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Tailor Made

Interior designer Tammy Connor custom tailors a Homewood house to fit her long-time friend’s young family to a tee.

ABOVE Twin chevron-front, built-in cabinets, flank the limestone fireplace and give the living room’s plain walls texture. The space is open to the breakfast room and kitchen and is connected to the screened porch and terrace.
 

When one of your dearest friends is Birmingham-Charleston interior designer Tammy Connor, you know exactly who to contact when you want to upgrade your home. And when you are Tammy Connor, and your close friend calls on your talents, you know exactly how to make her new home into one that will fit her like a bespoke suit—perfectly shaped to her family’s needs and her personality.

“They have two young boys and a dog, so they wanted this to be a family home that their children can grow up in,” Tammy says of the 1990s-era Homewood house. 

Even though this is a home with young children, the entry doesn’t need to be indestructible, Tammy says. “It is not a part of the kids’ traffic pattern. They go through the mudroom and kitchen.”

 

In order to tailor the existing structure to the family, Tammy reflected on her friendship with the homeowner. “She likes fine things but is so kind and focused on real things,” Tammy says. “To me, that translates into the same characteristics for the interior.” The result? Rooms that are truly inviting without being pretentious or untouchable.

Without an architect on the project, Tammy took on that role as well, starting with complete redesigns of the kitchen and master bath. She also added large windows and doors throughout the house, as well as a screened porch and a terrace to extend the living space into the out-of-doors. The addition of refined architectural details, such as ceiling beams, gives the house a distinctive voice.

The décor, Tammy says, is all about subtle colors and softer textures with a mix of wood, metal, marble, and stone. “We used contrasting textures in building materials and fabrics and furnishings, and then accented with contemporary art and cleaner light fixtures to update the scheme a bit,” she says.

The colors on the main floor offer a refined palette of cool neutrals. “They are soothing, and they complement the homeowner and her personality,” Tammy says. “They also reinforce the indoor/outdoor connection.” Upstairs and in the basement, where the focus is more kid-friendly, the décor becomes more bright and playful. “The second floor houses the kids’ bedrooms, and the basement level is where the kids have friends over to play.” In these spaces, Tammy used less-precious selections “that are functional and practical at the same time,” she says.

However, “this house is full of highs and lows in terms of our selections,” continues the designer. “Not everything is fine. But having some fine things mixed in with other nice things keeps the interiors from becoming stuffy even though the style is traditional,” Tammy says. “That mix creates an inviting family home.”

And for this particular family, Tammy’s tailored mix offers the right balance. “My job is to make a house reflect my clients,” says Tammy. “It’s about them having a refuge and a place to make memories.”

ABOVE The kitchen renovation resulted in a space that Tammy describes as “simple but refined, traditional but clean.” Shaker-style cabinets show off furniture-maker details.
 

  

ABOVE LEFT A palette of refined materials adds an elegant air to the kitchen. “The kitchen, master bath, and powder room have higher-end plumbing fixtures than what’s in the kids’ bath.” Tammy says about choosing where to spend and where to save. “Being strategic is important,” she adds.

ABOVE RIGHT “It is rare that we use a pattern on fabric. We are more about creating a palette with color, texture, and materials.” —Tammy Connor, interior designer
 

ABOVE Tammy’s architectural updates included raising the living room’s ceiling, adding beams overhead, and installing large windows and French doors. “Those changes really transformed the space and connected it to the outside,” she says. A Swedish cabinet stocked with a collection of white ironstone gives the room an air of relaxed elegance.
 

ABOVE Twin chevron-front, built-in cabinets, flank the limestone fireplace and give the living room’s plain walls texture. The space is open to the breakfast room and kitchen and is connected to the screened porch and terrace.
 

  

ABOVE LEFT Originally, the owners planned to use this small den as a music room. When the piano didn’t fit, Tammy turned it into a reading room. “It is very cozy and intimate and different from the rest of the house,” the designer says. Cypress paneling and a custom graphite ceiling, along with velvet upholstery, warm the space. A custom-designed shagreen-topped coffee table by MDM Design Studio stands at center stage.

ABOVE RIGHT The dreamy master bath’s tub includes custom cabinetry with a reed detail, a furniture foot, and a marble surround that climbs the wall in a shapely silhouette. “We added a sculptured piece of marble to connect the tub to the window,” explains Tammy. 
 

ABOVE Three fabrics—a tone-on-tone linen at the windows, a velvet headboard, and a strié upholstery on the bench—create subtle pattern, texture, and nuance. Mercury glass lamps sit atop simple antique tables. A natural fiber rug is topped with an antique Oushak. “The room is layered and applied in a way that is not so serious,” Tammy says. 
 

  

ABOVE LEFT Concrete pod seating gathers beneath a canopy of crepe myrtles. Garden design: McDaniel Land Designs.  

ABOVE RIGHT The family uses the screened porch as an additional living space. “There is a TV on the porch, and they often eat out there,” says Tammy. “They are really intentional about using the space as a family retreat and for entertaining.”
 

RESOURCES
Designer: Tammy Connor Interior Design • 205.871.9797 tammyconnorid.com Cabinetry: Lane Woodworking • 205.337.2811 lanewoodworking.com Exterior and porch lanterns: Architectural Heritage • 205.322.3538 architecturalheritage.com Rugs: Tammy Connor Interior Design Reading room: custom wood finish John Powers European Finishes lantern: Mayer Lighting • 205.583.3400 mayerlighting.com Family room accents: Ashford Hill for Henhouse Antiques • 205.918.0505 henhouseantiques.com chandelier, Swedish cabinet, sofa, cocktail table: Tammy Connor Interior Design kitchen: plumbing and tile: Fixtures and Finishes • 205.323.5616 fixturesandfinishes.com Appliances: Ferguson • 205.254.3454 ferguson.com countertops: Pacific Shore Stones • 205.943.0060 pacificshorestones.com Hardware: Brandino Brass • 205.978.8900 brandinobrass.com Pendant lights: The Urban Electric Company urbanelectricco.com stools: Tammy Connor Interior Design fouta towels: Suite Dreams 205.414.1922 dinnerware: Table Matters • 205.879.0125 table-matters.com Screened porch: wicker: Kingsley Bate kingsleybate.com pillows and throw: Tammy Connor Interior Design French demijohn: Antiquities • 205.870.1030 Master bedroom: towels: Suite Dreams Plumbing fixtures: Fixtures and Finishes Countertops: Pacific Shore Stones Master bedroom: chandelier: Arteriors Home arteriorshome.com bench: Hickory Chair hickorychair.com mint julep cup: Argent Antiques • 205.871.4221 argentantiques.com