WHEN THE DELANEYS HAD THEIR SECOND CHILD, THEY KNEW THE CLOCK was ticking on the need for more space for their small children to run and play. Having worked with Hadley Quisenberry and her mother, Lisa Britt, of West Trade Interiors on their first home in Dilworth, the couple wanted their help once more to update a Cotswold home they had recently purchased.
“We loved the large lots and family feel of Cotswold but also its proximity to everything around it,” homeowner Sara Delaney says. “Between the flat lot and the open floor plan, plus the attached three-car garage, which is rare in Charlotte, it was more than ideal. We knew mainly cosmetic changes were all that were needed, and Hadley and Lisa could help.”
The home was built in the early 2000s and had many dark and dated features, with plenty of gold and tan tones to go around. West Trade designed their first home in soothing neutrals with an understated sophistication, so the homeowners opted for more color moments and a transitional style in their new dwelling. “The Delaneys were wonderful at visualizing the potential of the home and trusting us to make the changes they wanted to see,” Quisenberry says. Delaney adds, “We loved their transitional style, use of color, and family-friendly taste. I also liked that they could work within any budget.”
Together, the team constructed a design that was an ideal blend of neutral and elegant, with small doses of color and pattern to liven and modernize the overall look.
The entire interior of the home was painted, and the first projects to be tackled were the children’s rooms. Four years later, they are still working in phases but have created a beautiful, livable, and, most importantly, easily evolvable home for the family. “Sara is drawn to a fabulous blend of transitional and glamorous elements,”
Quisenberry reveals. “But it’s been fun to push our boundaries through lighting and art while keeping the furniture and fabrics more tailored to maintain that cohesive balance that’s a hallmark of West Trade.” Quisenberry and Britt typically like to begin with the “heartbeat of our clients’ homes,” which is almost always the kitchen and living room. In the Delaneys’ case, they upgraded counter stools and designed a new breakfast area, knowing that a whole kitchen renovation would happen later. “We chose neutral elements for the base of the family room and infused color through the accents and accessories,” Quisenberry adds. “The clients are big fans of blue, which can be the most soothing color, so that tone is carried throughout.”
Now that the kitchen and wet bar have been renovated, the area has quickly become everyone’s favorite space. But a labor of love usually does carry a special place in the heart of the maker. “The kitchen and wet bar renovation was probably the most challenging and, in the end, the most rewarding element of the design,” Quisenberry admits. “We took it on in a construction-materials- and labor-shortage environment, which created a variety of compilations, but the finished product exceeded all our expectations.”
Delaney says that it gave the home a major facelift, and, at the center of the home, it has quite an impact. “We were so impressed by what a great job Hadley and Lisa did with managing the entire project. From contracting to designing, they made it as easy as possible on us.”
The openness of the floor plan meant that despite being done in pieces, the whole home needed to flow nicely and have a cohesive feel to it. “I love color and contemporary, fun fabrics and wallpapers. [my daughter] Izzy's carpet, the piano room, and the Schumacher curtains are my favorite,” Delaney explains. “Jim, my husband, is more traditional, so Hadley and Lisa had their directive to meld the two together, and they found ways to make it happen effortlessly.”
“Ultimately, we use every corner of this home,” Delaney says. “From the breakfast area every morning to the living room in the evenings, to the back patio where my husband loves to watch football on perfect fall days, this house is ideal for gathering in nearly every space.” She adds that her favorite room, though, is the piano room. “It’s very glam. It contains my favorite things: a custom Windy O’Connor painting and my childhood grand piano. My husband wanted it to be an office, but he was overruled.”
Quisenberry and Britt have favorite spaces as well, though coming to a consensus on one proves difficult. “The breakfast nook makes us happy and has served the clients well, but the dining room is pretty special, too. We also love their primary bedroom, thanks to the spectacular Schumacher drapery tape and wallpaper. And it was a blast to upgrade the kids’ bedrooms this year for their next phase of life.”
It’s that playing off each other that makes the mother-daughter duo behind West Trade a dynamic team with which to work. “West Trade Interiors’ style is transitional overall,” Quisenberry says. “Mom brings a refined, traditional eye to our projects, honed through years of industry experience and a background in antiques. I have a slightly more contemporary take, influenced by my early years working in the New York City fashion industry. That, plus, I have an innate desire to occasionally suggest the unexpected and take calculated risks. Combined, we bring a layered and carefully curated custom mix to our client’s homes that ultimately speaks to who they are.”