By Kitty Golding
Kitty & Company will be conducting a series of short interviews with Chelsea Residents for 52 weeks, bringing to light differing personalities and design styles in our community. Perhaps you will meet someone new through these weekly interviews or perhaps it will be YOU! Stay tuned and follow us each week – we now introduce you to Mrs. Laura Naar.
What is your profession and for how long? I’ve been an art teacher for 19 years and I also am a photographer.
Your family members: I am married to my husband Chris (who is an Ann Arbor school teacher) and we have two girls Lucy, 11 and Molly, 9.
People think I have a ton of photos in my home but really I have no photos!
When did you move to Chelsea? Where did you live prior to this? We moved to our turn of the century home in Chelsea in 2014, after moving back from Chicago
(We lived there for 7 years). I am originally from Ann Arbor, but took a gap year in Hawaii and surfed!
What do you love about where you currently live? We live in town, and close to CHS, so it is a hop, skip and a jump to get to work. It is the most awesome commute ever! I love that I know my kids teachers, and lastly, I love our little backyard, full of trees.
If you could have a second home anywhere, where would it be? No doubt we would have a home in Northern Michigan, where we love to spend time, places like Glen Arbor and Leland or, this summer we spent time in Frankfort and fell in love with it.
What three styles describe you? Mid-century modern meets boho , with a neutral background pallet .
As you think about the home in which you grew up, what elements did you like and do you think you have incorporated some of them in your own home? I went the opposite way! My mom accessorized in the 80’s country style and I went clean modern. I am so visual that too much clutter for me is distracting and the country style was filled with stuff. My mother did always have an organized and clean home, and I have taken that with me.
Who most influenced your design styles? No one person really influenced me, but the experiences I have had- especially in school have. I think the artist in me just makes my design what it is and it works for us- it’s a gut feeling that I have. My undergrad is in graphic design, and I grew to love bold shapes, negative space and bold color accents. My style developed naturally from these passions. Design becomes important in all senses when you appreciate graphic design.
What are you most inspired by in your design/decor? My travels have increased my art collection. I like to find graphic prints from where I’ve visited and I allow myself one useable and enjoyable ‘souvenir’ per trip.
When entering your home, how do you want it to feel? When you walk into my house, I want it to feel calm and I want you to look at my art and have it create a relaxing pause. Uncluttered….ahh!
What is one trend in design you do NOT like? There are several, anything really dark – like a dark green room with a dark sofa, because colors really affect my moods! Once I was in a friend’s home and every room was painted a different color. In her red kitchen, I would feel angry and couldn’t focus, then we would go into the blue room, where I would calm down. I would enter her home and head right to the white bathroom where I would feel less anxious! I also cannot stand florals, or anything faux painted. That’s a no-no! I hope you all agree.
Have you ever built a new home or remodeled an existing one?
We are refreshing the home we live in little by little. Currently we are working on the master bathroom, which is taking longer than expected as COVID got in the way.
What is the one biggest interior design issue you struggle with? It is balancing what I want – I battle with minimalism. I have two children, and they don’t like to be minimal, their stuff is everywhere! I try and work it into the design with the choices I make, such as drawers that hide things and dark carpets that hide dirt. Minimalism and children are like brushing your teeth with oreos…. It doesn’t work!
Have you ever sought professional help with the interior design of your home - if so, what did you find most helpful? No, but my sister is amazing at design, so she helps me source items and gives me sage advice.
Which room in your home gets the most use? Please give any explanation as well – My dining room. We eat as a family every night in this room, we homeschooled this past Spring and my husband and I also taught our lessons for our classes from our table. We play games at this table as well. The dining room is by far my favorite room!
Is there an item you regret buying for your home? Yes! I bought a discounted marble top vanity for our master bathroom online this past January. Upon delivery it got waylaid in my dining room for four months. Covid delayed our project and then I decided I didn’t like it and now? Well, I am stuck with it. It was a good bargain, but my mind changed over the course of looking at it, but we are going to make it work.
If you were moving and could only pick one item from your home to keep, which would it be and why? My Marimekko fabric pillows! Marimekko Oyj is a Finnish designer and I love her designs. I tend to collect her patterns on various items.
If you were given $1,000 to buy a new piece of art, what would it be? I would buy a big bright silkscreen print- probably from Magnum photos. There are many to choose from but one of the photographers that I am obsessed with is Vivian Maier.
No room is complete without: ART! (easiest question yet!)
