A SouthPark design project evolves over time, bringing color to a once-neutral space.
by Blake Miller • photographs by Dustin Peck
Jennifer Nance was exhausted. As a partner in a global management-consulting firm, the then-40-year-old was traveling multiple times a week, barely spending more than a day or two at home. So planning the interior design of her new SouthPark-area home was one of the last things on her priority list.
“Everything I had was a hodgepodge,” Nance says of her existing furnishings. “Everything looked decent and well put together in the apartment and townhome I lived in before this home. But once we got it into this house, everything was off. The scale didn’t look right. Nothing really worked well together.”
Eventually, Nance grew tired of the mishmash of furnishings and decided to enlist the help of a design professional. On a recommendation from a friend, Nance reached out to Lynne Clark and her daughter, Liza, of Clark & Clark Interiors. “We instantly clicked,” Nance says. “[Lynne and I] are both from Hickory, and I just immediately felt at ease with Lynne. I knew she would go at my pace.”
That pace, as it turned out, was slow and steady and would extend over 12 years as Clark walked Nance through multiple interior-design updates as well as a major renovation on the entire upstairs of the home.
“There was some pulling along during the process, with me telling Jennifer she truly deserved this respite from all of her work travels,” Clark says. “We’d tell her, you’re doing a great job with your career. You deserve a space to come home to where you can relax and ultimately feel comfortable. So the project just evolved over time. Each time we’d finish a room, Jennifer would say, this is great, what else can we do.”
The home, which was originally a builder spec house, featured a beige-on-beige color palette and dated builder-grade light fixtures and finishes.
“It was as neutral as you could get,” Clark says. But Nance loves color, so she ultimately wanted something more than beiges, browns and creams in her home. Clark began with the living and dining rooms, where she used fabrics, rugs and accessories to inject color amid neutral gray wallcoverings by Phillip Jeffries.
“The use of blue in the dining room really inspired Jennifer’s love of color,” says Clark of the Madeline Weinrib rug from ABC Home and host chairs from Hickory Chair. “They added so much life to the room.” The living room doubles as overflow dining when Nance hosts large gatherings and also serves as a home office. Elsewhere, Clark continued to infuse color such as in the master and guest bedrooms, where bold, bright throw pillows energize each space.
It wasn’t until about eight years into the project that Clark embarked on renovating the upstairs of the home, which had small bedrooms and an unimpressive owner’s suite. The renovation resulted in a larger, more luxurious bedroom and bathroom and a larger laundry room. Then Clark layered the new spaces with her classic aesthetic that aligned with the timeless, livable design Nance was looking for.
“The house really functions so much better now,” Nance says. While the project has taken more than a decade to complete, Nance says she’s thrilled that it’s spanned so many years. “I love working with Lynne so much that I don’t want it to end,” she laughs. “The process was awesome. It was so fluid, and I trust her implicitly. Lynne isn’t just a designer to me — she’s become a close friend.” SP