AAL AND ALLISON WELCH WERE AT A CROSSROADS. Either they would renovate and expand the Elizabeth bungalow where they’d lived for the last nine years, or they would find something that was a bit larger and could easily accommodate their growing family. Though the couple loved the character and charm of their home, they decided that it was just too tiny and too much of a hassle to renovate with two young children at the time. So they began their search for a new home. “I stumbled upon this neighborhood in Myers Park one day when I got lost,” says the mother of two. “It was the cutest little hidden neighborhood. I remember going home and telling my husband about it. I said that if we’re going to move, let’s put some feelers out and see if there might be some homes available in that neighborhood.”
The Welches eventually found a home that fit their must-have list. “We loved the floorplan, and it had a lot of character,” Welch says. “It was very light, bright, and happy, with lots of windows off the back. It had a very warm feeling to it.” Though the home went under contract with another buyer, the sale eventually fell through, and the Welches quickly scooped it up.
While Welch is a fashion stylist, she admittedly knew that she needed the help of an interior designer for their new home. “I’m one of those people who can find things that are stylish for the home or that I love, but as far as executing that in a cohesive interior design, I’m just not good at it,” Welch laughs. “I love picking out fabrics, and I definitely think my personal style spills over into my house.”
That timeless, eclectic style is what designer Anne Pearson Hammett drew inspiration from when designing the interiors of the Welches’ Myers Park home. “Allison is so stylish, and the home just needed decorating to reflect her personality and taste,” Hammett says. “She loves color and pattern, so I knew that would play a huge role in the home.” In fact, pattern and color were the springboards for the first room in the home that Hammett took on. “There were certain areas of the home that I had strong opinions on and things I’d been dreaming about,” Welch says. “My office space, which is one of my favorite rooms in the house, was one of those spaces. I knew I wanted that Schumacher wallpaper in there.” Hammett coupled the wallpaper with two more of Welch’s requests: a vintage-esque black desk, which she found from Phillips Scott, and two streamlined slipper chairs, which she swathed in an Ikat Lee Jofa fabric. The addition of the Samuel & Sons fringe and the skirts on the chairs are just the attention to detail that Welch was looking for.
If color and pattern were a guiding inspiration for the home’s interior design, Welch’s intuitive fashion sense was also of great influence for Hammett. “The driving factors in the home’s overall design were things that spoke to her,” the designer says. “She has such a great eye for things, and she’d bring them to me and say, ‘I really love this and want to make it work.’ And that really helped inspire me.” Such was the case with the vintage shell mirror that Welch purchased from a friend’s estate sale in South Carolina. “I fell in love with that mirror and brought it to Anne, and I’m sure she thought I was crazy!” Welch laughs.
“But I just loved it so much.” That mirror hangs prominently in the living room and informed much of the design for that space, as well. Similarly, Welch’s love of original art was a driving force for Hammett’s choices. “My mom was an artist, so I grew up around art and collect it,” says Welch, whose personal collection includes pieces by many Southern artists, including Atlanta artist Sally King Benedict, Charlotte artist Nellie Ashford, and Charleston artists Laurie Meyer and Marissa Vogl. “Allison would find art she loved, and we’d find a way to make it work every time,” Hammett says. “There were things Allison would push me on design-wise, and vice versa. It’s been one of those collaborative projects that worked out beautifully. Every room has turned out so pretty.”
The rapport and friendship between the two women continue to extend beyond the project. “I so loved what Anne did in our home that before a dinner party, I’ll have her come over and help me style things and freshen things up,” Welch says. “She’s so good at finding all of these little hidden treasures that just bring a space to life.” Such was the case in the family room, where large built-in shelving flanks both sides of the fireplace. Having very few things with which to accessorize and style the shelves, Hammett scoured places such as Sleepy Poet and Hamilton-Stuart for antiques and vintage finds, culling just the right pieces to create a carefully curated collection that looks as though it’s been gathered over time. “Allison doesn’t want her home to feel staged,” Hammett says. “She doesn’t want things to look perfect. She likes things with the sheen knocked off them.” The result is a home that exudes style matched with comfort that feels happy and fun.
“Every time I walk into my home, I love it so much,” Welch says. “I love it all. I love that it’s a mix of different things Anne’s found and I’ve found. I love how pretty and fun it is but also how it just works for our family.”