As a designer, mother, and wife, I find it very important to express myself through my home, as many of us do. I am proud to be a Southerner, and I love my heritage. I want this to shine through as I go about making a home for my family. My home has to function, but also it must be welcoming and personal. Welcoming Wall Murals The foyer boasts a lovely mural painting which is conceptually inspired by a DeGournay Wallpaper. I just wanted mine to be more specific to me. The mural was created to include memories from a recent family trip to France where I was enchanted by the lovely gardens. We personalized it by creating a family tree with the leaves boasting names of family members, along with a few friends’ names. This type of decorative wall accent can take an otherwise unadorned space and turn it into something fabulously inviting. To further personalize the foyer, the family tree appears to be growing inside a hand-painted blue and white porcelain pot, in honor of my extensive blue and white porcelain collection.
Treasured Family Heirlooms Right off the foyer is the dining room. I had the walls upholstered in ivory strie velvet above the wainscoting, an alternative term for decorative paneling. The wainscoting is a soft ivory, brushed with a lovely gray glaze. My upholsterer used miles of blue and white fabric to tent the ceiling. A Brunswig & Fis fabric adds to the French gold, gilded chairs. To enhance the dining room, hand-painted cornices were placed on top of luscious silk cotton damask near the windows. For complementary aesthetics, a pair of pedestals house my large blue and white porcelain temple jars. Our family’s dining table features a chartreuse-green table skirt, creating a dramatic contrast to my treasured blue and white porcelain collection that is artfully arranged atop an antique iron sideboard. Whether you collect heirloom china or other special keepsakes, distinguish them by displaying them prominently as important aspects of the room’s overall theme to create a homey disposition.
Inviting Living Spaces Living room areas are commonly used for family gatherings, but also for entertaining. When my guests enter our formal living room, I want them to be wowed with the style of the space and feel comfortable and welcome. To do this, I’ve incorporated two turquoise Murano glass chandeliers juxtaposed with both modern and traditional furniture pieces and accents. This combination can unify a living room, while providing a dramatic, well-appointed style. An antique console serves as the base for one of my favorite Staffordshire pieces blended with modern gourd lamps and an antique tapestry screen perched above it. Immediately to the side is a spray of white porcelain flowers which shows up brilliantly against the dark navy-teal walls. This color has proven to be a perfect backdrop for both antiques and modern pieces alike. To honor my Southern hospitality design style, I have incorporated a pair of large, comfortable blue-tufted sofas flanked by a massive fireplace and bookshelves. The built-in bookshelves host my impressive collection of Staffordshire pottery. An historic prayer bench has been converted into a coffee table, and a plethora of pillows adds a modern twist to this very Southern room. Completing our formal living room’s atmosphere, silk apple-green draperies hang majestically against the blue-teal background. Consider lending softness and design synergy to your own living room with cohesive fabrics and a thematic color palette.
Accommodating Kitchen Spaces For many families, the kitchen is the workhorse of the home, mine included. Fully functional, our kitchen space includes two state-of-the-art refrigerators, two adjacent under-counter refrigerator drawers, and two dishwashers. For large families, or those who oftentimes host parties, designing a utilitarian kitchen is a must. However, I recommend incorporating a comfy seating area for enjoying morning coffee and the newspaper. In my own kitchen, a large, old farm table sits under a hand-painted ceiling which boasts a European Chateau feel, while still maintaining a certain Southern charm. The kitchen features a muted palette of gray, aqua blue and ivory, popped-up with a burst of bright coral. Beams were added throughout the kitchen which house pipes so that the stove could be placed on an inside wall. This makes for the perfect spot to feature hand-painted canvases that have been applied to the ceiling’s wallpaper.
About Kimberly Grigg: Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based interior designer Kimberly Grigg is the owner of Knotting Hill Interiors and specializes in designing, renovating and redecorating homes in the South, and beyond. To learn more, visit www.knottinghillinteriors.com and www.itssofabulousblog.com