Five Questions with … Catherine Thursby

Catherine Thursby named her colorful Ann Arbor store Red Shoes, but you won’t find any footwear in stock. With its eclectic mix of vintage, handmade, polka-dotted, and one-of-a-kind home goods, Red Shoes specializes in a different kind of kicks. Recently, Thursby fielded our five questions and discussed seasonal style, keeping things fresh, and what’s new in Austrian blankets.

As far as trends go, what are you seeing now?

I’m not much of a trend follower. But what I am seeing is people gravitating more to the handmade, along with more eco-friendly and natural products. I see more streamlined designs with bold and simple graphics, a lot of birds and nature-inspired themes. People want things that are definitely artful and unique.

How do you keep things fresh?

I rearrange things constantly. I’m always moving rooms around, changing furniture pieces, painting the walls a different color, and changing palettes according to the season. I usually shift to softer cotton or lightweight fabrics along with lighter-and-brighter colors in the spring and summer — heavier wools, felted objects, and more rustic pieces in the fall. I may have some of the same product on the shelves, but it’ll look completely different when I change the colors.

When you think of style constants in your life, what are they?

Three things: White furniture, red paint, and polka dots. I’ll always have white furniture, no matter what. It makes it so easy to change the look of your room simply by changing your pillows — or even your wall color. White goes with everything. I also always have to have something red in my life: a red door, a red wall. Red is such a vibrant, energizing color. It’s an absolute necessity in my life. Also, I could not be happy if I didn’t have at least one polka-dotted object, which — if you live in my world — means several polka-dotted goods. It’s a symbol of happiness.

What companies or labels do you love right now?

I am totally in love with my Austrian blankets by David Fusseneger. They’re throw blankets that come in the most amazing colors and designs. They’re constantly changing their styles each year, which makes for a very unique product. With just one blanket, you can totally make a room pop. It’s truly like a piece of art, but in blanket form.

Finally, if you could choose one thing to buy this season, what would it be?

[I’d buy] more unique work from individual artists. I like to support people who make things by hand.