When interior designer Rachel Cannon pitched this deep burgundy for homeowner Bonnie Dial’s new office, she knew she was taking a risk. But when Bonnie walked into their meeting with nails painted the exact shade, it felt like fate. The moody hue transformed the space from kids playroom to creative space for Bonnie to both work and recharge. Photos by Kim Meadowlark

Home Style: A love of fashion inspires a bold and contemporary renovation

For some reason, no matter what configuration she went with, the rooms never felt exactly right. Maybe it was the couch. No, maybe the table. But actually, maybe it was that painting. The process was draining, and after opening Aria’s third location in Ridgeland, Mississippi, Bonnie says she was ready for a change.

“I wanted to come home to a completely perfect house so I could just relax and recharge,” Bonnie says. “With my girls getting a little older, it just felt like the right time.”

Bonnie and her husband Robert enlisted the help of interior designer and faithful Aria shopper Rachel Cannon for the renovation, which would include in the project’s first phase the home’s main living spaces, an office for Bonnie and the master bedroom and bathroom.

“It was a huge honor to have someone like Bonnie pick me to design her house,” Rachel says. “She has great taste, and we have connected over our love of color. But when I walked into her house for the first time, my immediate thought was that this house was not nearly cool enough for the woman I know.”

That’s not to say that the Dials didn’t have cool pieces. Things like the gilded Ashley Longshore painting of Audrey Hepburn that Bonnie fell in love with on an after-lunch stroll down Magazine Street years ago and the linen-covered credenza in the entryway just needed a little help to bring a wow-factor to their respective spaces.

Taking cues from the clothes that fill the racks at Aria, Rachel’s design for the Dial home prioritizes femininity and boldness. A clean-lined, contemporary edge was necessary to keep the spaces from feeling cramped or overwhelming, but Rachel says she was careful to maintain balance with traditional touches to give the overall design a timeless quality.

Importantly, Rachel achieved that balance through the many details that went into each space. It’s not just about the big ticket items—the couch, the wall color, the art. Rachel says that a successful design, much like a successful outfit, is built in layers.

“When you first look at a space, or your first pass, you are identifying all of the main things—the doorways, couch, etcetera,” Rachel explains. “The second pass is where you take in the next layer of detail. And every subsequent pass you see more and more. I think every pass should have something interesting to dwell on that was thoughtfully chosen to complete the space.”

For example, in Bonnie’s office, which was formerly her daughters Anna and Mary’s playroom, the first thing to notice is the bold burgundy walls and trim. Beyond that, there’s the leather-covered desk, arched built-in bookcases and gold statement mirror. Looking even closer, the gilded pulls on the lower cabinetry are complete with turquoise embellishments and a collection of purple-toned books and curated family memories fill the above shelves.

The couple’s existing bed was kept in this redesign. However, most everything around it changed. A light geometric wallpaper adds interest to the walls without being overwhelming. Across the entire back wall are drapes made from fabric reminiscent of the iconic Missoni chevron, a nod to Bonnie’s love of the fashion house.

“Accessories are every bit as important as the furniture,” Rachel notes. “Everything has to come together to tell a story.”

A pervading storyline in the Dial house is Bonnie’s love of fashion. This doesn’t come as a surprise given her profession. But when Rachel and her team took to translating that into the Dial home, the process wasn’t exactly straightforward.

“I didn’t want to be right on the nose about anything,” Rachel says. “Bonnie likes Missoni. But instead of just doing Missoni fabric, we picked something reminiscent of Missoni’s iconic patterns to use for the drapes in the master bedroom.”

Also in the master bedroom is a pair of signed photographs of Brigitte Bardot by famed celebrity photographer Douglas Kirkland that Bonnie spotted at home décor store Clic while on a buying trip for Aria in New York City. She didn’t initially purchase them, but once she got back to Baton Rouge, she couldn’t stop thinking about them.

“I fell in love with them,” Bonnie says. “I sent pictures to Rachel and asked if she thought they would work anywhere, and, luckily, she said yes.”

The master bathroom required the most work out of all of the spaces. Originally a one-sink master, additional space was created by taking over some of the couple’s daughters’ bathroom. The Breccia Capraia marble slab makes a statement in the space. Geometric shapes are pulled into this space, creating continuity with the rest of the redesigned rooms, through the floor tile, as well as detailing on the cabinetry.

Bonnie—and her entire family—put their full trust in Rachel when it came to the design. While they were part of the selection process for many of the more out-of-the-box design choices, like the foyer wallpaper, Bonnie says she took a leap of faith and went along with Rachel’s vision for the home’s transformation.

“I knew Bonnie was willing to take a risk,” Rachel says. “And I think that really shows through in the finished product.”

While the Dials lived in the home amidst the renovation, which included some construction with the expansion of the master bathroom, Rachel and her team brought the full vision to life in one day while the family was at work and school.

“I was so nervous, and when we came home that day, it didn’t even feel real,” Bonnie recalls. “It took us about a week of living in it just to adjust.”

Now that the dust has settled and the paint has dried, Bonnie says she feels like her family’s home has finally reached its full potential, both aesthetically and practically.

“Working in the industry I’m in, I don’t necessarily feel pressure to have my house be a reflection of the store or what I sell there,” Bonnie says. “For me, my home is more about creative expression, and now when I come home, I am so inspired and feel like I, and the rest of my family, can be creative. I come home now and everything just makes sense.”