When Jamie Merida, principal of Bountiful Interiors, and senior designer Denise Perkins first saw the six-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot estate in Chester, Maryland, they had to use their imaginations. “It was over-the-top ’80s, all rose-pink and forest green,” recalls Merida. “An explosion of color and excess—there was even a giant indoor pool and a hot tub in one wing.”
Bountiful was tapped to redesign the home’s extensive interiors and overhaul the dated kitchen. “The house had good bones, with trim, moldings and built-in, alcoved shelving,” says Perkins. The designers’ intention was to play up these assets while introducing a fresh, sophisticated aesthetic.
“We wanted to keep the design timeless and traditional—updated but not trendy,” Merida explains.
The duo started the process in the cavernous foyer, which desperately needed grounding and definition. They began with a daring selection: a distinctive, marble-and-limestone floor that combines black, white, gray and beige in a dramatic pattern reminiscent of a Burberry plaid, sourced through Bountiful Flooring. “It was inspired by flooring I’d seen at the Kravet showroom in DC and was similar to Brunschwig’s signature plaid,” Merida reveals.
As it turned out, the home’s entire palette evolved out of this bold flooring choice—which made sense as the double-height foyer adjoins most of the main-level spaces. It connects to the living and dining rooms via case openings on each side, and to the family room, with its views of the Eastern Bay, through a doorway beyond. Incorporating this color range, observes Perkins, was an unusual move. “People are often reluctant to mix warm and cool neutrals,” she says. “It was special to be able to combine cooler grays and taupes with warmer beiges and creams.”
In the dining room, an off-white carpet atop espresso-stained wood floors grounds the furniture, while tufted chairs in mid-gray flannel are paired with Hickory White host chairs in ivory leather. The European-style dining table is made of crotch mahogany with tapered legs and gold accents. Perkins painted the room’s walls and extensive millwork white and the ceiling a soft gray. And she papered the shelf niches with contrasting grass cloth by Thibaut. “We played a lot with textures because the palette is so neutral,” she explains. “High-contrast definition and finishes were used to create interest.”
Similar shelf niches appear in the more intimate living room, where the pink-marble fireplace surround has been replaced by one in white-veined black marble. The walls are painted the same gray as the dining room ceiling for spatial continuity, while a white ceiling provides a visual lift. “Because the ceiling wasn’t high, we kept the furnishings shapely but low,” Perkins notes.
She and her team embraced the living room’s intrinsic symmetry, employing two facing Lillian August sofas anchored by pairs of matching armchairs on either end. A glass-and-brass Lee Jofa cocktail table and glass-topped side tables by Chelsea House convey an airy, open feel.
The dramatic family room, with its 15-foot ceilings, spills out to the pillared brick terrace through triple-glass French doors topped by over-scaled, arched transoms. Perkins’ furniture arrangement keeps the central sightline clear from the foyer to the waterfront. Striped carpets and matching brass chandeliers define the two seating areas, while geometric, mirror-and-brass wall sconces by Visual Comfort bring the lighting to eye level. “The key to furnishing such a large space is to prevent it from looking like a commercial waiting room,” confides the designer. “I made sure I floated the furniture, chose large-scale pieces, and didn’t repeat fabrics, forms or specific layouts.” One seating area feels warm, with mahogany chests flanking a charcoal sofa and a steamer trunk doubling as a cocktail table. The other, by the fireplace, features sleek pieces in light-gray tones that communicate a cooler vibe.
French doors on one side of the fireplace lead to the kitchen. “It was a typical, dated kitchen broken up into disjointed areas that didn’t function well,” recounts Rich Johnson of Richwood Ltd., who collaborated with Capitol Homes on the makeover.
The functional new kitchen, with its paneled select-cherry cabinetry and double-thick quartzite counters, features a prep island near the cooktop and a raised breakfast bar close to the eat-in area. “The homeowners like to entertain, so we wanted to give them the opportunity for ample seating,” Johnson says. “It’s a rich, traditional kitchen that fits the elegance of the home.”
The wing that once housed the indoor pool and hot tub is now a spacious rec room with commanding water views, furnished with denim-blue sectionals and cocktail ottomans with tray insets. “This room is more in our signature Tidewater style,” Merida notes, pointing out such nautical and coastal accents as a crisp blue-and-white palette and porthole mirrors. The once-pink stone fireplace has been updated with a river rock surround.
“This project was a fun opportunity for us,” Perkins reflects. “We enjoyed being able to take a 1980s home and beautifully bring it up to date.”
Interior Design: Jamie Merida, principal; Denise Perkins, lead designer, Bountiful Interiors, Easton, Maryland. Renovation Contractor: Roger Black, Capitol Homes, Washington, DC. Kitchen Design: Richard Johnson, Richwood Ltd., Vienna, Maryland. Styling: Charlotte Safavi.
Table & Chairs: lillianaugust.com. Chair Fabric: wesleyhall.com. Host Chairs & China Cabinet: hickorywhite.com. Host Chair Fabric: kravet.com. Mirror & Pillow Fabric: jamiemerida.com. Chandelier: Clients’ collection. Niche Wall Covering: thibaut.com. Paint Colors: Decorator White, Wickham Gray by benjaminmoore.com. Rug: langhornecarpets.com.
Floor: Bountiful Flooring through jamiemerida.com. Console: maitland-smith.com. Lamps: jamiemerida.com. Skirted Stools & Stool Fabric: wesleyhall.com. Paint Color: Manchester Tan by benjaminmoore.com. Bench & Bench Fabric: globalviews.com. Hide Rug: saddlemans.com
Sofas, Sofa Fabric Wing Chairs, Wing Chair Fabric & Chest of Drawers: lillianaugust.com. Patterned Chairs & Patterned Chair Fabric: wesleyhall.com. Rug: loloirugs.com. Coffee Table: leejofa.com. Mirror: mirrorimagehome.com. Nesting Table: jamiemerida.com. Side Table: chelseahouseinc.com. Art over Fireplace & Painting over Chest: wendoverart.com. Paint Color: Wickham Gray by benjaminmoore.com.
FAMILY ROOM (LEFT ARRANGEMENT)
Rugs: langhornecarpets.com. Sconces: visualcomfortlightinglights.com. Chandeliers: Owners’ collection. Paint Color: Gallery Buff by benjaminmoore.com. Chest/Coffee Table: gjstyles.com. Sofa, Facing Chairs & Chair Fabric: wesleyhall.com. Sofa Fabric: perennials.com. Pillow Fabric, Lamps & Drum Tables: jamiemerida.com. Chests: hickorychair.com. Photographs: trowbridgegallery.com.
Sectional, Sectional Fabric, Pillow Fabric & Cube Seats: wesleyhall.com. Coffee Tables: hickorywhite.com. Sofa Table: curreyandcompany.com. Lamps on Sofa Table: elkgroupinternational.com. Side Table: stanleyfurniture.com. Rug: stantoncarpet.com. Paint Color: Great Beige by benjaminmoore.com.
Bed, Nightstands, Rug & Outdoor Seating: Owners’ collection. Bedding: johnrobshaw.com, annieselke.com. Chaises: coxmfg.com. Chaise Fabric: estout.com. Floor Lamp: jamiemerida.com. Pillow Fabric: jffabrics.com. Art: trowbridgegallery.com. Table Lamps: uttermost.com. Paint Color: Manchester Tan by benjaminmoore.com.