Lake Norman Interior Designer Creates A Beautiful Balance Of Aesthetics And Function

Posted on | November 12, 2014 | No Comments

A successful design is all about balancing aesthetics and function, within the scope of a client’s specific wants and needs. No easy task, to be sure, but Starr Miller of StarrMiller Interior Design in the Lake Norman area is up to the challenge. Starr’s priority is helping her clients showcase their own unique flair, and consequently, no two of her designs are ever alike. Her client-driven approach was particularly successful when she redesigned the foyer, office, living area and sunroom of a prominent Charlotte businesswoman with a challenging list of wants and needs. Starr recently sat down with North Carolina Design and discussed how she accomplished these tasks.

Images Courtesy of StarrMiller Interior Design ©

“The client was a woman who had recently lost her husband,” Starr reflects. “She was looking to transform the public areas of her home into spaces that were more feminine, more comfortable, and better suited to her new life and her personal tastes. She was from Europe, and she wanted the house to reflect her European roots, but she also had a contemporary, chic sense of style.”

“To add some Old World European flair, we included some rustic and traditional elements, as well as a few furniture pieces that had some Baroque heaviness to them,” Starr recounts. “We wanted to balance the heaviness, add light and provide a contemporary twist to the spaces. Therefore we added airy sheers to the windows, painted the woodwork white, added contemporary lighting and incorporated fabrics with a mixture of contemporary patterns to the upholstery.”

One of the challenges was creating a design that would accommodate the home’s many uses. “The client ran the family business, entertained frequently, and had a number of grandchildren who visited often,” she explains. “There would be a lot of kids running around, a lot of parties, and a lot of visits from business associates. But at the same time, balance, order, and organization were very important to her, as those elements were what made her feel comfortable and relaxed in the space.”

In order to meet these competing needs, Starr came up with some creative solutions. “In the family room, we centered the furniture to create conversation areas, and created a customized space for bridge games. We added a custom hidden TV, which looks like a traditional mirror until you turn it on. The living area flows into the sunroom, which we changed from a porch to a conversation and gathering area. The client can easily entertain in a beautiful space, but if she wants to relax with some TV or a good book, she can.”

Starr took steps to make sure the design stayed clean and pretty, even with heavy use. “The furniture has no loose backs. The upholstery and carpets are stain-resistant, and we used outdoor upholstery fabrics for all of the sunroom furniture.”

Even more of a challenge than balancing the client’s needs was accommodating her very specific color requirements. “Right off the bat, she said no red, yellow, orange, green, or pink,” explains Starr. “So I went with navy, which we balanced against platinum to keep things soft and a little more sophisticated. I also used the layered mixture of patterns to provide visual interest in place of color.”

Starr’s favorite aspects of the design? “I love how balanced, clean and beautifully composed the space is now,” she reflects. “I love the navy woven grass cloth wall. I think the design just wouldn’t have the impact without it. But most of all, I love the fact that the client can enjoy her home again. And I’m happy that we achieved a design that was strong, yet a bit playful, because in the end, that’s who she is.”

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