“I loved it,” says interior designer Kitt Haman about the days she spent working in the wallpaper department of her father’s Frontier Paint store on Arden Way. She was just 19. While the store is long gone, Haman’s memories of those early experiences are fresh. “I was a design student at American River College at the time and working with wallpaper got me into color and color selection,” she says. “I had a passion for knowing what was in those wallpaper books, so when a client came in, I could say, ‘I know, you’re looking for . . . this.’”
Haman polished her skills while raising two sons and a daughter, spending 12 years as a residential interior designer at Western Contract furnishers in Rancho Cordova. Three years ago, she launched Kitt Haman Design out of the home she and husband John own in River Park.
Haman house style: “It’s cozy and fun. It’s the way we live. . . . I’ve stayed true to the core colors and feel of the house, but over time I’ve inserted little treasures. . . . I recently visited Texas a number of times and realize how much my style evokes a worn-in look . . . like a comfy pair of old jeans and a favorite pair of cowboy boots.”
Design philosophy: “It’s all about layering. There’s something to look at everywhere. You can mix old and new and have it be elegant but casual. Dressy but not fussy.”
Inspirations: Ralph Lauren, British designer Mary Gilliatt.
Big interior changes: In the 25 years they’ve owned their home, the Hamans have remodeled the two-bedroom, one-bath into a three-bedroom, two-bath.
Recent re-do: As an official empty nester, Haman turned her oldest son’s former bedroom into a home office.
Color story: Blue and white, warm wood tones, bold green walls in the family room, tea-kettle blue in the bath, and creamy French vanilla for the kitchen and living room.
Magpie touch: Mirrors top cabinets, bringing in light and landscape.
Where’s the TV? Stashed in a huge repurposed redwood cabinet Haman bought from a neighbor and painted green to match the walls.
Space savvy: With three free-standing chairs and a built-in banquette, Haman can seat 10 around the kitchen table.
Floors: Hardwood and thick, woven rugs for texture, color and drama.
Family room focus: Inlaid leopard-pattern wool carpet by Ralph Lauren.
Splurge: The living room’s Italian-made credenza.
Creature comforts: “Grand” hostess chair and plush velvet sofa by designer Lillian August.
Just plain smart: Big furniture pieces in small rooms. “It makes the rooms look larger because you just don’t need a lot of other things.”
Touch of romance: Voluminous panels of canvas-colored Sunbrella fabric billow at the back of the house to shield the interior from hot summer sun.