Lake Norman Magazine

July 2, 2014

Coastal Overhaul

Designer Ally Whalen transforms a traditional lake home into a modern and bright getaway

Some may call it fate. Nick and Laura Morrisroe had been looking for a lake home and had finally settled on one, put an offer in, and went into contract. But just as they were about to close on what they thought was their dream home, the sale fell through. Not to be discouraged, the couple continued the hunt, though never truly finding something on the market that fit their criteria. Until one day the couple saw a home that they knew was the one. The only problem: it wasn’t for sale. Instead, the couple walked up to the front door of the home and introduced themselves to the homeowners and asked if they would be willing to sell. As luck would have it, the homeowners, an older couple looking to downsize, were about to put the home on the market. Weeks later, the Morrisroes had bought their dream home. While the exterior and floorplan were exactly what they wanted, the interior décor and aesthetic was not. Traditional color schemes of yellow, red, and brown wove throughout the home, a look that Laura was desperate to move away from in their new home. To help transform the traditional home into a comfortable, bright, and stylish lakefront retreat the couple enlisted Ally Whalen of Cornelius-based Simplicity Interiors. “The interior had a lot of yellow and gold in it and we wanted to update the color scheme and make the home our own,” says Laura. “It was really Ally that developed the breezy lake-side theme that makes the house feel so livable.” After finalizing a beach-y color palette of blues, grays, whites, and creams, Whalen decided to tackle the kitchen where yellow cabinetry dominated the space. Though it was the biggest project Whalen would take on in the Morrisroes’ home, it provided the most significant impact. The cabinets were painted a clean white while the granite countertops were replaced with a neutral quartz. A white farmhouse sink and new white glass backsplash completed the transformation from traditional to coastal chic. To keep all of the rooms open and the design consistent, Whalen opted for a pale gray on the walls, which also allowed the lake view to become the primary focal point of the entire downstairs. To achieve the fresh, beach-y feel for the couple, Whalen coupled rustic elements—such as the seagrass rug and driftwood coffee table—with sleeker, coastal pieces as seen in the white sofa with more feminine lines and the custom pillows featuring fabrics by Robert Allan and Duralee in soft blues, grays, and beiges. “I love to mix materials, the rustic with the coastal and the glamour and the chic, mixing the masculine with the feminine,” Whalen says. In the end, the Morrisroes are elated with the overhaul Whalen was able to achieve in their new home. “We love being on the lake and love to sit and take in the view or get out on the water,” says Laura. “What Ally has done is bring that feeling to the inside of our house as well.”

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