The main floor opens to a combined kitchen and living space that is perfect for entertaining. The white oak floors are washed in a country white stain, “which takes out the yellow and keeps the blonde,” Dona says, bringing in a light, airy note while adding a striking contrast to the rooms’ darker accents. The rear of the main floor includes private living quarters with a separate master suite and sitting room designed for Dona’s mother. The upstairs was designed for Dona and her grandchildren. “I would have never done this for myself,” she admits. “But I look at the experience and the fun chapter in my life as just fabulous.”
Dona considered everything she and her mother would need when designing the layout of the home—from wheel chair accessibility to light switches—resulting in a thoughtful, extremely well-planned and tailored space. One of her favorite design tips is blending the unexpected.
From textiles to hardware, Dona found ways to create an interesting juxtaposition that is not only beautiful, but also unique to her needs. Another design element she emphasized in her home décor is lighting. “They call it the house of chandeliers,” Dona says with a laugh, noting she had more than a dozen installed with each adding unique scale, mood, and personality to the home. “Lighting is just so important to me.”
Dona moved in on Christmas Day in 2015 and quickly filled the rooms in her signature modern classic style. Now fully settled, she can finally enjoy the fruits of her labor in this tucked away Southern community in a house built with love. “Now it’s all about making memories,” Dona says. “I designed this house to be a caregiver, and for my grandkids, [so] that they would have a fun place to grow up and make memories.”