Classic Curations Meets Modern Musings

Premier Living

By Tory Irmeger

Photography by Bekah Berry/Creative Revolver

the browns

For Doug and Jill Brown, a balanced blend of traditional and contemporary styles is key to characterizing their home. Moving closer to the city center for a shortened work commute, the Browns set out to craft their new home with classical flair.

“When I started building this home, the shape of the house was important to me,” Doug says, “and I wanted the roofline to have that specific symmetrical look.” Featuring arched French doors and flickering lanterns, the stately exterior of the Georgian-style build sets the stage for the Brown home.

“This house has a little bit of Doug and it has a little bit of me,” says Jill. When the couple married, they balanced a shared love for antique collectibles and stunning art pieces that invite character to each corner of the house. This theme is introduced as soon as guests enter the home. An entryway vignette showcases a console table with detailed carvings upon a warm, traditionally-patterned rug, while streamlined, bright ceramic lamps provide a burst of modern sensibilities.

bright and open living room with contemporary furniture

Moving though the home into the open living area, one immediately notices the bright blues that accent the space. The built-in bookcases, which feature a collection of chinoiserie dishes and vases, are a particularly favorite focal point for the Browns. “I have always been drawn to blues, whites, and a more classical color palette,” says Jill. In her love for decorating, Jill likes the freedom to experiment with design elements.
“I like to mix the old with the new, erring more on the traditional side with occasional eclectic pieces,” she says.

The living area promises comfort alongside curiosities, such as the whimsical drum chandelier illuminating the space. Gold tones and warm colors round out the cool blues, such as with the camel suede sofas with teal and terra cotta pillows. Neutral backdrops provide the perfect canvas for the Browns to play with colors and patterns.

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bright and clean traditional and contemporary blend kitchen

Whether reclining in the living room or whipping up something in the kitchen, curated artwork takes center stage in the Brown home. In addition to giving the home a dynamic sense of character, selecting paintings to showcase is a special occasion for the Browns. “When we married, we chose a lot of the artwork ourselves,” says Jill, “and sometimes on an anniversary we’ll pick out a new piece.”

Walking through the main level of the home creates the atmosphere of walking through a gallery, knowing each piece has been selected with care. Above the cooktop, an original portrait pops against the sand-colored backsplash. Dark overlay cabinetry and barstools with woven cane backing work to create a sense of timeless coziness in the room. Above the island, iron-caged pendant lights invite a modern edge to the space.

bright dining area with traditional furniture

Steps away from the kitchen, a smart dining arrangement boasts white Queen Anne-style chairs that can comfortably accommodate six. Traditional elements are subtly woven throughout this bright space, such as the candle-style chandelier and ceramics featured against the distressed mirror.

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master bedroom with antique furniture and cozy bright furniture

Whether inherited or newly acquired, each element in the Brown home has an interesting history. “Both my mom and my dad were antique collectors,” says Doug. “So there are some old things in the house that were handed down from my parents.” Some of these antiques include an 18th century fainting couch, beer steins, and a Tiffany-style lamp.

master bedroom with antique furniture and cozy bright furniture

The master suite honors the character of these unique pieces alongside contemporary comforts. Illuminating the room is a drum chandelier, while ceramic lamps infuse the Brown’s favored blue tones to the space. Crisp quilted bedding provides a neutral foreground for the painting of a lakeside scene – one of Doug’s favorite paintings on display. Wide, paneled windows allow in plenty of sunlight, creating a truly tranquil atmosphere.

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bathroom with neutral tilework, large mirror, and bathtub

When decorating a space, Jill has plenty of inspiration to work with.
“I do try to go off the artwork,” she says, “The artwork is the canvas, and from there I like to pull out the colors that are used within.”

In the ensuite, neutral tilework makes the space feel warm, while additional art pieces create continued interest. His-and-hers vanity stations feature large mirrors with a metallic shine. Dark fixtures and cabinetry highlights work to provide dark contrast against the otherwise lightly-colored bathroom. In the alcove, a soaker tub promises nothing less than
spa-like relaxation.

shower with neutral tilework

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guest bedroom with chinoiserie decor

Not to be missed is a delightful guest bedroom, which is brought to life by pops of color in Toile de Jouy bedding and valences. Chinoiserie is once again king in this space, with vase lamp bases and a gallery wall of dishes on display. Uniting the space is a wallpapered accent wall with a blue trellis geometric motif.

guest bedroom with chinoiserie decor

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living room with stone chimney, brick wall, and furniture

Closing out the main level, a comfortable porch and patio area offers the perfect backdrop for summer evening soirees and game day get-togethers.

A stone fireplace surround features a rustic wooden mantel, where distressed white candle holders and a hammered metal planter tie in with the home’s many antique furnishings.

The ironwork motif found throughout the home continues here with an iron plant trellis and patio table. Wicker furniture and white urn planters soften the space, creating a welcoming backyard oasis. From corner to corner, this home is a testament to the Brown’s willingness to explore inspiration from every era.

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