Perfect Finish

When Crestline devotees Jan and Kyle Ware needed more space for their four children, they considered razing and rebuilding to stay in the neighborhood where they’d lived for more than 10 years. Then Kyle found a promising property online two years ago. “We’d looked at several houses, but hadn’t felt like, ‘This is the one, ’” Jan says. “We felt so blessed when we found this house on Rockledge.” They knew it was meant for them when others vying for the French modern-style home were incommunicado due to spring break vacations, while the Wares were ready to ink the contract. When they did, Jan, a decorator, set about making it uniquely theirs.

The home’s décor reflects her taste—traditional for the most part, but with the verve of more contemporary pieces mixed among the antiques.

“I appreciate older pieces, but I love a pop of modern, ” Jan says. “I like a softer look, and I like refined lines. If you put those together, which I like to do, it really works.”

Jan loves that all of the home’s rooms are used, including the family room, which was furnished to work for a family of six. The combination of pieces Jan selected for the space is illustrative of her design philosophy.

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“I buy pieces I really am fond of. I don’t buy space fillers. As I have found things along the way, I find places for them. I definitely have a love for antiques, but I have a new appreciation for fun, funky pieces. There’s a place for pieces you are really inspired by, whether it’s a trend or not.”

“I try to keep my furniture neutral, then bring in accent colors, ” Jan says. “If I get tired of a look, I can throw in a new pillow versus having a really bold sofa that’s harder to change up.” She also mixes up periods and styles. In the living room, she combines a velvet damask linen on an old English armchair with a pair of chairs with clean lines and “really cool” metallic hide seat and back. “These are funky 1950’s pieces that I stripped down, reupholstered, and finished with silver nailheads, ” Jan says.

The mantel, adorned with a pair of English limestone corbels, was refinished by Daniel Whitsett to be more in keeping with the informal atmosphere. Above it, a painting of a horse by artist Meredith Keith was framed to disguise the television.

In lieu of a more expansive rug, a cowhide allows the beauty of the original 1928 hardwood floors to show, as well as adding to the atmosphere of casual elegance. “I wanted a big rug, but with two dogs and four children, this was more practical, ” Jan says. “I also love the cleanness and openness of exposed hardwoods.” In dividing the family room into seating and entertaining areas, Jan chose an area for a marble-top game table with seating for children Patterson, Britt, Anne Adams, and Louise. “They eat there, play games, and do homework, ” Jan says. “It’s a great space.”

Adjacent to the area, French doors lead to an open-air, covered porch,

The dining table is surrounded by six mutton-leg French chairs upholstered with French flower tacks. The chair backs are covered with linen velvet and the front with a lovely damask fabric. Hanging above the table, an Italian, wooden chandelier with wooden tassels is dressed with silk shades. Below, a hammered silver tray usually hosts a vessel of fresh cut flowers from the yard.

Jan’s favorite place to sit and enjoy coffee or a good book.
For a more formal setting, Jan outfitted the dining room with silk drapes, hand-stamped with a silver metallic paisley and floral accents. A 19th-century Italian mirror reflects the abundant natural light. The round dining table, crafted with antique wood from England, is in use every day, and it’s also ideal for entertaining. “Our house is very functional, ” Jan says. “We actually use our dining room. There’s no wasted space, which I love.”

In the master bedroom, Jan created a tranquil retreat in hues of pearl white, dove gray, and pale taupe. “I wanted it to feel dreamy like a bridal suite with silk drapes and organza, ” Jan says. “It feels soft and relaxing. I like to have calmness in my life and a soothing place to go.” Intimacy and function are essential elements to Jan in feathering a comfortable nest.

She also appreciates having a sizable front yard with a venerable old live oak that seemed to demand a board swing, a family favorite. The home’s landscape, designed by Beatty Hanna, is another of its appeals. “Everything is placed so strategically, ” Jan says. “The bones of the yard are great. There’s so much potential here. This home is perfect for our family.”

Scroll down for a slide show, which includes more images from Jan’s home. For more on the decorator, click here.


interior design: Jan Ware: JAN WARE DESIGNS • 205.585.7891 • iron lamp on foyer table, pear on foyer table: RICHARD TUBB INTERIORS • 205.324.7613 • bird painting in foyer: artist Laura Beers through WARE DESIGNS 205.585.7891 • half bath: French faucet and French catch by HERBEAU CREATIONS • 800.547.1608
 • half bath brass fixtures: KENNY AND COMPANY • 205.323.5616 front yard swing: LITTLE HARDWARE 205.871.4616 family room: limestone bowl on coffee table: RESTORATION HARDWARE • 205.967.1901 hand-blown glass lamp by designer Barbara Cosgrove: AT HOME • 205.879.3510 horse painting above mantel: Meredith Keith through WARE DESIGNS 205.585.7891 metallic hide chairs wood finish and mantel finish by Daniel Whitsett PAINTWORKS DESIGN STUDIO • 205.879.2751 purple linen pillow in armchair: CIRCA INTERIORS AND ANTIQUES • 205.868.9199 floor iron sconces: ARGENT • 205.871.4221 antique chest: finish by Daniel Whitsett, PAINTWORKS DESIGN STUDIO • 205.879.2751 European mirror: RICHARD TUBB INTERIORS 205.324.7613 • bust on chest: TRICIA’S TREASURES • 205.871.9779 orchids: OAK STREET GARDEN SHOP • 205.870.7542 dining room chairs: TRICIA’S TREASURES • 205.871.9779 master bedroom: custom design headboards and linens through WARE DESIGNS 205.585.7891 •

Cara D. Clark

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