When Gina and Jeff Stingley walked into their future Sunset Hills home for the first time, the dark wood, painted faux stone walls and antler chandeliers were a bit overwhelming.
“I think you really needed to have an eye for design to see this house’s potential,” Gina says. She characterizes the house’s then-interior as a bit drab, but she also loved the early 1930s Tudor-style architecture and the neighborhood south of the Plaza.
Despite walls of dark paneling and Tuscan-style plaster treatments, the Stingleys knew they could turn the quirky house on a lovely tree-lined street into a home for their young family. Located just a few blocks away from Loose Park, it’s exactly where they wanted to live. With the help of Noble Designs, the Stingleys transformed the ninety-year-old home into a light and airy abode with an eclectic mix of furniture and decorative elements that highlights the home’s character in an exuberant, modern way.
“The Stingleys were a really fun couple to work with,” says Sara Noble, the principal designer of her namesake firm. “They trusted the process.” The result is a home that’s a “little preppy, a little classic” and has a definite wow factor.
Being a young family, the Stingleys’ space needed to reflect their “bright and upbeat energy.”
“When we took on their interior design project, we knew that we had to modernize the home with a fresh twist while honoring the traditional architecture,” Noble says. “So we decided to go for a bold and new take on transitional design to reflect this budding family and give them a comfortable space to grow.”
With that in mind, Noble mixed modern and classic furniture, textiles, and art for an unexpected contrast, creating a layered look. It’s a timeless style, appearing to have been curated over the years. The result tells a story, reflecting the home’s history yet at the same time looking to the future.
“I like to include elements that really make a statement,” Noble says, pointing to a large chandelier floating above the dining room table. The empire chandelier’s traditional silhouette has been updated with the use of modern white glass beads and a satin brass finish. The fixture’s blend of old and new personifies Noble’s signature style—a mix of “traditional charm and modern comfort.”
The main living space has soaring ceilings with rough-hewn beams and dark wood French doors, both of which Noble chose to leave untouched. The darker colors here contrast with the freshly painted white walls.
“We selected plush white sofas with clean lines,” Noble says.
“This selection offers more comfort and practicality than an antique settee, and it provides a modern contrast to the stone fireplace, stained French doors and patterned textiles on the pillows.”
This living space is right off the kitchen and is the hub of the home, so comfort was key.
Front sitting room
Despite the room’s more formal furniture, the front living room feels cozy, comfortable and sophisticated all at the same time. Not only does it seem to be the perfect place to sit by the fire and read a book, but thanks to Noble’s choice of several modern art pieces, it also has a high-end gallery feel. A photograph of a tiger swimming in a pool is showcased over an antique chest. The print by itself looks modern, but pairing it with the antique “gives off a rich, almost regent elegance,” Noble notes.
The game room
Just off the main living area, Noble transformed the game room by painting the wood paneling and bar cabinets white and placing clear lucite ghost chairs around an antique game table for the perfect mix of old and new. The chairs add a modern touch and recede into the space, making it feel larger and offering an unobstructed view of the antique table focal point.
The Stingleys found the home’s original blueprints and framed and hung them in the game room. The house plans-turned-art provide the space with not only a little dose of history but also a vibrant pop of color.
As with a jewel box, a home’s “wow factor,” as Noble likes to say, starts as soon as the front door opens.
The original black and white marble floor remains, but rather than dark wood walls, a classic grasscloth wallpaper in muted emerald wraps the entry walls. Typical of a 1930s home, a narrow entryway leads to the much larger foyer and, like a candy shop 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.
Just off the entry sits a small yet dramatic half-bath. Noble selected a tropical wallpaper design in dark greens, punctuated with bright reds and inquisitive monkey motifs. 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.
The cabinets feature classic lines, but the uniform color paired with clean black counters and a black and white geometric backsplash gives the traditional space a swanky restaurant vibe.
On the counter is a framed black and white photo of sophisticates imbibing at Gina Stingley’s great grand-uncle’s Italian restaurant in New York, The Italian Platter. The photo, taken decades ago, adds to the pantry’s glamour.
In the dining room, Noble found inexpensive vintage chairs on Chairish.com, an online marketplace that lets antique dealers and individuals buy and sell items. Serendipitously, these chairs, which Noble had painted white and reupholstered in a light patterned fabric with red piping, were placed on the online emporium by one of the Stingleys’ neighbors just a few doors down. The chairs, along with the statement chandelier hovering 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 wainscotting. “This placement showcases one repeat of the pattern, turning a traditional nature pattern into a piece of modern art,” she says.