From the Ground Up

Using a blend of subtle color, bold pattern and strong architectural detailing, a talented design trio breathes sophisticated style into a massive new construction for a family of seven

No new home build comes without obstacles, and for a blended family of seven, they had their fair share from the beginning. First it was the unforeseen circumstances that required architect Brad Wright and builder Will Hines of Keeoco Development to expedite the 10,000-square-foot home’s construction timeline. 

Then it was Greenville, South Carolina, designer Michele Johnson’s challenge of personalizing the massive manse so its design honored the architecture, but still felt true to the family—all while ensuring the home would be move-in ready within one year’s time. While some may shy away from such commitment, the dynamic design trio said “no problem.”

Though the architecture leans French traditional with towering vaulted ceilings, mahogany doors and steel elements throughout, Johnson was eager to keep the interiors approachable. In the main gathering areas—the living room, family room and kitchen—warm tones and textures take center stage through an inviting palette of browns, grays and reds. 

“The design easily could’ve gone very traditional and heavy, but I really didn’t want that,” says Johnson. “We wanted it to feel elegant, but lived in. Something worthy of a cocktail party or a kids’ Halloween party.”

For example, step inside the front door and the living room beckons with rich cranberry mohair sofas complemented by pink linen wing chairs boasting a pink velvet cushion. For an added layer, bleached pine chests with a pinkish hue accentuate the tone-on-tone theme while wood beams give the space an aged appeal. “I like for you to be able to glaze over a room and see a peaceful overall look, but when you sit and study it, you notice the subtle play in texture and color tones,” says Johnson.

That’s not to say that bright colors and whimsical patterns were off limits. In fact, they were encouraged. Upstairs, each child lent a hand in designing their personal spaces. Colorful prints overflow from room to room in dragon, zebra and abstract wallpaper, while pink canopy beds in the daughters’ sleeping corridors serve as space for daydreaming and princess play. 

A true team effort to build a polished home under strenuous circumstances, the project was complex, but the goal was simple: a stylish, sophisticated place fit for adults and children alike. “All of the rooms lend special purpose to each person in the house,” says Johnson. “They really made this a family moment.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Michele Johnson, Michele Johnson Interior Design. (864) 660-2046; ARCHITECT Brad Wright, Wright Design. (864) 501-4944; BUILDER Will Hines, Keeoco Development. (706) 816-3677; Custom Window Treatments Kim Wickert, Recreate Your.