Designers Carrie Moore and Grayson Limer were faced with a challenge. Their clients were moving back to the Raleigh area after spending the last decade living in a highrise building overseas, and the transition from apartment living to suburban life was quite the jump. “The scale of everything is so different when you live in an apartment versus a single-family home,” says Moore. Luckily, though, the duo had little to work around—with the exception of planning the design scheme with an internationally based client—when it came to the transition.
“Coming from apartment living, we knew we were going to need some help given that we weren’t bringing much with us,” says the homeowner. “And there are such varying sizes of furnishings for a larger home compared to apartments that we really didn’t know here to start.”
What they did know, however, was that they wanted modern interiors and ample outdoor space. “We really wanted a sizable backyard and more outdoor living,” the homeowner explains. The modern farmhouse, which was nearly double the square footage of their previous residence, was scooped up during their transfer to the States. “It was such a positive, wonderful change to have the extra space and outdoor living area coming from high-rise living.”
Inside, the architectural details added by Midtown Custom Homes, which designed and built the home, skew modern. "We were really drawn to those details,” says the homeowner, “but we also wanted the interior design to be warm, inviting, and very clean and modern feeling. Nothing could be too trendy or too precious.”
With these directives in mind, Moore and Limer began pulling together an aesthetic that would check off all their clients’ must-have criteria, which included openness to design risks. “They wanted some surprises mixed in,” explains Moore. “They didn’t want their home to be the same thing everybody else has.” The designers applied this approach in the dining room, which opens into the large family room and kitchen. “We really wanted the room to flow well with the adjacent great room, which already had black detailing with the bookshelves, fireplace, and coffered ceilings,” says Limer.
So the duo chose Sherwin-Williams “Tricorn Black” for the dining room walls and trim, which the homeowners were hesitant about at first. “Now, we absolutely love it,” she says. To give added interest to the dining room, Moore and Limer added the wainscoting below a minimal chair rail, a traditional detail made modern by painting it the same hue as the rest of the walls. “With so many windows in the space, the black feels sophisticated and edgy in what could have otherwise been a very traditional area of the home,” explains Moore. The crystal Restoration Hardware modern chandelier provides elegance to the space and stuns at night against the dark walls and finishes. To balance the modern, the designers layered natural finishes such as the custom-designed dining table created by local artist Elijah Leed Studio and dining chairs by Gubi via Chapel Hill’s Palette & Parlor, which are swathed in a neutral velvet by Jab Anstoetz.
Throughout the home, the designers continued to push the envelope with their clients. Such was the case in the sitting room where a pair of TRNK sofas in a deep purple Pindler fabric anchor the space. “It’s one of the first rooms you see when you enter the home so we wanted to giveit instant drama,” says Limer of the seating, which is accented by custom lumbar pillows in a bold floral fabric by Maharam.
“We really weren’t so sure about the purple sofas at first but now they’re one of our favorite things in the house,” says the homeowner. Architectural details added by the builder such as the trim work on the walls were painted in Sherwin-Williams “Pewter Cast,” to complement the plum hue.
Even the children’s bedrooms are decidedly modern with fun design twists. Their son’s bedroom features a mid-century modern book bed by BluDot painted in a neutral “Edwards Navy” and is complemented by artwork of the Bronx subway system, a playful addition.
Despite the initial push outside their comfort zone, the homeowners are thrilled with the end result. “We really wanted something different, something more modern, and definitely less traditional,” the homeowner says. “We know what we like and don’t like but just don’t know how to execute it. Carrie and Grayson were really able to achieve the aesthetic we wanted.”