What did you do to pass the time during the COVID-19 State shutdown? We kept teaching, decluttered, and taught our girls how to “life” -cooking, laundry etc.
Favorite venue: 100 % it’s Agricole! I love that it is a little grocery store, and one stop shop that I can walk or ride bike to. It has local produce, so I feel I am helping our community and the bonus is the people are so nice.
A few of your favorite things!
Movie – Anything that leaves me with happy feelings – I cannot handle any pet death
Historical Place You Have Visited – Ireland – visiting old castles.
Scent – The salt water of the ocean.
Season – Fall – I love the crunchy leave, colors and cool weather.
TV Show – Modern Family was always a favorite, but I also like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and my newest favorite is Queer Eye for the Straight Guy with the new cast.
Style of Music – 90’s/2000’s Hip-Hop music such as Outkast and Rizzo.
Food – Peanut Butter and I am a vegetarian so salad any kind is always good.
Bucket List Travel Destination -I want to the Northern Lights in Iceland.
Things to Collect – Art for sure, and I used to collect coffee table art books, but I had so many of them, that when we moved I gave most of them away. Hmmm, I could have paid for my kids college with those books!!
Museum – The Whitney American Museum of Art – it is curated by theme so the rooms translate so well when looking at how various artists interpret a theme. The bonus is it’s on water of the NYC Harbor and start of the Highline.
Item on a bookshelf – My books in general, but two favorite art books, “Bottom” and “Humans of New York”
Color – I have no favorite here, just don’t lump them all together.
Design Style – Mid century modern, clean lines, no clutter, negative space, bold patterns on accents.
Hobbies- Hobbies are tricky for a working mom with kids but we are taking family rock band lessons right now and I am learning to play the drums!
Tree or plant – I am obsessed with plants, I have managed to keep my first fiddle leaf fig plant alive now for 2 or 3 years and that makes me happy as they are hard to keep happy. I talk to it and love on it.
Pets? Yes, Otter, our Lab mix mutt
By Kitty Golding
Kitty & Company will be conducting a series of short interviews with Chelsea Residents for 52 weeks, bringing to light differing personalities and design styles in our community. Perhaps you will meet someone new through these weekly interviews or perhaps it will be YOU! Stay tuned and follow us each week – we now introduce you to Ms. Kelly Harness.
What is your current profession? I am an employee benefits consultant working with mid to large size employee groups and I have been doing this for 12 years.
Your family members: Branden (son) and Steve- (my significant other).
People think of me as: really outgoing but really I am an introvert.
When did you move to Chelsea and where did you live prior to coming to Chelsea? I am a Chelsea girl! We moved here when I was 10 years old from Ann Arbor. It was always my Dad’s dream to live in the country, so he bought 20 acres off of North Territorial Road, near Riker Road.
What do you love about where you currently live? Right now we live in town, in a subdivision and having neighbors close by is so wonderful.
If you could have a second home anywhere, where would it be? Harbor Springs , MI.
What three words describe your style? Traditional (with a little bit of bling), warm and comfort.
Who most influenced your design styles? I cannot think of any one person, I have always felt free to choose what I like.
What are you most inspired by in your design/decor? History as I am more drawn to historical and traditional homes than other styles.
As you think about the home in which you grew up, what elements did you like and do you think you have incorporated some of them in your own home? We had a lot of windows when growing up and it felt like we lived in a tree house. So naturally , I have to have windows and natural light with the shades up and windows open as often as I can. I cannot stand to be in a dark home. The windows are our opening to the natural beauty of nature outside.
When entering your home, how do you want it to feel. Inviting, warm and with subtle coloring. It’s encouraging that I have had visitors say that they love the colors I’ve used in my home, and it’s inviting.
What is one element or trend in design you do not like? I am less into very contemporary styles. I respect the design but I don’t love steel and cold hard straight lines.
What is the biggest design issue you struggle with? Currently, it centers around lighting. We live in a production home and aside from wishing for more natural light, I wish for more manufactured light! We have only the basics, but lighting should include warmth, with layers and accents.
Have you ever built a new home or remodeled an existing one? I remodeled our great grandparent’s home, era 1950/60’s. It was a lot of work and I never want to do that again, however I would like to build a new home sometime in my future.
Have you stayed true to a style through the years, or have you fluctuated in your tastes? I have stayed traditionally styled. I tend to not be influenced by other design trends.
If you were moving and could only select one item from your home to keep, what would it be? I have a cedar chest that has Branden’s childhood memories in it and other mementos. I bought the cedar chest from an auction 20 years ago for a place to situate a TV, but now, it’s a treasure box.
