This week we’re featuring local mom Kerry Jacobs, the owner of Manor+Woods, an interior design and home staging business in Larchmont. I met Kerry through a friend after already discovering her amazing Instagram feed. It’s one of those accounts that’s light and colorful, and just instantly makes you feel happy. Kerry is a wife, a mother to her three children, and a true design genius. After taking time to raise her children, she organically fell into the world of home design and she hasn’t looked back since. Kerry shared with us her favorite spots in the Sound Shore (I would trust her- she’s from here), as well as how COVID-19 has affected her business, and some very sound parenting advice she received from her own mother that is especially valuable during these trying times. I know you’ll love getting to know Kerry and her beautiful designs. Make sure to give her a follow @manorandwoods
Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Larchmont. My husband, James, is originally from Washington, DC. We met in college at Georgetown! We lived all over NYC for about 8 years before moving to Larchmont 9 years ago with our then 2.5 year old daughter and 1 year old son.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
We have three wonderful kids – two girls and a boy – ages 11, 9 and 7. And a puppy on the way in June!
Did you always know you were going to return to Larchmont to raise your family?
No, I didn’t have the intention to move back to Larchmont but it was a great option when we started looking to move out of NYC. Ultimately, we wanted to live near the water and close to NYC…having my family here was icing on the cake!
What do you love about living in the Sound Shore?
We love the combination of being near the water and close to NYC. We love taking walks in parks along the water like Manor Park and Harbor Island. There is a quality of life we believe living near the water brings. It’s very freeing.
What’s your favorite restaurant and place to shop in the Sound Shore?
Our favorite restaurants are La Parisian for croissants and coffee, Stanz for lunch, Sals for pizza and Lusardis for date night. My go-to favorite store to shop for gifts or fun jewelry is Clutch. My favorite home store is Fofie and Mia, absolutely fabulous!
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?
Recently it has been ALL family ALL the time, haha, same as everyone else. The best thing I did in March was buy a bike from 10538 Bicycles. We have really enjoyed being able to bike around town together. It was perfect timing now that our youngest is strong enough to go longer distances. We also have loved diving into old movies like Back to the Future!
What’s your go-to thing to do when you need some “me time”?
These days my “me-time” is spent on a walk or exercising at home. It has been totally necessary to clear my head before these long days of homeschooling and working. Any other “free” time goes into Manor+Woods, my interior design and home staging business. I have an amazing client base that has been so eager to take on new projects during quarantine. We have been very busy! Quarantine has enabled us to introduce virtual consultations and e-design projects. When the day winds down I have been loving a glass of wine from one of the Scout&Cellar labels. I recently became a consultant for this incredible company, so enjoying and tasting wine has now become a hobby and work!!
How did you get into Interior Design?
My first career was in art education. I have my masters in art ed and taught before my kids were born. While I was home raising my kids I poured all of my creativity into designing and decorating our home. As time went by, more and more friends were asking me for advice on their homes and that is when the idea for Manor+Woods was born. I initially started staging homes to sell and soon after that I began designing and decorating as well. It’s been off to the races ever since and I haven’t looked back!
How do you describe your own personal interior style?
I would say my style is transitional. I love mixing highs and lows, traditional and contemporary to create timeless, classic designs. For example, in my own house I have antique dressers paired with modern-looking but more affordable table lamps from West Elm.
What’s your favorite part of owning your own business?
The flexibility! I can still be a stay-at-home mom and run a successful business at the same time. It isn’t easy and it definitely is smothered in compromise but ultimately I couldn’t be happier. I love the look on a satisfied client’s face or the call from a return client with a new project. I am also very proud to show my own daughters how important it is to call something your own, work hard and have success.
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
Every business – big or small, local or world-wide – has been affected in some – way positive or negative. My company is no different. We were not surprised to have a few phone calls with clients putting projects on hold. However, we had even more phone calls with clients pushing ahead and starting new projects. Whether it is because people are at home staring at blank walls, or empty rooms or outdated furniture or maybe it’s because they have an itch to finally finish projects they stopped paying attention to years ago. We are lucky to have an incredible group of clients we are working with right now. Even some of our spring staging projects are starting to pick up where they left off. Business has been as busy as ever. The toughest part has been splitting my time between homeschooling and the design biz. With the help of my colleague, Laura Dupuis, my incredibly talented dear friend, we have been able to stay on track and continue to march forward!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
The best advice I have gotten from any mom is to show my kids unconditional love, especially through this trying time. Our kids are doing the best they can to get through the school year, deal without friends or activities and to just be kids. They will somehow get through all of this, they will catch up in school and we, as a community/nation/world, will not let them fall behind. Most importantly, we as moms, as parents, need to make sure they feel loved and safe. They will come out of this stronger and happier if we can at least give them those two very basic needs.
To learn more about Kerry and Manor+Woods go to @manorandwoods on IG.