A Textile Designer’s Layered Abode in Savannah, GA

by Sabrina Smelko

Nestled within Savannah, GA’s historic Ardsley Park neighborhood, the second floor of this converted bungalow is home to Kathryn Maresca, the textile designer behind Maresca Textiles, a line of luxury hand-printed fabrics. Although South Carolina is her true home, Kathryn spent a handful of years in New York while she attended RISD, and even for the few years after graduating. After working in NYC’s fashion industry where she developed prints and embroideries, the South beckoned for her, along with her desire for more space, a calmer environment and less expensive living costs. “Savannah felt like the perfect fit,” she explains, “it’s close to family ([living] in Charleston), and has the relaxed, artistic vibe that I was looking for. I’ve been in Savannah four years now, and have loved watching my business grow in this amazing and inspirational place.”

Despite the apartment’s smaller footprint, the back porch, having access to the garage which she uses as a silkscreen studio, and the Ardsley Park neighborhood that surrounds Kathryn becomes an extension of her studio and living space. “Ardsley Park is south of the historic downtown area of Savannah and is full of amazing 1920s and 1930s buildings, ranging from mansions to small bungalows like my home,” Kathryn begins. “It’s a family neighborhood and everyone is incredibly friendly. I love walking in my neighborhood in the afternoons during my lunch break — I can clear my head and get a ton of architectural and natural inspiration in the process.”

Back inside, this inspiration takes life in the forms of patterns, embroidery and designs that find their way onto the many pillows and textiles scattered throughout each room. With personal character and relaxation top-of-mind, Kathryn’s decor and furniture balances pieces handed down from her parents, artwork made by family and friends, and plenty of greenery — all combining to make her double-duty space feel refreshing and inviting. –Sabrina

Photography by Josh Morehouse Photography

Kathryn kept the walls and permanent features in her living room minimal and neutral to allow all of her handmade textiles and various colorful pieces to really pop. The shag rug is from Overstock and the armchair was a thrift store find.
Kathryn relaxing on her blue velvet sofa from Thrive Furniture.
It's all about layering textures and mixing old and new in this space. Most of the artwork was made by Kathryn's family, all of the throw pillows are her own creations, and the side tables are vintage hand-me-downs or thrifted.
A close-up of Kathryn's lovely handmade Maresca Textiles fabrics and pillows.
Plants complement any decor, but for someone who loves the outdoors, they were a must in every room within Kathryn's apartment.
More greenery, artwork and various trinkets with personal meaning fill the fireplace ledge.
Across from the blue sofa on the opposite wall is Kathryn's dining space, an area she defined by using a rug. The space might be humble in size, but her handmade drapery adds some depth and presence.
The apartment's floor plan, which illustrates exactly why the porch is Kathryn's favorite spot.
The one hallway to win them all! This corridor connects to the living room (through the first door to the right), her studio (first left), the bathroom (second left), bedroom (second right) and the kitchen (in the distance).
Across from the living and dining room is Kathryn's studio space. "When I initially rented my apartment," she explains, "I was using [this] spare bedroom as [my primary] office/studio space, so the fact that I [also] have an outdoor messy studio area was a big selling point for me."
After a quick trip outside to the garage, you'll find Kathryn's secondary studio space where she can get a bit messier and not worry about ruining the floors. This is where she does most of her screen printing.
Kathryn in the garage studio preparing some ink to be pulled across fabric using her screen printer.
In the bedroom, Kathryn once again applies her signature style: a rainbow of colors, textures and eclectic furniture pieces against neutral walls. "Initially, my home was full of furniture that had been handed down to me by my parents," Kathryn shares. "Some were great pieces, others were things that I needed but weren’t necessarily my style (but worked at the time). It’s taken some time to strike a balance between family pieces and newer things that are more my personal style."
More artwork hangs on walls, rests on tables, and big pieces even lean against the wall on the floor. The headboard was made from Maresca Textiles fabric.
Atop a vintage dresser painted white are more personal mementos.
In addition to being close to her family in Charleston, and in the heart of a historic and culturally-rich neighborhood, what Kathryn loves most about her apartment is the inspiration it offers and the freedom it gives her to play with new designs.

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  • Such a lovely space- love the deep blue couch and subtle patterned pillows. After living in Savannah for close to 7 years, I agree that Ardsley is the perfect mix of old and new with a super friendly crowd. I lived on 48th street and loved it! xo

  • The cane chair and accompanying fabric caught this gal’s eye immediately. Love love.

  • Savannah is a gorgeous place to live and create. I went to school there for fashion design at SCAD, now living in NYC. One day we’ll move back too. We visit often, I’d love to know where to find your items. Beautiful space you have.

    • Thank you Design Sponge for featuring my home!

      Thanks Garrottdesigns! I love living in Savannah ;) Most pieces from my home are thrifted or vintage pieces, but you can find my textile pieces and showroom info on my website.