Text by Bethany Adams
From the moment she and her husband laid eyes on their 1928 English Tudor, Brooke Bell knew she had found something special. “The first time we walked through the front door into the living room with a 14-foot barrel ceiling, I knew we’d found our next home,” she says. “The house had the positive, inviting energy we were looking for.”
Working with friend and architect Elizabeth Tullos, Brooke and her husband, Andrew, began shaping the home to enhance that inviting energy. Now, a space that was already drenched in natural light and airy tones has been heightened by Brooke’s blend of classic and contemporary styles that speaks refined elegance and comfort. Elements like the bamboo side table balance the details of the minimalist chandelier and graceful china hutch, taking the room to a new level.
Since Brooke is a professional in the world of food magazines, one of her top priorities was creating a kitchen that met her needs while fitting in with the style of the home. “I knew the less than 2,000-square-foot home would never have a massive square box kitchen with an island the size of a king-size bed,” she says. “I simply wanted an efficient, workhorse kitchen space with lots of natural light.”
In the interest of letting in more light and making better use of some awkward spaces, Elizabeth suggested moving the kitchen from the back of the house to the front. Now, the galley-style kitchen features custom-designed lower cabinets with contemporary lines and floor-to-ceiling subway tile that reflects the glow of the sun. Ceiling beams contrast with the bright white of the space, drawing the eyes upward and pulling out natural elements like worn cutting boards and antique artwork tucked into the open shelving.
In the dining room, the juxtaposition of old and new is heightened, with classically styled slipcovered chairs boasting a vibrant chartreuse velvet paired with acrylic seating. Founded on a cowhide rug, the room is topped with a lavish chandelier dripping with hand-cut Baccarat crystal and backed by a Louis Philippe mirror. Brooke notes that the square space “begged for a round dining room table,” so she and her husband had the white oak English-style table custom-built by a local artisan. On one wall, a collection of vintage and antique French oyster plates is a nod to Brooke’s roots on the Gulf Coast.
The master bedroom is a dreamy space lined with subtle European elegance. Drapes in a subdued shade of blue dress the windows and accent the cloud-like bedding, elevated by notes of antique gold on the pillow by Rebecca Vizard and the sunburst mirror that hangs over the bed. The warmer tones of the nightstand and hardwood floors ground the room’s soft white interior, calling out the details of the curtain rods hung high on the walls.
It’s a stunning culmination of the rest of the home’s style—a style that Brooke says wasn’t so much a conscious decision as a natural expression of her own tastes. “I buy what I love, and it becomes a beautiful mix of French and English antiques and more contemporary pieces,” she says.