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Harmony at home: a streamlined aesthetic and a sense of order create the perfect nest for a family of four.

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In 2006, a couple with two small boys was on a quest for a lakeside property in Ridgeland's Bridgewater neighborhood. They soon discovered the perfect spot on which to create their own version of paradise. Located on the water, the lot offered a quaint, street-side quality with wonderful neighbors, but it also afforded a rustic ambiance just beyond the back doors. The couple desired an elegant space, but needed one that would also be compatible with their growing family. The family had known Jackson architect Tim Taylor for years and respected his casual demeanor and solid reputation. They approached him with well-thought-out ideas of what would work best for their family's style. He knew exactly how to transform their ideas into a reality, by designing a home with an effortless flow throughout the living areas and the desired cozy feel.

With its polished French provincial style, it's remarkable that two little boys have the run of the house. "At any given moment, you will hear thuds from the second floor or have to duck to avoid a flying ball," the homeowner laughs. Neighborhood children pop out from behind draperies during games of hide-and-seek, and they come in dripping wet from the lake. The couple's ultimate goal was to have an attractive home that could withstand the non-stop action of their boys. To create a serene space, they knew everything must have a place. Organization and functionality were key components in the initial plans. "I believe if you get that right, comfort and livability just sort of fall into place," the homeowner notes. Light fabrics can highlight when items need attention; therefore, choosing durable furnishings and upholstery that could be easily cleaned was paramount.

Drawn to a pared-down, edited aesthetic with a neutral palette, the homeowner created welcoming interiors with layers of character. Sourcing most of the antiques and accessories herself, she called upon her mentor, Annelle Primos of Annelle Primos and Associates, to help with the upholstered pieces, rugs, and other finishing touches. Forging a look comprised of beautiful objects with patina mixed with more contemporary pieces, the homeowner flawlessly fused a clean, yet eclectic mix of old and new. Everything was selected over time, achieving a curated look, with many one-of-a-kind pieces that took several years of layering. "Each space has pieces I have found with multiple trips to antique shows in Atlanta and Round Top, Texas, and there are fond memories associated with each find," the owner states. Having a monochromatic color scheme, furnishings and accessories may easily be moved around the home. By injecting something new into a space or exchanging one piece for another, it's easy to keep things fresh.

When creating interest in a neutral space, much thought must be placed on adding personality through details. The couple resolved this by employing their unique vision of art. The wife states, "I consider art to be all sorts of things--a painting, an architectural fragment, a beautiful antique trumeau, or even the antlers on a skull mount--something about the way each one is different in nature is so sculptural to me." Paintings in the home were chosen specifically for each space, but put together they inject color and interest into each space. "They also keep the antique pieces from looking too serious," she adds.

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The master suite is an ethereal retreat for the couple with crisp whites contrasting with rich antiques. Years ago on a shopping expedition, the homeowner discovered an antique fabric remnant with four gold embroidered crosses. Though they were appliqued to a mustard-colored velvet, she was stuck by their beauty and promptly purchased the piece. Two of the crosses were removed and sewn onto a pair of pillows, and the remaining two were appliqued onto the bedroom window treatments. "It is the smallest detail, but I love seeing them in our room," she adds.

One of the main ways the couple has learned to handle the day-to-day organizational needs of the boys is to create a space exclusively for their belongings. The playroom features a multitude of baskets and bins meticulously labeled for toys and tools, while falling perfectly into the home's neutral color scheme. "The boys clean up everything themselves, and it is simple for them when they know where things go," notes the homeowner. Once a year, items are purged to decrease the amount of toys. A game table and double-desk area allow the boys to spread out and be imaginative, while walls showcase the bleached deer mounts taken by the husband and boys from years of hunting throughout Mississippi.

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The husband's great-grandmother's dining table holds a place of honor paired with antique chairs purchased from Nancy Price Interiors in Jackson. The oval table was refinished by artist Dawn Peal to work with the room's palette of subtle tones of cream, gray, and white. Setting the table with layers of luxurious linens, gold-rimmed place settings, and goblets is second nature to the homeowner, and she loves to gather people together at the spur of the moment. "It's funny how some of the more impromptu gatherings we've had over the years have been the most unforgettable," she notes. "After all, memories and the people in them are what make a house a home."

With the family's organization, entertaining is a breeze and the house is constantly open to friends and family. They have loved hosting groups over the years for dinners, showers, happy hours, and holidays. The house is always open, and even with its quality and beauty, events are always casual and welcoming to both young and old.
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Author:Stewart, Mary Neff
Publication:Mississippi Magazine
Date:Jul 1, 2016
Words:936
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