Masterful Mix

Interior designer Brian Watford deftly blends high and low for a homeowner looking for a fresh start in this cozy-meets-contemporary abode.

Give an interior designer carte blanche in a built-from-scratch home, and the result will be nothing short of spectacular. Case in point: this light and bright abode conceived by interior designer Brian Watford.

The homeowner—a recently divorced father looking for a fresh start—approached Watford with little design direction other than creating a comfortable space he could share with his two young children. “His old home was very much traditional, so here I wanted to create something fresh, modern and a bit masculine,” explains Watford. “It’s honestly the home I would design for myself.”

To that end, Watford infused the 5,000-square-foot home—designed by architect Greg Busch and built by Mike Hammersmith—with his signature contemporary aesthetic, jumping at the chance to incorporate designs of his own where needed. In the kitchen, Watford dreamed up a gray oak hood featuring stainless steel accents and hidden spice racks, while a sleek stone fireplace commands attention in the family room. Even the home’s iron stair rails were given special attention with a custom graphic design by Watford. These pieces also serve as a testament to the designer’s affinity for mixing materials. “Combining textures creates depth and intrigue,” he says.

Throughout the house, Watford was also mindful to incorporate durable fabrics such as waxed-linen chairs in the formal dining room so that no space is off-limits to the children—though pulling them away from their bright, colorful upstairs loft might prove difficult. Equipped with computer stations, a drawing table and plush seating, the space may have all the trappings of a typical children’s room, but it comes across as perfectly polished thanks to a masterful mix of high and low in which furnishings from Ligne Roset mix comfortably with Ikea, complemented with youthful pops of color.
In the master suite, Watford presented the homeowner with a sanctuary of his own. “I pushed his limits in here a bit,” says the designer in reference to the introduction of softer, more feminine touches, such as the statement chandelier and wispy fabrics that help temper the room’s modern verve. “This style was new to him, but he was thrilled with the final result,” says Watford.
The client’s wholehearted trust in Watford’s vision for the home also extended to the backyard, where Watford enlisted garden designer Brian James Davis to breathe new life into the overgrown space. “Brian completely overhauled the backyard,” says Watford. “At first the client and I were thinking we should make the space clean and modern, but Brian played with more traditional elements that help make the space much cozier and more inviting.”
If it’s possible to exemplify new beginnings, this handsome and airy home built on faith certainly conjures that notion. “The client was an open book, which is rare,” says Watford. “He was the best client you could ask for.”