By Laura McAlister
Tammy Heinss took one look out the huge kitchen windows of the 2011 Decorators’ ShowHouse and knew exactly what the room’s theme should be.
“Well, you see this three-hole golf course out the window, and it just reminded me of the Scottish Highlands,” said the Lasso the Moon Interiors decorator. “I thought, how appropriate. It’s where golf originated.”
The late Thomas A. Jernigan likely would have found it appropriate, too. He loved golf so much, he had the course built in his backyard, and he was known to travel the world playing the game.
He was also known to enjoy leisurely mornings sitting in the breakfast room while a chef prepared gourmet meals in the kitchen using state-of-the art equipment.
Heinss and fellow decorator Lisa Freeman with Southern Flair Designs decorated the kitchen and breakfast room of the Jernigan residence for this year’s ShowHouse. With their “Highland Manor” theme, the two used colors common to the Scottish Highlands – rich blues, yellows, greens and reds – and mixed them with both rustic and modern pieces. And true to their design style, many items in the room are custom made.
The kitchen was basically a blank slate for the designers, with dark cabinets and granite countertops. It’s one of the larger rooms in the residence, so large that there was room for an 8×11 rug in the entryway. That’s one of Lisa’s favorite pieces in the room. The rug incorporates the rich blues, reds and greens the designers used throughout the space.
“I just love how you can stand over here and it looks lighter, and you stand over there, and it’s darker,” Lisa said. “This is really one of my favorites. I think it really wants to come home with me.”
As for Tammy, her favorite piece is a toss-up between the Fallow Deer antler chandelier that hangs over the breakfast table and the custom-made wooden sign hanging above the stove.
The Fallow Deer is an animal that’s common to Europe and fit with the Scottish Highlands theme of the room, as does the plaque, which bears a common Irish phrase meaning “a feast is no use without good talk.”
“The sign is nothing all that fabulous, but it really ties in the theme. Then seeing the deer over there,” Tammy said, motioning to the breakfast table, “it’s just so European, and it’s used it a different way. It’s not mounted to the wall or anything like that.”
Tammy and Lisa brought in modern art to mix with the more rustic pieces. Abstract paintings, again with the Highlands coloring, cover the walls, and Lisa found a glass gallery in Pelham, Dixon-Ballog, whose pieces will be displayed in the kitchen’s built-in display case.
For the actual dining space, the pair chose a round table and paired a custom-made banquette with side chairs for seating. The 60-inch table is topped with a custom-made patterned burlap tablecloth that again incorporates the rich Highlands colors.
While Lisa and Tammy both said it was a challenge to fill the large kitchen and breakfast room, both agreed the hardest part was the windows.
“We had no window treatments,” Tammy said. “And there are just so many windows in this room.”
In addition to the sheer amount of window space, the designers also were challenged with the fact that the heights of the adjacent windows weren’t even. Thanks to Lisa, they were able to fix the problem while complementing the space and not inhibiting the views of the golf course.
Using plastic mesh and poppy-colored silk, Lisa created valances wide enough to conceal the different heights of the windows. She covered the mesh in a faux finish, giving it a metallic look.
The designers added earthy colored beads to the valances to soften the look. The same poppy-colored silk fabric was used for the curtains.
In the end, the decorators said, the draperies added a bit of elegance to the rustic pieces of the room, which is how the pair imagined their Highlands Manor.