Homeowners make updates to stay in longtime family home

By Hollie Deese
Photography by Leslee Mitchell

When Bard and Nancy Quillman hired designer Kimberly Kelly of K7 Interior Design to help them decide whether to age in place or sell their longtime residence to buy something more manageable, Kelly knew there were many things to consider — practicality, emotions, memories, quality of life.

“I went on this journey with them to process their options, and in the end they wanted to stay,” Kelly says. “They were brave because they love this house and decided to remodel instead of sell and move.”

So began a major renovation of the first floor of the 4,000-square-foot home — all seven rooms — with the help of Franklin-based contractor Womack Group. And as Kelly began to sculpt the space, they paid close attention to creating circulation paths and well-lit work areas. Walls were moved as the space was manipulated to work best for them.

“Having a large informal dining area in the kitchen was needed for weekend breakfasts and dinners with their adult children and grandkids,” Kelly says. “My favorite space is the kitchen’s dining area — the large window looking out on the garden draws you in. She’s an avid gardener and has a beautiful garden. It’s inviting, relaxed and lovely — the perfect trifecta.”

And while Kelly and Nancy Quillman both love color, it took some doing for Kelly to get the homeowner to agree that the kitchen cabinets had to be a strong color.

Kimberly Kelly

“It took me a while to convince her to take a leap of faith!” Kelly says, laughing. “But now everyone loves the kitchen cabinet color, which is PPG Sailor’s Coat, paired with the classic brass hood.”

The home’s amazing natural light was enhanced by the addition of transom windows above many interior doorways, allowing that light to reach farther into the house. With a little persuasion, Kelly was also able to spirit away the heavy drapes and replace them with relaxed, woven shades. They then sanded the floors and stained them a light, natural color.

“We painted the golden-yellow walls and the dark wood trim with light colors to form the perfect backdrop for the colorful, fun fabrics we selected,” Kelly says. “We purchased several new furniture pieces, but we also reupholstered four antique chairs that are near and dear to the family. I just love the yellow cut-velvet on their Chippendale chairs — they are so animated and wear the fabric (Tobi Fairley for Duralee) so well.”

Lighting is from the New Orleans company Sazerac Stitches, and the sofas are Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. The resulting combination provides livable but elevated style that works just as well for entertaining friends as the grandkids.

“It’s important to me that the spaces I design have a relaxed, inviting feel,” Kelly says. “Even the most formal spaces can be elegant and welcoming.”

The Quillmans’ home now exudes a somewhat traditional, transitional Southern design that embraces what the couple loves about the home while setting them up to enjoy the rest of their time there together.

“I’m so happy I went on this journey with them and love how the project turned out,” Kelly says. “It has so many memories. This is the home they raised their family in, and that meant a lot to them.”