Designed for Living

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An empty nest brings a full new interior design style

Story by Ann Butenas     |     Photography by Laurie Kilgore Photography

When the owners of this 1970s-built five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bath home became empty nesters, they decided it was time to give its interior a refreshing new look. While the couple originally planned to downsize from their former home a few years ago, they unexpectedly ended up upsizing into this stunning home.

“When our son went off to college, we wanted to downsize, but we ultimately upsized,” explained the homeowner. “Ideally, we wanted a smaller home for the two of us with three bedrooms, ideally with the master on the main floor.  However, this home became available, and although it was bigger than we wanted, the location was perfect. Most of it had already been renovated, but we wanted to tweak a few things.”

So, what was once more traditional and rustic with darker and heavier colors has since beautifully transitioned into a more colorful, lighter, and bolder personality with whispers of modern influences to create harmony throughout.

Working in partnership with Sara Noble of Noble Designs, the owners decided to tackle the main floor and the master bedroom suite. Noble integrated her expert touch with a variety of appointments from wallpaper to window coverings, paint, accessories and more. Additionally, Noble assisted the owners in purchasing all new furniture to fully complement the updated design.

“The overall layout of the home worked for them,” noted Noble. “They just wanted to update it and make it work for them.”

The homeowner expressed that, in approaching this project, the pivotal question was brought to the forefront: what do we want in this home that we currently don’t have?

In response to that inquiry, one of the owners’ favorite rooms is the new music room, also referred to as the blue room. Instead of opting for a formal living room, the living room-turned-music room has become a popular gathering spot. In it stands a beautiful player baby grand piano. Although neither of the owners actually play, they can still enjoy music of their choice throughout the day. They also like to collect vintage long-playing record albums and will frequently just sit and listen to music in the evenings, relaxing in this room to admire the delightful design elements working in concert together.

“This room is unique, fun and dramatic,” expressed Noble, who worked with Molly Kovarik, former Nobel Designs’ designer, throughout this project.

The owners also engaged Schloegel Design Remodel for the structural aspects of the re-design. Schloegel added more space to create a relaxing master bedroom with a decorative accent wall and a larger master bathroom with a walk-in closet. Previously, the room simply had a wall of closets with bi-fold doors. The owners wanted a walk-in closet instead with space for laundry. When transforming the master closet, they turned the former laundry room, previously situated next to the kitchen, into a butler’s pantry, a head-turning space in and of itself. With decorative wallpaper and an added butcher block countertop, this walk-in pantry is the perfect place to store extra appliances and culinary items out of sight from the kitchen.

“I really like wallpaper and appreciate that Sara incorporated it into various parts of the design, as it adds a lot of personality, texture and balance,” stated the owner.

The kitchen boasts a new and upgraded island. The former owners had a large table in the kitchen and a little island by the sink, which was great for prep work. However, the current owners wanted something different. They did not have the need for expansive seating, so they worked with Schloegel to create an island that has room for casual seating for three to four people. Integrated into the island are numerous amenities, including two refrigerator drawers, an Advantium microwave oven, and ample storage.

From start to finish, the owners greatly appreciated all the touches, finishes and appointments Noble inserted into the design equation.

“Sara’s team also did all of the window coverings and curtains, which is another item I appreciated,” noted the homeowner. “I really am a fan of curtains for both function and style. Her team selected the fabrics and had them made and installed, which was worth it for completing the look.”

The homeowners are thrilled with the final result and often feel as if they are on vacation without ever leaving home.

“The house is more functional than when we first bought it,” expressed the owner. “We really enjoyed working with Sara and appreciate her style and creative insight.”


  • Interior Designer: Noble Designs 
  • Contractor: Herrera Construction LLC
  • Structural Re-Design Contractor: Schloegel Design Remodel
  • Master Bedding: William Sonoma Home
  • Rugs: ProSource

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