Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Designer's Own - When Beauty Finds a Home

There are beautiful homes everywhere.  Blogs, magazines and coffee table books can entice us with the unique allure of a well-decorated home.  All the pictures in the magazines and all the books cannot conjure JOY or a life happily lived within the walls.  Such is the case with this designer's home in Raleigh's Hayes Barton neighborhood.

Designer Molly Painter has taken the last 18-months away from her design business to focus on her family and oversee this project.  With a heart determined to merge beauty and design with the bustling lifestyle of a vibrant family of five, Molly's most cherished project to date is an inspiration to us all.  Thanks to architect Richard Hall and Joel Williams of Williams Realty & Building Company who did much to make this dream a reality.

Molly graciously agreed to answer some questions about this project.

What was your main reason(s) for renovating?  We wanted a downstairs master bedroom and bath.  (And we didn't want to share the Jack and Jill bath with our youngest child as she got older!)  We also wanted/needed more closet space.  But the real thing that got us started was when the plaster ceiling in the living room collapsed.  This forced us to replace all plaster ceilings downstairs with sheet rock, and in doing so we were able to replace wiring, plumbing and HVAC in the old part of the house while the ceiling was open.

What is your favorite room now? The kitchen and patio.

What has been best part of renovation? Working will Joel Williams (builder) and Larry Irwin (superintendent).

Where do you spend most of your time? Kitchen/den as a family and master bathroom/bedroom for my sanity.

Is there anything you would have done differently?  And/or what advice would you give someone starting the process?  We were fortunate that we could live in the house for 5 years prior to the project and see how we wanted to improve it based on how we used the space.  At the end of the day, it is about living well within the space.  The decoration and design must all work toward that end.  So, my advice would be to design the space around how you're going to live in it.

What was the inspiration for your cobalt blue lacquered family room?  My inspiration for the blue lacquered den which also flowed into the entire house was the Tory Burch Store in NYC. I love how she used bright color in a very traditional space with lots of textures on the wall and ceiling. I wanted to preserve the Georgian style house while hoping the interiors would reflect a fun spirit. I do have 3 young daughters and a puppy to consider! 

When designing a room, what do you start with first? A fabric, paint color, rug?
I start with one main fabric (usually a print or geometric), then I choose a rug, paint and, last, coordinating fabrics and trim. However, when I start from scratch, I usually have the whole idea in my mind.

Do you find it more challenging to design your own home vs. that of your clients?  On the one hard, it was very hard to design my own house, because I see so many choices daily. It is hard to make finite decisions for myself, as I am constantly aware of 'something else' that could work and look great. It helped to get lots of opinions from my designer friends along the way. On the other hand, it is easier because I could try metallic paint, lacquer and other non-traditional elements without having to convince the client they would work.  Luckily, my husband, Michael, was supportive of my vision [almost] every step of the away.

Breakfast nook with Arteriors Sputnik lighting.

Another view of the breakfast nook.

Fabulous kitchen gathering place with lucite stools.
Fun and spirited lacquered blue den.

Several conversation areas in the living room is much needed for a family of 5 with lots of guests.

I am a huge fan of white walls, particularly lacquered or high gloss. It creates a rich sophisticated
back drop for beautiful art work and accessories.

Another view of the living room.  A custom rug is in production for this space.  
Living room writing nook.

The walls of the front foyer are covered in an Osborne&Little paper, and the stair runner is a simple yet elegant wool/sisal flat weave.

A Murano glass chandelier by Holly Hunt hangs in the dining room.  The walls of this room are upholstered.

Back foyer with geometric wool flat weave runner on the steps.
One of Celerie Kemble's wallpapers for Schumacher covers the walls of the back foyer.

The mud room has plenty of storage and a chalk board for Mom to write love notes to the kids.
This geometric wallpaper by Romo adds a touch of color to the mudroom.

Organized cubbies for each child occupy one wall.

 Jonathan Adler's Meurice Chandelier hangs over the bed and a
double gourd lamp rests on the bedside table.  A picture perfect teenage room.

The fabric for the headboard and pillow is by Designer's Guild.

The Heritage Floral fabric by Lilly Pulitzer was used to make the custom bed skirt and Roman shades in one daughter's bedroom.  The painted chest is by Painted House Studio.

Chest by Painted House Studio.
Twin beds in the same room photographed above.
The half bath off the kitchen is truly a gem! The wallpaper alone with its raised texture gives the everyday a bit of  glamour.  The hanging glass fixture hanging above makes life simply divine.

Another view of the powder room.

A long hallway leads to the master suite with Hudson Valley Fixtures above.
Soft leather and lucite chairs from Eatman's were placed at the end of the bed.  Custom faux leather headboard by Melanie St. John.  The fixture over the bed is by Oly, the fabric for the bed skirt and panels is by Cowtan &Tout and the wool and viscose rug is by Antrim.

The Master bath in shades of gray.

More views of the Master bath.
And finally, the veranda!  An outdoor custom-sized rug by Stanton was made for the covered porch area.

What a treasure.  A stunning house and a warm and vibrant home.  And good news for you, I hear Molly is coming out of her work hiatus.  Her keen eye and gracious heart will be collaborating again, and in our midst!  An inspiration, indeed.