Big Picture Perfect

Who hasn’t dreamed of giving away the hodgepodge of possessions acquired over the years and starting over? One young couple took beautiful advantage of that chance.

White and gold formality is given a youthful interpretation with quilted leather upholstery on gilt frame chairs and is softened with soft lavender pillows The marble and gilt coffee table is pure sophistication <em>Photos by Sarah Arrington<em>

When Lauren and Drew Weil married, the young professionals found their combined furnishings, acquired haphazardly for long-gone spaces, made a less-than-pleasing jumble. “It was a mishmash of college stuff, and only a few things were precious to either of us, ” Lauren says. The purchase of their first house together meant a lot of decorating decisions for a home that was much larger. And there it was. Opportunity.

Lauren enlisted her friend Annie Goldberg and her partner in AG Designs, Ginny Maguire, to join the project of creating a lovely and livable home from scratch. Though it sounds like an overwhelming proposition, the team tackled the empty-house conundrum in phases, beginning with the areas the couple would see most—the den, master bedroom, and pool deck.

A second phase created striking living and dining rooms, as well as outfitting a guest bedroom and giving a style upgrade to the home office. Later, a third phase set up a sweetly serene nursery for an expected arrival.

For the overall style, the trio sought to create a look that was refined but not stuffy; sophisticated yet young and upbeat. “It reflects Lauren, ” says Ginny. But Drew was not left out of the equation. He wanted a relaxing den where he could kick back, so plump sofas were installed with his feet-up comfort in mind.

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For the color palette, Lauren, who describes herself as a “girly girl, ” wanted pastels and lots of white, with stir-ins of metallic accents. “I was in a gold phase, ” she says. The gold motif—a sparkling thread through most of the house—connects the differing expressions of the overall style and adds a gleaming energy among the whites and barely-there pastels.

From casual entertaining to formal dining, the Weils’ home now reflects all facets of their personalities. The interiors demonstrate how an over-arching scheme of style and color can create a soothing unity, while allowing differing elements to come to the forefront, such as the gold thread blossoming to a dramatic climax in the dining room. As each phase was completed, ideas and excitement flowed for the next. “It is definitely a fun process, ” Lauren says. “I keep thinking of things for Annie and Ginny to do so I can keep working with them.”

The classic curve of gilded dining chairs covered in icy blue leather are juxtaposed with dainty dark wood quatrefoil chairs with soft gray velvet fabric for an eye arresting difference in scale The dining rooms gold illusion is created with Phillip Jeffries metallic wall covering and gold leaf paint on the moulding The gold accented dark wood dining table anchors the room and reflects the shimmer
The neutrals and icy pastels of the living room along with lots of natural light filtered through flax linen drapes make for formality with a soft touch To keep the vista from the foyer open the designers looked for a low piece to place in the forefront of the room The cloverleaf ottoman covered in peach pink wool and festooned with gold nailheads fit perfectly
Muted pastels set the tone in the master bedroom with surprising contrasts such as the tufted linen headboard framed in salvaged wood Custom linen drapes with a trellis pattern detailed with ribbon make a bolder statement without overwhelming the room A mirrored chandelier adds a touch of glamour The Weils Cavalier King Charles spaniel Chatham is queen of the house Lauren says A pastel velvet covered antique bench makes a fitting royal seat

Interior design: Annie Goldberg and Ginny Maguire, AG Designs  Birmingham, 205.937.2107 Living room: ottoman: Baker Furniture Family room: sofas and ottoman: Restoration Hardware  215 Summit Blvd., Birmingham,  205.967.1901. Rug: Met Design Center  3005 Third Avenue N, Birmingham, 205.322.2199. Cut velvet pillows: Table Matters  2402 Montevallo Road, Mountain Brook. 205.879.0125 Master bedroom: chandelier: Three Sheets  2904 18th Street, Homewood,  205.871.2337 Office (some items): West Elm  320 Summit Blvd., Birmingham,  205.968.7651 Bath: sconces: Hanna Antiques  2424 Seventh Avenue S, Birmingham,  205.323.6036 Outdoor room: furniture and drapes: Restoration Hardware

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Lucy Merrill

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