Interior Design: Case Study

Easy Living: Clean lines complement the open-plan kitchen and family room of a Middleburg home

Celia Welch subscribes to the notion that less is more when it comes to interior design. “My style is grounded in simplicity,” she explains. “Ultimately, I believe that simple home design leads to ease of living.”

This philosophy underlies all of her projects, and it’s what attracted a couple building a custom home in the Middleburg area. They brought Welch in at the start of the process, asking her to work closely with their builder, Visnic Homes, to create an elegant yet comfortable abode that capitalizes on its bucolic surroundings; the kitchen and adjacent family room exemplify the team’s success.

The house is located on a golf course, so retaining unimpeded views was a high priority. The two-story family room and adjacent kitchen are flanked by windows and French doors; solar shades can be tucked away and draperies frame the window and door openings.

To delineate the kitchen and sitting area, Welch designed a granite-topped, walnut display shelf. The kitchen boasts custom Shaker-style cabinetry and Carrara marble counters and backsplash. The kitchen opens to a breakfast nook where a rustic roundtable is artfully paired with bright red Windsor chairs from Maine Cottage. Welch designed a cabinet that beautifully displays the couple’s pottery collection along one wall.

Most of the furniture is new to the house. An existing Baker sofa was reupholstered for the sitting area and Welch selected a metal coffee table and wood-framed chairs, both from Four Hands in California, to create “simple, soft lines with a touch of modern,” she says. A restful landscape by John Brandon Sills adorns the mantel.

Builder: Ted Visnic, Visnic Homes, Rockville, Maryland. Interior Design: Celia Welch, Celia Welch Interiors, Bethesda, Maryland. Photography: Angie Seckinger.

Celia Welch’s Trade Secrets:

  • Remember that keeping things simple, without too much clutter, allows the details to show. We used the same color metal for hardware, light fixtures, and drapery rods—and they are more noticeable because space is not cluttered.
  • Stay close to your main concept.
  • Look for different ways to add interest. Here, the interior doors are painted a different color from the trim and walls.
  • With tall ceilings, there are tricks to imparting more human scale to space. Hanging sconces and low pendants bring the eye down. In this room, a raised hearth made the fireplace taller.
  • Use one flooring material throughout the house to keep things flowing. It will open up space.
  • Display shelves are a great way to introduce what is important to you.