What better way to start the New Year than with a bit of design inspiration and some wise words? Ladies, we are so pleased to bring you this interview with Mrs. Karen King, whose Instagram account, The Timeless Classic Beauty, we adore! Karen is an interior designer with impeccable taste and a former stay-at-home mom.
Welcome to The Not-So Desperate Housewives community! So happy to have you with us. We hear you’re a real Southern Belle, having grown up in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia. How would you say your background has influenced your overall aesthetic?
Thank you so very much for having me. I’m very grateful to be included into The Not-So Desperate Housewives community.
Being born and raised in the South by traditional women, my life was surrounded by traditional values, fashion, and southern food. I was raised by a stay-at-home mom and our home was cozy, clean, and pretty. Classics such as sweet tea, grits, mac and cheese, and cornbread were mainstays. And don’t forget the collard greens! Southern food at its best.
I’m very interested in the classics of design that are not only beautiful, but timeless. A collected forever look of life that will never go out of style.Mrs. Karen King
Interiors never changed in my family. They were classic pieces handed down that stood the test of time. My mother never saw the need to replace furniture and her furnishings always worked beautifully. I remember my mom re-upholstering our sofa once. She chose traditional fabrics such as damask and chintz – whatever she loved, even if it was a dime store bolt of fabric. They were always beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.
Trends were never a phase my mother dabbled into. My style and aesthetics comes from that experience. I always stick to pieces in furniture and fashion that will stand the test of time.
Would you say being a homemaker was something you aspired to, or did you feel it was expected of you?
When I chose to be a stay-at-home mom it was because I wanted the same experience for my children as I had. I wanted to give the same confidence and security my mother gave me. A mother who was always there when I got home from school, when I woke up, and when I went to bed. It was never expected of me – it was what I felt was important for me and my children. Although it comes with some sacrifices, it was worth it, and I loved every minute of it.
I do see a growing trend of young mothers deciding to be stay-at-home moms and I think it’s wonderful. It may not work for everyone and that is okay. A woman has to do what is best for herself.Mrs. Karen King
You were a stay-at-home mom to three children, now have five granddaughters, and one is on the way – Congratulations!
Thank you! You could say I was a true “Martha Stewart” type. I cooked homemade meals every day, made after school snacks, crafts, sewed some of their clothes, and made all of their Halloween costumes. I planned and designed their birthday parties – even painting Gotham City on my garage wall for my son’s Batman-themed fifth birthday party. He was the envy of the neighborhood!
After hand-raising my children, I went back to school to finish my degree that I had put on hold to have children. I went to design school in the Buckhead area of Atlanta and later worked in Buckhead for a celebrity designer, branching out to a smaller firm afterwards.
It must have been difficult to transition back into working life after your kids left the nest? Was there a small part of you that perhaps regretted leaving the workforce earlier?
The only thing I felt was difficult in going back to work was not being at home if I was needed. Even though my children were grown, I was still their mom, whom they needed. However, my children were and are my biggest supporters. They encouraged and supported me so lovingly. And that was enough for me. It made me a better person to have their support. They supported and encouraged me when I was laid off due to the economic crisis.
Shortly after that period, there were weddings to plan and nurseries to create. Life happens and seasons in life change. I’m very grateful to have had the valuable opportunities and to have met wonderful people in the process.
Do you see a current trend with younger women wanting to stay at home? What advice would you give newlyweds and single gals in this day and age?
I do see a growing trend of young mothers deciding to be stay-at-home moms and I think it’s wonderful. It may not work for everyone and that is okay. A woman has to do what is best for herself. But for young women to choose that direction and being able to do so with today’s worldly pressures is so refreshing to me. She and her children will reap great rewards because of that one decision.
My advice for young newlyweds is to keep the lines of communication open in talking through what your aspirations are for each other, your marriage, and your family. Often times issues arise because of a breakdown in this communication. Be the dependable support you both need and can count on in everything. You chose each other for a reason.
I would advise single gals to keep true to themselves and set high standards in life, and the one they’re looking for. Do not settle for anything less because you are worth much more!
If you liked our interview with Mrs. Karen King, check out our tea party with Darling Academy founder Mrs. Alena Kate Pettitt.