Down to a fine art

Home + Garden

April 28, 2023

Anna Davis designs a modern home with bold accents for Foxcroft empty nesters.

by Cathy Martin  |  photographs by Dustin Peck

Designer Anna Davis began with a nearly blank canvas when the Foxcroft homeowners tapped her to lead the interior design of their new-construction house. It helped that she was already familiar with their aesthetic: Davis had previously helped her clients update their longtime Morrocroft Estates home before listing it for sale. 

“When I worked with them in Morrocroft, they were very traditional,” Davis says. “It was hard for them to step out — and it scared them at first to step out.” Heavy dark wood paneling and ornate architectural details — typical of many fine homes built in the ’90s and early 2000s — dominated the 14,000-square-foot estate. “But I pushed them,” says Davis, whose eclectic style leans more modern with bold accents, “and they loved the final picture there.”

By contrast, the couple’s new home, built by Grande Custom Builders, presents clean lines and a brighter, airier aesthetic. Since the couple had sold their previous home furnished, bringing just a few cherished belongings with them to the new home, Davis was able to start with virtually a clean slate. 

“Art to me in a space makes the biggest impact,” says Davis, who minored in studio art while earning her bachelor’s in interior design at Meredith College. “We reused [the homeowners’ existing] art, but we were able to bring in some contemporary vibes,” she says. Having grown up in a very traditional home, the designer likes blending formal, traditional oil paintings with contemporary works for a unique look. In the foyer, for example, she had one of the homeowners’ existing oil paintings reframed and brought in a bold abstract painting by South Carolina artist Brian Rutenberg, sourced from Jerald Melberg Gallery. 

In the adjoining family room, Davis designed a custom blue-lacquered shelving unit to display collectibles and add a pop of color to the otherwise neutral space. A vibrant landscape painting by Charles Basham energizes the space, while a pair of bold, minimalist serigraphs by American artist Charles McMurray balances the aesthetic.

Flowing from the family room, the spacious kitchen is anchored by a large leathered stone island, flanked by Vanguard counter stools with an inverted pleat detailing. A dramatic backlit slab over the Wolf range is a showstopper, while the Russ Warren painting in the breakfast area on the opposite side of the room is equally eye-catching. Davis and the husband instantly loved the painting sourced from Hodges Taylor Gallery, the designer says, but the wife took a little convincing. She eventually came around, and now it’s one of the more striking spaces in the home.  SP

Left: An abstract painting by Brian Rutenberg adds a dash of bold color in the foyer. Right: A painting by Russ Warren creates a striking backdrop in the breakfast nook. The table and drum light fixture are from Made Goods; the chairs are Vanguard. 

Left: A dramatic backlit backsplash is a focal point in the kitchen. Right: Pendants by Julie Neill hang over the kitchen island; the counter stools are by Vanguard.

Left: Custom shelves and a vibrant painting by Ohio artist Charles Basham, sourced from Jerald Melberg Gallery, brighten the neutral-toned family room. Right: A pair of serigraphs by artist Charles McMurray from Hodges Taylor Gallery make a bold statement outside the dining room. 

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