My first feature is of Bob and Deb Kennedy, the awesome duo behind Retreat.
I first came across their awesome style a couple of years ago when I visited a store, Faded Elegance, where they had a space in downtown Snohomish. I was so in love with their approach to vintage materials. They would take things and re-purpose things in such a unique way.
I actually was so inspired by their designs that I picked a little pack of vintage goodies they were selling and created a bunch of decorations to use for Valentine's Day. Ok, so that was the day I was hooked!
I have been collecting vintage finds ever since and following Bob and Deb from show to show around the state and now to their own amazing events at their property on Camano Island.
Here are some questions I asked Deb so we could all get to know them better and among the questions I will be posting photos I took of Bob and Deb on and around their people home, property and island they live on as well as some photos I snapped of their home while we visited.
How did Retreat get started?
Our business has truly grown out of our own lifestyle… we have always decorated our homes with vintage, reclaimed, thrift and garage sale finds, as well as original pieces handcrafted by Bob. Affordability and personal expression are the main reasons we chose this way of decorating… even as teenage newlyweds, we preferred to shop at swap meets rather than furniture stores! Over the years, our style has evolved and many items ended up in storage.
Deb has been a retail visual designer & stylist for over 30 years, and her stash of props had grown to epic proportions! We decided to sell those treasures in a way that would inspire people to see that decorating with ‘used’ goods could still be very stylish. So we started selling our hand painted furniture at street markets and craft boutiques in
Our debut in the vintage industry came when we rented a space at Faded Elegance Antiques in November of 2007, where we sold our ‘new’ style of restyled furniture & décor. The response to our seasonally-inspired collections was remarkable! The first vintage show we participated in as vendors was Farm Chicks 2008, where we discovered what a fabulous group of people inhabit this ‘world’. We were on our way…
Define your style and brand?
Retreat Style is built around one premise, which is also our tagline:
We believe that should happen every day. To that end, we want to inspire people to decorate their homes to reflect those ‘happy places’ – if you love the beach, use colors and textures that evoke the seaside, so that your rooms make you smile every time you walk into them.
Our products and displays show people how easy it is to create rooms and homes that will nurture them, and restore them just like a great vacation retreat does!
Since we took photos of you and Bob together and you are a partnership in life and business, tell your fans a little about how you met and fell in love and anything else you would like people to know about you both?
Way back in 1979, when we were in high school, Bob overheard Deb chatting with another cashier at work about a beach party she was going to, and he decided to crash it. Our love affair began that night at Huntington Beach, California, and has continued for 32 years!
We’ve lived in California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Washington, and decorated our homes in at least six different décor styles – from using orange crates and the picnic table Bob built in seventh grade in our first apartment’s dining room, to the dark colors of Adirondack style in our Tahoe home, to the current ‘sun-and-sand’ hues in our home on an island in Washington state.
If you could go back in time and live for 10 years in any time period what would it be and why?
What inspires you? Seasons and locations tend to bring out our creativity… we ask questions like “How can we capture the feeling of this place, and take it home so we can enjoy it all the time?” That leads us to discover materials, textures, and details that we can design with or around, resulting in furniture and décor that reflect the renewable inspiration of nature’s beauty. We’ve been lucky to have lived in beautiful places like
Any last thoughts?
I would like to thank Deb and Bob for giving this glimpse into their life and I had a blast hanging out with them a couple weeks ago in their little piece of paradise.
You can check Retreat in action this coming weekend where they will be a part of wonderful show down in Battleground Washington at Barn House. Barn House just happened to be the very first vintage market I went to two years ago and I of course went there to check out the wonderful duo of Retreat. Here is a photo I snapped when I visited Deb and Bob back then....
So guess where I'll be this weekend......and you should too;)