Color Wonder

When a busy family of five recruited interior designer Hannah Ozburn to design their new home, there was only one directive: Vibrant Color.

CHARLOTTEANS ANNIE AND DAVIS WARLICK'S HOME was already bursting at the seams when they began looking for a new home near their current one on Westminster Place. With two children under two, their first place wouldn’t cut it anymore, so Annie Warlick’s mother, a real estate agent, slowly began scouting for an ideal family home.

“A perfect family home for us meant an open concept kitchen and family room, a great backyard where we can watch the kids play, and a large area for a playroom,” Warlick says. Luckily, just half a mile away, a home on Wellesley became available that checked all the boxes. “We had to have it. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. A day after we signed the contract, we found out we were pregnant with our third baby.”

Very few renovations were required on the inside of the home, so the family focused on the outside for the first year. They installed a larger entry and new front door, new windows, and painted the house a creamy white. “I never knew that choosing a white would be the biggest challenge of all the renovations,” Warlick recalls.

A year later, after things settled down and the family of five had adjusted, Warlick was ready to tackle the interiors. The couple had been following a designer they were drawn to: Hannah Ozburn of Hannah Ozburn Interiors. Though previously pleased with cool neutrals, they found themselves drawn more and more to vibrant colors, and Ozburn’s aesthetic was hitting the spot. Davis Warlick reached out to get on her schedule. “The Warlicks had been following a recent project of mine that they were particularly drawn to, and they reached out to chat about options for designing their home,” Ozburn says. “They both like a lot of color and wanted their home to be family-friendly without compromising on style.”

“Davis and I both wanted a house that was beautiful and stylish but also practical for our day-to-day lives,” Warlick adds. “There isn’t one room in our house that is off-limits for our kids. I was amazed that after one meeting with Hannah, she came back with designs for each room that nailed every detail!”

The plan was to balance color, texture, and pattern in ways that were livable and stunning at once. A few rooms had some completed touches that were installed by Anna Brantley of Carolina Design Associates as soon as the family moved in. “This project was a little different for me,” Ozburn admits. “We were able to reuse a few of the already-installed papers and pieces, but otherwise, the Warlicks entrusted me with complete design freedom and trusted my vision and process.”

The Warlick’s love of punchy textiles was a perfect match for Ozburn’s love of color. With the pandemic raging and vendors shutting down left and right, fear set in about the ability to complete the project on time. But Ozburn’s diligence won out, and they barely skipped a beat, completing the design and installation in just six short months. “I have to say, letting go and completely handing over the reins was a challenge,” Warlick admits. “But we knew we loved her style, and she never led us astray. Nearing the end, she didn’t even have to run things by us, which became rewarding. Seeing it come together with someone who seemed to intimately know our vision for our home was a dream.”

Since the home had some previous installations, Ozburn worked to incorporate pieces and elements of some rooms into her original design.  In the living room, a pretty blue Phillip Jeffries grasscloth was here to stay, so Ozburn complemented the color with a bold fuchsia pop of painted bookcases. Later, they changed out the curtains to a vibrant fuchsia pattern that really brought home the palette.

The dining room had a teal-and-white spotted Les Touches paper, and Ozburn found a fabulous rug at Charlotte Rug Gallery, which became the foundation for the room. She chose a beautiful blue lacquered ceiling to set off the space. “I wanted the rest of the house to flow, so each room has hints of green and blue throughout,” she says. As for the kids’ rooms, Ozburn went ultra-feminine for the daughter’s room, complete with flowers and furniture from Oomph. And in the boy’s room, a masculine but boyish feel is perfect to grow on. “I love doing kids’ spaces. They are the perfect spaces to have a lot of fun with patterns and colors,” she says.

Ozburn rounded out the home by bringing in books and accessories and then layering each room, which she says is the key to making a home feel complete and lived-in. “Annie and I sourced coffee table books and little furnishings all over town,” Ozburn explains. “I'd be at SOCO [Gallery] getting coffee and would pick up a few books. We really tried to source everything locally for the most part. It was a nice and simple way to support our community and local businesses, especially given the circumstances this past year.”

Warlick says her favorite room is the playroom, hands down. “When she showed me the wallpaper, I was initially hesitant. But, of course, she was right, and now it’s my favorite room in the house,” she says. “It’s such a happy space, and I never would’ve been able to do it without Hannah. We honestly spend most of our time in there.”

On another note, Ozburn loves the kids’ rooms. “I think my work is pretty feminine for the most part, so I particularly had fun with Annie’s daughter’s space,” she says. “I had been wanting to use the paint deck dresser from Madre [Dallas] for years, and it found the perfect home in this bedroom. I also loved all the Oomph pieces I used here and throughout the house.”

When asked to offer some advice to homeowners, especially those moving into a new home, Ozburn says, “I can say from personal experience that styles tend to evolve and change over time. I am super OCD, so I had my house decorated instantly after moving in. I wish I had taken a breath and lived in the space before making so many decisions. I would rip down a few wallpapers in my house if I could! Ultimately, I would say that it does not have to come together all at once. Furnishing a home is a big investment, so start with a few pieces that bring you joy.”