Hadley Quisenberry designs a home for a family of five that reflects their vibrant and youthful personalities.
by Blake Miller | photographs by Dustin Peck
Betsey and Tim Dillon had grown attached to their Dilworth bungalow. It was the young couple’s first home, where they brought home two of their babies and started life together as a family. But after nine years and the thought of adding one more to their clan, the Dillons had come to realize they were outgrowing their quaint home.
So the couple began casually looking for larger homes to accommodate their growing family. After weeks of searching, a house in Eastover caught their eye. The home’s high ceilings, natural light-filled spaces and updated finishes were a draw. “Light and bright was all I had on the brain,” Betsey says. “The home had been on the market for a while, we think because it backed up to a creek. But that creek was one of the reasons we loved the home so much. We knew our kids would spend hours playing there.”
The home itself required zero renovating, too, which was an added bonus. “The previous homeowner did a whole kitchen renovation a few years ago, so everything in the home was freshly updated,” Betsey says. Knowing that this house was much different in both size and design scope from their previous home, Betsey was also aware she would need assistance furnishing it. “I knew when we found a home we loved that I’d want the interiors done right,” she says.
Little did she know she wouldn’t have to look very far. Designer Hadley Quisenberry’s daughter was in the same preschool class as the Dillons’ son, and the two clicked right away. “Betsey saw a home I had done in a local magazine and loved it,” says Quisenberry, owner and principal designer at West Trade Interiors. “I had no idea she was looking for a designer until she reached out. And, of course, I jumped at the opportunity.”
Quisenberry was faced with a blank canvas, with the only criteria being color and practicality. “Betsey didn’t have a lot of constraints around her personal style or what she wanted,” she says. “It was fun to get to know them and that they loved color as much as I do. What I love about Betsey and Tim is that they wanted their home to be colorful and fun and reflect their young, vibrant family but also be practical at the same time. They have young kids, so they were thoughtful about making investments in pieces to make it really function and flow for the way they like to live.” The previous Dilworth bungalow was monochromatic and neutral, so for the Dillons this was a new approach to interior design. And they immediately embraced it.
Quisenberry was also tasked with marrying two different design preferences. “Betsey definitely skews more traditional, while Tim loves a more modern, clean look,” the designer says. “I love to mix old and new. I prioritized the family heirlooms that were meaningful to Betsey but then I downplayed the browns from those antiques and infused some color with painted furniture and colorful accents to liven it up a bit.”
The dining room is one of the most apparent couplings of opposing styles. Quisenberry paired a modern dining table by Vanguard with more traditional dining chairs by Charles Stewart and a chandelier from Circa Lighting. The original artwork by Laura Park coupled with the existing modern ceiling detail added just the right touch of color to the space.
In the family room, Quisenberry took a similar approach. In lieu of traditional patterns, she opted for a bold geometric print by Scalamandre on the cube ottomans and throw pillows. “That fabric was the inspiration for the rest of the room’s design,” she says. A clean, modern coffee table swathed in a faux ostrich fabric by Made Goods is decidedly contemporary, as well, and when paired with the more traditional lines of the Charles Stewart sofa the room checks all the boxes for both husband and wife.
What Betsey loves most about her new home is not just that it can stand up to dirty toddler hands while simultaneously looking elegant and sophisticated. It’s that the home truly reflects the family. “I love it so much. The way Hadley designed this home makes it so livable and comfortable,” Betsey says. “The house is so cheerful and feels like us as soon as you walk in the front door.” SP