Which room in your home gets the most use? The kitchen is always my first answer, but my teenager’s bedroom is now a close second, with his online schooling, gaming and sleeping!
No room is complete without: family photos.
If you are a pet owner, how has that influenced your choices in design, if it has? We have one cat, Jayden. Luckily for us, he doesn’t scratch our furniture.
Has any local venue particularly caught your eye - if so why? “Kitty Face”, the children’s store in town on Main Street. The owners are great visual merchandisers, and it’s fun to see what is new…and or old (vintage finds).
What did you do to pass the time during the COVID-19 State shutdown? I kept working, I didn’t miss a beat! I am still working from home but I will be moving my items back to the office as of this week.
A few of your favorite things!
Movie – You’ve Got Mail
Favorite Historical Place You have visited – Mackinac Island!! I just got back from there recently.
Music– Country to Top 40
TV Show- Friends
Meal – Stone Crab (from the Florida Keys) and a really good steak
Travel Destination (on your bucket list)– Yellowstone National Park
Color- Turquoise or Sky Blue
Museum – Henry Ford (so fun to be there with kids).
Hobbies- Reading (I don’t get enough of this), and nature walking.
Item on a bookshelf –picture of Branden – always!
Kitty’s Note: Kelly and I were connected through high school football- as our sons played together last year..and on that note, I am so thankful that their football season was reinstated and that they will be playing!! (Branden is a senior this year)
I told Kelly during this interview that she definitely comes across as an extrovert, (as she mentioned) always with a smile and positive outlook. She is easy to be around.
By Kitty Golding
Kitty & Company will be conducting a series of short interviews with Chelsea Residents for 52 weeks, bringing to light differing personalities and design styles in our community. Perhaps you will meet someone new through these weekly interviews or perhaps it will be YOU! Stay tuned and follow us each week – we now introduce you to our second couple interview - Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Cristina Manly.
What is your current profession? Cristina - Various positions in the Healthcare industry for 10+ years; Joe - Engineering 8+ years.
Your family members: Kaehla (daughter), Noah (son) & Alex (daughter-in-law) and Achilles (grandson).
People think of me as: (Cristina) a workaholic (Joe) an overachiever but really I am (Cristina) ok, I guess I am! (Joe) a risk-taker.
When did you move to Chelsea and where did you live prior to coming to Chelsea? We relocated to Chelsea in September of 2000, from Menifee, CA. Our SoCal home was a 2300sqft ranch style home (which we prefer) and was a four bedroom/ bath open concept with a 3 car garage and no basement. It was a nicer home than we have in Michigan, but we left California to get away from the rat race and the high cost of living.
What do you love about where you currently live? Chelsea offers a country setting with resources that are close by, offering the best of both worlds.
If you could have a second home anywhere, where would it be? New Zealand would be nice . We’ve admired the beautiful scenery from the Hobbit/LOR movies, and researched/seen video of the island culture. There is a very attractive broad range of environments from forests and mountains with snow to warm beaches with great surf.
What three words describe your style? Simple, comfortable, functional
Who most influences your design styles? HGTV Shows, The main show we like on HGTV is Fixer-Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines. Joe like the repurposing and combination of wood and metal applications and Cristina loves Joanne’s color applications and shabby chic styles.
What are you most inspired by in your design/decor? Our Faith and European Culture.
As you think about the home in which you grew up, what elements did you like and do you think you have incorporated some of them in your own home? Being of European descent, it was typical for our families to gather around the kitchen, so we have some items passed down that have become decorations in our home, and others that we still use for cooking.
When entering your home, how do you want it to feel? Welcoming!
What is one element or trend in design you do not like? Something that is too cheap to last or too expensive to enjoy.
Have you ever remodeled a home? Yes we have including some projects that we are proud of, using salvage materials. Below, I share about our fireplace and mantel and we also completed a kitchen remodel as well – hiring an Amish family in Ohio to create the island for us. It was fashioned from a reclaimed door, along with molding and ceiling tile all from a 19th century basilica.
What is the biggest design issue you struggle with? Coming up with true useful solutions for the design of existing spaces.
Have you ever sought professional interior design help? No, but on some of the efforts we wish we did ;-)
If you were moving and could only select one item from your home to keep, what would it be? A hand-hewn beam on our mantle, that I saved from a friends family farm. It is the oldest single family farm in Shiawassee County (1865) and their grandfather and other family members had hewn it themselves. I built in supports for the mantel over our fireplace and put in a stone wall facia. When I was finished, I stamped the beam on the end with the family name and the date the family farm was founded. It was a great project.
