A touch of whimsy and a dose of practicality combined to create the thoughtful design that brought this Spanish Revival home in Forest Park to life. The homeowners, a couple with grown children, put their circa 1925 home safely in the hands of design duo Hannon Kirk Doody and Doug Davis, founders of Birmingham-based design studio, HANNON DOUGLAS, to achieve the perfect style. This recently renovated home was a blank canvas where the designers could expertly create a space that was comfortable and casual, but also interesting and fun.
The homeowners’ art collection provided the designers with key insight into their aesthetic as they began to design the foyer, living room and dining room. “Art is always a hard thing to select for someone else, because everyone has such a personal reaction to it,” the designers say. “In this case, it was great to be able to embrace the style and colors our clients obviously liked when we reviewed their collection, and it provided a great starting point for the project.” The painting most prominently displayed in the living room, a piece by Memphis artist Paul Edelstein, inspired the room’s color palette, which then informed the design in the adjoining spaces, as well. Featuring artwork teeming with lighthearted personality and unique style allowed for a design that reflected that same spirit.
A bright, fresh color palette on the walls allows furnishings, art and the home’s own architecture to shine. The designers selected Benjamin Moore’s China White, a delicate off-white that gives the home an open, airy feel, to serve as the backdrop for the space. “Our clients’ great collection of art was one of the primary reasons we chose bright and happy colors,” the designers say. “In a lot of ways, the house also called for it—the Mediterranean architecture, unique features like the carved terra cotta fireplace and the tile in the foyer all encouraged a palette that was vibrant and bright.” Pops of color are incorporated through the details in the space—from the bold, citron-green, linen sofa to the hot pink curtains in the dining room—and are able to make an even greater impact when layered against a neutral wall color.
In addition to appealing to the clients’ design aesthetic, the designers sought to incorporate the homeowners’ backgrounds and experiences into the details of the home. One of the owners worked in retail fashion for many years, and therefore has a love and understanding of pattern and color. The playful use of textiles throughout the home expresses that interest in fashion in a subtle, interesting way. The designers also designed a custom steel bookcase that they had made by a local craftsman to house the couple’s collection of books, as well as the titles that one of the homeowners authored. These subtle personal touches infuse personality into the space, making it both comfortable and timeless.
The design carefully balances inspiration from the homeowners’ existing pieces of art and furniture, and fresh, reimagined elements for a space that felt new. “Our clients wanted a ‘fresh start’ with the home’s furnishings and didn’t want to feel like they were just moving pieces they already owned into this house and recreating the feel of their previous residence.” By allowing the home’s unique layout to drive many of the design decisions, the designers achieved that perfect balance. Multiple levels and lots of windows and doors throughout the home led the designers to embrace the challenging floor plan, rather than fight to impose a traditional layout on it. The resulting spaces are unexpected, multifunctional and casual, like the sofa you’ll find in the foyer and the large, custom-built bookcase featured in the dining room. By not strictly subscribing to a conventional furniture arrangement in these spaces, the designers gave new life to pieces the homeowners had used for years. That allowed for a more livable space, and created a home that feels very thoughtfully curated.
With a careful eye and intentional design, the designers at HANNON DOUGLAS were able to create a home that is a perfect blend of old and new. By drawing inspiration from artwork the couple loves and incorporating design decisions that are deeply personal, this gorgeous Forest Park home got a fresh, new look.
Thank you to Beth Hontzas for today’s beautiful photography!
Inerior Design: HANNON DOUGLAS
Wall color: Benjamin Moore China White
Upholstery: Lee Industries at Circa Interiors
Landscaping: Falkner Gardens