“Take time to enjoy the little things like a cup of tea.”

Carrie Cooke Ketterman may be living in the wrong decade. Or even the wrong century. Or maybe, she’s here to remind us that all things modern aren’t all things beautiful.

How many of us have dreamed of owning a new home? Filled with new furniture, new appliances, and the trendiest of decor? Guilty. But Carrie has quite a different take on creating a beautiful home, and for that matter, a beautiful life. And it starts with “I thrifted that.”

Carrie and her husband repainted this hunting camper and decorated it using I Love Lucy decals.
Photos by Melissa Donald 

Carrie, an old soul who loves anything with a past, nonchalantly uttered the aforementioned phrase when dishing about decorating her 100-year-old historic home in Corydon, Indiana. The home is colonial but decorated in the Victorian-style era. She shops vintage stores and thrift shops such as Crescent Hill Trading Company and Crazy Daisy to not only fill her home with fanning couches and prints, but also enough mismatched tea sets to create her and her husband, Jeff’s, happy accident — a tea room.

They have their tea parties in the dining room. 

“I love anything and everything vintage. I have whimsical china and love to host themed tea parties,” says Carrie, who is particularly interested in anything that dates from the 1890s through the 1950s. “Last year, when Corydon hosted its bicentennial celebration, we opened up our living room as a tea room on Mother’s Day.”

The Old Capitol Tea Room, now open monthly and for private parties, is just one of many endeavors the couple is exploring. The tea room is the perfect venue to display Carrie’s playful tastes and her love of theatre. Often hosting themed teas such as the Haunted Mansion and Downton Abbey, the couple, both actors with the Mind’s Eye Theatre Company, have ready access to costumes that put most typical theme parties to shame. The outlet the tea room provides lets Carrie combine many of her passions, including vintage finds and history.

“I’m drawn to things of the past — a more simple time,” Carrie says. “Take time to enjoy the little things like a cup of tea.”

For Carrie, living a beautiful life isn’t about answering every single email and keeping up with everything on social media. “Stop for a minute, unplug, and enjoy a cup of tea and a book,” Carrie says. She recommends brewing a seasonal tea, such as creme brulee black tea with fresh honey, and then using the three minutes it takes to steep to slow down and be present. Something she finds easier to do when surrounded by things of yesterdays gone.