Contractors: Orion General Contractors, 100 Cricket Ave., Ardmore; (610) 649-4545, oriongc.com
Interior Design: Lisa Furey, Barefoot Designer, Villanova; (610) 389-5231, lisafureyinteriors.com
Cabinetry: Goebel Cabinetry, 308 Commerce Drive, Exton; (610) 363-8970, goebelcabinetry.com
It’s often said that it’s best to find love when you’re not looking. Last year, Lisa Furey proved the same could be said of a new home. For the most part, the interior designer and her family were content with the house she’d renovated in Wayne. But there were a few things the home lacked. “We weren’t officially in the market,” she admits. “But we were open to the possibility.”
Furey actually enjoys moving. While others find the process daunting, she welcomes the challenges and opportunities a fresh space presents. Two summers ago, she and her husband took a drive around Villanova’s Inveraray development. Six single-family homes—popular for their spacious layouts—were available at the time, so the Fureys had some options. Soon after, they put their Wayne house on the market, and by the fall of 2010, they were living in a home that was almost double the square footage of their previous place. “We were very lucky that everything came together,” says Furey. “In this market, you can get great deals—but you have to move quickly.”
Aside from finishing the lower level and redoing the master bathroom, Furey found herself with few design projects in her new home. “This was by far the easiest house we’ve ever moved into, in terms of renovations,” she says.
Beige, cream and white are the home’s dominant colors—for good reason. “The last thing I wanted to do was detract from the outside,” she says. “I tried to blur the distinction between the outside and the inside by having everything inside almost fade away, so the focus was out there.”
In the casual dining area, Furey even went so far as to bring in a faux painter to apply a light-taupe glaze to a mahogany table to fit the current color scheme. Through a partnership with a furniture maker in North Carolina, Furey custom-designed comfortable high-back chairs to go with the table.
“It’s amazing that my label is on these pieces of furniture,” she says. “I’m able to get exactly what I want, down to the smallest detail.”
A stucco fireplace with a stone hearth separates the casual dining area from the sunny family room, with its walls of windows and skylight. A plush sectional is another Furey creation, and an oversized leather ottoman doubles as a coffee table. A wall of built-in cabinetry houses the television and includes a bar cabinet. “Everything I used in here is relaxed and easy,” says Furey. “Which is exactly the purpose of the room.”
With its cream-colored cabinetry and subtle granite accents, Furey’s new kitchen is quite a dramatic change from the one in her previous home, which had deep navy walls and white cabinets. “The neutral space was refreshing,” she admits. “The other house needed more color in the interior because there wasn’t much natural light. This house doesn’t need it.”
And the home’s neutral scheme is both welcoming and calming. “I work with color every day,” Furey says. “I like coming home to a neutral house.”
Not everyone agrees. “My mother is always coming over with bright-colored dishes and colored towels,” says Furey, laughing. “She doesn’t get it.”
Updated about six years ago, the kitchen was already outfitted with professional-grade, stainless steel appliances, a large center island and custom cabinetry. Furey added the two open shelves with decorative wood brackets. Subtle bursts of color come from an orange pot on the stove and a blue-and-white plate hanging on the range hood. By the island, a pair of wicker seats with linen cushions add a homey touch. “I added pattern and texture to every room so it wasn’t beige everywhere,” says Furey. “It helps to keep things interesting.”
Sliding glass doors lead from the breakfast area to the large deck and pool. “It’s small, so there’s very minimum upkeep,” says Furey of the lighted pool. “At night, it glows. It looks like a piece of art.”
Furey’s property is also situated next to the development’s common area. “We have the most gorgeous view,” she says.
Dark wood furniture sets the formal dining room apart from the rest of the home. “I wanted it to look different,” says Furey. “It creates a silhouette against the white walls.”
The drapes’ light-blue floral pattern brings color to the room, while a china cabinet displays a collection that once belonged to Furey’s grandmother. A beautiful crystal chandelier boasts simple lines, veering from the traditional in a way that works well in the space.
Furey made over the master bathroom to accommodate her and her husband’s needs, forgoing a whirlpool tub for a large shower and creating extra closet space for towels and toiletries. A double vanity, with white vessel sinks and chic faucets, imparts a modern vibe.
Not far from the bathroom in the master suite, Furey turned a small bonus room into her office. It overlooks the family room, soaking up the sun coming through the skylight.
In line with her desire for change, Furey is hardly set in her ways. “I never have the same look,” she says. “I can appreciate all styles—I blend them, so it’s not decidedly one look. In this house, it’s mostly modern, but there’s also country and Asian pieces. You have to be willing to try different things.”