A Rock Hill designer works with a family of five to update their home, striking a balance between modern and traditional.
by Catherine Ruth Kelly • Photographs by Dustin Peck
When a Rock Hill couple approached Rainy Westerman about assisting with the space planning and design for their new home, the interior designer welcomed the opportunity.
“Design really starts before the finishes are selected,” Westerman says. “It is always an advantage to be able to start working with clients during the planning stage.”
The homeowners have three young children, so creating a comfortable and inviting home was their first priority. While their style leans toward traditional, they didn’t want the decor to be too formal or fussy.
“The house has a beautiful Georgian exterior,” Westerman says. “We just needed to reconfigure and refresh the interior.” Westerman worked with the homeowners to balance these preferences, encouraging them to use vibrant colors throughout the house to make it feel fresh and current while seamlessly integrating their heirloom furniture with sleek new pieces.
“Fresh, bold paint and fabric colors can make a statement and breathe new life into old pieces,” explains Westerman, who as a child loved exploring antique stores with her stylish grandmother. Her grandfather, an architect and builder, fostered her appreciation for good design.
The living room, an intrepid mix of moody hues, offers a sophisticated yet cozy gathering space. The walls and ceiling are lacquered in Apollo Room Blue by Martin Senour. Though the color evocative of Colonial Williamsburg is discontinued, Westerman had Eastway Paints match the formula. An emerald-green velvet sofa and vintage chairs surround a concrete-based coffee table that Westerman found at Sleepy Poet Antique Mall. “I had had my eye on that table for months and knew it would be the perfect fit in that room,” Westerman says.
For the dining room draperies, a colorful custom fabric by Charlotte artist Windy O’Connor sets an elegant tone for the spacious room. The ornate lucite and crystal chandelier is handmade by Raleigh artist Louise Gaskill. The Hickory Chair dining table and upholstered chairs are accented by white powder-coat metal chairs purchased at an antique store in Greenville, S.C.
Westerman worked with Vinyet Architecture to create a more functional and flowing kitchen area. The addition of a bay of windows above the sink allows more natural light. The walls and cabinets are painted a clean, creamy white, while the trim and barstools are a navy blue to complement the La Cornue range. Traditional and modern pieces strike a balance in the bright and airy breakfast nook, anchored by an heirloom table flanked by transparent ghost chairs.
The half bath near the kitchen is brightened by a Scalamandre zebra-print wallpaper in a cheerful yellow. “We wanted this bathroom to be fun and playful, because the children use it the most,” Westerman explains. “It is right next to their drop zone at the back door.” The brass fixtures and marble countertop are stylish yet durable.
For the more formal powder room near the front entrance, Westerman selected a soft blue and beige hand-stamped grasscloth by Philip Jeffries for the walls and a complementary shade of high-gloss blue for the trim. In lieu of a traditional sink, an antique wooden console was transformed into a marble-topped vanity, adding a touch of glamour to the intimate space.
The colorful yet comfortable theme continues in the den and the children’s bedrooms. Westerman’s goal was to match the bedroom themes with the children’s personalities — a soft pink for the young daughter and boyish blues with contrasting pops of red or yellow for the sons’ rooms.
“It was really fun to work with a family with three young children to create a home that would grow with them,” Westerman says. SP