How Brown Interiors transformed Regina and Lee Marsh’s home from Old World to “Oh Wow”
When Regina and Lee Marsh purchased their Edmond home in 2016, they loved almost everything about it. The hilly, two-lane drive into the Stonemill neighborhood was picturesque. The cul-de-sac location was perfect for hosting family. The wooded lot was like an enchanted forest. The house itself, well … it needed help.
The Marshes liked the layout, but the Old-World traditional elements – faux finishes, darkly stained woodwork an
d drab carpeting – were not their style.
“It was dated in a bold way, and it wasn’t cohesive,” Regina Marsh says. “We bought the house because the kitchen and family room are great gathering spaces. There are nice big windows that overlook the patio and backyard, so if the kids are out swimming or playing, you can see them – it’s easy to be a part of things either inside or outside of the house. But the rest of the house was kind of dark and dreary.”
In 2017, Marsh hired interior designer Amber Brown Matlack from Brown Interiors to update the office, dining room and living room. What Marsh thought would be a simple, straightforward project quickly grew into a complete overhaul.
“If the paint colors are wrong – the wrong tones for fabrics and making the design sort of come alive – you have to start there,” Matlack says. To counteract the faux finishes in the dining and living rooms, she selected Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray. “It’s not too warm and not too gray.”
The color paired nicely with newly painted white woodwork. The rooms open up to each other, so using the same colors in both spaces created a better flow. The dining room draperies – in a Beacon Hill by Robert Allen fabric – added color and softness. Matlack selected Visual Comfort light fixtures and Lee Industries furniture pieces to finish out the rooms.
“In the study, I went with a monochromatic look with windows, walls, trim and built-ins all painted the same color – a bluish-gray,” Matlack says. “It’s [Lee’s] study, so it needed to have a more masculine feel.”
Regina and Lee Marsh, along with their two daughters, loved the newly designed rooms. They now saw the potential beauty of their home, so they asked Matlack to keep going. Next up were the powder bath and laundry room.
“Amber has lightened and brightened everything up, and also transitioned it from a really dated look to a classical, current look that has a timeless feel to it,” Marsh says. “Each room she’s done, I could just spend all day there. My laundry room – I mean – can I just keep doing laundry? How many people say that? I love being in that room.”
The Marshes also updated the exterior of the home, lightening the red brick with a lime-based paint called Romabio that allows the brick to breathe. When the next phase began – redesigning the master bedroom, bathroom and closet – the exterior brick was altered to enlarge a small window in the master closet, bringing in more natural light and complementing a new corner bench. Matlack and Marsh wanted the master bath to have symmetrical sinks, a walk-in shower and an indulgent tub, all in the existing space. It was a great feat, which required some creative thinking and plumbing.
“This [master area] was more than just furnishings and paint colors,” Matlack says. “This became redoing the general layout of the bathroom and totally redoing the closet. We made it a built-in wardrobe closet.”
The bedroom features an impressive iron canopy bed by Made Goods and an inviting sitting area. Matlack used pocket doors between the bedroom, bathroom and closet to maximize space. She also strategically placed sconces to create layers of lighting, one of her go-to design tactics.
“A lot of times, people put way too many can lights and think that it’s good because it provides sufficient lighting,” Matlack says. “I think levels of lighting make a space feel more cozy or warm.”
Today, the master suite is an elegant oasis and Marsh’s favorite area.
“When I walk into that space, any fatigue, worry or stress just rolls away,” Marsh says. “Amber has taken this from just a house to a home that we’re in love with.”
As designer-client trust has increased, so have the projects. Matlack is currently working on the upstairs family room, theater and game room. Design is an evolving process Matlack knows well.
“It’s a lot of baby steps from showing them what you can do, and then executing it and having them say, ‘Wow, this is better than what I imagined,’” Matlack says. “Now, I don’t have design constraints. She’s like, ‘Whatever you say goes.’”
Last but certainly not least, Matlack will remodel the kitchen.
“We started with small things, so we were able to build that trust,” Marsh says. “The kitchen remodel will be our biggest and most critical job in the house, and I’m not stressed about it. If we had started with that, I don’t know what the result would be.”
Washable fabrics and long-lasting materials are incorporated throughout the home to accommodate the indoor-outdoor lifestyle that initially attracted the Marshes to this property. The Marsh family enjoys hosting holidays and birthdays, where as many as 20 kids may be running around the front and back yard, through the home, up and down the stairs. Nonetheless, Marsh said she doesn’t have to worry. The home is as durable as it is welcoming.
“We’re a little bit of a hot mess at times, in the best possible way,” Marsh says with a laugh. “I didn’t want to be stressed about things getting ruined or broken, because it’s just the way we are.”
With Brown Interiors leading the way, the Marshes have discovered their perfect family home; it was here in Stonemill all along.
“When we purchased the house, we purchased it thinking short-term, [thinking] ‘This is a good property, a good investment, and we will enjoy living here, just while we’re here,’” Marsh says. “Now, we’re looking at the house as, ‘We want to live here forever. We want our grandkids to come here.’ It has become our forever home.”