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The Rhode Island Home that Settled Down a Wanderer

by Garrett Fleming

Settling down. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more loaded term. It’s the butt of jokes on sitcoms and conjures up stereotypical images of suburban picket fences, diapers, boring nights in and lights out by nine. No matter the interpretation, it’s always associated with giving up something exciting in exchange for something bland. No one ever talks about the mental aspects of settling down, though, or how it takes great maturity to do so. I believe, at its core, it’s an outward manifestation of how you’ve become settled within. You’re confident enough to start a new chapter, and you’ve found the right place to do it.

Growing up, Studio KCK’s founder Kelly Knapp followed her parents around the globe, living in 10 countries and moving “more times than she is old.” While her parents did a wonderful job making her feel comfortable no matter where they were, the constant shuffling never afforded Kelly the opportunity to 100% settle down. “I always think of moving and starting fresh,” Kelly says. “It has to be that ingrained, transient sense of being always on-the-move that comes with having an international upbringing.”

Surprisingly, Kelly tells us her on-the-go nature has recently waned, and Providence, RI may be to blame. She’s fallen so in love the city and how it makes her feel, she’s flipped the script and settled into a charming one-bedroom there. Once the home of one of Rhode Island’s founders, her 145-year-old space boasts hardwood floors, gorgeous original doors and an abundance of light. The natural light beautifully dances off her vast collection of vintage decorations, many of which her family collected on those storied journeys overseas. It goes without saying that each one of them holds great sentimental value to Kelly, but  she most cherishes how the home as a whole has made her feel. Here — like never before — she feels settled within herself. “I can’t imagine moving. [This home’s] helped support me in a time when I’ve sort of come into my own,” Kelly shares. Now that’s a powerful space. Click through to peek inside. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Clement and West

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The living room's not only Kelly's favorite space in the house, but it's also the best representation of her style: an eclectic mixture of thrifted and inherited pieces. The couch and ceramic horse are from Providence shop Butterfield.
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Kelly got her master's degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and coordinated displays for Anthropologie before starting her own company, Studio KCK.
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Sconces from Kelly's grandmother and drawings from her great-uncle decorate the marble fireplace. This gorgeous feature was one of the reasons she picked the house.
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When her family left Saudi Arabia, Kelly's mother stocked up on textiles, shawls and this camel seat. Layering textural elements like these helps Kelly create the warm space she's always hoped to have.
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Over the course of her childhood, Kelly's family set up homes in 10 different countries. That being said, you can imagine how many pieces they've picked up on these worldly excursions. The living room's bench is one such collectible. It lived in her parents' English house, then in their New York home, before Kelly talked them into letting her have it.
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Kelly describes her sunny bedroom as her "escape." The drapes are particularly special to her because they were made by her great uncle George. She says, "George was an interior designer who worked in the Boston area. He was trained in Paris. [He] was never afraid to be daring with his design choices, and he was always right." The Japanese block prints are by Utagawa Hiroshige.
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Kelly says her time working for Anthropologie -- combined with all of the international travel she's done -- has greatly influenced her personal style. The eclectic mix of accessories here sits in front of a muted wall painted in Glidden “Universal Grey.” To make sure the hue complemented her furniture, she chose it after the home was decorated.
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When she isn't shopping at Anthropologie, she's scoping out the finds at her other personal favorite: Pretty Funny Vintage. She picked up this sweet dresser at the Tarrytown, NY shop. It sits under a mirror she's had since she was a child.
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"My favorite thing about my home is that it's been a space to let me come into my own." -- Kelly Knapp
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Behind the living room's gorgeous glass doors is the quaint kitchen. Given the space's size constraints, Kelly is a bit of stickler for keeping it tidy. Everything has its place, including her Molly Hatch ceramics and the dishes from her aunt and uncle that she uses when cooking up a storm.
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The kitchen is the one space in the home that Kelly would change if she could. Given the chance, she'd swap out its linoleum and replace the appliances throughout.
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In a small space, decorations and tools are often one and the same. Kelly's tools are always handy and at the ready thanks to this stylish IKEA rack. Above it hangs artwork by fellow Rhode Island School of Design graduate Colin Bliss. It was found at the gallery Lore.
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Built in 1875, this one-bedroom space is one of Providence, RI's historic homes. Freeborn Coggeshall, one of Rhode Island's founders, once lived here.

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Comments

  • I love every corner of this beautiful home. Is there a source for that beautiful rug in the living room?

  • What a treat to get a peek into your home – it is even more lovely than I imagined it would be. And with your talent and heritage I expected a lot

  • I live in PVD too, it’s such a wonderful place to be. Beautiful home! Love that it is so historic and full of things collected from your travels.

  • UGH PROVIDENCE! My home. I miss it. Beautiful space. Lucky you. Are you on the East Side?

    • Thank you Olivia! I’m on the East Side in Wayland Square and love that I can walk to everything. And yes!…Providence is a pretty amazing place!

    • Thank you Sarah. The paint color is Gladden’s Universal Grey. I think it would work beautifully in a lot of homes. Very calming and incredibly elegant.

    • Lindsey – The beehive piece is actually a painting and is from my studio mate and friend, Colin Bliss (info is in the caption). The piece is metallic gold and black paint and is gorgeous. He has a series of pieces of all scales available right now and can be contacted through his website: http://colinbliss.com

  • It’s not possible for “one of Rhode Island’s founders” to have lived in a house built in 1875. A descendant, yes. The colony of Rhode Island was founded in 1636 and became a state in 1776.

  • Kelly, I love all the pictures of you “home”, and I am so happy that Uncle Henry and I got to see your beautiful place in person. Your deserve every inch of Your Home. Love you Aunt Christine and Uncle Henry. thanks so much for sharing your successes.