Big Picture Perfect
Who hasn’t dreamed of giving away the hodgepodge of possessions acquired over the years and starting over? One young couple took beautiful advantage of that chance.
To give the pavilion a Greek Isle cabana ambiance, Annie and Ginny found blue drapery panels, but they were not quite long enough. They solved that problem by selecting an additional white panel that was sewn to the bottom.
When Lauren and Drew Weil married, the young professionals found their combined furnishings, acquired haphazardly for long-gone spaces, made a less-than-pleasing jumble. “It was a mishmash of college stuff, and only a few things were precious to either of us,” Lauren says. The purchase of their first house together meant a lot of decorating decisions for a home that was much larger. And there it was. Opportunity.
Lauren enlisted her friend Annie Goldberg and her partner in AG Designs, Ginny Maguire, to join the project of creating a lovely and livable home from scratch. Though it sounds like an overwhelming proposition, the team tackled the empty-house conundrum in phases, beginning with the areas the couple would see most—the den, master bedroom, and pool deck.
A second phase created striking living and dining rooms, as well as outfitting a guest bedroom and giving a style upgrade to the home office. Later, a third phase set up a sweetly serene nursery for an expected arrival.
For the overall style, the trio sought to create a look that was refined but not stuffy; sophisticated yet young and upbeat. “It reflects Lauren,” says Ginny. But Drew was not left out of the equation. He wanted a relaxing den where he could kick back, so plump sofas were installed with his feet-up comfort in mind.
For the color palette, Lauren, who describes herself as a “girly girl,” wanted pastels and lots of white, with stir-ins of metallic accents. “I was in a gold phase,” she says. The gold motif—a sparkling thread through most of the house—connects the differing expressions of the overall style and adds a gleaming energy among the whites and barely-there pastels.
From casual entertaining to formal dining, the Weils’ home now reflects all facets of their personalities. The interiors demonstrate how an over-arching scheme of style and color can create a soothing unity, while allowing differing elements to come to the forefront, such as the gold thread blossoming to a dramatic climax in the dining room. As each phase was completed, ideas and excitement flowed for the next. “It is definitely a fun process,” Lauren says. “I keep thinking of things for Annie and Ginny to do so I can keep working with them.”
ABOVE LEFT The classic curve of gilded dining chairs covered in icy blue leather are juxtaposed with dainty dark-wood quatrefoil chairs with soft gray velvet fabric for an eye-arresting difference in scale. The dining room’s gold illusion is created with Phillip Jeffries metallic wall covering and gold-leaf paint on the moulding. The gold-accented dark wood dining table anchors the room and reflects the shimmer.
ABOVE RIGHT The neutrals and icy pastels of the living room, along with lots of natural light filtered through flax linen drapes, make for formality with a soft touch. To keep the vista from the foyer open, the designers looked for a low piece to place in the forefront of the room. The cloverleaf ottoman covered in peach-pink wool and festooned with gold nailheads fit perfectly.
ABOVE Muted pastels set the tone in the master bedroom with surprising contrasts such as the tufted linen headboard framed in salvaged wood. Custom linen drapes with a trellis pattern detailed with ribbon make a bolder statement without overwhelming the room. A mirrored chandelier adds a touch of glamour. The Weils’ Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Chatham, is “queen of the house,” Lauren says. A pastel velvet-covered antique bench makes a fitting royal seat.
ABOVE LEFT The couple’s home office exhibits a brighter look. Bold colors enliven the sitting area, while gold accents tie the room with the rest of the home. “It’s a funky, cool, creative space,” Lauren says.
ABOVE RIGHT This full bath functions as a guest powder room, so Lauren wanted it dressed up. The designers continued the white and gold elegance here, with gold-tone hardware, antique mirror and sconces, and a dramatic wall covering with a motif of metallic gold bumblebees. “It’s fun, very glamorous, and sexy,” Ginny says.
Interior design: Annie Goldberg and Ginny Maguire, AG Designs • Birmingham, 205.937.2107 Living room: ottoman: Baker Furniture bakerfurniture.com Family room: sofas and ottoman: Restoration Hardware • 215 Summit Blvd., Birmingham, 205.967.1901. Rug: Met Design Center • 3005 Third Avenue N, Birmingham, 205.322.2199. Cut velvet pillows: Table Matters • 2402 Montevallo Road, Mountain Brook. 205.879.0125 Master bedroom: chandelier: Three Sheets • 2904 18th Street, Homewood, 205.871.2337 Office (some items): West Elm • 320 Summit Blvd., Birmingham, 205.968.7651 westelm.com Bath: sconces: Hanna Antiques • 2424 Seventh Avenue S, Birmingham, 205.323.6036 Outdoor room: furniture and drapes: Restoration Hardware