I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these very intense times! In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nell Hill’s is currently temporarily closed until April 24th, or later as things progress. We want to make sure that our team, our customers and our community is able to stay as healthy as possible. Before this turn of events, I had the pleasure of going to visit our long-time customer, Gail, and her home in nearby Lawrence, KS. I am always so excited to see a Nell Hill’s home and this one is breathtaking! It was just like its owners – warm and inviting. I had such a fantastic time speaking with Gail about her home and I am thrilled to be able to share it with you today!
What was your inspiration behind your home?
We were inspired to build a new home so that we could have spaces that made sense at this point in our lives. We love to entertain and wanted generous public spaces. We have children and grandchildren that live out of state and we wanted plenty of room when they come to visit including a bunk room for the grandchildren. We also wanted outdoor entertaining spaces that were easy to access and all on the same level. We wanted entertaining to be easy and fun!
How would you describe your style?
I lean toward French Country but really, I just like a European aesthetic. I like antiques mixed with new mixed with a little rusticity. I like things sprinkled in a room that have a story. I don’t like things too cluttered, but I certainly like some interest.
How long have you shopped at Nell Hill’s?
I had to really think about this one. I think almost since Mary Carol opened. I would say I probably first discovered NH in 1987.
What has been your favorite find at Nell Hill’s?
Two things come to mind. I bought a church window that my husband drug down the stairs from the store in Atchison. Thank goodness he was with me because I am certain I could not have gotten it down the stairs myself. I’m not sure why he was with me. He usually did not make the trek. The second thing was a lovely needlepoint footstool from France with a fox on it that I bought just a few years ago.
What has been your favorite part of decorating your home?
My favorite part is finding something really special and finding the perfect spot for it when I bring it home. I’m much more likely to do that than to hunt for something for a particular spot. (I love this approach!)
What was the most difficult part about decorating your home? What was a design challenge you faced?
We wanted a soaring fireplace in our great room and the first question I asked was how deep the mantle would be. I was assured it would be almost 10 inches. When the caste limestone fireplace was installed the useable space after allowing for the molding of the over mantel and the molding at the front of the mantle was really only about 5.5 inches. It was a nightmare to try to find anything to put on such a shallow mantle particularly when the fireplace was so tall. I was just persistent and kept annoying the fabricator until he came up with a solution to modify the mantle. After we had been in the home for a year he came up with an idea and put another layer on top of the mantle. It actually looks better and now I have 10 inches of depth to work with.
Could you share a story with us about a room or special furniture piece?
I was most insistent about having a long table in the dining room that my entire family could all be together at. I didn’t want a table with leaves or one that folded out. An 11-foot-long table is hard to come by but after much searching I did find a carpenter in Raytown, Missouri that would custom make an 11-foot table to my specifications. He makes them out of reclaimed lumber from local barns. Ours came from a barn in Lecompton which is very close to us. We have 6 grandchildren ranging in age from 3-9 so things are pretty crazy. We have already had Nutella and cranberry sauce spilled on the chairs, but we don’t care. I love having everyone at one table. We are always grateful to have everyone together. One year I went around and told each person individually why I was grateful for them. It was so fun to see their little faces waiting to see what was going to be said about them. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything. (My heart is bursting!)
I hope you all enjoyed seeing Gail’s beautiful home as much as I did! I left our visit feeling inspired, which says a lot about a space! She had so many wonderful furniture pieces, it makes me want to create! To check the availability to order these featured pieces please reach out to your designer or contact our Design Manager, Carlie, at firstname.lastname@example.org . Stay tuned with us on social media for the latest online shopping updates and home décor entertainment. Until next time – happy decorating!