Street Style: Jean Molesworth Kee

It’s my absolute pleasure to introduce you to the formidable Jean Molesworth Kee today. I first had the opportunity to work with Jean in 2011 when she did a workshop for us on how to pick the perfect paint color. See, Jean is the area’s go to expert on all things color. Her eye for color is spot on. She picks up the slightest hints of green in gray tones and knows how to pick out the perfect white for any room in the house. And, if you’ve ever had to pick the perfect white, you know exactly how hard that is!

Jean was kind enough to help me out with several personal projects, including the outside of my house. Now, I feel comfortable picking a paint color to go with our Walter G fabrics and Dash & Albert rugs, but picking the color of a house is beyond my reach. Jean does it masterfully. She was patient with me and really listened as I was grappling with which direction I wanted to go. After a number of rounds – and lively conversations about design – we landed on Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray and I could not be happier. It truly is the perfect color and exactly what I was looking for.

As a go-to for architects, developers, and designers alike, Jean brings style, taste, and joy to every project on which she contributes. One of the things I love about Jean is that she is always moving forward. She believes in the classics but she doesn’t rest on one viewpoint. Ever searching for what’s new and interesting, she stays current and relevant when others might just rest on the tried and true. I promise you time spent with Jean is time spent getting an earful of what’s new in good design. You will come away armed and ready to be as fashionable and fantastic as she is!

Jean is wearing a top and pants by Tibi, jacket by Emerson Frye, and earrings by Lizzie Fortunato, all available at The Hive,
and shoes by Veronia Beard, available at The Shoe Hive. Clutch by Lizzie Fortunato, also at The Hive.
Photography by Sarah Marcella Creative




How do you spend your time? Most days, I’m busy with design consults. I work from my home studio and am thankful for a flexible schedule, which allows for my sacred noonday trip to the gym— a great way to breakup the day and get recharged.

Neighborhood: Beverley Hills

How long have you lived in Alexandria: 30 years (with a 2.5 year break in Sydney, Australia)

What is your hometown? Frederick, Maryland

What brought you to Alexandria? My husband was relocated from the West Coast to D.C. (and isn’t Virginia for lovers?)

What would surprise people about you? I have a twin sister (we still dress alike)

You’re a superhero: what’s your superpower? Multitasking (I can cook while drinking wine)

Favorite cocktail: Mount Gay Rum + fresh grapefruit juice (tastes better on a boat)

Last book read or movie seen: Hold Still by Sally Mann

Guilty Pleasure: Reading a good book while at anchor in St. Michael’s harbor

Phrase you overuse: “That front door color could be better!”

Facebook or Instagram? Instagram, definitely!

Latest binge-watch: Fargo

Bucket list travel destination: Stockholm, definitely.

If you only could have one for the rest of your life: wine or coffee? Hmmm. That’s a tough one but coffee would be my choice— need the caffeine!





Define your style in three words or less: Good shoes, always

The go-to piece in your wardrobe: A pair of classic, black Aquatalia boots that have taken me through three winters (purchased from The Shoe Hive at the annual Alexandria Boutique Warehouse Sale)

Favorite trend ever: Pashmina scarves — draped, looped, knotted, I wear them in different weights and colors almost year round (and my neck loves them)

Favorite current trend: Flared or wide-leg cropped pants (skinny jeans fatigue)

Beauty product you can’t live without: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peels

Favorite fragrance: Hermes 24 Faubourg (sorry, must be over 40 to wear it!)

Heels or flats? Flats (but loving chunky block heel pumps this year)




Favorite room in your home: Kitchen with cushy chairs by the fireplace

Antiques, modern, or a mix? Total mix with lots of eclectic stuff in between

Last item bought for your home: A Dyson “Motorhead” stick vacuum; it has solved my daily dirty dog problem

Next planned purchase: A painting by Sheep Jones

Favorite way to entertain: Alfresco and casual, on my woodsy deck

Clutter-free or well lived-in? Well lived-in (dog allowed on sofa)

Wallpaper — yes, totally modern or no, so dated: Yes, totally modern





Most fun way to exercise: Walking with my gal pals (preferably to brunch) or kayaking

Group exercise or solo: Group

Fitness goal: Always 5 pounds lighter with no broken bones

Haven’t yet, but might be willing to try with coaching / encouragement: Open water swimming…possibly Bay Bridge Swim before I die.

Proudest fitness achievement: My forehand slice (sadly peaked as a high school tennis player)




Favorite spot in Alexandria: The Torpedo Factory

Last purchase in Alexandria: A maidenhair fern and funky burlap and wire planter at Greenstreet Gardens

Best coffee / happy hour / date night spot: Misha’s for coffee / The Front Porch in summer for happy hour alfresco / a tie between the The Birchmere and Bastille for date night

Favorite charity: Rebuilding Alexandria Together

Favorite annual Alexandria event: Alexandria’s Birthday Celebration (on a blanket with friends, fireworks and the Alexandria Symphony)




  • The latest from Amy
Owner Amy Rutherford started Red Barn because she wanted to deliver a service — to provide both old and new in one place. No longer will busy shoppers be limited to reproductions or forced to shop multiple flea markets for the look or gifts they want. The trick in blending old and new, vintage and modern, classic and quirky, is balance. And Amy’s knack for mixing rustic antiques with urban chic has created a look that is both fresh and familiar.

Red Barn Mercantile opened its doors in September 2007 with a single vision in mind: providing old and new to offer our customers signature whole-room designs at great prices.

We’re more than a furniture boutique and provide more personalized service than a big box retailer. We work hard to bring you the highest quality furniture and gifts, the most unique conversation starters, wall hangings and accent pieces, whether they come from off-the-beaten-track flea markets, or the latest designers.

1117 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314



  1. Avatar Brenda says:

    Fantastic! How do we get in touch with Jean for home consultations?

  2. Avatar nancy molesworth says:

    Wonderful article, thank you very much. I love my visits to the great shops, restaurants and especially
    Red Barn Mercantile and The Torpedo Factory.

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