Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Chez Cath

Today, my "most hunted for" copy of Vogue arrived (October edition) because I'd had a little tip-off that a certain lady's house was featured therein.  Oh my, I haven't enjoyed eating my lunch so much in a long time because it's not every day that your boring old sandwich is accompanied by a virtual nose around one of your idol's homes.  Cath's book Vintage Style, is one of my all time faves.  I really started getting into Cath K when we bought our cottage last year; until then, I'd been going through a more "contemporary" phase in our London house. My other half really surprised me on Mothers' Day when he and the Munchkin presented me with Vintage Style.  I hadn't even known it existed.  For the following few weeks, I was never to be seen without this book by my side.  Every time I picked it up to read and re-read it, I noted something new because I am a person obsessed by details and I believe details make all the difference!

Anyway, sorry about that, I got a bit carried away with my description of the blossoming of my love for the Cath K style.  The article in Vogue has been published to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the Cath K brand and there is an interesting background story on her life prior to the start of the "Cath K brand" in 1993.  She apparently lived an idyllic childhood in Hampshire, the "typically English country setting", awash with ponies, rabbits and "a rambling house full of rosy wallpaper".  She left boarding school at 18 and is described as having a "cut-glass" accent.  She is also described as being "constantly smiley and warm". 

The article gives us an insight into Cath's life and more importantly, her new home which she moved into eighteen months ago (in Chiswick).  It was apparently an unmodernised "Restoration" property and Cath and her husband had often walked past it with Stanley and dreamed wistfully of living there.  Lucky Cath, one day 8 years later, they managed to buy it.  

I was struck by the fact that the interior is a lot more modern than I had expected.  They have one of those lovely glass walled kitchen extensions on the back that I have always wanted.  You can see some of Cath's fabrics about; the kitchen table in the modern glass extension is covered with stripey oilcloth and set for tea with cake stands bearing fairy cakes and lots of her pretty coloured glass tumblers.  

The living room has bright red walls.  

Apparently, it also has a Daffy Duck print over the fireplace and jars of Quality Street (they wouldn't last long in the HenHouse) so that people feel comfortable and relaxed and because Cath wants things to be "both practical and fun". Overall, it looks a lot more polished and less (thrifted) than her homes in Vintage Style, but I say that only on the basis of the few pics in this mag.   I don't want to offend Cath!

Cath does state in the interview that it was her intention to have a "minimalist" house and indeed, Vogue describes the house as remarkably uncluttered given Cath spends so much time at car boot sales!  Cath recalls how despite her intentions, on the day they moved in, she went out to buy some milk and came back with an antique quilt.  There's why you just have to love Cath, because she does all those little things of which we fellow vintage-thrift-oholics are guilty!

The main bedroom looks gorgeous and the fabric in here is apparently vintage French.  I spy the red star Roberts' radio on the window sill.  

Her step-daughter's bedroom also looks lovely (only a very small picture of part of it).  Cath's Paris Rose wallpaper is in there and  you can see all the cushions on the bed reflected in a lovely white-painted overmantle (adorned with fairy lights).  

The dining room which also functions as an "office and library" has bold rose-patterned curtains (they look vintage), a Chinese paper lampshade and white stools surrounding a white circular table, the top of each stool covered with a different colour of velvet.

There is a shot of the garden which is where Stanley is!

Hope you enjoyed your virtual visit to Cath's house.  I've obviously pawed the mag far too much already and one page has fallen out!  


  1. Oh wow!!!
    I like and i share that same obsession! Always by my side is my copy of VS and In print.....i carry my tips for vintage style in my bag if i go i always have something pretty to read!
    I just can't get enough of her prints.........!!!!
    I'm going to ask Olly to find me a copy of Vogue!
    Then i will carefully remove the pages and laminate them! I can store them in my VS book!
    Thanks you for sharing day is just getting better and better!

  2. I can relate to that feeling when you find a book or magazine you can't be without. I was like that when Amy Butler's Midwest Modern book came out. I went everywhere with it, even hugging it. I think my next love is going to be Anna Maria Horner's Seams To Be, to arrive next week.

  3. As a Vogue-a-holic (I have every issue since 1997 stored at my mothers house) I so wanted to do a post about this, but my scanner failed me and the photos I took were crap. Isn't her house just gorgeous?
    Thanks for sharing online!

  4. Oooh! Don't we just love a good nosy nose around other people's houses - especially if they look this good! t.x

  5. Thanks for the tour of Cath's house, I think you ahould tell Jane of Posy about it I know she would hate to miss out on this!

  6. Hiya,

    I'm surprised, it's a bit more recent retro and modern than I expected. I had visions of Cath living in a cute chocolate box type cottage!

    I totally agree with you about 'Make', I'm a bit disappointed. I love the 'Tips for vinatge style' book of hers but I'm not overly impressed with her new one. :-(

  7. Oh, that was great Hen! I've always wondered what she looked like (I've not googled her before What?) Her house looks lovely but not how I imagined it to be! I wonder if we will be able to get this edition in Australia?

  8. wow..brilliant to have a nosy..I have an article from absolutely ages ago about Cath's house and her style has really changed from isn't quite what you expect from her, I always imagine her houses to be like her shops..but they never are! I'll have to hunt out an october vogue now..quick! thanks Hen x

  9. I have to say it - I don't like her kitchen. It's nowhere near cosy enough for me. Isn't it strange that her house is so uncluttered - not what you would expect at all is it? Thank you for giving us a peek though. By the way - I love the firescreen you showed us in your last post. Much more our style!

  10. Thanks for sharing CK's house pics, she does have another house in the country which is definatly more cottagey, I have the cut out so I will see if I can take pics of it! I love your blog so far, just need to catch up on your older posts....Claire x

  11. Hi

    I had seen this article myself and devoured it too! Cath is just brilliant, oh to have her life!!!

    I was in Cath in Covent Grdn yesterday and they have changed the shop around, with a large circular till in the middle, really brightens up the whole shop! I was only popping in there for wrapping paper and guess what.....I did only come out with wrapping paper!!....I'm so impressed with myself! Althouhg, I was meeting hubby for dinner and I'd just come out of The felt I couldn't spoil myself too much.

    Hope your okay.
    Lucy x

  12. Oh its great to get a looksie inside Cath's house. I took your advice and ordered Vintage Style yesteday and I couldn't resist a copy of Make! aswell. Thanks!


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