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February 1, 2022

A couple trades their longtime family home in SouthPark for a maintenance-free apartment with sweeping views.

by Cathy Martin  •  photos by Dustin Peck

When Harold Mull retired last year after a 54-year career in the textile industry, he and his wife, Joy, knew they’d be spending more time at their family’s mountain house near Blowing Rock. After living in Morrocroft Estates for 28 years, the couple, who have two older children, also were ready to downsize. 

“It was a bigger house than we needed,” Harold says of the couple’s 6,000-square-foot Morrocroft home, which they started building in 1991. Still, the empty nesters weren’t quite ready to say goodbye to Charlotte and the SouthPark neighborhood where they’d been rooted for so long. And since they’d be spending less time in Charlotte and more time in the mountains, the couple wanted a home with minimal upkeep. The search ended when they found a two-bedroom, 10th-floor apartment at Element SouthPark with panoramic views of the city and a clean, modern aesthetic.

Since the design of the Element is streamlined and contemporary, the Mulls wanted the decor to match. To accomplish this, they turned to Lisa Britt and Hadley Quisenberry, the mother-daughter design duo at West Trade Interiors

“Our Morrocroft house was very traditional,” Harold says. “We had traveled a lot over the years and had collected antiques from France and England.” After purchasing their mountain cottage in 2016, they had begun moving keepsakes and antique pieces there, allowing the designers to start with a blank slate. 

“When they were ready to move, they really wanted a different look,” Britt says. And with floor-to-ceiling windows offering unobstructed views of the city and treeline, the designers had a magnificent backdrop around which to work.

“It was important to the client that none of the décor take away from the sweeping views, so we did minimize artwork and window coverings as well as our typical use of color to achieve that,” Quisenberry says.

The Mulls chose a corner unit on the 10th floor at Element SouthPark, where they can enjoy the panoramic views of the city above the treeline. The furniture on the terrace is from Summer Classics.

One exception is the antique mirror Joy wanted to keep as a focal point in the entry hall, where it hangs above a demi-lune cabinet by Century from A. Hoke Ltd. “Everything else is new or repurposed,” Quisenberry says.

The living room is centered around a handcrafted banana-bark console from Made Goods that brings warmth and needed storage in the space. The other elements in the room — including a custom sofa by Charles Stewart, acrylic chairs from Isabella and a Stark rug — are lighter and monochromatic, in a style Quisenberry calls “transitional with a slight bend toward contemporary.”

Since the apartment is a rental, many of the finishes — flooring, countertops and hardware — couldn’t be changed. But the designers were able to install new lighting, including the kitchen island pendants and dining room chandelier from Circa Lighting.   

An added perk of leasing the corner-unit apartment is a spacious outdoor living area, which the designers furnished with all-weather lounge chairs and a sofa from Summer Classics.

The Mulls also enjoy other perks at the amenity-rich complex, which include a saltwater pool, lounge area with TVs and pool table, private conference rooms and a TopGolf simulator. 

And while the Mulls’ two-bedroom unit lacks space to accommodate overnight visitors, the Element offers a guest suite that can be reserved for out-of-town guests. Guests and family members have also enjoyed staying at the nearby Hyatt Centric and Canopy hotels, Harold says.  

The Mulls say their favorite things about living in their new apartment include the low maintenance, the increasing walkability of the SouthPark area and those stunning 10th-floor views.

“We were really edited and intentional with our selections to let the view speak for itself and allow them to just enjoy their surroundings.” Quisenberry says.  SP

Intel of Your Wildest Dreams!


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