Kathleen Fox of Perch Interiors designs a high-end spec home, with her own family’s lifestyle as her guide.
by Catherine Ruth Kelly | photographs by Laura Sumrak
Ellen and Scott Wilson weren’t officially house hunting when their real-estate agent encouraged them to look at a newly constructed home on a leafy, established street in Myers Park. The Wilsons were accustomed to more historic homes — their previous two houses were built in the 1940s and exuded the charm and quality of that era. But when they walked through this brand new house, they knew it was the perfect place for them.
“The ceilings are high, the rooms are bright and airy, and the flow is great for entertaining,” Ellen Wilson says. “Even though this is a new build, there are so many timeless, classic details that add charm and character.”
That was exactly the intention of interior designer Kathleen Fox, who oversaw the project from start to finish. Fox founded her business, Perch Interiors, in 2012 with a goal of creating functional spaces that are both beautiful and tranquil, providing a comfortable resting place for clients. She maintained that same goal for this project with one significant difference: She had no idea who the homeowners would be.
Left: A sculptural Regina Andrew chandelier makes a statement in the library, where walls and trim are painted in a deep green (Farrow & Ball Studio Green No. 92). Right: Schumacher Thistle wallpaper adds interest in the powder room. The vanity and trim are painted in a satin aubergine (Farrow & Ball Brinjal No. 222), and the Katie globe pendants are from Visual Comfort. The countertop, backsplash and mirror surround are honed Carrera marble.
“It was a challenge to create a soulful home for someone we had not met,” reflects Fox. “We strived for intentional design details and made selections with a family lifestyle in mind.”
Perch Interiors partnered with Vicus Builders on the project. They purchased a previously existing ranch home, along with architectural plans created by Greg Perry Design for the current structure. Once demolition was complete, Perch and Vicus worked in tandem to bring the architectural plans to life.
The Perch team devised a plan for the internal architectural details such as the family room bookcase, kitchen cabinetry and the custom millwork throughout the home. The sweeping staircase in the entry hall is an example of their vision of a clean, classic aesthetic.
“Greg Perry designed the stairwell as a showstopper,” Fox explains. “We added elements to enhance the space, adding depth and interest, such as the millwork detail on the soft white wall, the unique stair railing and the dark walnut-stained floors.”
Fox and her team completed all of the finishing touches throughout the house, including light fixtures, sconces, hardware, paint colors and wallpaper. They were mindful as they made selections, endeavoring to create an ambiance that feels fresh and modern yet timeless and classic. Fox also aimed to design a home that her own family would want to live in.
“Thinking about the interior architectural details through a family lens was important and helpful for us,” Fox says. “We planned for a gallery wall in the upstairs hallway, adding sconces and symmetry, picturing family portraits hanging there one day.”
The Wilsons appreciated the intentionality and effort that Fox dedicated to creating a comfortable, stylish, move-in ready abode that is perfect for their family, which includes two young children, a golden retriever and a rabbit.
“Kathleen is so talented — there is not a thing we would have changed,” Wilson says. “From the hardware to the tile to the smallest details, she thought very deliberately and intentionally about this house.”
Likewise, Fox is grateful that the Wilson family was drawn to the home she and her team created.
“It is truly a joy to know that such a sweet family moved in and that they appreciate the details we pored over and spent hours deliberating,” Fox says. “Ellen picked up where we left off and furnished it with her incredible sense of style — it looks fabulous!” SP