhagen Store when they first opened. But I like the mid-century modern classics too. Especially lights, I love lights.

Are you functional or aesthetic driven, or both?

I love function but I also love colour and to think my home, like my fashion, is eclectic and represents who I am and my stories. 

Sustainability is important to me, pieces should be made to last. I recently did a collaboration with Grenson’s shoes and that was all about sustainability. I like this work because I get to be creative and learn along the way too.

What’s on your bucket list?
Flos Arco lamp (for when I get a bigger house ) 
Herman Miller Bubble light to add to the collection. 
A dreamy floor to ceiling USM wardrobe system for all my jeans!

Follow Kelly on Instagram, Pinterest and on her website.

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