Eclectic Homes

Boutique Hotel Style Reigns in Raleigh

Heather Garrett’s clients had help with a home that had turned into a mixed metaphor. Following an unfortunate inclusion over a decade ago brought traditional architectural details to a “pure midcentury gem” of a house, as Garrett calls her customers were eager to get a change. But they were reluctant to some complete teardown.

“They asked me to make it function by stripping down what I could in the existing layout and fooling the eye into overlooking details such as a faux rock fireplace surround in the lounge area,” says Garrett. Her customers, enthusiastic travelers, requested for mix of modern design and the finer elements of a boutique hotel’s sleek, warm layout.

They were floored when they watched the change. “We did the bulk of the work at once, over a winter holiday while they were on holiday, so that they came home to a shocking transformation,” says Garrett.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Brooks Bell, Jess Lipson and their terrier, Theo
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Size: 2,435 square feet
That’s intriguing: Bell and Lipson met and fell in love at Duke University, in which they every founded an Online technology firm (Brooks Bells and NovelProjects) in their dorm rooms.

Heather Garrett Design

AFTER: Garrett’s custom balsam wood sculpture above the fireplace in the lounge takes centre stage and diverts attention from the artificial rock fireplace surround — and that’s the point. She sprayed the surround with a high-gloss enamel, providing the once-multitoned surround a neutral shade that brings out the fireplace and the sculpture. A supporting cast of decor and textures balances the space.

Fireplace surround paint: Sherwin-Williams; fireplace flame balls: Blazing Glass; puppy portrait: Heather Mattoon; sofa: Lee Industries; felted wool basket: Ronel Jordaan; aluminum side table: West Elm; velvet pillows: Kevin O’Brien Studio; teardrop lamps: Arteriors Home; rug: Safavieh

Before Photo

BEFORE: The earth-toned rug emphasized and pointed the eye to the fireplace surround — the first thing that Garrett averted in the lounge redesign.

The portait of the customer’s puppy, Theo, in the preceding picture replaced the somber abstract painting, delighting the customers to no conclusion.

Heather Garrett Design

AFTER: “They really like the effortless transition in the dining area to the lounge. After dinner, guests may easily migrate to the fireside with cocktails in tow,” says Garrett.

Rug: 27 Earth; chandelier: purchased in Barcelona

Before Photo

BEFORE: A hodgepodge of cream-colored furnishings fade in the background of the living room and make an odd pairing with the chartreuse wall, blue rug and faux rock fireplace surround.

AFTER: The living room now speaks the sophisticated, trendy language of a boutique hotel lobby. Cooler gray and blue tones in the living room decor and the wall treatment complement the ceiling’s warm timber grain.

Chandelier: Design Within Reach; painting: customers’ own; floor lamps: Arteriors Home; sofa: Lee Industries; rug: Eskayel; light throw pillows: Ankasa; purple cushions on Barcelona seats: custom by Heather Garrett; casing side table: Produced Goods

Heather Garrett Design

The kitchen pendant and fresh Earth Glitter granite island countertop add just the correct amount of sparkle and wow factor to the kitchen. Sleek modern bar stools also give the space a sleek appearance.

Light pendant: Arteriors; bar stools: Organic Modernism; cabinetry: bud cloth insets, Schumacher; cupboard hardware: Top Knobs

Heather Garrett Design

“We built the lavish, high-ceilinged master bedroom around a painting the customers found at a yard sale for only $5,” says Garrett.

The designer made the feel of a luxury boutique hotel in the master bedroom by layering sumptuous velvet and luxurious silk with oversized furnishings and sweeping draperies.

Floor lamp: Jamie Young; seat: ambrosia maple and iron, Elijah Leed; silk bedcover: Garnet Hill; velvet cushions: Kevin O’Brien Studio; bedside lights: Y Lighting; iron claw seat and side table: Organic Modernism; velvet chair: customer’s own, classic; blue polished plaster wall finish: Can Paint Paint

Before Photo

Heather Garrett Design

BEFORE: The toilet felt oppressive and closed in instead of open and grand. A potted indoor plant fell short in linking the inside to the outdoors.

Heather Garrett Design

AFTER: Garrett replaced the hardwood floors with marble tiles, bringing together the area’s white and cream colours. Hanging terrariums, grass cloth wallpaper and bamboo shades extend the character of the outside perspective.

Étagère, vase: Oly Studio; terrariums: Roost; vanity: West Elm; pendant: Arteriors Home; grass cloth wall remedy: Phillip Jeffries

Heather Garrett Design

“My customers’ neighborhood boasts of houses built from the ’30s and through the midcentury, but I frequently wonder about the interior aesthetic and if it matches the architectural bones of the house,” says Garrett.

Here, the designer hammered the press space in midcentury modern layout by filling the space with iconic bits.

Wall paint: Grizzle Gray, Sherwin-Williams

Heather Garrett Design

Floor-to-ceiling gold and black wallpaper ups the drama of the wall supporting the press console. A leaning mirror reflects light from a nearby window, keeping the space from appearing too somber.

Background: Monaco in Ebony, Tibi

A guest room turned by the pool. The cabana has a pub cart and a daybed upholstered in Sunbrella fabric that Garrett’s customers can wheel out to the pool for celebrations. The daybed is useful when guests sleep over.

Heather Garrett Design

The home’s previous owners had upgraded the porch, set up a newentry door and replaced a timber tongue and groove outside with cedar shingles.

Heather Garrett Design

Besides changing the landscape, designer Chad Smith produced a doghouse to get Theo out of a recycled drainage pipe and timber. It has a planted green roof to help keep “the coolest of pups,” as Smith calls him cool.

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