A Once Opulent 90′s Styled Home Is Transformed By A Modern, Rustic Design That Complements The Beauty Of Nature

Posted on | October 17, 2017 | No Comments

A home is a deeply personal space that’s reflective of the owner’s experiences, their desires, and the things in life that are most important to them. In today’s featured project, the homeowners sought to dispense with a design that was very ill-suited to them and create instead an atmosphere that celebrated family, warmth, simple living – featuring the beautiful Boone mountain setting. Charlotte designer Kevin Carpenter of Kevin Carpenter Interiors used his keen intuition, his affinity for detail, and his well-honed skills to achieve their goals. He was kind enough to dish on the project details with North Carolina Design.

Images Courtesy of Kevin Carpenter Interiors ©

“This was an inherited home,” Kevin tells us. “It was built in the 90′s, and it had a definitive 90′s style. It was also decorated in a very traditional and formal Southern style, with swags, porcelain, heavy draperies, valances, and Oriental rugs. My clients wanted to make the home ‘theirs.’ They didn’t want to gut it or extensively renovate it – they wanted to use what was there to create something much cleaner and more modern.”

Kevin’s main challenge was to pare down, streamline and update the home’s dated and opulent design to give it a fresh and modern feel. However, the homeowners also had a few additional requirements for the space. “These were people who really appreciated the simple things in life,” Kevin notes. “They wanted a home that was a warm, comfortable, and inviting space for intimate gatherings. They also loved nature, and wanted to infuse their home with a rustic style that reflected the mountain surroundings.”

“They wanted, in essence, to ‘frame nature.’ That was really the idea that drove the design.” To that end, the clients wanted the home to complement and highlight the amazing view. Kevin replaced the heavily patterned, 90′s style diamond upper windows with larger, much simpler windows that didn’t obstruct the scenery. He also replaced the bulky deck railing with a slender steel railing that allowed viewers to see straight through to the mountains beyond.

“In the master bedroom, we removed swags and heavy draperies from the three large windows, and made them the focus,” he adds. “We turned the sitting area to face the view, so you have this cozy spot where they can sit as a couple and enjoy the scenery together.”

The homeowners also sought to bring the natural world in by displaying local and regional nature photography throughout the home. “They actually collected photos from some very prominent North Carolina photographers, including Hugh Morton,” Kevin recounts. “The photos were well suited to the space. They have a modern feeling, they’re large in scale, and the subject reflected the mountain feel. It was a really fun aspect of the project.”

To create a modern, yet rustic aesthetic, Kevin incorporated industrial elements into the design. “We replaced the existing giant, 9-foot tall cherry bar with a custom industrial style bar crafted from wood, steel, and concrete,” he notes.”We ripped out the existing stair railing, which the husband hated, and replaced it with a beautiful stainless steel railing. We worked with a metal artist in in Charlotte to create it. It’s very modern and sculptural, but rustic at the same time. It even feels great to run your hand along it.”

Adding tactile and textural elements to the design was very important to Kevin. “The palette is very neutral, so we used texture to add dimension, impact and a sense of richness. You have soft carpets, supple leather, smooth concrete, hammered metal, grainy wood, and rough stone. It all invites you to touch it. Everything has a very natural and organic feel, and it all plays into this mountain atmosphere. And, I think it really does embody this abstract concept of framing nature”

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