2023 - The Year in Review

02/15/2024  |  Kathy Marshall
2023 - The Year in Review
2023 - The Year in Review


It's hard to believe that we're already one month into 2024! It's been a busy time at Kathy Marshall Design, so it took a quiet weekend at home with the animals for me be able to reflect on and gather together some of our very best moments of 2023. We share these highlights to welcome you behind the scenes of our creative process, and also to provide some ideas and inspiration for your own year ahead!






The year kicked off in Paris, France at Deco Off / Maison et Objet and Paris Haute Couture Week . It's such a creative way to start the year, with a confluence of two major shows bringing design from around the world to beautiful Paris. The city is filled with wonderful art, inspiring design museums, and great style. There's no doubt that Parisians live an enviable lifestyle! For me, Paris is always a good idea.




In February, we had a full slate of design projects, including a kitchen reconfiguration in a classic old farmhouse in Woodstock, Vermont. Here, in partnership with ART Architects, we moved the kitchen from the front of the house to the back to connect it with a gorgeous wrap-around porch overlooking the llama fields. This one’s an absolute dream - we’ll share the “after” photos soon!


The Woodstock, VT "Before" Images



This month we also wrapped up a mid-century modern renovation for a family relocating to Charlottesville, VA. This project was a complete redesign and rebuild of a 1950s-era ranch house that added a new primary bedroom and bath, as well as a wonderful new “Friends and Family” entrance, powder room, living room, stylish new kitchen, and a striking glass entry in powder coated steel. We have just a few more finishing touches before this one is ready to be professionally photographed in 2024, but as you can see, the family dogs are already right at home! 









In March, we got rolling with a kitchen and family room renovation for dear friends of mine in the heart of North Shore horse country. Working on a home from c. 1716 that predates electricity and plumbing brings its own set of challenges! Thankfully, we have a tremendous partner in the builders at Covenant LLC who we've worked with for over 25 years on old homes all over the North Shore. Together, we carefully removed the 1970s-era kitchen and ceilings to reveal old beams, sourced reclaimed wide plank floors, and added character with a classic painted white kitchen, unlacquererd brass fixtures from the UK, and 17th century Dutch Delft Tiles from our good friends at Refts Delft Tiles in the Netherlands.






This month, we also managed to fit in a family adventure out West to Big Sky Montana to grab some powder and enjoy the “Big Sky” country and outdoor life that we love!






For over a year, we’ve been carefully restoring the spectacular 1896 Colonial Revival “Apple Trees” summer estate on the North Shore for her new owners, bringing back the large pocket doors that once connected the dining and living rooms, restoring function to four sets of exterior French doors, refinishing all the floors, and modernizing the wiring and baths throughout. In April, it was satisfying to see the layers of paint and lighting, rugs and furniture, and drapery finally going in, bringing a comfortable warmth to the spaces along with period-appropriate charm. 










In May we took a quick trip down to NYC for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Decorator Show House. Set in a spectacular Upper West Side mansion, the creative spaces did not disappoint! A standout for me was the parlor by Nicholas Sargent. We rounded out the trip with a visit to source fabrics for our projects at John Rosselli & Associates at the D & D Building. 




Later in the month, we broke ground on a new construction Ski House project on Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire for a multi-generational family. This project will be a major focus for KMD in 2024, so many more stories to come from this beauty!






We celebrated a major milestone in June with our daughter graduating from college and a family celebration the Adirondacks. We then headed to Rome and Tuscany to attend a special wedding followed by some mother-daughter time relaxing and horseback riding in Perugia, Italy.







July is a prime month for antiquing in New England, and we hit our fair share of auctions, finding great pieces to rework for our current clients. Java, our ragdoll cat, even got in on the action!





Notably, we welcomed a very special member to the family - our sweet new horse, Lincoln. Since I was a young girl, horses have been my joy, my solace, and my meditation. Being back in the barn on a daily basis keeps me grounded and at peace so I can bring my very best to my design work!






In August, we spent time with my parents at our family lake house, enjoying relaxed days together. In the dog days of summer, there's nothing better than board games on the porch in the evenng or curling up in a window seat with a good book. 



Around this same time, we finished up a complete renovation of our website, giving it a more editorial look and feel that we hope will be easy and entertaining to navigate, scroll, and to read. One of my favorite features is the new Gallery section that features the very best images from across all of our most memorable projects.





As the weather started to turn cooler, we had another great photo session with Greg Premru at our Mattapoisett Beach House project, joined by Art Director Hannah Haines from South Coast Almanac, who will be featuring the house in an upcoming issue.   





One of our goals for 2024 is to shoot a few more of our projects so we're able to archive and share the special spaces we spend so much of our lives creating! And every now and then they also get picked up for publication, like our Beverly Farms Colonial Revival that landed in the Fall issue of Northshore Home.






In October, we stopped into the Fall Market at the Boston Design Center to catch a preview of the new Colefax and Fowler collection at Cowtan & Tout and found dozens of gorgeous new textiles for our clients. After hearing a frank and funny keynote address from the legendary Bunny Williams on "Design through the Decades", we were able to say a quick hello over at the Kravet showroom and thank her for role model she's been in the way she leads her business and life. A true class act!




Then... to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, my husband and I travled to South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe - a once in a lifetime experience that certainly deserves its own blog post! For now I will say that it was an unforgettable adventure that was inspiring on every level!







Hosted at The Whitby Hotel in midtown, this was our third year celebrating the launch party for House & Garden UK's The List global directory, attended this time by the dynamo designer and hotelier Kit Kemp herself, who shared updates on her new Warren Street Hotel opening in 2024 in Tribeca. We took in the outstanding Dorothy Liebes exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum followed by a Parisian-style lunch at a stunning contemporary French bistro - all in between client calls and sourcing and sketching designs for new projects!










We were happy to see our New England Shingle Style Estate project picked up for the Nov-Dec issue of New England Home. This sprawling compound was a new build designed to look like an old home and we worked on it for over two years. It's still one of my favorite projects, designed in concert with some truly exceptional clients. 





At the year wrapped up, we held our first annual holiday party and market in the horse barn at Kinsman Farm, which was decked out with seasonal greenery, white lights, and plaid Baker sheets on the horses. We offered hand-dipped custom candles and textiles sourced on our trip to South Africa, as well as a few custom upholstered mini ottomans for holiday gift giving. It was a joyful and festive close to a busy end-of-year season!






Looking back, it was a year of inspiration and adventure that fed directly into our design work. Exciting and challenging projects at every stage of completion kept our creativity flowing and we're grateful for our clients and partners on this ongoing design journey! Here's to 2024!