Balancing Act

Chapel Hill seems the perfect setting for a home that gracefully combines traditional warmth and hospitality along with a sense of modern discovery and exploration.

It graciously reflects a town known to provide an alluring mix of historical beauty, architectural style and new ideas.

Owner and founder of Tracery Interiors, Paige Sumblin Schnell believes: “Every home needs a balance of modern and traditional.” She explains, “It means using the language of today’s world while reflecting on the past.”

Throughout the home, a combination of clean lines and bolddetails are beautifully contrasted with earthy oak wood floors and inviting decor. “The floors give a warm traditional feeling to the home. It also anchors the home in the past,” said Schnell. “That is important with the incorporation of modern furnishings.” Tracery’s use of black and white contrasts provides sophisticated dramatic style and stunning visual appeal. Traditional fabrics for the furniture and drapery lend an almost regal look, while soothing textures balance and engage. Schnell explains both Tracery’s and her clients’ original vision for this home as, “Elegance, but family-friendly. Beautiful and sophisticated while still being inviting.”

The family room is a great representation of the home’s stylish, yet comfortable and functional form of beauty. “All the upholstery in the family room is upholstered in outdoor fabrics for durability,” explains Schnell. “But we didn’t want the room to ‘look durable’ so we incorporated fun prints and custom printed ottomans to finish the design.”

Open shelving in the kitchen provides an excellent highlight to the room’s gorgeous white marble walls. An enormous island in the center becomes an excellent spot for everything from family meals to homework to entertaining. Thanks to an excellent design by the architectural and building firm Dixon Kirby, the entire area is bathed in natural light and openness.

A pass-through fireplace anchors the kitchen area and reveals the breakfast area’s large traditional family style farm table. It is gracefully surrounded by lucite chairs adding its contemporary twist. Overhead, large modern light fixtures complete the look.

A long, dramatic hallway framed by brick arches and rich wood paneling creates an excellent venue to showcase one of the home’s many stunning modern art paintings. 

Southern artist Mallory Page’s captivating abstract expressionist approach provides just the right complement of vibrant color and mystery, inviting guests to linger and get lost in its intrigue. 

It’s easy to see why the music room is the designer’s favorite room of the house. Just one of its highlights is a wistful and cozy alcove. “We love the bay window that Dixon Kirby designed in the home. We wanted to emphasize it by painting it the deep forest green you also see in the drapes and sofa,” said Schnell. Rich, heavy, velvet drapes adorn the music room and bring visions of “Scarlett O’Hara making the dress out of the drapes right there in their home.” She added, “Green velvet reinterpreted is a bit unexpected which we love.”

It’s a place that seems perfect for creative masterpieces of allsorts. “You can imagine the music room with one of the children taking piano lessons or a chic cocktail party. That is why we love this house so much,” explains Schnell. “Its design straddles the line of elegance and livability.”