Renovate and renew: an interior designer opens a boutique in Gettysburg | Local News

When Katie Riddile walks into a room, her design affects her mood.

From the hardware of a dresser to the veneer of a table, the interior designer considers what the smallest details make a person feel.

Riddile wants to help locals and tourists achieve their design goals through his new venture, Kip & Idle.

The storefront, at 22 Carlisle St., Gettysburg, features refurbished interior decor and furnishings that have been given new life under Riddile’s expert hands. She will research a piece and consult with a client to achieve her vision, and may work with furniture brought to her.

“I want them to feel like they have something special,” Riddile said.

It is important to her that customers receive a quality product, which represents the character of the space the individual wishes to create. During a consultation, Riddile will ask clients about their design tastes, color palette, and other elements the piece will be placed next to in a room.

Prior to opening Kip & Idle, Riddile spent 15 years in retail. The job gave her managerial experience and enabled her to think visually, she said.

Riddile affirmed her passion for interior design through an act of kindness she bestowed on a family member.

About four years ago, while visiting relatives at Christmas, Riddile enlisted his children, nieces and nephews to give his sister’s house a new look. They rearranged, brought decor and tidied up. Her sister was blown away, according to Riddile.

“(It) kind of solidified for me, it’s really, really what I love to do,” Riddile said.

She then studied home staging and interior design at the New York Institute of Art and Design, where the idea for Kip & Idle was born, according to a blog post by Riddile on her company’s website,

Kip is an Irish term and can be used to describe fast sleep, said Riddile, who wanted Kip & Idle to convey a restful, relaxing vibe.

Gettysburg became the target of Riddile’s business location. She moved to Gettysburg in 2018 and lived in Reisterstown, Maryland before that. She is from a small town in Oregon.

When their family came east, Riddile didn’t want to leave. She described a charm at every store she encountered in Gettysburg.

“I wanted to bring something to Gettysburg that it didn’t have, and as I looked around, you know, it turned out there wasn’t something I was really passionate about,” said Riddile said.

Kip & Idle features Riddile’s work, but the shop also offers consignment for people who want to sell their own refurbished furniture.

The process of creating a piece is not one that Riddile does in a hurry. Just last week, she sold the “cutest little desk” that a few customers wanted. Riddile offered another ongoing piece to a husband and wife who didn’t get the first desk. As Riddile worked on it, she realized that the consolation office was the wrong person.

“I said, ‘I can’t work on this piece for you. I said I’m literally trying to find you another dresser that’s more of what you’re looking for,” Riddile recalls.

She finally found an Art Deco piece that, with a little TLC, should do the trick.

“I don’t think it’s fair to settle just because I had something that might work for them,” Riddile said.

Riddile names the pieces she is working on to keep track of them.

For example, there is the small wooden side table named Monica. It took three refurbishment attempts to get it right. The Difficult Project was named after a difficult woman whom Riddile had the displeasure of once meeting in the parking lot of a retail store. Riddile laughed as she recalled the memory.

His first month in business, Riddile gets to know the locals. Her hours are currently limited, but she plans to expand in late May. Kip & Idle is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

When Riddile isn’t sanding or polishing furniture, she works part-time in the finances of a flooring company. She has two daughters and quite a few animals.

Visitors to Kip & Idle are likely to encounter two of Riddile’s dogs, Henry the Irish Setter and Daisy the Weimaraner. They serve as unofficial reception.

As a business owner who considers how his job influences people’s feelings, there’s at least one emotion Riddile’s customers should feel: being welcome.

Betty K. Park