Text: Jeanne de Lathouder
Photography: Michael Blevins
Cambell, the owner of J Layton Interiors based in Charlotte, Charleston, Nantucket, and New York, the multifaceted North Carolina native approached the project—like all his projects—with a unique expression of originality, a signature mark that never fails to surpass client expectations. Honing his design skills at the prestigious Parsons School of Design, Campbell has also traveled extensively across the globe, gleaning influences from Asia, Australia, Europe, Russia, and the Middle East that continue to inspire his aesthetic today.
“This family decided to move closer into town and made the shift from a more contemporary home and furnishings to a traditional-style home,” Campbell explains. “I chose classic silhouettes for the furnishings but calmed down the formality by using bright, colorful painted finishes and soft-to-the-touch fabrics.”
The designer added elegant but lively textural wallcoverings, from a Phillip Jeffries blue silk in the living room to a Thibaut dogwood blue-and-white grasscloth in the powder room. He continued the theme, applying an abstract blue-and-white textured wallpaper in the dining room to give it a more approachable feel. He implemented a Phillip Jeffries gilded mirror wallcovering in the bar above the shelves to echo the gold-themed metallic tiles below them and create a beautiful reflection in the space. “Reflection of all the sunlight-filled spaces was important for me to capture,” notes Campbell. “I used a wool and silk hand-knotted rug from Stark in the living room that the sun dances about throughout the day, and in the evening, it shimmers in the lamplight.”
The casually elegant great room is where the family loves to gather, so Campbell selected a matching pair of long Lillian August sofas that face each other to anchor the massive space. But the true showstoppers are two vibrant blue abstract paintings by Southern artist Lauren Smith-Nagel that flank the fireplace. “The homeowners have a wonderful art collection and pride themselves that all their important pieces are created by Southern artists,” adds the designer. “Their art collection was an integral part of all the design decisions, and many pieces were sourced from local galleries in Charlotte.”
Because the owners like to entertain frequently, Campbell worked to showcase all the artwork as prominently as possible. The living room boasts two compelling pieces from their collection—an enchanting landscape by Andy Braitman sits above the fireplace, and an abstract by Suzanne T.S. presides over the deep blue velvet Hickory Chair sofa. “I enjoy creating spaces that provide a unique experience from room to room, and art always dictates that direction,” says Campbell. “I also wanted to add an element of whimsy to the project, and having accessories that don’t take themselves too seriously helped create that youthful attitude.”
The bright white kitchen, designed by Kingswood Custom Homes and accented in light blue, offers a cheerful space for the family to enjoy their morning coffee and breakfast routine. Tucked just beyond the kitchen, a lovely scullery features yet another reflective custom touch with cabinets dressed in antique mirrored panels. Another favorite family spot is the kids’ recreation room, where Campbell positioned a large sectional around a colorful storage ottoman for extra blankets and games. “Add a periwinkle-blue bar packed with their favorite beverages and snacks, and you have a happy place for all.” He laughs.
For the spacious primary suite, Campbell juxtaposed a Hickory Chair French-style bed wrapped in luxurious linens with lacquered bedside chests paired with dazzling gold hardware. “I wanted to keep this room from having anything close to an expected tone,” he notes. A black-framed painting by J Louis hovers over the fireplace and creates a bold focal point.
Outside, the covered terrace is by far one of Campbell’s favorite places on the property. Its graceful white arches and inviting fireplace generate a warm, welcoming vibe for alfresco entertaining. Here, he selected light teak pieces from Palecek accented with blue cushions and paired them with comfy deep blue upholstered outdoor seating. Janus et Cie lounge chairs and chaises surround the tranquil blue water of the pool that mirrors the soothing furniture palette. “The journey working with these fantastic clients was so fun and fulfilling,” sums up the designer. “They were excited and involved at every turn, but clearly, the passion for creating a relaxing home to share with friends and family was our utmost goal.”