Going for Bold

In the new floorplan, the old dining room was eliminated. That space became part of the kitchen, which gave the family much more functional space for daily living. For the cabinets, Annie and Ginny chose blue, one of Kaci’s favorite colors. So as not to overwhelm the space, they kept everything else light, such as the white quartz countertops, the wall color, and stain on the floor. They also opted to include some open shelving, which allows for Kaci’s white china and crystal to really pop. Photos by Jean Allsopp

When love happens, it’s something that can’t be denied. As Kaci and Wyman Hamilton learned, that can even apply with a house. When the couple’s third daughter was born and the family needed more space, they thought it might be time to move to a bigger home. But there was something about their 1937 Mountain Brook farmhouse that they just couldn’t leave. “It’s such a sweet house with lots of memories, and as we looked around, my mind kept coming back to it every time, ” says Kaci. “It broke my heart to think that someone would come in behind us and possibly tear it down. So I knew we had to stay and do the renovation.”

Since the dining room was removed, Annie and Ginny made sure the kitchen included enough seating for the entire family plus guests. Both sides of the island feature acrylic barstools—an easy-to-clean option for households with kids. They also added a curved, built-in banquette, which provides plenty of seating around the kitchen table.While the statement-making chandelier adds a bit of glamour to the room, its painted wood beads maintain the farmhouse feel of the space.

To make the house function for their family of five, Kaci and Wyman had to find a way to turn the three bedroom/two bath home into a five bedroom/four-and-a-half bath with a floor plan to fit the family’s active lifestyle. The Hamiltons worked with family friend and architect Matthew Costanzo to open up the space, creating a large kitchen and family room by removing walls and eliminating the dining room. They added square footage in the form of a much needed master bedroom suite and a large screened-in porch that doubles as a dining room for larger gatherings.

For the interiors, the couple wanted to keep the farmhouse feel intact but play up a more modern and colorful aesthetic. “I was looking for something different and fun, ” says Kaci. To make it happen, they called in designers Annie Bayer Goldberg and Ginny Monheit Maguire of AG Designs, who seamlessly blended farmhouse and fun with stylishly strategic choices. The duo set the tone in the kitchen, where they opted for unexpected bright blue cabinets yet kept it farmhouse casual with open shelving, light countertops and floors, a farmhouse sink, and an etched detail—a custom feature that gives the cabinets a beadboard feel. The designers carried the blue into the family room with pillows and accessories. “It was important to balance out the color in the other side of the room, ” explains Annie. Bold choices continue in the powder room with a graphic wall covering and in the formal living room, where Annie and Ginny used a textured Phillip Jeffries wall covering. To connect the space to the rest of the main living area, the designers chose blue velvet chair cushions. Caned wooden chairs and a hammered coffee table evoke the farmhouse feel. “The house came together perfectly, ” says Kaci. “It’s fun and modern while still being true to its roots. It’s definitely farmhouse chic.”

Nothing adds a farmhouse feel to a kitchen like open shelving. White china creates a nice contrast to the bright blue scheme.
To keep the space open, Annie and Ginny went with a U-shaped couch in the family room. The couch takes up the entire back wall, but it maximizes the space. “Because the family room is open to the kitchen with the dining table in the center of the room, you don’t want to bring in too much furniture. Otherwise, it would overwhelm the space, ” says Annie.
Annie and Ginny connected the formal living room to the rest of the house by incorporating plenty of blue and including touches of brass and iron. Unique statements come through with the textured Phillip Jeffries wall covering, patterned cowhide rug, and the brass and crystal sconces. “We decided to stack the sconces to create the look of sculptural art, ” says Ginny.
The home’s entryway doesn’t have a defined foyer, so Annie and Ginny had wall-mounted tables designed to fit the small space. The tables have an antique look, creating a pleasing juxtaposition to the more modern feel of the wall covering.
“The powder bath is the best place to really make a statement, ” says Annie. “It’s a small room that everybody sees.” Annie and Ginny created impact in the Hamiltons’ powder bath with a playful wall covering. They kept the rest of the selections simple—such as the white cabinet and countertop and the glass ball cabinet pulls—so as not to compete with the pattern.

Bold Decor in a Small House

Keep the surroundings light. If the walls are bold or bright, that means the floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture should be in lighter, more neutral shades. “You can still use colorful accessories, but you should keep the furniture light, ” says Annie. “The reverse of that is also true. You can have bold furniture and light walls. There must be a balance.”

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Be consistent. For bold choices to make sense, the entire space has to feel cohesive. “If you were to walk into a house and only the kitchen had bold color, it wouldn’t work, ” says Ginny. “Consistency throughout the home is important.”

Be thoughtful with every single detail. All of the elements should complement each other rather than fight with each other. “Sticking to the right shades of the color you’re using makes all the difference between creating a sophisticated environment and having a chaotic space, ” Annie says.


Designer: AG Designs ag-design.com Residential design: Matthew Costanzo • 205.266.2825 Builder: Bobby Scholl • 205.368.1370. Wall, ceiling, and trim color: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter: benjaminmoore.com Kitchen: custom cabinets: AG designs Cabinet color: Benjamin Moore Summer Nights Hardware: Architectural Heritage • 205.322.3538 architecturalheritage.com Appliances: Ferguson • 205.323.7473 ferguson.com Countertops: Surface One • 205.621.1125 surface1.com Chandelier: Pottery Barn potterybarn.com Barstools and chairs: Gabby • 205.358.9600 gabbyhome.com Table: Restoration Hardware restorationhardware.com Pillows on bench: Defining Home • 205.803.3662  defining-home.com Runner: custom through AG Designs Tabletop bowl: Circa Interiors & Antiques • 205.868.9199 circainteriors.com Family room: sofa and pillows: Defining Home Mirror: Mirror-tique • 877.248.6656 mirror-tique.com Sconces: Mayer Lighting • 205.583.3500 mayerlighting.com Hurricane vase: Defining Home Living Room: wallcovering: Phillip Jeffries through AG Designs Sconces: Mayer Electric Lumbar pillows: through AG Designs Coffee table: Arteriors through AG Designs Foyer: lamps: Three Sheets • 205.871.2337 threesheetslinen.com Floating console: Bliss Studio through AG Designs Powder bath: cabinets: through AG Designs Wallcovering: Kelly Wearstler for Schumacher through AG Designs Sconces: Mayer Lighting Countertop: Surface One

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