Escape to Charlotte

A Texas-based couple calls Charlotte a getaway.

When Phoebe Howard got the call from her clients that they had found a potential home in Quail Hollow, the designer had just landed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. “They asked me if I could look at it at some point, and I said, ‘How about right now’?” the designer recalls.

It was perfect timing. Howard, who splits her time between her Jacksonville, Fla. and Charlotte offices, was able to tour the home that had recently come on the market, and she knew, just as her clients had, that this property had serious potential. It was a bit more modern than they were used to, but that’s why they loved it. What they also loved was that the home would serve as a blank canvas for Howard, who had worked on the couple’s two previous homes in Gulfstream, Fla. and full-time residence in Houston, Texas. “Their home in Texas is an adorable farmhouse,” says Howard. “It’s cozy, a slight folk-art feel to it.” This home, though, would serve as a vacation pad for the one-time Charlotte residents and empty nesters and, as such, they wanted it to be a complete departure from what they were used to. “They wanted light, bright, and airy,” says Howard. “And this home was the ideal foundation for such an aesthetic.”

With a blank canvas to work from, the homeowners gave Howard free reign over the design. With that, Howard began designing the home to fit the couple’s intended use of the home: as a reprieve from the hot, Texas summers coupled with a place for the husband to host and entertain golfing friends for long weekends. The couple also wanted the home to be a relaxing getaway from work. To achieve that restful feel, Howard painted the entire downstairs white.  “I felt like there was so much space downstairs, and it felt like white walls would open it up and make it light and fresh and airy,” says Howard, who then infused the space with subtle elegant, soft color in the rugs and furnishings. One of the designer’s—and her clients’—favorite rooms is the downstairs living room, a space intended for day-to-day relaxing and entertaining. The view of the 4th hole of Quail Hollow’s course is the real draw here and Howard chose not to overshadow it with her design. A color palette of blue, grey, and white establishes a serene setting. The custom-colored curtain fabric by Galbraith & Paul complements the custom-designed rug for a seamless, relaxing feel.

To say that Howard’s clients were thrilled with the final product is an understatement. “When you have clients, who you have worked with before and you’ve built a real bond and trust with, I find that I work that much harder,” says Howard. “Because I would rather die than disappoint somebody who has put their trust in me to design them a beautiful home.”

Photos by Josh Gibson