Story of a House: Home In

Texture and neutrals make a calming downsized retreat

by Jessie Ammons
photographs by Catherine Nguyen

To create a place meant for growing older, Pam and David Bond pared down possessions, color, and square footage, but not sophistication or family space. And though the couple’s Hayes Barton house was a custom rebuild that they just moved into last November, “it felt like home immediately,” Pam Bond says. “I was worried about that, because we had been in the other house for such a good while.” 

The other house, their former residence, is a mere one-and-a-half miles away. When it came time to downsize, the Bonds say, they didn’t want to leave their neighborhood’s walking proximity to restaurants, shops, small parks, and Five Points. “We crave the small-town feel,” Pam says. But they did want to build on a smaller footprint, a quarter-acre lot, and in doing so forego rooms such as the formal living room. That meant saying goodbye to Pam’s beloved piano and a number of furniture pieces. “Through this process, we realized that things are just things.”

There were two nonnegotiable things to keep, however: “my art and my collection of North Carolina pottery,” Pam says. They remain, enhanced by a soothing color palette that reflects a change of pace for the Bonds. “Our other house had yellow, red – it was a lot of paint, which I loved,” Pam says. Interior designer Katherine Connell steered them, instead, toward a cooler vision accented by blue and brass. Connell’s eye and Pam’s love of vibrant art show in dramatic small spaces: the butler’s pantry with dark cabinets and luxe wallpaper; the lavender and grey powder room lined with patterned grasscloth; David’s front study flanked with cypress panels.

Outside, the home’s calm atmosphere continues. “We thought carefully and did a fair amount of hardscaping,” David Bond says, to build the bricked-in backyard with a fountain inspired by courtyards in Charleston. The stone fireplace is nearly always in use, David says. Its cozy hearth is meant to serve as the outdoor replacement to the indoor formal living room, and the Bonds can seat six for meals at the adjacent patio dining table. Their quarter-acre packs a lot of punch, David says. “Everything really came
together.”