“We wanted the perfect combination of an older feeling house, but with clean lines and modern details,” says interior designer Caroline Sain, whose concept for the Homewood residence’s black-and-white theme began with the striking black light fixtures over the kitchen island. “That started the whole dark and light contrast for the house, and we just repeated that over and over again in just about every room,” says Caroline. To get a feel for her clients, she will often look at their Pinterest boards and Houzz accounts and zone in on one picture of one room. She says her job is to help her clients have tunnel vision and stay on the same artistic concept.
“To me that’s what makes a house feel calm and serene, when all the spaces work together,” she says of the home’s consistent theme. “I always joke that in most of my houses, especially my own, you can pick up furniture from one room and take it to another and it would completely work in that space, too. I guess it is just more of a casual lifestyle. Not everything is formal like it used to be. Usually, when you have people over, it’s to come watch a football game. So if you need to go steal a couple of poufs from one room and a chair or two from somewhere else, you can do that, and it totally works.”
Besides the contrasting dark and light hues throughout the home, Caroline’s favorite elements are the atypical details, such as the tiles and the light fixtures. While Caroline splurges on quality hardware, molding and paneling, she also is an expert at sniffing out a great find, frequenting stores like HomeGoods. “I go in stores and look for the pieces that look like they didn’t come from that store,” says Caroline. “Most of my clients aren’t just rolling in money, so it’s all about the balance — some high-end and some great finds.”
Caroline relished the artistic freedom the clients gave her on this home. She got to make design choices that excited her. “My best houses happen when my clients trust me and recognize my expertise,” she says of the homeowners. “They were fantastic. My job is to push people out of their comfort zone a little bit, and they were so willing to step out. We just had a good, easy relationship.”
So don’t be afraid to use stark contrast, make unconventional choices and add natural accents as you decorate your home, because the results are positively serene and jaw-droppingly elegant!
Thank you to Beth Hontzas for today’s beautiful photography!
Designer: Caroline Sain
Builder: Slate Barganier
Paint color: Benjamin Moore White Dove
Cabinet color other than white: Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal
Custom dining room table: Phillips Scott
Tile and counters: Triton Stone
Dining room bench: Nadeau
Dining room antlers: The Nest
Bathroom and hallway lighting: Schoolhouse Electric
Den art: Cecily Hill Lowe
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