Blank Slate

Cindy and Heather Smith put their designing talents to work on this Eastover beauty.

It was the type of phone call Cindy Smith, owner of Circa Interiors & Antiques, is used to fielding. After seeing one of her neighbor’s homes, which had been decorated by Smith, Jerri Webb knew immediately who she wanted to help design the interiors of her Eastover home. “She had been to a Christmas party at her friend’s house and loved what we had done,” says Smith. “And we immediately hit it off.”

The home was traditional in architecture inside and out: heavy, ornamental molding and trimwork, intricate gilding, and lots and lots of beige. The look was so far from Jerri and her husband’s personal styles and the look that she wanted for the home, that Smith suggested repainting the entire home in a more eye-pleasing hue to establish a neutral, monochromatic look that would serve as the blank canvas for Smith’s designs. “I suggested we go in and paint everything a really soft color so we could hide the fact that we had a lot of architectural ornamentation that we were trying to calm down,” says Smith.

With that in place, Smith was able to implement her signature style of organic textures and fabrics in neutral tones with small doses of color throughout. “Jerri is very opinionated in the best kind of way—she voices her opinion and you quickly know the things she’d like,” explains Smith of the collaboration and friendship. “She would show me a ton of photos of things she liked. But she was also open to trying new things as well. It made for such a wonderful working environment.”

Much of the home’s detailing is symmetrical, which Smith mirrored in her design of the den, where the family spends most of their time together. “Jerri really wanted the furniture and accessories in this room to be durable, practical, but, overall, stylish,” says Smith, who added twin tufted sofas juxtaposed with a pair of armchairs to create a casual seating environment that’s flexible enough that the Webbs could move things around if they choose.

The dining room is where Smith’s designer, business partner and daughter-in-law, Heather Smith, came on board to the project. “Heather was a great help and took this project to another level in several areas,” explains Smith. “Heather can find anything out there in the world.” And drum up solutions for challenges. Such was the case with the homeowners’ dining room table. “Jerri really likes traditional furniture but wanted to make it a little more modern,” says Heather, who covered the table in a sheer overlay that instantly updated the table, softened its lines, and “created something unexpected.”

Unexpected without being completely obvious is what Cindy and Heather do best. Though the odd shape and small size of the library—which was originally paneled in an orange-hued wood—presented a challenge to the designers, they were able to overcome it. By painting the walls and ceiling a glossy black to reflect the natural light, removing the existing built-in shelves that flanked the existing fireplace, and adding a custom-made chandelier that mimics the irregular-shaped room, the library felt instantly elegant and comfortable. But it’s the layering of natural textures in the horse hair draperies, wool rug, and suede and leather sofa coupled with the rich black hue that resulted in a truly luxurious setting that’s become Circa Interiors’ calling card.

In the end, both the Webbs and Cindy and Heather Smith were elated about the end result. “The best jobs you have are when you work with someone who has their own sense of style and is confident in their own style,” says Heather Smith. “You’re there to bring that out and give them more than they expected. Jerri had her own sense of what she wanted it to be but was very open and trusting. I’m very proud of that project.”

Photos by Chris Edwards.