As first seen in NC Design Online.

Most people have an idea of a  dream home – homes perfectly tailored to their needs and aesthetic desires. And most designers have an idea of a dream project – projects tailored to their strengths, connected to their passions, and challenging in all the best ways. Asheville interior designer Kathryn Long, owner of Ambiance Interiors, had the pleasure of such a project – a new build vacation home for a couple looking to escape the summer heat – and the summer pollen – in Texas. Kathryn spoke to North Carolina Design about the project, and told us what made it so incredible.

Images courtesy of Ambiance Interiors Photography by Jerry Markatos

One thing Kathryn greatly appreciated was the collaborating with great professionals. “This is a Platt Architecture signature home,” she notes. “I love working with Al Platt. We’ve collaborated on close to 20 projects together. These clients became our clients with his recommendation. And then, of course I enjoyed working with Tessa Eaton, my project manager and design associate. She was a big part of this project’s success.”

Kathryn also appreciated being involved from the very beginning. “I came in very early in the process,” she recounts. “Al Platt prefers the involvement of an interior designer very early on – that’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with him. I like to come in before every little thing has been decided. After the architectural details have been worked out, I like to work together with clients on material selections, finishes, floors, window treatments – things that should be decided early in the process.”

Then, there were the clients. “They were very communicative and participatory,” she observes. “They had worked with other designers, and they knew what to expect. Things are always easier when clients understand the process and know what a designer can do for them. They trusted my judgment. They shared photos of their home in Texas with me. They wanted to bring pieces from that home into the design, and they wanted specifically to know what I thought of each one.”

“They were well-traveled, and very sophisticated. The husband loves architecture, and he can think spatially, so he had great input and ideas. They both liked to collect good antiques. They both loved nice fabrics, as do I, and they were familiar with the fabric houses, which we have in our resource library here at Ambiance. They really were my idea of the ideal clients.”

Kathryn also got to work in the way that she most prefers. “The first thing we do after material selections is furniture planning,” she explains. “One of the main reasons we do this is to choose the rugs. I can’t start every project with the rugs, but it is an ideal way to work. Rugs provide a color scheme and set a tone, and that helps a lot of other decisions fall into place.”

“I went with the clients several times to Togar Rugs to make selections. We chose Oushak rugs – peaceful, quiet rugs without a lot of contrast, in light blues and taupes. They look very simple at first glance, but when you look more closely, there’s a lot of subtle detail. And that’s the approach we took with the whole house. The feel is very peaceful, and things appear simple, but when you look around you notice things like the different leg styles and wonderful tassels on the chairs.”

“You see all of the texture in the stone, and the character in the reclaimed wood floors. You see that the walls are painted to give the illusion of everything being wood. It was a challenge to create a tranquil, comfortable space this rich in detail, and it was so satisfying to see it come together so well. One more reason why this was this was truly a dream project.”