In their dreams, visual merchandiser Katty Patterson of Hunter’s Bohemia and her husband Marky live in a lovingly-restored farmhouse in the south of France. Its interior is modern – yet bohemian – and wild country sits on either side of it, clutching the home in a tight bear hug. Even better, the house is also near the coast. (This is a dream after all.) One most days, Marky surfs and Katty works on her bestseller to the soundtrack of their two sons’ laughter.
The couple admits this may never become a reality, but luckily they’ve found a community in Belfast, Northern Ireland that isn’t that much different than their make believe one in France. Weekends in Belfast are filled with trips to the nearby coast where paddle boarding and cycling are beloved rituals. And the 100-year-old house they live in today is a varied mix of art and accessories not unlike those in their fantasy maison.
Unfortunately, getting the older home up to snuff wasn’t quite as idyllic of a process as the farmhouse renovation in their dreams. “We arrived to burnt-orange velvet curtains, baby-blue walls and green carpet that stank so badly,” Katty says. Since then, the couple has had to tear down walls, replace nearly every fixture, craft a new kitchen and redecorate the space beyond recognition.
During the redecorating phase specifically, Katty looked to her career as a visual merchandiser for inspiration. Not only has her job taught her how to design on a dime, but it’s shown her how to organize existing decorations into vignettes to create eye-catching new looks. In the dining room, for example, she’s displayed magazines and hats as if for sale. Furthermore, in her and Marky’s bedroom, a well-tended clothing rack makes Katty feel like she’s shopping her own closet when she’s getting ready for the day.
Above all else, Katty’s family has had the greatest impact on the look of the house. Her boys are still quite young, and their rough-and-tumble playdates led Katty to industrial pieces that can take a beating. Industrial doesn’t mean colorless, though. Katty keeps a home that both inspires her children to create and diminishes any disdain for outlandish ideas by leading by example. As you’ll see, she’s taken major risks with some DIY projects: bold tile, huge palm murals, wall-to-wall geometric pattern, etc. You name it, and Katty has tried it. It’s these unique moments, more than anything, that make this Irish home one of the most confident we’ve ever featured. Scroll down to check it out. Enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Katty Patterson
Image above: “The idea for this surf-inspired guy had been rolling around my head for months until I finally tackled him at the start of [this] year. I like to think of him as a sort of creepy ode to my husband,” Katty says with a wink.