With the popularity of interior/exterior design channels on television, a larger emphasis has been placed on the outside spaces. What many of those producers don’t know is well-trained interior designers have been aware of the outdoors for years!
Local interior designer Carolyn Grove and Jim Bowling, her partner of more than 20 years, have harmoniously worked together to complement each other’s spaces at the home they share in Olivette.
“Jim takes care of the outside, and I take care of the inside,” Grove quips. While Grove does make all of the material selections for the interior, Bowling’s years of experience as a contractor come in handy when there is construction involved. Equally, Grove helps with the selection and placement of the perennials that are planted outside each year.
The exterior spaces have matured beautifully over the years to be sure, and they play beautifully into the emphasis that Grove has placed on her furniture arrangement, window treatments and interior color choices. Anyone who is familiar with the designer can recognize her understated-dramatic window treatments (my words, not hers). She has a way of using the most sumptuous of fabrics in very simple yet tailored ways and then ‘crowning’ them with dynamite drapery hardware. By using this technique, she has framed what the viewer sees beyond the interior world.
Color is everywhere. Grove’s instincts prove correct painting her living room a coral color that pops with the juxtaposed greenery and azure blue of the pool in the spring and summer months, yet offers a warm glow when the fireplace is lit during a dreary fall and winter. Likewise, the cool color of her office/study translates for all seasons. The lady knows color!
Bowling has taken great effort in creating scale and proportion with his use of flora and fauna. The rear garden is anchored by a large swimming pool and a curtained pavilion that is perfect for conversation or relaxing. Shades of green definitely dominate the garden, but each year, a little color is added for interest and exclamation points! The landscape is watched over by a very weathered dragon weather vane atop the pavilion, as well as by 11-year-old Samson the Labrador, who has free rein to protect them from squirrels, rabbits and the like. Together, this dynamic duo has created the most beautiful rooms with a view!