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.