We talk to lead designer Ashton Egbert about the design project. My mother, Kathleen Nixon, and I had just started our own interior design firm, Arndt Design and Build (opens in new tab), and we decided Stanford House would be our first project. THE PROPERTY The townhome was incredibly boxy and needed updating, but it had a great floor plan, high-ceilings, and a small yet private backyard. Inspired by a recent trip to France, we could see that with some fresh landscaping and a water feature the yard could be a relaxing European-style oasis. The original galley kitchen wasn’t functional for my husband, the chef. However, it had a huge window and we were able to increase the size by opening it up to the living room. We installed a massive island and created a walk-in pantry for major storage. Instead of upper cabinetry, we opted for exposed shelving to carry on that rustic European feel we started in the backyard. The two bedrooms were easier fixes and mainly needed fresh paint and draperies. The master bedroom fireplace was a bit underwhelming, so we added a statement tile to make it a focal point. All of the bathrooms needed remodeling. But with dramatic tile, statement lighting, fresh cabinetry and new fixtures we were able to provide each with its own unique transformation. We blended vintage European elements with contemporary ones so they’re now a bit rustic in nature. Large glass block windows wouldn’t have been our first choice, but HOA guidelines said we had to leave them. Making them work with our rustic design choices was the biggest challenge. By accenting them with custom seagrass blinds we were able to tone down the grid pattern without blocking any natural light they let in. Ultimately it was a great decision because we love the indoor/outdoor feel it gives the main floor. LIVING AREA KITCHEN DINING ROOM POWDER ROOM HOME OFFICE BEDROOM BEDROOM BATHROOM / SHOWER ROOM GARDEN / PATIO Photography/ Hannah Wilson Owner & Lead Designer / Ashton Egbert Interior designer/ Kathleen Nixon