Which room in your home gets the most use? The kitchen and the library.
No room is complete without: Positive words on the wall.
If you are a pet owner, how has that influenced your choices in design, if it has? We have paid more attention to our flooring decisions.
Has any local venue particularly caught your eye - if so why? The Grateful Crow as we are excited to eat some local sushi!
If you were given $1,000 to buy a new piece of art, what would it be? * A landscape or wilderness scene would be our first choice.
A few of your favorite things!
Movie – Nacho Libre.
Favorite Historical Place You have visited – Cristina - Interlochen, Switzerland/ Joe - Berlin, Germany
Scent – Cristina – vanilla/ Joe - bubble gum surf wax
Music– We are very eclectic
TV Show- Jack Ryan
Meal – Carne Asada / Pollo Asada Tacos
Color- Cristina - red; Joe – blue
Favorite thing to Collect – Cristina - destination coffee mugs/ Joe – tools
Design Style- Modern Rustic (although our home doesn’t represent this style)
Museum – Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter
Hobbies- Both - Jeepin'/ Joe – watersports
Item on a bookshelf – Bible
Plant or Tree – Sugar Maple
PETS?- 1 dog and 1 cat
By Kitty Golding
Kitty & Company will be conducting a series of short interviews with Chelsea Residents for 52 weeks, bringing to light differing personalities and design styles in our community. Perhaps you will meet someone new through these weekly interviews or perhaps it will be YOU! Stay tuned and follow us each week – we now introduce you to Charlie Dahlgren.
What is your current profession? I started The Chelsea Pen Company 5 years ago when I was 15. I run the company and am also a student at Eastern Michigan University, and on track to graduate with a Construction Management degree, minoring in Business.
Your family members: Father (Brett), Mother (Michele), brother (Luke) and dog Molly.
When did you move to Chelsea and where did you live prior to coming to Chelsea? I was born in Royal Oak, and my parents moved to Chelsea when I was one year old.
What do you love about where you currently live? We live just west of Chelsea and I love that we have country surroundings but are still so close to town. I am so fortunate to have a woodshop right on our property where I hand make all the orders. And, having recently graduated ( 2019) I appreciate the fact that we have a good school system.
Have you traveled and do you see yourself living outside of Chelsea someday? I think I would want to stay in the area- for reasons I mentioned above and my family. We do travel up north a lot, where we have property, but I haven’t ventured too far away as of yet.
What three words describe your style? Do these count? Wood, Cowboy(boots!), Hunter (orange!).
Did someone have an influence on the way you view art and design? My dad, who owns his own business and does a lot of woodworking is and has been my main influence. He allowed me to start working with him ever since I could pick up a hammer – he really taught me what I now know and love.
What are you most inspired by in design? I love working with old things, existing pieces and or broken things instead of buying new. My inspiration comes from what other see as “trash” into treasure.
As you think about the home in which you grew up, what elements do you like and do you think you may incorporate some of them in your own home?
My dad built our home and made all the woodwork in it. The main rooms are very open with tall ceilings and of course lots of wood and warmth. Definitely there will be a lot of wood in my home.
Would you like to someday build or remodel a home ? I have thought about these ideas and have concluded I wouldn’t want to build new. As of now, I would choose to renovate a home instead so as not to destroy more land and forests.
What is one element or trend in design or art you do not like? Sleek contemporary with large doses of white and stainless are too cold for me - I don’t even like too many white cabinets as it gets boring! Instead I love wood characters showcasing the warmth and graining.
If you were moving and could only select one item from your home to keep, what would it be? Our wood shop for sure…..as it is filled with history of past generations in both memories and the tools we use.
Which room in your home gets the most use? Our open concept kitchen/living room is the busiest room. It has windows that look out at our back woods and barns.
No room is complete without a stylistic element – meaning something that adds interest and detail to a room, such as beautiful molding or a great light fixture.
Has any local venue particularly caught your eye - if so why? Do you remember The Wolverine (bar and restaurant)? I think many didn’t like it because it was dark inside, but I loved the “lodge-like” feeling it offered, and we would eat lunch there a lot when working with my dad’s crew. My current favorite is Thompson’s Pizza because there is a lot of woodwork and offers a homey feeling.
