Text: Lauren Gentry Walker
Photos: Michael Hunter
Known for their tailored, refined, and livable interiors, sisters Amy Munger and Elizabeth Munger Stiver have been the design duo behind Munger Interiors since 2008. When their middle sister, Anne, and her husband John began the process of building a home, they called on the two to help them design a space that would be conducive to entertaining both their friends and family and their two daughters’ friends. The homeowners also requested rooms that were inviting and infused with a Southern flair. “Our sister is very traditional and wanted a real Southern feel to her home,” says Munger. “She loves the architecture of Louisiana and Charleston, and that is really reflected in the exterior.”
The home sits on a long, narrow lot, which gave the sisters the challenge of arranging the living room in a functional yet beautiful way. They selected sofas that sit back-to-back and create a natural division between the more formal side of the room with the fireplace and mantel, and the more casual side that includes the TV.
The homeowners are frequent entertainers and—because of most guests’ proclivity to congregate in the kitchen—the L-shaped counterspace encourages those chatting with the chef to remain on the formal side. “My sister is an amazing cook and loves to prepare food for her guests,” says Munger. “The mantel was also the obvious choice for the holiday focal point, since it is easily seen from the kitchen.”
The palette of the home has a neutral base and is accented with a variety of blues, greens, and pinks. While dressing the space to meet the needs of guests was important to the designers, it was also crucial that the family have plenty of comfortable, warm spaces and furnishings. The dining room is perfect for cocktail parties and more formal affairs, while the eating nook is where the homeowners gather to eat and converse about the events of their day.
Every year when the Christmas season rolls around, Elizabeth and Amy return to Anne’s home to give it some festive, cozy décor—including a lot of fresh greenery and berries. The mantel may be the focal point of the space, but the duo wanted the traditional tree to shine just as bright. The two made sure to use new ornaments along with sentimental ones that represent different times in the daughters’ childhoods. Using a mix of fresh and faux greenery, the designers ensured every space had its own holiday sparkle, which can include a touch as simple as a fresh bouquet of flowers in the owners’ bedroom. “Our sister loves to start decorating for the holidays as early as the beginning of November,” says Stiver. “It is definitely her favorite time of year—and ours, too.”