This Tennessee home by Cameron Design Group fuses classic and modern aesthetics

DEC 12, 2020 | By Aneesha Bhadri
The family room is cloaked in a dark, unifying colour to draw attention out to the trees, without visual interruption; Photographs by Karyn Millet
The living room is cosy for its use of neutral fabrics and pops of colour coming with pillows, fabrics and moulding colour; Photographs by Karyn Millet
On the other end of the living room is a custom chinoiserie cabinet that holds a large television; Photographs by Karyn Millet
The banquette is upholstered using a purple-charcoal colour to create a warm and inviting corner; Photographs by Karyn Millet

Located in the upscale neighbourhood of East Memphis, this 15,000 sq ft home is a study in timeless elegance. A walk through a charming courtyard leads you through the front door into the entry hall—a double-heighted space with vibrant, customised de Gournay panels framed and suspended above plaster demilunes, which are deliberately kept unadorned to ensure that the focus is on the architecture.

“The house was built by the previous owner. It was grand in scale and finely crafted but it needed to be updated for my clients, a young family with two children. One of the main discussions that we had was how to use the expansive living room in the centre of the house,” says Parrish Cameron Robe Chilcoat, founder of Cameron Design Group.

The designer adds, “It was evident that the prior owners had used it, quite possibly, only for formal entertaining. While my clients knew that they would need it for hosting large-scale events and parties, they also wanted to use it on a daily basis. So, we created a media room and concealed the television behind a custom chinoiserie-inspired white oak cabinet.”

Mirrors placed above the symmetrical fireplaces in the living room allow light to bounce across the space and highlight playfully shaped furniture shapes and contemporary photographs; Photographs by Karyn Millet

The living room is warm and inviting, anchored by a large custom carpet and split into two distinct seating areas. The dining room to the right showcases a spectacular custom mural, which the prior owners commissioned.

A pattern play with velvet on the sofa, cut-velvet on the chair and leopard print chintz on the sofa pillow is seen here. The table is a soft green that picks up hints of colour in the painting; Photographs by Karyn Millet

“I opted to paint all of the millwork in the room a very dark inky grey to make it stand out. We hung dark silk curtains to match the millwork and we commissioned a cobalt blue dining table to give the room a sexy, modern energy,” says Chilcoat.

The preexisting mural in the dining room is keep intact but matched with the tapestry. Seen here is the bespoke cobalt blue table in veneered wood; Photographs by Karyn Millet

“I pushed the clients to use colour as boldly as possible, in spite of the grand, traditional architecture we were working with. I am a huge fan of blue, green and every shade in between. I wanted the use of colour to inject youth and vitality into the house,” she adds.

Close-up of the mural in the dining room; Photographs by Karyn Millet

The dining room is the designer’s favourite. She played up its design by highlighting a meticulously hand-painted mural, while letting the rest of the grand and intricate millwork recede into the background. For a dramatic contrast, they painted the ceiling white and the millwork dark. A wintry yet warm palette emerges, which brings together the classic architecture and contemporary aesthetic.

A round mirror is placed within a diamond panel and flanked by custom bookcases in dark tones. It is illuminated by a chandelier that’s wrapped in rattan; Photographs by Karyn Millet

The family room and kitchen to the far right of the house are defined by their colour schemes and warm mix of lighting and furniture. The husband’s office-cum-library to the left of the entrance hall is characterised by dark wood millwork, with walls painted a deep blue from Farrow and Ball. Matching wool curtains make the room feel balanced, sophisticated and serene.

The library-cum-home office is furnished with wool, velvet and tweed; Photographs by Karyn Millet

The master suite and sitting room are to the far left of the first level of the house. Here, a dark lavender entrance transitions into a calm oasis of creams and dusty green-grey. The second floor houses the children’s bedrooms, while the lowermost level comprises a wine cellar, media room and gym.

The screened-in sun porch features durable outdoor furniture and fabrics; Photographs by Karyn Millet

“This house promotes Southern American architecture. Despite being so large, it doesn’t feel imposing or like a badly scaled ‘McMansion’. It is a classical design with a definitive European nod. I was thrilled that it had such incredibly masterful bones. It allowed for me to take chances and accentuate what was already existing. I wanted to keep the furniture and the interiors youthful but I am not a fan of houses that look one way on the outside but drop you in another era with its decor when you enter!” exclaims Chilcoat.

The preexisting hood and woodwork have been backed by a metallic tile from Ann Sacks; Photographs by Karyn Millet

The LA based designer does not necessarily follow themes, believing instead in the classic appeal of luxurious custom upholstery that is meant to last forever and is proportioned correctly. “It can make almost anything that you put next to it—regardless of the provenance—look good!” she says.

This kitchen sink comes with a sink window and cabinets that are painted a light soft warm grey with pale pewter hardware; Photographs by Karyn Millet

Chilcoat believes that every good decorator has a keen awareness and appetite for the history of the decorative arts and for how society functions as a whole. “One informs the other. How the two must adapt over time is something that I find endlessly fascinating. I prefer layered rooms that look collected and built over time but they must be ruthlessly edited! I love contemporary art and mixing it with more traditional pieces, so that a house looks timeless, edgy and collected,” she explains.

Scroll below for more images of this Tennessee home by Parrish Cameron Robe Chilcoat…

The master bath is fitted with a new bathtub, concrete tile floor, chandelier and painted cabinets to add a bit of glamour; Photographs by Karyn Millet

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