Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Chip Jones |
In Jonesboro, cherished furnishings, sophisticated accessories, and durable kid-friendly fabrics combine for a home the entire family is free to enjoy
Finding the perfect home is almost always part planning, part timing, and part luck. For Leigh Montgomery, owner of blu d’or Interiors, and her husband, Victor, it was a combination of all three—and a bit of house love. “We wanted more room, and I was ecstatic when I knew this house was for coming up for sale. It’s in a great neighborhood that has a ton of trees and a park-like feel, and I loved the painted brick and shutters on the exterior—it has a slightly French feel to it,” Montgomery says. As parents to three young girls, what stood behind the front door was equally enticing—an open floor plan home with three bedrooms upstairs for the girls and a master suite on the ground floor that could serve as a retreat for the parents, along with plenty of light-filled common spaces they could enjoy as a family. Here’s how Montgomery created a comfortably chic home for her young, active family.
Embrace Good Bones
The flow and details of the Jonesboro house fit the Montgomerys so well that no structural updates were required. “We love all of the windows, and how much natural light they bring into our home. In every aspect, this house is a lot lighter and more open than our previous house, which was an older home and had a more confined floor plan,” Montgomery says.
Choose Beloved Hues
However, being in the design industry, she had ideas to make the spaces unique to her family, starting with a more transitional style. To set the tone for this, a light, neutral palette flows throughout most of the home. “I really like to collaborate with other designers, and I consulted two of my good friends, Dixie Pittillo and Elizabeth Gullett, for help on paint colors,” she notes. The chosen creamy color was also applied to the formerly dark beams in the living room, which now fade into the neutral walls and ceiling, while still providing architectural interest. Throughout the home, hints of blue show up against the cream background. “Blue, for me personally, is a favorite; I tend to like all colors, but I don’t get sick of blue—it’s just my go-to,” Montgomery says.
Think Family Friendly
With three girls—ages 6, 4, and 2—the house had to be as conducive to sippy cups and sleepovers as it is to stemware and soirées. In addition to their bedrooms, Montgomery gave the girls an entire room that is dedicated to them and to their toys. However, she doesn’t proclaim any room to be a “kid-free zone;” rather, she welcomes children with functional furnishings and fabrics that make the entire family comfortable in the dining and living areas of the home. For example, the sofas in the living room are covered in Sunbrella outdoor fabric, which can be scrubbed or cleaned easily; all of the home’s bedding is by Bella Notte and can be tossed in the washing machine for cleaning; and vinyl-covered benches at the kitchen island wipe clean after the girls finish their breakfast or afternoon snacks. “At first glance, our home is very deceiving because everything is white, but the fabrics make it easy to clean and care for, so we don’t have to worry about spills or the wear and tear of everyday life,” she notes.
Use the Pieces You Love
Making the home work for family didn’t mean sacrificing long-cherished pieces or newfound must-haves. Instead, in nearly every room Montgomery points out a piece (or two!) that she absolutely loves. In the dining room, it’s the table she found in an antique store in a small town in Alabama; in the entry, she points out a pair of antique Murano glass lamps that hold court at either end of a large sideboard; and in the kitchen she notes the two, large, gold-finish pendants that hang over the island and lend a contemporary feel to the room. “Adding great lighting is like putting on jewelry; it’s an accessory that can change an entire room in a second,” she says. Even the small pieces have meaning in this home; in the breakfast nook, Montgomery notes a vintage Suzani pillow that adds just the right pop of pink. “I can’t get away with too much pink, but I snuck this pillow onto the bench and it’s a perfect fit,” Montgomery says, proving once more that when you choose things you are drawn to naturally, the end result is almost always something you’ll love for years to come.
Interior design Leigh Montgomery, blu d’or Interiors, Jonesboro, (870) 336-1435, Memphis, (901) 207-4392, bludorinteriors.com
Accessories, art, bedding, fabrics, furniture, lighting, mirrors, and rugs blu d’or Interiors, Jonesboro, (870) 336-1435, Memphis, (901) 207-4392, bludorinteriors.com
Paint Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide, sherwin-williams.com
Window coverings and draperies Julie Ware Custom Draperies, Jonesboro, (870) 897-7396