Since taking ownership of the home in the Riverside section of East Providence she shares with husband Iain, Jenna Kinghorn has started carrying a notebook. “I’ve included all the decor details for each room I’ve worked on,” she begins. “I also make lists for the remaining rooms and carry them with me. I always have it handy in case I spot something that could be for the cottage.” It’s evident that Kinghorn adores the house initially spotted by Iain. “He was determined to find us the perfect home – a fixer upper with good solid bones.”
This is the eighth residence for the Kinghorns, who in their dozen years together have lived in Chicago, Boston, Stamford, Newport, Barrington, and Fall River. It’s easy to see why the couple would fall for the charming house situated on a corner lot with a white picket fence. “The cottage felt like a hug when we [first] walked in – and it still does.” Things that appealed most to the pair about this property were its layout and original 1928 architecture features like arched doorways, wood floors and moldings, and beadboard ceilings in the porch. Says Kinghorn, “It was just the right size for us at 1,000 square feet.”
Originally from Chicago, Jenna worked in retail management for Gap, Inc. for 25 years before changing careers for freelance interior decorating. Self-taught, she describes her style as classic and simple. In a striped Brenton shirt and ballet flats, it’s apparent that this aesthetic spans beyond her own personal look into her home and the goods stocked in the Bristol-based shop she co-owns with friend Rebekah Willenberg, Blanc + Bleu. Her decor is a combination of farmhouse and coastal, mixed with inspiration from travels abroad. Iain is from Scotland and Jenna cites the English countryside and areas of Northern France like Brittany and Normandy as influences for her “cozy brocante style,” referring to Parisian flea markets. “I like a mix of new and vintage pieces.”
Repeated use of white and neutrals creates visual space in the small house while giving rooms a cohesive flow. Textures such as chipped finishes and grainsack textiles contribute interest throughout. Kinghorn incorporates “hints of blue” in accents as location cues “and it’s my husband’s favorite color,” she says.