In the living area of a North Carolina home renovated by designer Suzanne Kasler and Pursley Dixon Architecture, a mostly white palette allows the linear details of the furnishings to shine. The fireplace was updated with a limestone surround; the sofa, club chairs, and cocktail table are all by Christian Liaigre; and the vellum-and-walnut cabinets are by Mattaliano.

Suzanne Kasler Breathes New Life Into a Decade-Old North Carolina Home

See how the famed designer created a modern approach to laid-back living.

November 10, 2022

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.

Iron-framed windows with a pivoting door bring the outdoors into the open living and dining area; armchairs by Mattaliano surround a Gregorius Pineo pedestal table, which sits under one of two Christopher Boots chandeliers. The high-gloss ceiling adds a luminous glow.

  • The entry hall is a study in symmetry, with pairs of urns and columns from Jasper Furniture by Michael S. Smith flanking the front door; two Rose Tarlow consoles sit opposite. A Cy Twombly painting presides over the scene.

  • Metallic tiles and a pendant light by Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort give the pantry a subtle gleam; the cabinetry is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Drop Cloth, and the artwork is by Scott Ingram.

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.

The Normandy-style house, which was designed a decade ago by Pursley Dixon Architecture, is surfaced with antique stones that came from a shuttered Kentucky distillery.

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.

With a large sectional sofa by Dimitri, the family room invites lounging; the woven armchair is by Gloster, and the bench and floor lamp are by Christian Liaigre.

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.

A master at creating serene spaces, Kasler transformed the main bedroom into an ethereal retreat, using the same Jim Thompson silk for the walls, bed frame, and curtains; the bedside chests and mirror are by Nancy Corzine, the table lamps are by Bungalow Classic, and the club chairs and ottoman are by Gregorius Pineo. Kasler found the vintage Italian glass chandelier on 1stDibs.

“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.”

A manicured hedge frames a poolside seating area furnished with a tailored sectional sofa and ottomans by McKinnon and Harris.