Home Sweet Home
Relocating can be a challenge, especially when moving with children. So Jill and Matt Frazier decided to tackle the most important thing when moving from Alden Bridge to their new home in Carlton Woods.
“The priority was the girls’ rooms at first because we wanted them to be able to get settled in,” explains Jill, who looked to Haute House Interiors and design team Julie Schlegel and Valerie Gooch to give their four daughters the rooms of their dreams.
“It was a fun thing to do,” says Schlegel. “We met with each girl and let them guide us and choose the colors. Then it was just, go with it! It’s an element of fun that turned out really well. I think they’re really pleased with their rooms.”
By all accounts, Brooke, 7, Abby, 9, Kaylee, 12 and Lexi, 14, are very pleased. And mom and dad are equally happy with their designer’s philosophy when decorating the 8,600-square-foot house. That philosophy? Listen to the customer. Understand how they live.
“I didn’t want to live in a museum where people feel like they can’t sit down. I want to be comfortable. My husband is the same way,” explains Jill. “That was important to us. I feel like our designers understood that.”
When the Fraziers purchased the home, it was finished out. The surfaces, painting, flooring and most everything else were done. But it needed tweaking for it to feel like home. Because the dwelling is much larger than their previous one, attention to scale was important. For example, the living room with a soaring 32-foot-high ceiling needed appropriate pieces to accommodate its size.
“We like to meet with a customer and see if they are formal or non-formal, what’s working in their home and what isn’t,” says Schlegel. “Do they want to go in a new direction or just incorporate what they have?”
In the Fraziers’ case, they started with a clean slate. The design team actively scouted for furniture and accessories, running them by the Fraziers for approval. A few already-owned tables, chests and other items were relocated to their new home. But for the most part, new furnishings prevailed.
Magnifico had already done some faux and scroll template work in certain areas. The design team brought in another company, Brushstrokes (Sally Bowers) to tackle other desired wall ornamentation.
The Fraziers don’t consider themselves to be formal entertainers, but often have casual get-togethers. So arrangement of furnishings for a good flow was important. And practicality and comfort was paramount.
This was accomplished through a mix of put-your-feet-up upholstered pieces that pair nicely with rich woods. Custom draperies throughout add understated elegance.
In the living room, mirrored glass panels were installed on either side of a wine vault. “We felt the room needed more reflection,” says Schlegel.
A soft blue-green was incorporated into the color scheme in the living room, playing off the blue in the pool in the front courtyard. “Val and I didn’t want to do blue and chocolate– that’s so popular. We just wanted to take it another way,” she explains of the dramatic blue and black features and furnishings in this space.
“And bringing in the color blue from the pool just seemed like the thing to do,” says Gooch, “seeing as it’s visible from the living room and you walk past the pool to the front door. It’s a nice segue.”
The adjacent dining room is equally lovely with a handsome table by Kravet Furniture and chairs by Freemarc in linen. Zebra-patterned end chairs add a fun element to the mix.
To one end of the home is the den /kitchen/breakfast room area. The den was cleverly designed to accommodate two distinct spaces. A cozy pairing of chaise lounges from Sherrill Furniture flank a vintage Chinese chest at one end while a warm grouping of sofa and chairs from Vanguard makes up the central part of the room. The two spaces are situated for television viewing and have clear vistas of the backyard thanks to a bank of French doors. A semi-circle of charming stools gathers around a reproduction table that acts as a dividing point and link for the two spaces.
In the kitchen, black pearl granite on the island contrasts nicely with Yellow River granite on the countertops. An antique door with a weathered finish is a new addition to this space. It was installed in an area where a little art niche used to be. “It was kind of in a weird spot, kind of dead space,” says Gooch. The door is useful with a blackboard taking up a panel, but it also doubles as a work of art.
The breakfast area with large circular table and chairs by Kravet Furniture has one of the best views in the house, overlooking the large front courtyard with pool and cabana room.
To the other end of the home is a study and master bedroom suite. Chests from Aiden Gray flank a beautiful bed adorned in a custom green linen velvet coverlet and accent pieces from East Accents. A chocolate colored loveseat from Sherrill sits pretty at the end of the bed, sharing space with antiques and beautiful draperies from George Cameron Nash.
A cozy sitting area in the master suite offers two quilted chaise lounges mixing with a pair of Noir chairs in burlap – the perfect setting for just reading a book or watching television.
The upstairs can be accessed from staircases on either end of the house. It’s girl central with a homework nook for the couple’s daughters and a hallway leading to their rooms. Lexi, the eldest daughter, has a bedroom that rivals the breakfast room for best view. “Yeah, I think she wins,” says Jill of the room that overlooks the front courtyard from its second level vantage point.
The theme here? A profusion of pink and red with a mix of fun fabric designs. A chest from Guild Master covered in a myriad of bright flowers served as starting point for this design. The tufted pink head and footboards were custom-made by a local vendor. Red curtains with pink dots and fringe are beautiful and functional with lining that allows for a serene sleeping environment, blocking out the sun.
Abby and Brooke share a room with a chocolate brown and blue theme. Zebra head and footboards add whimsy. Even the ceiling furdown is painted in zebra print (Brushstrokes, Sally Bower).
Kaylee’s room is outfitted in orange and pink with a flowing drape-lined canopy behind the headboard and large flowers painted on the ceiling furdown. (also Brushstrokes).
An upstairs gameroom provides another fun retreat for this family with shuffleboard and ping-pong among their favorite games. A kitchenette is nearby as well as a corner for card games and other activities. There’s even a sleeping porch with trundle beds off of the gameroom. “The girls love it!” says Jill. “It’s a fun thing to do, weather permitting.”
A media room off of the gameroom also gets a lot of use, as does an upstairs cabana room that overlooks the central courtyard. At courtyard level, another cabana exists as well, as does a summer kitchen
Perhaps one of the most charming spaces is a casita for guests with a custom made bed patterned after one in the movie, “It’s Complicated.” The room is charming in a custom rug from India and light blue-green walls.
“People love this room,” says Jill, who has played host to a several guests since moving in. “It’s a nice space to relax. I think we’ve achieved the comfortable feel we wanted here, thanks to Julie and Valerie.”
TEXT BY CATHY GORDON
PICTURES BY BOOKWALTER PHOTOGRAPHY
INTERIOR DESIGN: HAUTE HOUSE INTERIORS