This Barton Creek adobe was designed to appease both husband and wife
By Gene Menez | Photos Courtesy Etch Design Group
When it comes to interior design, Michelle Berkey and her husband, Grant, agree on one thing: Their styles don’t agree.
She’s crazy for color; he prefers neutrals. She desires decor with depth and curves; he loves clean lines. She fancies French furniture; he’s captivated by contemporary.
“We don’t have the same taste at all,” Berkey says. “We have opposite ideas with everything.”
And yet somehow the look of the Berkeys’ four-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot Barton Creek home appeals to both of them. The house, which was designed by Cornerstone Architects and built by Metropolitan Custom Homes, features pops of bright color, both modern and elegant lines and a mix of patterned accents. Each space, whether inside or outside, has its own personality—one of many design ideas the Berkeys, who have three boys ages 14, 11 and 4, borrowed from their frequent staycations at Hotel Saint Cecilia.
“Hotel Saint Cecilia is by far our favorite hotel,” Berkey says. “There’s nothing else like it. It’s quaint and funky, and it has that sense of home even though it’s a hotel.”
The interior design is the work of Stephanie Lindsey and Jessica Nelson of Etch Design Group, who say their biggest challenge was to get the Berkeys to agree on pieces they both loved. How challenging was that? The homeowners visited a kitchen, bath and lighting showroom at the direction of the designers to select pieces for the house. “That was an absolute, utter disaster,” Berkey recalls. “Grant and I were barely speaking by the time we left.”
Lindsey and Nelson had a solution: a Wecora board. Both Michelle and Grant were each given online accounts for a website showing different styles of, say, barstools picked out by the designers. The Berkeys would independently select which barstools they liked, and Lindsey and Nelson would show them which ones they had in common. From there, a selection was made.
The result is a home that is unique to the Berkeys. Upon entering the two-story house, visitors step into the open-concept great room. Here, porcelain tile gives the fireplace wall an added dimension. Meanwhile, a modern-style Chesterfield sofa balances both Grant and Michelle’s tastes.
The adjacent kitchen may be the best example of the Berkeys’ design in detente. Grant wanted countertops that were sleek and modern. But “Michelle wanted something that was completely unique and that she didn’t see in every home,” Lindsey recalls. “So they compromised. He chose the perimeter countertops (white marble lookalike in quartz); she chose the island countertop (quartzite teal and gold).”
The family’s media room is arguably the most colorful space in the house. The room has red high-gloss lacquer cabinets and artwork from Collectic Home that adds a pop of orange. Those bright hues are offset by a bone-colored West Elm sofa.
June 2018 marks the one-year anniversary of the Berkeys moving into the home, and they could not be happier. A typical weekend for the family usually involves watching sports in the great room or grilling and relaxing outside by the pool. The three boys can be found playing kickball in the cul-de-sac or having Nerf gun wars in the house.
“Living here is just amazing,” Berkey says. “It’s so nice to come home and feel like you’re home. It’s not just your house but your home.”
And that is something the Berkeys can both agree on.