Fresh Focus

A family home gets a bright, new look.

Laura Casey knows her clients well. So well, in fact, that when a family with whom she’d previously worked purchased the lot that their Myers Park home would soon be built on, Casey was immediately enlisted to work directly with architect Christopher Phelps and builder Brian Gerrard of Gerrard Builders to help create a seamless, practical, and fitting design. “We had worked together on three previous homes,” says Casey, “so I knew all of their idiosyncrasies and was able to communicate exactly what they wanted to the architect and builder.”

What they wanted was more space for entertaining and, quite simply, life. “They’d outgrown their former home and wanted to tweak a few things in their new one,” explains Casey of the young family of four. But the overall design aesthetic—a sophisticated, transitional design that was at once comfortable and functional by elegant—would remain the same, with updates in a few key spots. “They really wanted the home to be light and open, family friendly, not too formal,” she adds. And while the homeowners loved the pieces from their old home, their new house was designed with custom interiors in mind that worked perfectly for the space as it was laid out in the design. “We didn’t want to force the old furniture and accessories to work in a completely new space,” Casey says.

With that in mind, Casey sought out pieces that would be functional and practical for two young sons but also timeless and elegant. Such was the case with seating in the family room where durable, kid-friendly fabrics by Charles Stewart provide instant sophistication without any worry over it getting ruined. The layout is conducive to entertaining several people but also has great circulation—“Nothing is blocked off by an opposing sectional,” says Casey—which added to the seamless flow of the large floorplan downstairs. In the kitchen, Casey opted for a cobalt blue vinyl fabric to cover the counter stools to make clean-ups easy and painless, while in the breakfast nook white-washed wood dining chairs and table are not only durable but easy to wipe. Timeless neutrals in creams, pale blues and greens abound in the home, helping to keep the home bright.

Casey also wanted to take advantage of the home’s natural light, an architectural element that was the highest priority while designing the family’s new home. “They wanted a lot of windows in their living areas, so I didn’t want to take away from that natural brightness,” the designer says. Minimal window treatments, which help soften some of the architectural details, complement the light without overshadowing it.

The design approach was the same in the master bedroom where large windows allow bright, natural light to highlight the elegant Matouk bed linens in classic neutrals. The combination of the lighting, bed linens, and smooth lines of the furniture creates an instant sense of relaxation; you feel as though you’re enveloped in a cocoon of warmth.

In the end, the fourth time was the charm for the family. “Building this home was absolutely seamless,” says Casey. “They truly got their happily ever after.”

Photography by Chris Edwards