Call it the 10-year itch. According to interior designer Suzanne Kasler, a home needs an update about every decade to keep it looking fresh for the next one. “That’s when you need to give your home a good edit—holding on to things you want to keep and giving attention to areas to get it right, even if it’s just replacing drapes and repainting,” says the celebrated Atlanta-based tastemaker, whose new book—fittingly titled Edited Style (Rizzoli)— demonstrates her deft skills for modernizing and fine-tuning interior spaces with her trademark mastery of casual elegance.
She handled one such “edit” last year in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a couple’s 10,000-square-foot, five-bedroom house, which had been designed a decade ago by Craig Dixon and his Charlotte firm Pursley Dixon Architecture. The exterior, crafted from weathered antique stones salvaged from an old Kentucky distillery and overlaid with pale-blue shutters that recall a Normandy estate, remained timelessly pristine. And the overall flow of the interior spaces still worked just fine. But the homeowners, who now had adult children and grandchildren, desired rooms with a cleaner aesthetic to better suit their evolving family without losing an ounce of the home’s original warmth and comfort. “They wanted the décor to be a little bit stronger, a little bit more tailored, and a little bit more modern,” Kasler explains.
Working with the same architectural firm, Kasler sought to create a stronger connection between the interior spaces and the property’s splendid three-acre, garden-filled landscape. “Indoor-outdoor living,” she points out, “is a priority today more than ever.” Newly installed iron-framed windows with an expansive pivoting door flood the living and dining area with natural light and offer lovely views of the pool and gardens.
Rather than sticking with a formal dining area, Kasler opted for a looser interpretation, placing a handsome round pedestal table by Gregorius Pineo not smack in the center of the room but slightly off-kilter from a shimmering crystal-encircled chandelier above. When it’s not deployed for meals, that table becomes a gracious landing spot for bouquets of flowers and the occasional drink with family and friends. In the living area, meanwhile, a traditional book-lined inglenook fireplace was replaced with a streamlined limestone façade. Here, Kasler introduced the homeowners to the spare, utterly modern and quietly chic furniture of designer Christian Liaigre, including white upholstered sofas and club chairs and a metal-framed marble cocktail table that lends graphic élan.
Elsewhere in the house, Kasler continued to hew to simplicity, artfully placing clean-lined furnishings amid a serene palette in shades of mostly white. “Our challenge,” she notes, “lay in find- ing the balance of enough, but not too much.” In the near-bare entry foyer, for instance, stately hand-carved pedestaled urns by Michael S. Smith are juxtaposed with Rose Tarlow oak consoles—a most tranquil and classical setting for the subtle fireworks of a colorful painting by Cy Twombly. The kitchen received a full white-washed makeover, including the replacement of a wall-size vent with more iron-framed windows, while the pantry was redone with muted metallic tiles and cabinetry painted in a warm, inviting beige. In the dreamy main bedroom, a pearly silk fabric unifies the elements, from the wall and bedframe upholstery to the curtains. Ceilings throughout the house are painted a glossy white, adding overhead sparkle day and night.
“It’s always a challenge to do a renovation in a house like this one that’s beautiful to begin with,” says Kasler, who just recently finished reimagining the interiors of her own 1930s Regency-style house in Atlanta when it hit its 10-year mark. “You have to think of an entirely new way of how you are going to live in your home for today.”
THIS STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE FALL 2022 ISSUE OF FREDERIC. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE!