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
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