Britany Simon transforms a dark and heavy old-world-style home on Exeter to one that’s chic, stylish and packed with personality.
Britany Simon went bold in the great room of her Arcadia project, coating the walls in Dunn-Edwards’ Good Night! shade. A creamy-colored sectional from Essentials for Living provides a soothing—and comfortable—counterpart. Photographed by Nick Sorensen
When Britany Simon first encountered the Arcadia home she was tasked with redesigning for her clients, Dr. William and Pranom Hall and their two children, there was nothing wrong with it, per se. “I would say it was very European in the sense where the owners had previously antiqued and collected things,” she explains. “It had a very dark, old-world sensibility, with reclaimed European wood flooring.” While many would find the interiors lovely, the Halls—originally from Los Angeles—desired something more in line with their personalities. “It wasn’t their thing at all,” says Simon. “They are younger, so they wanted a fresher take.”
Élitis’ Lombok wallpaper adds texture to the dining room. The table is from Universal Furniture and the chairs are by Kelly Hoppen from Sonder Living. Noir’s Palazzo chandelier adds a sculptural touch. Photographed by Nick Sorensen
Simon ultimately decided to spin off the home’s original features and create a look with a more modern European vibe. “The Halls liked the bones of the house. When you walk in you feel transported to somewhere in Europe,” she explains. “That’s why we wanted to play that up. We wanted it to feel like it could be in Europe, but a place where an edgier, hipper, younger family lives.” Adds Pranom, “We wanted a cozy and kid-friendly space, but one with a definitive custom progressive design element—elegant and livable.”
Simon reworked the kitchen by adding a funky backsplash tile from TileBar, a chandelier from Lucent Lightshop and counter stools from Worlds Away. Photographed by Nick Sorensen
For this phase of the redesign, Simon and her team tackled the kitchen, the morning room—a casual living room/den right off the kitchen—the dining room and the bonus room. “We really wanted to give it a minor face-lift, if you will, as some of the elements were already there,” Simon explains, noting that the entire home—initially a warm, yellow-white shade—was repainted to freshen things up.
A custom chair in the morning room by Britany Simon Design House pairs beautifully with art by Thom Filicia from Wendover Art Group. Photographed by Nick Sorensen
One of Simon’s favorite transformations is in the dining room. Located right off the kitchen, the space initially was, like the rest of the home, very traditional. “The jumping-off point in there was the wallpaper,” says Simon of the Élitis pattern. “It has a sort of brokendown plaster look that’s reminiscent of some European spaces and looks like it’s been there for a long time.” Furniture—including a Soliloquy table by Universal Furniture, Taylor chairs by Kelly Hoppen for Sonder Living and a light fixture from Noir—is meant to have a modernized heirloom look.
In the kitchen—originally lined with a black-and-white MacKenzie-Childs tiled backsplash—Simon and team added a new, more contemporary backsplash; put in a new light fixture and hardware; and also created a custom mirrored cabinet for more storage. New, clean-lined bar stools upholstered in white leather add a more modern touch. “It overall feels more contemporary, more modern Parisian,” says Simon.
The morning room sofa—covered in Plush Silver fabric by Clarke & Clarke from Kravet—was also designed by Simon. The Trypo coffee table by Noir adds a graphic touch. Photographed by Nick Sorensen
Located off the kitchen is the morning room, where the Halls watch TV and hang out. Previously an additional dining area off the kitchen, the more casual space is lined with framed black-and-white family photos, leaning into the space’s purpose as a sanctuary for mom, dad and the kids to relax and be together. The lower-profile sofa was intentional. “We wanted to design a sofa so that you can almost sit on the back,” Simon explains. “So when you’re sitting on it, you don’t feel separated from the conversation happening in the kitchen.”
A table by Hickory White hosts many latenight games. Photographed by Nick Sorensen
Initially very wood-heavy, the bonus room—located right off the morning room—received several coats of gray-blue lacquer. “We wanted to break that up,” says Simon of the wood. “We liked the wood on the ceiling and the floors because those are the reclaimed pieces, but the lacquer helps modernize the space.” The Halls were keen on having a large, purposeful space to entertain in, so Simon created several zones within the bonus room, including an area to play poker and other games; a sofa-TV area to gather and watch movies and sports; and the bar, which Simon refreshed by adding new countertops and removing some unnecessarily heavy cabinetry. She also redid a small powder room with funky wallpaper and a new mirror and fixtures.
Counter stools from Global Views surround the bar. Photographed by Nick Sorensen
When the Halls finally saw their finished home, the reaction was pure joy. “They loved it,” says Simon.“They couldn’t believe that we could see it the way that we did based on where we started.” Adds Pranom, “We were elated and thankful. The home feels so comfy and like we’ve lived there forever.”
Britany Simon Design House
Dining room wallpaper
ESSENTIALS FOR LIVING
Bonus room sofa
Bonus room counter stools
Bonus room coffee and game tables
Kitchen island lighting
Morning room coffee table, dining room light fixture
Dining room chairs
Kitchen backsplash tile
Dining room table
Bonus room lamps, dining room wall sconces
WENDOVER ART GROUP
Kitchen counter stools