When Gina and Jeff Stingley first walked into their future home in Sunset Hills, the dark wood, painted faux stone walls, and wooden chandeliers were a bit overwhelming.
“I think you really had to have an eye on the design to see the potential of this house,” says Gina. She describes the interior of the then house as a bit drab, but she also liked the Tudor-style architecture of the early 1930s and the area south of the Plaza.
Despite the dark wood-paneled walls and Tuscan-style plaster treatments, the Stingleys knew they could turn the original house on a pretty tree-lined street into a home for their young family. Located a few blocks from Loose Park, this is exactly where they wanted to live. With the help of Noble designs, the Stingleys have transformed the 90-year-old home into a light and airy abode with an eclectic mix of furnishings and decorative elements that showcases the character of the home in a modern and exuberant way.
“The Stingleys were a really fun couple to work with,” says Sara Noble, principal designer at her namesake company. “They trusted the process.” The result is a house that is “a bit preppy, a bit classic” and has a stunning effect.
Being a young family, the Stingleys’ space was to reflect their “bright and upbeat energy”.
“When we undertook their interior design project, we knew we had to modernize the house with a touch of freshness while honoring traditional architecture,” Noble explains. “So we decided to go for a bold and new take on the transitional design to reflect this budding family and give them a comfortable space to grow up. “
With this in mind, Noble mixed modern and classic furniture, textiles and art for an unexpected contrast, creating a layered look. It’s a timeless style, seeming to have been organized over the years. The result tells a story, reflecting the history of the house while looking to the future.
“I like to include items that really make a statement,” Noble says, pointing to a large chandelier floating above the dining room table. The traditional silhouette of the empire chandelier has been updated with the use of modern white glass beads and a satin brass finish. The fixture’s mix of old and new epitomizes Noble’s signature style, a blend of ‘traditional charm and modern comfort’.
The main living space has high ceilings with raw beams and dark wood patio doors, which Noble chose to leave untouched. The darker colors here contrast with the freshly painted white walls.
“We have selected soft white canapes with clean lines,” explains Noble.
“This selection offers more comfort and functionality than an antique sofa, and it provides a modern contrast to the stone fireplace, tinted patio doors and patterned textiles on the pillows.”
This living space is right next to the kitchen and is the center of the house, so comfort was key.
Despite the more formal furnishings in the room, the front lounge is at the same time cozy, comfortable and sophisticated. Not only does this seem like the perfect place to sit by the fire and read a book, but thanks to Noble’s choice of several pieces of modern art, it also has an upscale gallery atmosphere. A photograph of a tiger swimming in a pool is featured on an antique chest. The print itself looks modern, but pairing it with the antique “exudes a rich, almost regent elegance,” Noble notes.
The game room
Just off the main living room, Noble transformed the game room by painting the woodwork and bar cabinetry in white and placing transparent lucite ghost chairs around an antique game table for the perfect blend of old and new. again. The chairs add a modern touch and fade into the space, making it feel larger and providing an unobstructed view of the focal point of the antique table.
The Stingleys found the original plans for the house, framed them, and hung them in the playroom. The plans of the house turned art give the space not only a small dose of history, but also a touch of vibrant color.
As with a jewelry box, the “wow factor” as Noble likes to say, begins as soon as the front door opens.
The original black and white marble flooring remains, but rather than dark wood walls, a classic muted emerald grass canvas wallpaper envelops the entryway walls. Typical of a 1930s house, a narrow entrance leads to the much larger foyer and, like a candy store window, offers an immediate glimpse of colorful treasures large and small to be discovered.
Noble added a colorful upholstered banquet in the breakfast nook. Covered in a classic floral fabric, it adds a bit of preppy color to the space.
Right next to the entrance is a small but dramatic half bath. Noble selected a tropical wallpaper pattern in dark green tones, punctuated with bright reds and curious monkey designs. Long, dramatic sconces flank the bathroom mirror, creating mood lighting and adding to the drama.
In the butler’s pantry, Noble went bold, painting the floor-to-ceiling cabinets in a vibrant green.
Cabinets feature classic lines, but the consistent color paired with clean black counters and a black-and-white geometric backsplash gives the traditional space a chic restaurant vibe.
On the counter is a framed black-and-white photo of sophisticated people drinking at Gina Stingley’s great-great-uncle’s Italian restaurant in New York City, The Italian Platter. The photo, taken decades ago, adds to the glamor of the pantry.
In the dining room, Noble found some inexpensive vintage chairs on Chairish.com, an online marketplace that allows antique dealers and individuals to buy and sell items. By chance, these chairs, which Noble had painted white and covered in a light patterned fabric with red piping, were placed on the emporium in a row by one of the Stingleys’ neighbors a few doors down. The chairs, along with the towering chandelier that hovers above the dining room table, give the space a traditional elegance with a clean, modern feel.
Noble used a classic blue and white Schumacher wallpaper above the paneling. “This placement features a repeat of the pattern, transforming a traditional natural pattern into a modern work of art,” she says.