Insider Tips on What Makes These Spaces Great
1. WHAT’S IN STORAGE
Many people forget that the wall next to the fridge is a great place to store things. “These are some of the last St. Charles stainless steel cabinets made,” says Estes. “They went out of business just before they became popular. Although they don’t match the other cabinets, it all seemed to work.”
The family’s “official odds-and-ends shelf” stores tons of books below eye level and creates a convenient place to informally display kitchen knickknacks. The model plane was made by Estes’s father, the ceramic pool balls are by Connie Leslie, and the paintings and sketches are by family and friends.
3. PATIENCE IS REWARDED
“It’s taken years for these climbing hydrangeas to make it up the trellis, but they have arrived,” says Estes. “This is the one full-glass area on the north side of the house. At night it really stands out.”
4. DO-IT-YOURSELF, MAYBE
“This used to be a steep slope, so as we worked with masons on the house, I thought laying stone looked like fun,” says Estes. “When I needed a project one winter, I took on these stone walls, but I have to admit that it was a little more work than I’d figured.”
5. A SIMPLE PLAN
Everyone wants a fireplace, but few imagine exactly what the mantel will look like until deep into construction. Estes cantilevered a thick, wide board with exposed fasteners over his cleanly detailed hearth. “Our art seems to be a collection of things friends do; things Darcy, Cotton, or I do; or things we buy. There is no overriding aesthetic or direction,” Estes says.