At Home With: Kristen Gallagher Flato 

Dancer with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Former Richmond Ballet dancer

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When we started, we were just casually looking for a house. We looked at a couple, and in the back of my mind I always thought, "There's got to be a place for the painting that Ed Trask did for us." It's 8 feet by 8 feet, so we were always looking for that wall that it was going to go on. When … we lived in a loft downtown [at 18th and Broad streets] we had a huge 30-foot wall. Little did I know that when we put it here, it would take up the entire wall. All of a sudden it felt like you were in the painting because the figures are life-size. Another [surprise is that with] all the windows we have now, you can see some of the artwork from outside. Coming down the street, you can see the colors through the windows.

We literally only looked at two houses, and my old roommate, Paige George, who is a Realtor, brought it to our attention and said, "You know, there's this house that really looks like you guys," and so she was dead-on. We weren't expecting to move so fast, but this is definitely the one. It just fits our style. All our things had a place before we even came in.

Just 'cause it's a contemporary house doesn't mean we like to keep everything in it contemporary. I wanted a crystal chandelier for the dining room [even though] it seems like you might want something a little more mod for this contemporary house.

Another thing that helped [us settle in] was planning a huge party. Three weeks [after we moved in], we had a baby shower for very close friends of ours, and there were 60 people here. We had a deadline, which was good, but we were literally putting the last picture into place as the doorbell was ringing and the guests were arriving. So the day after the party, we finally exhaled and said, "This feels like home."

— as told to Amy Biegelsen; photographed by Scott Elmquist




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