Text and Styling by Charlotte Safavi
After a short spell in Atlanta, Georgia, homeowners Tina and Perry Williams moved to McLean, Virginia, where Tina had spent her childhood. And with two preteen children, it seemed like a great place to continue raising a family. The house they bought in 2008 for its great location and good bones remained furnished with what they’d had in Georgia until 2014, when they hired Whittington Design Studio for a redesign.
“Our formal Queen Anne furniture was very traditional, which worked well in Atlanta and when we didn’t have two children,” says Tina, recalling, “There was a lot of red and gold, dark wood and brass hardware. It was time for a refresh!”
Their new home had plenty of positive qualities, including hardwood floors, an up-to-date kitchen, neutral paint colors, and an open main floor plan, which spills into the backyard through the great room. But the interiors needed less formality and more family-friendly furniture.
One of the first things principal Melanie Whittington and her lead designer Kate Stoyek did was install a deep custom banquette on the second-floor landing. “It’s a place where the family can sit and read together,” says Kate, referencing the oversize seat cushion, comfy back pillows, and pair of sconces. The nook also introduced aqua blue and charcoal gray to the color scheme. These fresh, cool hues were a departure from the home’s prior warm tones.
In the adjacent seating area, a large Oriental rug with a rich red background corrals lots of comfortable seating in quieter gray and blue tones pulled from the fireplace’s stone surround. “We play board games and read in here, so the versatility of the furniture, like the triangular ottomans on wheels, is perfect,” says Tina. “You can combine them, or roll one over to the swivel chairs for a two-person game or to the chair-and-a-half for someone to put their feet up.”
The family entertains outside on their backyard patio or in their dining room, which features a breakfront in a pale gray finish, visually separating the darker woods of the transitional chairs set about a traditional table. “We often host for the holidays, so having a large table and plenty of seating was important to us,” Tina notes.
On the second floor, the focus was on redoing the master bedroom. Tina, again, wanted a more transitional look and cooler palette. “We wanted to create a luxurious, romantic feel with lots of texture,” Melanie says of the velvet-upholstered platform bed and crisp hotel bedding.
The bedroom also features a nook in the bay window furnished with a pair of armchairs and a round velvet ottoman. In a house bustling with an active family life, the master bedroom is the perfect retreat.
“It’s a happy, feel-good home,” Tina says of the redesigned house.