Designer Amber Cagle of Black Dove Interiors helps a newlywed couple blend two distinct styles — with a touch of whimsy — in their Cotswold home.
by Cathy Martin | photographs by Michael Blevins
It was a case of love at first sight. Audra Gallant and her then-fiancé, Dr. Roy Jennings, had been living in Dilworth and house hunting online when, separately, they each came across a listing in Cotswold.
“It looked like it needed a lot of work,” Gallant says of the 1974-built home on nearly an acre. After multiple updates through the years, the home was a hodgepodge of styles. “So much of it just didn’t even make sense,” Gallant says, describing a pair of oddly placed columns and a rambling backyard with an abandoned chicken coop.
Left two images: For the sitting area overlooking the backyard, Cagle chose a custom daybed by Lester and swivel chair from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. A 2012 “Diora” print by Stephanie Vovas from Citizen Atelier adds to the space.
Right two images: Popsicle sculpture by Betsy Enzensberger, top. A chic work-from-home space with a glass waterfall desk, below.
Still, there was no denying her reaction when she went to see it. “There was something I kind of loved about the wildness,” Gallant says. “I fell in love with it.”
Early on, Jennings had enlisted Lake Norman Landcare to design and install the backyard fire pit, travertine table and patios and help upfit the outdoor kitchen. But for the interiors, the couple struggled to agree on a stylistic direction and knew they needed help.
“I am definitely more modern, and my husband is more traditional,” Gallant says. After interviewing several designers, a friend recommended Amber Cagle of Black Dove Interiors. “She walked in, and we just clicked,” she says.
A custom sofa by Lester and accent chairs from Modshop surround a coffee table from Bliss Studio.
In the breakfast nook, a custom banquette is paired with the homeowner’s existing chairs and a pedestal table by Nuevo. The print is Slim Aarons’ “Dinner Jazz” featuring Louis Armstrong.
The couple love to have friends over to watch movies, so designer Amber Cagle added a bar with stools for additional seating behind the custom sofa by Lester.
“[Her tastes are] very modern, almost Parisian — white, no color,” says Cagle, who started her design firm in 2015 after eight years working with a local commercial architecture firm and, later, an architectural visualization firm in Argentina. “And he loves color and is very traditional. So, we had to just blend those two.”
The result is a carefully curated mix of styles: In the breakfast room, a modern table is paired with the homeowner’s existing ornate chairs. In the primary bedroom, a traditional bed frame is flanked by contemporary hair-on-hide-covered nightstands from Bernhardt. An antique settee that belonged to Gallant’s grandmother adds another traditional element, and the Caracole vanity and vintage mirror gives French-meets-Hollywood Regency vibes.
Lake Norman Landcare installed the fire pit, travertine table and patios. Most of the patio furniture is from Summer Classics.
Homeowners Audra Gallant and Dr. Roy Jennings
Playfulness abounds in the sunroom facing the backyard, where the unsightly columns were removed to improve the flow. A custom daybed and yellow swivel chair create a cozy seating area on one side of the room. The neon sign was Gallant’s idea, along with the fur-covered swing by Cuban-American artist Gabriela Noelle. “[Cagle] led everything, but she really let us be a part of it,” Gallant adds.
On the opposite side of the room is a clean, modern office space for Gallant, who works from home and appreciates the room’s natural light. “One of the things I love about the house is the windows,” she says. “You’re so in touch with the outdoors.”
A vintage chandelier and a bench that belonged to the homeowner’s grandmother add a touch of elegance in the primary bedroom. The hair-on-hide nightstands are by Bernhardt, and the mirrors are by Jamie Young.
The Caracole vanity and vintage mirror from Slate Interiors have a French flair; the chair is from Sondor Living.
The couple also enjoys entertaining. With Cagle’s help, the basement, with a drop-down projector, is now a comfortable and stylish spot for movie night with friends. To accommodate a crowd, Cagle added a bar behind the custom sofa for extra seating. A Paul Newman print is a nod to the first movie the couple watched together.
The large backyard was also designed for entertaining, with multiple spaces for guests to gather. Cagle helped the couple complete the design with furnishings by Summer Classics. “My husband basically lives out there,” Gallant says.
But the couple find that now, following the redesign, they are able to enjoy all of their home. “We literally use every single room,” Gallant says. SP