Pets in HON Designs

Anyone that's stopped by House of Nomad’s studio knows we're animal lovers! The first person to greet you at the door is Berk's Springer Spaniel, Shelby -- and now, Kell's pup Frankie, a 12-week old tricolored French bulldog! We adore animals and since our very first project, love incorporating cats and dogs alike into almost every space we've designed. With a new pup around the office, it got us reminiscing on our favorite projects where the client's family pets got a little camera time.

Here’s a little bit about each space we designed, and how we considered the pets in the design decisions!

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Myers Park Boxer

This 1940s design project was especially meaningful because it was for neighbors of HON co-owner Berkeley Minkhorst! Not only do we just love the family, but HON is attached to this house because it was the former home of HON’s very first clients! The most beautiful part of this photo is the family’s boxer, with the dearest personality — and we love that she made it into our photoshoot.

Their 40s Myers Park home has integral history and charm but after numerous additions, they were left with a funky flow downstairs and came to HON to rework the design of the space. HON’s goal was to take some of the Americana style the duo both loves, funk it up a bit and bridge the vibe to the rest of the rooms in their downstairs. With their pet in mind, HON selected a gorgeous antique overdyed rug.

Design tip: Overdyed designs easily camouflage stains, are durable and easy to clean!

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Mountain Island Lake Goldendoodle

This is the sweetest dog you will ever meet — this family goldendoodle was very excited to pose for the camera. Last summer, we were hired by a charming mini-client (daughter of former clients who HON adores!) in Mountain Island Lake, who said she loved to read and dreamed of a dedicated crafting space in her room.

HON incorporated a desk and shelf for crafting supplies and went with a bookish Kate Spade wallpaper. The full reveal was just beautiful (she gasped with joy!) and her room is stylish with the accent wall, functional with crafting and reading areas — and all around beautifully cozy.

NoDA Cat

Kelley’s doll-face Persian, Oliver, came to LIFE the day our photographer, Laura Sumrak, photographed Kell’s home! While usually camera shy (Oliver won’t ever put his best face forward for Kell’s shots!) — he kept perching in the perfect frames for the camera. Kell’s modern new build in NoDA is eclectic, and full of global finds from HON and personal travels — check out Domino Mag’s feature for more!

Considering Oliver (and now their new pup, Frankie!), Kell took into account the color of her animals — with shedding in mind. So Kell went with a multicolored rug. Kell also went with a Crypton fabric for her sofa (pictured above left) because of its durability!

Design tip: Crypton is a durable upholstery choice (for kids or pets alike!). Not only does it fight against stains but is resistant to scratching/claws.

Dilworth Cat

This precious ragdoll cat was very excited about her baby sister coming along! One of the very first designs HON did, this Dilworth nursery is playful and neutral — and the perfect spot for a catnap, and her baby sister to grow up in!

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Plaza Midwood Golden Retriever

An early project by HON, this playful space in Plaza Midwood included lovely clients — and their sweet Golden Retreiver, Bailey. These clients approached Berk and Kell asking for design assistance in bridging the two spaces together. Berk and Kell went with a statement wall that pulls out the hues in the living room rug, which Bailey is clearly a fan of! They also went with a slipcovered sofa, which is a breeze to clean — if ever necessary.

Design Tip: Consider a bright, 100% wool rug with pets! It’s great not just for hiding pet hair but is easy to clean.

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Myers Park Springer Spaniel

HON’s original office was in Berk’s house in Myers Park, and the walls were painted a gorgeous, bright blue hue — Vardo by Farrow & Ball. Shelby was a fan of the artistic space and spent every day there with Kell and Berk. Again, the rug selection was important with Shelby in mind, so the duo went with an indoor/outdoor rug, which is both a fun, graphic print — and has longevity to it.

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SouthEnd Springer Spaniel

Last sumer, House of Nomad finally found their way out of Berk’s home office and into our very own studio in South End’s Atherton Lofts. Exposed beams, massive windows, light drenched spaces — it’s a dream! The designs are always evolving as fresh finds are brought back from Berk and Kell’s sourcing trips for our dedicated shopping area (open to the public by appointment and online!).

Berk and Kell loved taking risks in designing the studio, including Shelby’s favorite spot to camoflauge herself— a bold, black and white patterned sofa. Shelby is also obsessively drawn to the Moroccan rugs and Frankie to the poufs!

Cheers to all the CLT pets we’ve grown to love as we’ve designed spaces across the Queen City!

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Photos taken by the talented Laura Sumrak!

Finding Your Style

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More often than not, when couples sit down in our studio for a design consultation — we quickly discover they have different styles. And most often, their design styles aren’t just distinct but they are opposite, like a West-Coast Cali-vibe lover married to someone set on Southern charm. 

But we love this. It’s always a fun design challenge to not just create a cohesive design but one that reflects dual personalities. We start by finding the common denominator — what’s something they both love and agree on? And then, we find what they are each drawn to and how we can incorporate must-have aspects from both clients.

This design process means we get to know the clients really well, which we love, and we do so by taking them through a number of exercises. Pinterest is where we start, showing them galleries of images based on what spaces we’re designing. We watch for what they are each drawn to — and what they are not drawn to. This helps establish patterns for each person and we can find where they intersect. Almost always a color emerges that they both love. We also show them examples of our previous work and ask them what they like — and what they don’t. Is this kitchen way to modern? Dining space too traditional? 

Once we start to find their style — we start the compromise game. We may have discovered they both love blue, for example, so the designs reflect that vibe as the foundation. If he’s set on a leather couch with modern wood accents, maybe we jump for that piece but then soften the design with textiles and pillows that reflect her personality. 

Another trick we’ve found so unifying for most couples is to include an unexpected element in the design. If it’s a one-of-a-kind light fixture — for example — often both clients are thrilled and drawn to it, and bond over that being in their space.

Check out this dining space, as an example (shown above)! During the design presentation, immediately they both intrigued by this light fixture. The layered glass was unique and they both loved that they’d never seen it before. As for the rest of the space, we touched on his style with the modern, streamline table and chairs. We also incorporated a wallpaper that she loved, making the space welcoming and a room that reflects them both.

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Across CLT, we designed another dining space (shown above and below) where he was drawn to a textured light fixture and she — a bold wall color. He compromised on the bright paint for her, and she went for the light fixture and a rug he liked. The space sings to both of their styles.

For the design of Kell’s house in NoDA, Kell and her husband Brad (who designs furniture!) worked together to create cohesive spaces. While Kell is drawn to modern and eclectic, if it was up to Brad — everything would have a mid-century modern vibe.

They worked together in this dining space with chairs that have a nod to mid-century with the caps — but then incorporate Kell’s personality with the hide and curved bucket seats. They both loved the light fixture and across the space, incorporated a mid-century piece from Atomic Furnishings in Asheville.

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Their bedroom also reflects a unified design with them both loving the moody feel of the deep-toned walls. Off this vibe, the duo picked a mid-century piece that Brad had his eyes on with Kell’s pick: a velvet headboard and textiles that reflect her eclectic eye. It’s a pure mix of them both.

Happy Valentine’s Eve! And cheers to all the couples who have pushed our designs to the next level with your distinct personalities and love for your homes!