When this home in Charlotte’s Myers Park neighborhood was ready for a renovation, Charlotte designer Gray Walker, of Gray Walker Interiors, was at the ready. With a solid understanding of her client’s needs, she set to work to marry family heirlooms and inherited pieces with the form and function desired for a home with three young children and a dog.
The renovation also involved new additions with existing space updated by Don Duffy Architecture, who is devoted to the notion that no job is too small and every job requires careful attention and thoughtful planning. The architect added 2,500 square feet, including a new kitchen and breakfast room, a children’s playroom and a back staircase.
Gray’s client loves beautiful things — the woman of the house collects and inherits them, and she likes them on display as part of her living spaces. Gray knew each room had to be beautiful, comfortable and highly livable with young children. Above all else, every space, new or existing, had to be infused with a WOW factor while bringing meaningful, livable layers to the home.
The addition of the master bedroom, bathroom and closet included the tricky task of balancing masculine and feminine looks. The homeowner’s favorite color is blue. To make the blue look less traditional, Gray incorporated lavender accent pieces in the fabric choices. Hard cornices also helped bring in structure to balance the softer side of the space.
Adjacent to the master bedroom is a sitting area where the whole family can hang out. “This room, although part of the master, was designed for all members of the family to be together and watch a movie and just have family time in this snuggly space,” Gray explains.
Gray says that the master closet is where all the fun began. “My client loves clothes and fashion and wanted a closet that would be a place where she can go and spend time – incorporating a personal desk for letter writing and organizing,” she says. The wall-to-wall carpet and Lucite chair bring a modern vibe, while the light fixtures pull in an antique feel. The Venetian mirror and thick marble island with shelves for clutch purses pairs function and beauty.
Her client had only one non-negotiable. “She didn’t want to see the closet rods,” says Gray. “So I searched for a solution and found Lucite poles in New York City and had them made with brass fittings. “It feels like you’re in a cloud, and it remains one of my favorite designs to date.”
The addition, overlooking the courtyard pool, bucks the sunroom stereotype. “It’s not casual or typical,” says Gray, but rather a comfortable quiet space where the family loves to read. Wall-to-wall custom Stark carpet adds a very modern flair, paired with a traditional velvet Knole sofa with a deep seat and high sides. This room bridges the gap between the formal and more casual spaces. The floor lamps, made by Niermann Weeks, bookend the beautiful sitting space with a David Iatesta chandelier overhead.
“It’s graceful and elegant, but functional for the whole family,” says Gray.
Hub of the Home
As with most busy families, the kitchen is the gathering space, the homework desk and the place where everyone ends up at casual parties and weeknight dinners. Gray incorporated functional zones that fit the family’s lifestyle. “They spend a lot of time gathering here, and I designed it to be warm, inviting and glamorous at the same time,” she says.
A Pecky Cypress ceiling was added to give the room warmth and interest. Pecky Cyprus is a rare wood that gets its sculptured, textured look from a fungus that dies once the wood is cut, leaving unique imprints. “I didn’t want it to feel like a kitchen, but a warm living space,” says Gray. “It feels like a dressy, inviting gathering space where you also cook.”
In keeping with the mix of vintage and modern, the black AGA cast iron range proved to be the perfect functional focal point. A pass-through storage offers a lot of function in a small amount of space. A chest with a vintage mirror above ties into the notion that this is not a cookie-cutter kitchen.
Three dining areas in the home, each designed with specific dining options in mind, give the homeowners plenty of options. There is a breakfast nook in the kitchen, a family dining area just off the kitchen with a view of the pool and a formal dining room for guests and special occasions.
“We brought in new window treatments in both the new and existing spaces,” says Gray. “In this formal dining room you can see how the antique dining table chairs are juxtaposed with the playful stripes on the drapery panels.”
As part of the existing space, Gray was charged with adding warmth and style to the family room. To accomplish this and add a dramatic touch, while keeping with the warmth of the home, she covered the walls in a lovely green hue using velvet.
“Fabric is one of my client’s weaknesses – she loves beautiful fabric, and this velvet fit the bill,” says Gray.
They padded the back of the wall and ran a double welt under the trim around the molding, doors, windows and fireplace. Two rows of handmade welt add a dynamic dimension and bring out the beautiful trim work in the room. “It actually feels like you’re touching a piece of furniture,” adds Gray.
“Every element in this house brings something beautiful and unique to the space for this amazing family.” We couldn’t agree more!
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