When homeowner Elizabeth Adams hired designers Kate Hartman and Kelly Neely, co-owners of Chickadee Interiors, she told them, “I want my home to be pretty, but I also want it to have some kind of whimsy. My husband and I in our 30s and have young kids—I have the rest of my life to be serious.” The designers took her words to heart and transformed the family’s Homewood abode from farmhouse to fabulous. “The house had been renovated in 2014, and we bought it in May 2018,” Elizabeth says, so it didn’t require any remodeling. “We immediately loved the feel of the home.” She explains that the says the five-bedroom floorplan is actually more than they need as a young family with two preschoolers. “But it has great flow, it’s functional for the kids now, and we have space to grow,” she says. “I just wanted to tweak it to make it my style. It felt like a farmhouse because it is one, but I wanted the inside to be more contemporary.”
Prior to moving into this home, Elizabeth and her husband, Austin, had lived for years in tiny spaces with temporary furniture while he completed medical school, residency, and fellowship. “We bought this big house, and I had no idea where to start,” she says. “It was so open. I knew it needed to flow.”
Enter Kate and Kelly. “The main level’s open floor plan is great and challenging all at the same time,” Kelly says. “It makes it difficult to design a flow that also works well with some fun selections.” One thing that unified the main level was shiplap on many walls. “The previous owners emphasized the cottage style,” Kate says. “But we wanted to downplay the wood plank walls and let them be more of a cohesive background to the new vibe we were trying to create.”
That fresh new vibe included painting all the walls the same creamy white and injecting the fun and whimsy through furnishings and accessories. “Elizabeth is not afraid of color, and we love color too,” Kelly says. “We had so much fun with the fabrics and palette.” Elizabeth’s personal preferences lean feminine toward pastel pinks, purples, and blues, but she also loves bold, graphic black-and-white pairings. The designers brought those two seemingly opposing choices together in every room, and their handiwork links these rooms—formal living and dining rooms, kitchen, family room, master suite, and the kids’ upstairs bedrooms—“while also letting each room have its own story,” Kate says.
In almost every space, a main character in that story is white upholstery, even in the kids’ areas. Sure, it’s gorgeous and feels very fresh, but it’s also durable.
“We chose family-friendly materials—performance fabrics and rugs—for larger, long-term investment pieces,” Kelly says, “and non-performance ones for accessories—throw pillows, stools—that would see less attention from little hands.” Elizabeth feels the design hits its mark. “When you look at my house, it may not appear kid-friendly, but it is thanks to Kelly and Kate,” she says. “My kids are wild, but we can quickly clean things up.”