Written by Blake Miller Photography By Amanda James Photography
It was a matter of fitting a square peg into a round hole. Even though Jacy Painter Kelly and her husband, Kevin, had both grown up in homes that skewed traditional, the couple knew they wanted to live in a more industrial and modern home—which meant the super traditional Charleston-style home they’d been living in for the past five years was not going to mesh well with the aesthetic they longed to have. “I wanted to make our old house work for us,” says Jacy, who has her own eponymous design business, “but building a new home would give us the opportunity to get exactly what we wanted. . . . We wanted to go modern and funky.”
In fall 2011, the Kellys purchased a lot in Baxter Village’s River Arts District located in Fort Mill, South Carolina, a growing suburb just outside Charlotte, North Carolina. After enlisting Jeanine DeVaney with Charlotte In-vironments to draw their architectural plans, the couple broke ground on the 3,400-square-foot home just weeks later. Though the interior would have an industrial-meets-modern look, the facade would be Dutch Colonial, inspired by Kevin’s upstate New York upbringing. “We wanted something modern but not harsh,” says Jacy. “We still wanted it to feel comfortable. We like the industrial touches but didn’t want to go overboard.”
The color palette is simple and modern, as well; white walls and thrice-finished black oak wood floors run throughout the open floor plan, reminiscent of an urban loft, while sleek industrial accents are complemented by rustic elements such as an oversize barn door. Pops of color via artwork such as the large canvas painting by Jacy’s mother, which hangs above the dining room table, and other accessories are sprinkled throughout. The kitchen boasts the same clean lines with sleek white floor-to-ceiling cabinets from Ikea and honed black granite counters, both of which are complemented by a dash of color in the aqua penny-tile backsplash. Two Harry Bertoia–style counter stools sit at the wood butcher-block island where the Kellys’ two kids—Painter, six, and Lucy, three—eat snacks and do homework. The open floor plan leads into an oversize mudroom complete with built-in cubbies and lockers, acid-stained concrete, and custom-fabricated raw metal handrails, a subtle nod to the industrial-style look.
The adjacent family room keeps with the minimal design. Kevin and Jacy opted for a no-nonsense fireplace featuring simple, clean lines as a focal point, while a sectional from west elm completes the look. But not everything in the room is brand-new. Jacy refinished a midcentury modern chest with chalkboard paint and a coat of polyurethane. “I like to mix new and old,” she says, “so if I like the shape of something I’ll find a way to make it work.”
In the sitting room, a quiet space where the Kellys unwind sans kids or entertain some of their friends, Jacy painted the walls black but countered them with lighter accessories in creams and whites with a set of 1950s leather Copenhagen chairs featuring hair-on-hide seats, a Moroccan-print rug, and rustic burlap curtains. “I wanted this room to have a more grown-up feel,” says Jacy. “It’s really comfortable and cozy but sophisticated, too.”
Upstairs, the master bedroom continues the sophisticated, transitional look with a black, white, and gray color palette with pops of yellow juxtaposed with natural fiber-like carpeting layered with a Brazilian cowhide. To keep the rustic yet modern feel, the wall behind the bed boasts a modern gray grass cloth wall covering layered over a metallic gray paint by Sherwin-Williams. In the adjacent master bathroom a large Victoria & Albert soaking tub made from finely ground volcanic limestone, is framed by a mantel painted in gray. Sleek black-and-white Carrara marble penny-tile flooring finishes off the modern, urban aesthetic.
Down the hall from the master, Jacy took advantage of the home’s otherwise unusable spaces by adding a homework station for Lucy and Painter, featuring industrial-style metal chairs and open wood shelving. On the same floor are the kids’ bedrooms as well as a large playroom, which features Sherwin-Williams grass cloth wall covering, an ottoman reupholstered by Jacy in a Cynthia Rowley quilt, and a west elm sectional and drum pendant.
The guest bedroom, though, is another room where color comes into play. Jacy repainted the headboards and dresser (all three Craigslist finds) and the antler chandelier a bright turquoise to add doses of color in the room. Jacy also created the chevron-inspired canvas painting to introduce more colors. The modern look is juxtaposed with traditional, simple white matelassé coverlets and navy-and-white monogrammed pillows.
In the end, the home is a complete departure from the traditional look the Kellys were so accustomed to—which is exactly why they’re smitten with the result. “We wanted it to cater to our casual lifestyle even more,” says Jacy. “We merged a lot of different styles, and sometimes we just picked what we liked. . . . [Building this house] gave us the chance to build something that was totally us.”