Kelly Clarkson, like many celebrities before her, has partnered with a furniture and home goods retailer to sell products meant to reflect her personal style. This time, her expensive Wayfair line promises French countryside but really delivers modern farmhouse, an extremely popular and extremely boring interior design aesthetic accessible to anyone with a car, considerable disposable income and an Ashley’s Homestore in their strip mall. (That is to say—much more expensive than thrifting, and yielding cookie-cutter results.) But it’s not fair to knock it till I try it, so let’s examine some of the pieces, one-by-one. At the very least, I’m happy to report that the fireplace filled to the brim with books stacked spine-in (pictured above) is not for sale.
This table is fine for an upstate (doesn’t matter which state, just up) AirBnB, but I find it hard to justify the $700 price tag. You could find a banged-up version of this table on Craigslist, or whatever, and paint it white. Still, I would not mind sitting here, perhaps with a cup of coffee and a nice croissant, while birds chirp loudly near the window. That’s called cognitive dissonance.
This is a chicken coop.
Pinkies up for this one. In examining this collection, I’m learning that the major distinction between French country and modern farmhouse style isn’t the answer to the question “Would Chip and Joanna Gaines like this?” but “Is there a chandelier and the bust of a woman laying around?” This shot has both. Also, it is moderately priced, as far as chandeliers go. If someone told me Clarkson actually had this in her home, I’d believe it. Color me impressed.
This is yet another gray piece of furniture that is both a sofa and a bed. I appreciate the utilitarianism of the piece, but it is capital-B Basic—I struggle to think a person as colorful as Clarkson has one of these in her own home. It is fine.
Have you ever seen such a dizzying wallpaper? When this collection isn’t yawn-inducing, it leans into the French part of French country style, which I assume translates to Greek museum style. This is wild, and I appreciate its ambition... even if, in practice, it’s too much.
Y’all will think I’m crazy for this one, but I love this boring little stool. Stools, in general, are the worst genre of seat, but this counter hassock really changes the game. It’s tufted, it has a place to rest your arms, and it has lower back support. Nothing is better. And nothing is more necessary for extended stool-sitting. I applaud it.
The only real color in this collection appears to be found in the hideous wall art. These floral prints are available at every store on the planet, and I wish I could exterminate them. Why are these illustrations on top of script print? Why are they brand new and meant to look faded? A blank wall would be more attractive.
In an interview with House Beautiful, Clarkson described her collection in three words, “calming, fresh, inspiring,” adding that “As an artist, I love to create and be bold. The same can be seen in my home collection. I’m not afraid to mix colors, styles, texture. When you put the right things together, it just works.” I see that in the wallpaper and in the chandelier, but for the most part, this stuff is really boring. Take some of it, leave some of it, but make no mistake—somewhere, some French country interior designer is pissed.