Despite its lofty ceilings, designer Hillary Hooper sought to make the main living space, which is open to the foyer and adjacent library, feel intimate and warm. The rust-colored couch from Inspirations Furniture & Design is the focal point of the space. “We knew we wanted a colored couch,” Hooper explains. “And this one fit perfectly with the other earthy tones throughout the house.” The black modern artwork that helps to ground the space is by Maura Segal and was sourced from Ann Connelly Fine Art. The black is brought upwards with a modern fixture from Capital City Lighting. Photos by Kim Meadowlark

Soft lines and intentional details were key in bringing a modern new build to life

Last month, TikTok was overrun with the “how often do men think about the Roman Empire” trend. But, the fact that men across the world ponder the details of the revolutionary regime isn’t as shocking as it may seem. The Romans are to thank for much of what makes the modern world what it is. There’s the calendar, roads, public press and concrete, among many other things. But, then there’s the arch.

A hallmark of the iconic Roman structures that are still revered, arches paved the way for buildings, bridges and more as they are known and experienced today. And, while the Romans didn’t invent the architectural element themselves, they are largely to thank for the feature’s prominence and proliferation throughout the Western world. The things you can learn on TikTok.

When homebuilder Russell Alleman, owner of Manchac Homes, and design pro Hillary Hooper of Hillary Hooper Interiors first saw the plans for the front exterior of the Long Farm Village neighborhood home that they would be working on together, there was one thing that stuck out immediately: the arches. Designed by The Front Door Design Studio, an oversized, curved front window and a corresponding curved front door set the tone for Hooper and Alleman, and they were set on carrying that element past the home’s threshold.

This exterior rendering is the basis on which Hooper and Alleman decided to make major changes to the interior, adding arched doorways throughout, as well as details like a rounded island, to speak to those curves from the home’s façade. Rendering courtesy The Front Door Design Studio.

“This is how the process often works,” Hooper notes. “We take inspiration from the architect. They lay the foundation of the home’s personality. And we just go from there.”

Following from the front exterior, the first-floor entry is defined by its striking, arch-laden hallway that leads into the main living space. Beyond, arched doorways—changed mid-build to fit with the revised vision—lead out out to the backyard. But, the rounded edges weren’t reserved for overhead.

“We wanted to mimic that arched element in other, creative ways throughout the house to make everything feel cohesive, like it’s part of one, beautiful story,” Hooper explains.

“I obsess over color,” Hooper says of choosing the cabinet color for the kitchen. “I knew I didn’t want white cabinets for this house. The color I chose is part of the same family as the trim color, so it all ties together really well.” Sherwin Williams’ “Western Reserve” is a gray-blue shade that pulls on that earthiness that Hooper was hoping to key into throughout the home. The dark stain of the curved and reeded island also speaks to this. A marble counter and backsplash from J&B Countertops completes the look.

The kitchen island, with its curves and reeded finishing, draws on the idea of an arch. In the primary bathroom, the bathtub alcove was reimagined with rounded edges and a rounded tub was chosen, as well. But, possibly the most significant feature is the stairwell ceiling, which features a Venetian plastered, suspended groin vault with a statement backlight.

“It was definitely the most difficult thing we did in this house,” Alleman recalls. “It took months of planning, but I think it really shows the execution level that we are capable of and our willingness to go that extra mile.”

The arch isn’t the only element that helps to create a cohesive look throughout the home, though. The halo of light that shines from the sides of the vaulted ceiling is carried into the home’s library and primary bath, where back- and uplighting are utilized to give the feeling of intimacy, while also illuminating otherwise dark spaces.

“To me, the rooms in this home feel like a hug,” Hooper says. “They just feel like home, like a comfortable place to be. And that’s what we were aiming for.”

With millwork painted in the moody Sherwin Williams shade “Big Dipper,” the library is the clearest example of this. The navy on the walls envelops guests, but the light, engineered white oak floors and the antique pages of countless books atop the room’s many shelves help to balance dark and light. Furnishings were chosen with texture and comfort in mind.

“We wanted to carry that same texture and layering beyond the furniture itself,” Hooper notes. “The grasscloth wallpaper on the library ceiling was a very last-minute decision. We had the paper overnighted and installed the next night. But, it really completes the space, and it’s a total showstopper.”

Washed in Sherwin Williams’ “Big Dipper,” the walls of the home’s library are covered in custom built-ins by Acadian Custom Cabinets. Hooper and her team turned antique books outward to make the tones of their yellowed pages become part of the design. Mounted on the outside of the bookcase is a work sourced from Inspirations Furniture & Design. Overhead, the grasscloth-covered ceiling completes the space by adding an extra dose of warmth and layered texture.

The natural texture of the grasscloth is something that Hooper was keen to incorporate. For her, there is something about the home that speaks to an earthiness. Between the Venetian plaster, the natural stones and even the iron elements, the bones of the home hint at those ancient, architectural elements that provided the original inspiration for the home’s design. And, it’s those connections to ancestors and the earth itself that create a space that feels both elevated and comfortable.

“All of those things bring an element of soul to a home,” Hooper explains. “It was amazing to see all of these different local vendors working together to bring this vision to life. We could never do it without our people, and we have them to thank for the success.”

See more photos from this home in our gallery below: