Fine Prints

The Richey family finds the perfect blend of modern and traditional pieces, with plenty of striking fabrics, in their Eastern Shore home.

Photo by Summer Ennis Ansley

Color and pattern abound in the lives of Kathy and Don Richey. Owners of Richtex and, it’s no surprise that their home is comfortably decorated with a sophisticated neutral background, beautiful furniture and splashes of color from textiles, making each room feel truly inviting. 

“The print chair is an old piece we had whitewashed and recovered with this waterfall linen print, ” Kathy Richey says.

After living all over the country, the couple settled in Fairhope 14 years ago. “We were looking for a quiet place to raise our twin sons, Carson and Jake, and almost on a whim we chose Fairhope, ” says Don, who’s been in the textile business for 50 years now. “Owning my own fabric business had always been a dream, so I leased the old Al’s 5 & 10 building in Spanish Fort and opened Richtex Fabrics.” A few years later, they built a new facility in Daphne and expanded the business to include custom furniture and an online presence. 

For Kathy, it all began as a child. She spent Sunday afternoons on her great-grandmother’s sunporch in Bismarck, Missouri, reading magazines. “Most of her magazines were home and fashion and quite forward-thinking for the time, ” Kathy recalls. “Lots of color, design and big-city looks.” So her marriage to a fabric mogul was a match made in heaven.

After they sold their house in Rock Creek, the couple purchased their current home in The Woodlands. The house was only a year and a half old when they bought it, and this Easter will mark their fourth year living there. “We really liked the finishes and colors they used when the house was built, ” Kathy says. The couple brought life to old furniture through fresh upholstery and purchased new pieces to complete each room. Custom window treatments were added, and new light fixtures brought more of the Richeys’ style into the home. 

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Kathy says she feels fortunate that Richtex gives them access to great furniture manufacturers, local upholsterers, beautiful fabrics and skilled experts. And, she still thumbs through home decorating books and magazines to find unique, inspiring looks. “I love
pulling together color, design and texture to create a space, ” she says. 

“My favorite room is probably the new addition, ” Kathy says. It reminds her of her great-grandmother’s sunporch. Bare windows allow for streaming sunlight and a view of the wooded backyard. 

The couple agrees that the home is made all the better by its setting. “It’s like living in a park, ” Kathy says. “There are woods behind the house, a lake out front, and it’s really a quiet place.” 

“It’s not unusual to see a dozen deer in our yard, yet we are five minutes from Downtown Fairhope, ” Don says.

ABOVE The kitchen’s dome ceiling is made of light pine wood. A natural zinc island weathers nicely over time and after use. “We added our own wood table and stools at the end of the island to serve as a space for eating and working for our boys, ” Kathy says. The large kitchen sink window overlooks the woods where feeders attract squirrels, deer and birds.   

ABOVE LEFT A new French-style chandelier hangs above the antique dining room table and chairs from Plantation Antiques in Mobile. The fold-up buffet in the background was found at Orleans Antiques in Fairhope. The Richtex team created custom draperies and recovered the chair cushions. 

ABOVE RIGHT “A very special piece in our home is a framed one-of-a-kind linen batik fabric over our living room mantle, ” says Kathy. ”It sets the tone for the entire room.” Kathy stayed with a cool color palette but accented with a deep shade of pink. “Thank goodness, with a house full of guys, no one seems to mind, ” she says. Accent chairs from France were originally dark wood with a heavy brocade velvet fabric. “I saw this awesome blue waterfall tie-dyed linen fabric in a decorating magazine and loved it, ” says Kathy. Don and his team were able to track it down. The chairs are now whitewashed and recovered in the fabric.    

ABOVE Treasured photos and art surround the television in the keeping room, where the family spends much of their time. One of their two dogs, Major, a chocolate cocker spaniel, finds a comfortable spot on cozy, layered area rugs. Neutral furniture keeps the space airy.  

ABOVE LEFT “This area is our daily gathering place for meals, ” Kathy says. The family joins together around a refinished farm table with cushioned pale blue and cream damask print upholstered dining chairs from Richtex. 

ABOVE RIGHT Paperwhites overflow from a hammered copper container found at Aubergine Antique Store in Fairhope. Vietri plates with monogrammed linen napkins and simple silverware complete the setting.  

ABOVE A crisp pleated bedspread is done in an Italian velvet fabric, trimmed in a coordinated cording. Velvet and silk pillows create a beautiful arrangement of different shades and textures. The champagne-colored silk headboard and whitewashed scroll motif mirror add luxury.  

ABOVE The master bath is a bright oasis with two large windows allowing for ample natural light. A marble-top vanity, elegant sconce lighting and a deep, soaking tub add sophistication to the room.

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