What did you do to pass the time during the COVID-19 State shutdown? Aside from continuing with my college studies, a friend had encouraged me to check into the Fire Dept. training program. I found myself attending the fire academy and will finish this fall. I am really liking it so I will go on to get my EMT certificate as well- which is required to be a firefighter at the Chelsea Fire Dept. My Chelsea Pen business has been slower at this time, allowing me to do these other studies. I also traveled up north a lot, got myself organized and bought a car to enter into the Demolition Derby at the 2020 Fair, but we all know that didn’t happen- so hopefully I will use it for 2021!
A few of your favorite things!
Movie – Forest Gump
Favorite Historical Place You have visited –Mackinac Island
Scent – Sawdust
Music– Aerosmith ( I had their Greatest Hits, on a little tykes cassette player that I would listen too) – and Yes! I still have that cassette.
TV Show- Well, we just got rid of TV- but I liked, Seinfeld
Meal - My Gramma’s Beef Barley Soup- a fall treat!
Travel Destination (on your bucket list)– Colorado – for the mountains – and hopefully an Elk hunt!
Season – Fall – hunting, colors and the Sugarloaf campground Haunted House/Trick or Treating Event!
Color- Blue, with deep green being a close second.
Favorite thing to Collect –I have a large Coca-Cola collection
Museum – The Lumberjack Museum in Hartwick Pines, MI
Hobbies- hunting, fishing, motocross, dirt bike trail riding.
Item on a bookshelf – I do like to read, so I would answer, books- specifically John Grisham’s, The Painted House
Charlie has been our youngest interviewee and I enjoyed meeting with him to hear about his company and his plans. Self-motived and inspiring, this young man’s name will continue to surface as he embraces his entrepreneurial path. Charlie told me his story of Chelsea Pen and I wanted to share some of what he said:
Charlie has been connecting with businesses and the community to grow his business. As an example, he put the Chelsea-Opoly board game idea on Facebook in order to allow people to make suggestions on local businesses to feature. There is now a proud completed version in Reed’s Barbering. This was a fun project taking approximately 100 hours of labor.
Charlie has always had an entrepreneur’s spirit. Chelsea Pen arose from the love of working with wood and encouragement from his family after seeing some of his designs such as pens, pencils and desk accessories. Chelsea Pen has also crafted small pieces of furniture, pizza wheels and cutlery. Charlie is willing to try new things and encourages people to ask him for items on their wish list, if they are not currently showing on the company’s offerings. Recently he was asked to create a long wooden shoehorn, so he went to work and was happy with the results.
As mentioned in the interview, Chelsea Pen uses salvage wood, as recycling is priority to this company. He explained to me, that there was an old walnut tree in Chelsea on Old US 12 that had to come down when a change of ownership occurred. Beautiful designs and new life have now been fashioned from that walnut wood.
You can find Chelsea Pen on Facebook, Etsy and Instagram, and you can find Charlie hard at work, studying, or creating or maybe at the Fire Department.
Chelsea State Bank will host a Community Shred Day Friday, August 28 from 11 am to 1 pm. The event is free to the public and will take place in the parking lot in front of the Chelsea Plaza Office located at 1010 S Main St.
“We are pleased to offer this shredding service to our community,” said Chelsea State Bank President Joanne Rau. “With our tax returns delayed this year because of the coronavirus, and our inability to travel as we once did, many of us have an excess of confidential documents stored up in our homes. It’s important for your security and that of your family, to have confidential documents shredded or destroyed to protect your identity.”
Shred-it Paper Shredding Service will have a truck located in the Chelsea State Bank Plaza Office to shred confidential documents onsite. Bring your private information such as tax forms, statements and bills in bags and boxes. Shred-it will empty them into a shredding bin while you watch the shredding. Staples and paperclips are okay, but you will need to remove any discs or electronics.
When and Where
Friday, August 28 from 11 am to 1 pm.
Chelsea State Bank Plaza Office, 1010 S Main St.
Please make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Shred-it is an information security solution provided by Stericycle, Inc. As the world leader in information security, Shred-it offers an integrated suite of services designed to protect your private information including Paper Shredding, Hard Drive Destruction and Workplace Privacy Policies.
About Chelsea State Bank
Chelsea State Bank is a full-service financial institution with offices in Chelsea and Dexter. The Bank was formed over 100 years ago by local business leaders to provide timely financial solutions to individuals, families and businesses in the community. This tradition of community service continues today. For more information, please call 734.475.1355 or visit www.chelseastate.bank. Member FDIC.
Source: Chelsea State Bank