Text by Hannah Nance
As an avid gardener, Karen Snyder truly loves the spring season. Spending her days in her home flower studio or tending the garden outside her California cottage, Karen brings life to her abode with beautiful blooms. However, if you’d known Karen many years ago, a life spent outdoors might not have been the first thought to spring to mind.
Growing up in the busy metropolis of Los Angeles, California, Karen always considered herself more of a city girl—that is, until she and her husband built their first house in a small equestrian community outside LA. “Having horses, chickens, and goats in our neighborhood and living more of a country life was really instrumental in shaping my style and design aesthetic,” Karen recalls. Since then, the couple has moved into a new, charming cottage in the same equestrian community and added three dogs and a horse named Whiskey to the mix, and Karen’s love of a slow, simple life has only grown.
Although her style choice hasn’t changed throughout the years, Karen has refined it. She’s created not just a home but a sanctuary for her family to retreat from the bustling city life. “When I decorated our home, my intention was to make sure that everyone felt as though they could come in, sit down, and put their feet up,” she says of her design choices. Vaulted ceilings and natural touches like wood and stone are hallmark traits of the cozy cottage.
To reflect their location, though, Karen added elegant yet comfortable furnishings throughout the home. For instance, the living room boasts rough-hewn wood beams along the ceiling and an Old World-style circular chandelier to complement tufted, round-arm sofas and a neutral patterned rug. The space catches the eye in its simplicity, beckoning guests to come in and relax.
The showstopper of the home is the kitchen. Rustic beams make a reappearance, accented by a mix of gray and white cabinetry and bronze lanterns above one of the two islands. Naturally, Karen almost always adorns the space with a vase of fresh flowers, peonies being one of her favorites for spring.
An abundance of beautiful blooms and fresh greenery is a constant in the Snyder home. No matter the season, Karen showcases her garden inside and outside with gorgeous arrangements she creates herself. “It’s almost always about flowers for me,” she says. “The beauty of this approach is that, like the seasons, nothing is static. Tablescapes and vignettes in my home are constantly changing with the seasons, and I am able to express my creativity in the process.”
The Snyders built their terraced yard from nothing, dreaming up an English-style garden and a spot where Karen could let her creativity flow freely. The studio and garden are places where the whole family, pets included, can enjoy a gorgeous spring day or where Karen can appreciate a few moments of solitary bliss while honing her eye for design. “The studio is filled with all of my favorite things and is the place I love the most in our home,” she says, “because it is where I can express my passion and creativity.”