Simple Yet Exceptional Living

TVT_1142When Dr. Stephanie Altobellis was looking to move into her new four-bedroom home in Prospect – a property that had been vacant for a number of years – she knew who to call: Colleen Underhill and Julia Campbell of Underhill Smith Designs.

Courtesy of Altobellis, Underhill and Campbell were given carte blanche in terms of the changes they could introduce into the new home. But like all great designers, they knew that they needed to fulfill two important tasks – make the home comfortable and adhere to the tastes of their client.

No room fits this bill more so than the kitchen.

“Dr. Altobellis really wanted this overall image of Hamptons in her kitchen with a little bit of French kitchen,” explains Underhill.

It meant that the kitchen received brand new appliances, new backsplashes with graphic tiles and soft colors throughout. Wooden floors that extend throughout the house, courtesy of Underhill and Campbell, only accentuate that further. The kitchen also segues effortlessly into the breakfast room – a couch opposite a stunning three-piece custom coffee table. The goal was to make the kitchen and the breakfast area seamlessly one room because, as in most homes, the place you eat is the heart of the house.

“This is the life of the house,” affirms Underhill. “This is where they live.” The table is the real highlight, a custom piece obtained by Underhill and Campbell, the acquiring of which is something they pride themselves on being able to do as a design company.

The room is wholesome, cozy and a place you would want to spend all your time, exactly what Altobellis wanted Underhill and Campbell to achieve – a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and inviting.

“In the design world, we say that we like it to be beautiful,” explains Campbell “But we like it to be functional. Stephanie also loved the idea that she would have furniture that would not be available here in Louisville.”

While the home contains a large swathe of Altobellis’ own furniture, Underhill and Campbell were keen to add flourishes to the home that would be statement pieces as well. This is most evidenced throughout the house in the light fixtures. Underhill and Campbell are exceptionally proud of the chandeliers that are dotted throughout the home – all successful executions of elegance, an undoubted challenge when it comes to chandeliers and their resplendence. From the antler chandelier in the foyer to the glistening classic example that’s the centerpiece of Altobellis’ bedroom, the fixtures speak of taste and timelessness.

“While there are plenty of crystals it’s still very light,” says Underhill of the bedroom chandelier, the glitz of which is matched by a nearby mirrored table.    

Other undoubted highlights in the home include a music room. Formerly a home office, the wood paneling serves as a beautiful backdrop to a Yamaha baby grand piano, an instrument one of Dr. Altobellis’ two sons plays. An antique cabinet in the corner complements the wooden interior nicely, while the bountiful natural light makes the space chamber of calm: a haven away from the bustle of having two sons.

“Between the two of us, we’ve been in the design business for 45 years,” explains Underhill, who has been with Campbell since 2007.

“We love simple elegance, and we don’t like clutter,” asserts Underhill.

Adds Campbell: “We like to work smart. We like to work hard, and we pride ourselves on having a great rapport with our clients. And we like having clients who are with us for a lifetime.”

In Dr. Altobellis’ home, that philosophy has been distilled perfectly. Altobellis’ own personal art, mementos and favorite furniture is combined effortlessly with Underhill and Campbell’s own design brilliance.

“We like to show people how to make exceptional living a way of life and show people how their homes can be both beautiful and functional. When people think of design, they think they can’t afford it, but it turns out that we can do it for them and do it affordably.” VT

For more information visit underhillsmithdesigns.com

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