Step Inside the Home of Grace & Nell’s Lauren Browne

As the proprietress of Nell Hill’s, I am constantly on the lookout for kindred spirits who share our passion for creating spaces that inspire and delight. Recently, I had the pleasure of crossing paths with the talented Lauren Browne, founder of Grace & Nell Homes, and let me tell you, it was a match made in design heaven (and not just because we share a “Nell”)!  

From the moment we met, I knew that Lauren’s unique vision and unwavering commitment to excellence were exactly what we were looking for in a partner. But it wasn’t just her impeccable taste and keen eye for detail that captured my heart – it was her genuine warmth and infectious enthusiasm for bringing beauty into the world. As a firm believer in the power of women supporting women and the magic that can happen when we join forces, I am beyond thrilled to announce our exciting partnership with Lauren and Grace & Nell Homes.  

Together, we are embarking on an enchanting journey that promises to delight and inspire all who come along for the ride. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be whisked away into a world of timeless elegance and boundless creativity – courtesy of Lauren Browne and Nell Hill’s. Welcome to a partnership that is as meaningful as it is magical. 

In today’s blog post, we’re introducing Lauren and diving into her personal home, which also serves as a stunning showhouse for her design/build firm, Grace & Nell Homes. From elegant interiors to thoughtful details, Lauren’s home is a true testament to her impeccable taste and design expertise. I recently sat down with Lauren to talk about her home on her most recent visit to the shop. Join us as we explore this beautiful space in her own words and get inspired by Lauren’s signature style! 

Talk about the dual use you have for this home – you live there and it’s also a showhouse for you to walk clients through.  

LB: As a boutique custom home builder, I wanted to be sure to have a space that future clients could visit and see the level of finishes when working with me. It’s also an excellent way to showcase how I mix materials and finishes when working with a budget. I also love hosting guests in my home, so welcoming people in comes naturally for how we live. (We make it doable because I’ve promised my kids I won’t show their closets!)

How would you describe your style personally and professionally and how does it translate into the work you do with clients? 

LB: My passion for home building is rooted in a love for timeless design and natural finishes. Equally, I think of the three dimensions in every room — walls, floors, and ceilings. Each room should tell its own story that connects with the whole home and uniquely reflects the client’s personal style.

In what way was this home built for families?  

LB: Every home I build is designed around how the spaces will be utilized by the homeowners. In this instance, it’s also my personal home so we centered spaces for how our family lives day to day and for how we love to entertain. A few examples include our kitchen and joint dining room which can seat up to 12 guests. When we host friends or gather with our extended families, we all love to be in the same space near the kitchen. A separate formal dining room was never used in our previous homes. We also needed dual office spaces because my husband also works from home.

I love a good mudroom! What was important about the design of your mudroom?  

LB: Mudrooms are the drop zone for the whole family. It was important to me to have more than just a bench or open cubbies because that type of open design is more difficult to maintain. Having closed in lockers is a must for me. The mudroom is easy to keep tidy and the craziness is all hidden behind the doors and drawers. The powder bath is also off the mudroom in this house because I think having the guest space feel away from the entertaining areas adds more sense of privacy.  

Talk about your color palette – why does it speak to you? 

LB: I personally love spaces that are constructed with timeless elements and anchored by a neutral color palette that allow the furnishings and accents to bring in pops of color. I usually steer away from trendy finishes that are costly to replace. It’s why I love natural elements like wood floors, natural stone, brick, marbles, wainscoting – they’re always beautiful.

What is your favorite room and why?  

LB: Our primary suite. I love how every detail came together: the beam details with the corbels juxtaposed with the chandelier plus the wainscoting around the windows; the European white oak wood floors carried through the en suite bath with the marble water room; and my built in make-up vanity. It’s all pulled together with the custom upholstery furniture and fabrics from Nell Hills. It all just brings me joy.

Talk about creating spaces for your teenagers – how much direction did you get from them? Walk me through your process.  

LB: Great question. When we were designing the home, my oldest was about to start middle school and my youngest still had her last year of elementary school. I knew the bulk of our years here would be with teenagers. I intentionally wanted sperate “hang out” areas in the home. The 2nd floor has a loft with seating and a game table and the lower level is finished with a media room, and additional lounge space versus spaces centered around toys.  

For my kids’ rooms, they definitely influenced the design. My son asked me while we were on vacation if his room could feel like a boutique store we were in at the time. It had a nautical and masculine vibe to it — almost like an antique sail boat – and a huge sword fish hanging from the ceiling (which of course he really wanted). The wood tones and leather finishes are a reflection of his request, minus the swordfish. He also LOVES golf, so that’s incorporated in his room as well.  

For my daughter’s room, candidly I was really wanting her to choose a really soft pink for her walls and vanity, but she loved blue tones. Her room has more of a coastal feel as well based on things she loved.  

I took them both to the fabrics studio at Nell Hill’s to choose their draperies, and I was thrilled when my daughter fell in love with her fabrics because we were able to pull fun pops of pink color in after all! [The textiles] really bring each room together perfectly. 

The office is located on the first floor. Are there benefits to living and working in the same place? What are the challenges?  

LB: I love working from home. To me, the benefits outweigh any challenges. There will likely come a day when we’ll need a separate office and studio as we bring on more staff, but for now I enjoy the simplicity of being home.

Why did you come to Nell Hill’s to furnish your home? You have access to so many resources, why partner with us?  

LB:I love the design and build process with new construction, and partnering with Nell Hill’s works so well because we don’t have the capacity to offer full home furnishing services. Nell Hill’s has an equal love for timeless design and providing an elevated customer experience. So it was a natural fit.

What was it like working with the Nell Hill’s design team?  

LB: Every aspect of working with Carlie and the design team is a fantastic experience. Carlie is wonderfully collaborative and is always willing to help source the style of pieces in my mind’s eye. In addition, she also has a great eye for design herself. Working with a designer was also so helpful to give ideas or recommendations when I felt stuck in a certain area.

As we bring this journey through the enchanting world of Lauren Browne’s beautiful home to a close, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude and inspiration. It has been an absolute joy to collaborate with Lauren and witness firsthand the magic she brings to every space she touches. From her impeccable style to her unwavering dedication to her craft, Lauren’s passion and creativity shine through in every corner of her stunning showhome. Together, we have crafted a partnership that celebrates the art of design, the power of collaboration, and the beauty of creating spaces that truly reflect the essence of those who inhabit them.  

I am excited to see where our journey with Lauren will take us next. Stay tuned – I’ll be sharing more about our partnership with Grace & Nell and the exciting things to come on the blog soon! In the meantime, here’s to many more adventures in design, friendship, and inspiration. Until next time – happy decorating!