A Splash of Swank

By Gretchen Eichenberg

Primary suite turned restful getaway with Hollywood glam

Pictured: by Breanne Johnson, breannejohnsonphotography.com

Peace and calm — with a splash of swank. That’s what interior designer Renae Palmer of Palmer Davis Designs was tasked with creating for a client upgrading their primary suite into a larger, more open and functional space last September.

“They wanted to remodel their primary bedroom because it was too small, but it actually is really good square footage,” Palmer said. “It simply was not laid out in a functional manner.
The bedroom was massive, and it included a sitting area with a beautiful Hill Country-like wooded view — but that no one was using.

“It blocked the best view in the house which was from that sitting room and the little French doors,” Palmer said. “So, after looking at it, I just exploded everything, took out that wall and we did big sliders on that wall, so now they have a great view.”

Palmer moved the bedroom over to that area and that freed up the space to expand the closet areas that were really small.

“The ceilings were low in there,” she said. “They were 10 feet. And so, we vaulted the ceilings in the bedroom and put some beams in and made it architecturally interesting. And then did a nice panel bolt accent wall behind the bed.”

The home itself is a traditional style, Palmer explained.

“But the client is more transitional,” she said. “Transitional in that she likes more contemporary things. She wanted her personal space to reflect that by adding some contemporary accents that fit her likes.”

One task was to take a dark room and freshen it up while giving it a certain serenity and luxury. The floors are a rich engineered wood, along with a large, 24-by-24 faux marble. The walls are painted in Soaring Eagle by Benjamin Moore with accents of Pussywillow by Sherwin Williams. Satin etched glass doors open into the bathroom and dressing area.

“She wanted to be able to have a glass of wine at her wet bar and go sit in the tub and soak while watching TV,” Palmer said. “Just totally relax or have coffee in the morning while she’s getting ready and not have to go downstairs to get everything.”

A gas fireplace right next to the oversized tub creates ambiance and adds warmth which achieves the goal. Palmer transformed a once small and closed-in shower into an open one.

“We did a really cool new tile in the shower that is a 2-by-4-foot tile and that is really pretty,” Palmer said.

Concrete sinks and gray Carrera marble countertops for the vanities add more richness to the feel of the space.

“The existing colors were brown stained cabinets, brown wallpaper and it was dark,” Palmer said. “They wanted to lighten it up and get a more contemporary build to the space.”

Lighting was key to the remodel.

“We wanted different levels of lighting,” she said. “We wanted beautiful lighting, we wanted accent lighting, we wanted task lighting. So, overall lots of lighting.”

A stunning crystal fixture by Hinkley hangs over the island and was purchased at Ferguson Showroom.

“She wanted crystal and black,” Palmer said. “So, we have crystal over the island and then we have a crystal dome over her clothes hanging area.”

Palmer also had light up rods and recessed LEDs installed, as well as a light up kick plate on the island.

An 11-foot island topped with Carrera marble, purchased locally at MTTS, offers more counter space as well as lots of additional storage. The island is painted in Steel Wool by Benjamin Moore.

“She wanted a place to put her tennis shoes and things that she didn’t want see,” Palmer said. “So, we have adjustable shelves on the back because she has some jeans and some sweaters and stuff — casual stuff that’s not very nice to show, but you want them to be easy to get to.”

The homeowner is very organized, Palmer said, and wanted her clothes and shoes to be stored where she can see everything. That’s where the seemingly endless custom lighted cabinets and shelving, by Larry Dunlap, came into play.

“And she also wanted to create a place to display all her handbags that she’s collected when she travels around,” Palmer said. “She’s got a lot of Louis Vuitton and Chanel and things that she picked up overseas. She wanted to display them because they’re basically like artwork. So, we created a place in the bedroom where she could see her pretty purses.”

Pullouts, like those for the linens and two hampers that pop open for dirty clothes and dry-cleaning, contribute to a clean and clear space that promotes the calm and peaceful feeling the client originally desired.

As she worked with her client to design the space, Palmer said they used various sources of inspiration to achieve a look that is somewhere between Hollywood and restful getaway.

“She created a Pinterest board of things that she liked,” she said. “And I just came up with it. To be honest, I knew she wanted a bougie closet and I knew we’d need lots of lighting. She loves that look with the fur and crystal. So that’s what we did.”

Palmer said she incorporated the color purple, one of her client’s favorite colors, to reflect her personality and personal style.

Throughout the process, there was only one major hurdle, but Palmer said she found a solution without too much trouble.

“Our biggest challenge was when we tore out the shower,” she said. “Every piece of electrical runs down that wall, which is why they had such a low ceiling in the shower.”

Instead of rewiring the entire house, Palmer just had to make “a funky looking roof.”

“So, the roof line on that shower kinda angles,” Palmer said. “We were trying to get as much height as we could to make it look interesting without having to make it small and short.”

Palmer tells clients that knowing what you want is a great starting place.

“I think the most important thing is to have a list of things you want to accomplish,” she said. “Things that are really important to you. And that way, we could go about making that happen for you and accomplishing your goals. So, whether it’s to have a warm space, or more closet space, or a certain amount of space, or this much shelving and this many drawers to house everything — if you kind of have a list of what you really need, then it makes it easier.”

And having an overall theme in mind — light or dark, serene or full of energy, open or more private — helps the designer start in the right place.

“A lot of people don’t have an overall theme,” Palmer said. “They don’t even know if they want it light or dark, which is fine. We can work with that. We can always figure it out.”