Story by Donna Cornelius • Photos by Lee Walls
This is The White House Interiors’ first year to participate in the Decorators’ ShowHouse, and the Greystone home furnishings store is making its debut with a big splash.
Owner Ann Marie James, lead designer Iris Jacobsen and Lana Murphy, director of marketing and special events, pooled their talents to design several ShowHouse spaces: the master bedroom and adjoining sitting room, his-and-her bathrooms in the master suite, and a guest bedroom and bathroom.
The design team decided to name the master suite the Presidential Suite. Murphy said that’s a nod to Dr. Larry Lemak, the house’s owner.
“Dr. Lemak is such a powerful, respected person,” she said about the internationally known orthopedic surgeon. “It’s also a play on our company’s name.”
The designers wanted the spacious master bedroom and sitting room to combine elegance and comfort. Their neutral palette is restful and easy on the eye but is enlivened with a variety of textures and finishes.
The bed, with its tufted faux suede headboard, is layered with lush bedding – a diamond-patterned coverlet in cream-colored velvet with coordinating pillow shams, a bolster of faux Norwegian husky, and a limited edition faux lynx throw. Over the bed is a sunburst mirror. Architectural pieces serve as bedside tables, and a gracious carved-front chest is both classic and stylish.
A French carved desk and stately floor lamps are the focal points of the sitting room. The light-filled space takes advantage of windows that frame a view of the gardens.
“We used the beautiful draperies that were already there,” Murphy said.
His and Hers
The master suite also includes his-and-her bathrooms. In the space for “her,” the designers let the room’s original crystal chandelier set the tone for the accessories, including golden fragments mounted in clear Lucite frames surrounding the garden bathtub. Glass accents, banded gold bottles and wood-carved finials line the perimeter of the room. An oval mirror in
the water closet has an antique look.
In the bathroom for “him,” simple but strong lines give the room a masculine tone. Rich, dark cabinets are set off by concrete lamps, concrete moss bowls and a velvet corner chair with a sleek metallic floor lamp beside it. A lumbar pillow in the chair has silver metallic and faux fur material.
The guest room – which the designers call the Rose Garden – also plays on the design firm’s name. Murphy said the room and its adjoining bathroom were inspired by the famous White House Rose Garden.
“That rose garden was created to help bring presidents and people together,” she said. “Here, we’re bringing together colors, textures and fascinating details while creating harmony in an uncomplicated way.”
She said the design team wanted the guest room to have the peace and tranquility of an outdoor garden. They used a subtle accent color – blush – to add sophistication and harmony.
“We saw the guest bedroom as a peaceful place to relax in,” Murphy said.
Ann Marie James, owner of The White House Interiors, is a real estate investor and the owner of Silver Real Estate and Crown Properties. She’s bought, remodeled and furnished more than 200 houses in Birmingham, the Lake Martin area and the Florida Panhandle.
James opened her full-service home furnishings store in 2016. It has a design studio and offers design and staging services. The White House Interiors has rugs, artwork, lighting fixtures, furniture, draperies, a floral department and gifts.
The ShowHouse, which opened April 27, benefits the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
“We enjoyed working on the ShowHouse – the people are such a delight,” Murphy said. “We definitely love the Symphony and the arts.”
The White House Interiors is at 5209 U.S. Highway 280. For more information, visit twhinteriors.com or follow the company on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.