Opposites Attract

Designer Anne Hammett infuses timeless color and pattern into her clients once-neutral Myers Park home.

THE HOMEOWNER’S STORY IS ALL TOO FAMILIAR. Her family had outgrown their Dilworth bungalow and needed something larger and more open. “We absolutely loved our previous home,” she explains, “but we simply needed bigger.” A Georgian-style home tucked away in Myers Park and situated on a small lake not only piqued the homeowner’s interest due to its 4,270-square-foot layout but also because it was well designed inside and out. “You could tell that the previous owner had a good sense of style and design,” says designer Anne Hammett, who designed the interiors of her client’s Dilworth home and was also enlisted to work on the new house. “So there was a good base to work with before she moved in.”

The home did, however, need some updating and reworking. “There was just so much unused space that we wanted to take advantage of,” Hammett says. “With two little kids, the homeowner needed storage and everything to be functional and practical.” To start, the kitchen needed a major renovation, which Urban Building Group headed up. “The kitchen was just so dated,” the homeowner says of the dark cabinetry and black granite countertops. “It just needed a whole new look.” Hammett transformed the once-empty breakfast nook into a stylish but practical dining area with a custom banquette swathed in a durable faux leather. As well, she added a pass-through archway to open up the space between the kitchen and dining room and incorporated a cast-stone fireplace to create a soft, warm ambient light. “The natural light in the space is great. It just feels so spacious,” Hammett says. New custom cabinetry by Mill Hint Cabinets was coupled with marble-like Dekton countertops.

Unlike the kitchen renovation, the remainder of the home’s interior design consisted of cosmetic changes. Having worked with her client on her previous home, Hammett transitioned most of the furnishings to the new home seamlessly. The living room features an array of furniture, lighting, and accessories that work well with the existing architectural details and color palette of the home. A pair of tufted chairs swathed in a Belgian linen and an ottoman by Lee Industries were existing pieces, which Hammett updated with complementary Kelly Wearstler pillows that add a modern twist when juxtaposed with the more traditional silk draperies purchased on Etsy.

But not all of the homeowner’s existing items were used in her new home. Most of the home features brand-new pieces mixed with found objects that Hammett collected over the years.

The result is a carefully curated collection of items. While the home’s aesthetic skews decidedly more feminine, the designer wanted to balance those influences with more masculine accents. Hammett’s consistent balancing act of opposing aesthetics, textures, and colors makes the home that much more interesting. “I tried to create some sort of yin and yang in all of the rooms so that there’s this tension and inherent interest in each space,” she says. “If everything was one style or the same color or the same texture, the home would become very one-note and ultimately very boring.”

Nowhere is this opposites-attract approach more apparent than in the dining room. “My client really wanted pink in the dining room, which I thought would be really fun, but it was also a challenge,” she explains. “How do you design a pink room without it feeling overthe-top bubble gum pink? I wanted to incorporate pink in subtle ways. I like that the wallpaper has subtle tones and is overly neutral, but you can see apricot and pink and soft green and even the soft bluebird.” To counter the more feminine tones of the dining room, Hammett incorporated an array of textures with items like the smooth alabaster lamps with custom pink silk shades by Regina Andrew, the shell mirror by Made Goods, and edgier pieces like the trim on the panels and the graphite animal-print rug. “I love that everything here isn’t gilded and smooth,” she says of her choices. “I didn’t want everything to feel overly opulent. I always like to have an opposites-attract concept in each room.” The dining room is now one of the homeowner’s favorite rooms. “The dining room is my prized piece in the whole home,” she says. “I love to entertain and host dinners in there. And it’s just so pretty.”

The homeowner could gush on and on about the rest of what Hammett did in her home. Ultimately, though, she loves everything about the redesign of her new home and that it’s not only an elevated, sophisticated style, but it’s also practical for her and her two young children. “Everything just flows so well together from room to room,” she says. Hammett says this is easily one of her favorite projects, as well. “My client gave me some parameters, but, ultimately, she let me run with it, and it’s music to a designer’s ears when clients will let go some,” Hammett says. “When a client gives you their input but then trusts you because they know they’re being listened to, those are always the best spaces. And my relationship with my client was exactly that.”