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Custom Comfort
River Hills home fosters family-friendly feel

Photos by Doug Edmunds

August 2015

The great room functions as the main area for entertaining. Carver drew inspiration from the existing foremost area rug, playing off its indigo blue color scheme. "We wanted something that would stand the test of time in a traditional sense, but be more of an updated traditional look," she says.

Interior designer Linda Carver of Thiensville-based McNabb & Risley collaborated with the owners of this River Hills estate to create an environment radiating with comfort and warmth. "They live in each one of these rooms with their children, family and friends," she says of the homeowners’ lifestyle.

Careful attention was given to the shape of certain items, further enhancing the softness of each room. The great room’s indigo blue sofa and boldly patterned chairs, for instance, have a curved backing. "It draws you into the room, giving it a more intimate, softer profile," says Carver.

Existing architectural details, like the music room’s built-in bookcases, were used to tap into the family’s well-traveled past, which includes time spent living abroad. "They wanted an area they could showcase some of the pieces they had purchased during their travels," explains Carver. "The bookcases worked out beautifully for that."

Carver notes that many of the home’s pieces are custom- and American-made, often featuring custom upholstery chosen by the homeowners. "Rather than doing the expected, they were able to think outside the traditional box and put in unique pieces that fit their taste and lifestyle," she says of their vision and design aesthetic. 

"It’s a very sizable room, so we split it into two areas," says Carver of the home’s great room. The secondary nook is used as a quiet place to read a book or enjoy the backyard view. A "chair and a half," a larger version of a traditional armchair, flanks each end of the window.


A hand-worn velvet chair adds an antique look to the office. "It looks like a piece that is well-loved," says Carver. Red leather corner chairs are purposefully set low, not distracting from the window’s serene view.


"Single pieces of art in a smaller scale room really set the tone," says Carver of the music room’s oil painting. The area rug and ottoman colors were picked up from accessories filling the bookshelves.

Preserving the kitchen’s outdoor view was key when selecting furniture for the room. Backless bar stools and an unassuming custom-made cherry wood table allow for high visibility. Both the kitchen and wine cellar were remodeled when the owners purchased the home, a project completed by SJ Pope Design and Renovations.

Carver says the yard is "very important to the overall restfulness of the home." Wild turkeys and deer wander the property, which includes a small lake and island. "The back of the home overlooks all of this, so when you come into the driveway, that’s the first view you see. It’s stunning," she says.




This story ran in the August 2015 issue of: