Interior designer Hadley Quisenberry blends old and new — with a few bold surprises — in her west Charlotte home.
by Cathy Martin • photographs by Erin Comerford Miller • styling by Kendra Surface
Hadley Quisenberry has fond memories of growing up in south Charlotte. But after five years living in New York City, when she and her husband, Bryan, decided to move back to the Queen City, the couple craved a more eclectic, urban environment.
When the Quisenberrys returned in 2014, they zeroed in on Biddleville, a historic community in west Charlotte near Johnson C. Smith University where Hadley already had another family connection.
“I grew up in south Charlotte, but I wanted to raise my kids near my brother’s kids. And since he was already here, we were looking for lots to build our family home in this area,” says Quisenberry, owner and principal designer at West Trade Interiors.
But lots in the area were scarce, and existing homes for sale needed too many repairs. The couple were about to give up the search when their real-estate agent, Michael Doney with Five Points Realty, offered to show them his own home, an Arts and Crafts style house built in 2008 that was about to go on the market. The home was built by MBH Construction, the company led by Michael Hopkins specializing in period-correct homes that reflect the character of the historic neighborhoods in which they are built.
“They were extremely thoughtful about building it to fit the [pre-WWII] period of other homes in the neighborhood,” Quisenberry says. “We loved the framework of the house. It checked 90% of our boxes for what we wanted,” she adds. “And we were really excited to find a place that felt like it had that eclectic culture of New York to raise our kids in.”
In the family room, the only update the couple made was adding built-ins on either side of the fireplace, which are used for storing toys belonging to the couple’s two children, ages 6 and 8. The kitchen also fit the family’s needs, with little updating required. “We enjoyed it as is for several years,” Quisenberry says. “It has a great flow, and [the previous owners had installed] top-of-the-line appliances,” including a 48-inch Wolf range and Sub-Zero commercial refrigerator. Recently, to give the space a brighter, more open feel, Quisenberry had the upper cabinets painted white to match the trim, leaving the lower cabinets a dark wood stain. Café curtains with a vine-cutwork design add a soft, decorative touch, and vintage counter stools from Slate Interiors are covered in a durable, handwoven striped fabric from Schumacher.
In the dining room, Quisenberry decided to go a little bolder. For the wall behind the built-in sideboard, she chose a classic Schumacher “Bird and Butterflies” design, which is repeated in the fabric for the roman shade. Next, she painted the dark-stained cabinet a bright shade of green that matched the wallpaper to “create a little drama.”
“I love to mix old and new,” Quisenberry says, and in the dining room she was also able to incorporate a vintage chandelier from her childhood home.
But the oldest piece in the home sits in the entry — a wooden bench that belonged to Quisenberry’s great-grandparents. The designer gave it an update by having the seat covered with a new cut velvet fabric. The Philip Jeffries grasscloth wallcovering captures the blue and green tones throughout the home, Quisenberry says. “It sets the tone walking in.”
While West Trade Interiors’ typical style is transitional, Quisenberry, who spent several years working in the fashion industry before switching to interior design, says her personal style is a bit bolder. “I’m eclectic and a little more daring with color.”
But the best part about her home has been living close to family. “It’s been this really sweet thing of cousin play,” she says, with the kids — her two and her brother’s three sons — constantly running back and forth between houses. About five years ago, Quisenberry’s mother and business partner, Lisa Britt, decided to leave her longtime home in south Charlotte and move to the neighborhood as well.
“We’re all within a block,” Quisenberry says. “That doesn’t happen anymore.” SP