House Blend

A family’s Eastover home offers a perfect mix of neutrals and color.

Jason and Betsy Mayer were at (friendly) odds when it came to the interior design of their Eastover home. He wanted color—lots of it. And she wanted neutrals—whites and creams.

So when Betsy finally enlisted the help of designer Mary Miller, the couple was still struggling with exactly how to marry the two color palettes without steamrolling each other’s design desires. “If Jason had his way, the whole home would be covered in color,” laughs Betsy.

Luckily, the Mayers had come to the right person. Miller’s Dilworth home furnishings store, abode, is a near-perfect example of how to blend neutrals with color without overdoing either one. “You can achieve something that looks and feels neutral without keeping everything white and cream,” says Miller. To hone in how to please both husband and wife, the designer would have them flip through cards featuring various colors, styles, and fabrics. “A theme and color palette would always present itself,” she says. It was during one of those visits to the store that Betsy came across a swatch of fabric, which ultimately became the starting point for the entire design.

Not long after, Miller approached the Mayers and asked, “How would you feel about lavender in the kitchen?” Trusting their designer, the couple gave the green light and the color palette, inspired by the soon-to-be drapery fabric in the kitchen, was born. “We used really fresh colors,” says Miller of the cool greys, orchid, peacock blue, chartreuse, and white color palette that blend seamlessly from room to room.

“I never would’ve picked some of the things that Mary had picked out,” says Betsy. “But she pushed me enough out of my comfort zone but still kept it kid friendly. She got my style just from talking to me the first couple times. She knew I wanted something fresh and different, a look that you don’t see in every home in Charlotte but still something that we wouldn’t get sick of in a year.”

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The home needed no renovations or updating so Miller essentially had a blank slate to incorporate her vision for the Mayers’ home. In the kitchen, two oversize coco bead chandeliers by Made Goods serve as the focal point for the otherwise neutral room. A subtle orchid hue in the C and C Milano  fabric in the valance above the sink feels neutral while adding s a pop of color to the room. The adjacent breakfast nook features the Schumacher fabric, which served as the starting point for the downstairs’ aesthetic, and was used in the stunning inverted pleat draperies with subtle lavender trim. The orchid wall color completes the colorful addition and instantly updates the Mayers’ existing kitchen table and chairs, which are swathed in a stunning floral fabric. “The look was trending away from the neutrals and all about introducing colors again and florals,” says Miller. “That’s what makes the color palette look and feel so fresh.”

The same can be said for the den, where the young family of four spends most of their time watching TV, playing games, or relaxing. “We always had ‘dirt-colored’ furniture to hide the stains and what not that come along with having two young boys,” says Betsy. So when Miller added the peacock blue velvet sofa, grey love seats, and colorful tie-dyed throw pillows, the couple was elated with the addition of color without it overwhelming the space. “Jason loved the color and I loved that it wasn’t too much color,” says Betsy. The new seating arrangement plus the addition of an oversize ottoman—“which the boys use as a trampoline!” says Betsy—allow for ample seating when the Mayers have friends over or have company in town for a visit.

The Mayers are thrilled with the end result: a transitional space that is full of color that feels subtle and comfortable. “We love what Mary did in our home,” says Betsy. “It’s made everything so much brighter and happier.”

Photography by Dustin Peck