Let the Sun Shine In - 405 Magazine

Let the Sun Shine In

Natural light suffuses and energizes the radiantly beautiful Lamb home, making it easy for visitors to see and appreciate the well-planned design and décor that makes the clean-lined, kid-friendly new house so open, inviting and practical.

The Wide, Tree-Lined Streets Of The Neighborhood
Are Populated By A Pleasing Array Of Stately Homes. Manicured Lawns And Meticulous Landscaping Draw
Your Attention To Tudor-Style Revivalist Mansions, Mid-Century Modern Gems In The Mold Of Frank Lloyd Wright
And Sprawling Walled Properties Reminiscent Of Elite
Boarding School Grounds. There Is No Shortage
Of Architectural Eye Candy Here.

Joining these esteemed properties is the gleaming new residence of Kevin and Bailey Lamb. When the Lambs acquired the lot, it already had a home on it. Weighing the cost of potential renovations with their needs for a family home led them to start over from the ground up. Or technically from underground, as the house includes a full basement.

The sweeping stairway ascending over the front entrance pays homage to the home that previously occupied the lot. “It was the one thing I loved about that house,” says Bailey. Light in the foyer is provided by a stunning Murano chandelier with a cascading horseshoe motif, attributed to Barovier, circa 1960.
( pictured above)

Completed in May, the exterior brings a taste of continental Europe to the block party, as stucco and stone-faced walls frame an abundance of windows. The arched entryway over the front entrance welcomes visitors and introduces the Romanesque design element that emerges elsewhere on the property. The effect is that of having been transported to a French chateau or Tuscan villa. It’s a good feeling.

The subtle archway over the entry door provides a focal point for visitors and softens the sharper angles of the structure. Variations on the theme are expressed in arched windows at aesthetically strategic places on the front and back of the home. “The arch over the door was the only thing I didn’t like about Bruce’s [architect Bruce Bockus] first draft of the home,” says homeowner Bailey Lamb. “[Designer Bebe MacKellar] convinced us to keep it, and we are so glad we did.”

Capturing that feeling was the goal from the start. “We wanted the home to be open and inviting but still practical,” Bailey says. With four children six years old and younger, several nods to the necessities of daily life were deemed essential. Storage space is abundant throughout the house, and the windows and glass walls on the rear provide views of the backyard and pool from almost anywhere inside. In the basement, a custom-built wooden fort (complete with a slide!) provides an indoor space for the kids to burn off energy, a toy room cuts down on clutter and a special art studio confines finger painting projects to their intended media.

The saltwater swimming pool extends from the back of the house toward the rear property line. As with the exterior front, arched windows draw attention away from the angular complexion of the structure and soften the overall appearance of the home.

Also high on the Lambs’ list was the desire for plenty of natural light. That goal was achieved through the use of as many windows as possible along with floor-to-ceiling glass walls at the rear of the house. “I don’t think [the Lambs] said no to any windows,” shares architect Bruce Bockus of Bockus Payne Architects. And with good reason – on the many sunny days enjoyed in the metro, artificial light is virtually unnecessary inside the house.

The interior design plays up the sunlight that streams through the glass. “Colorful but not busy,” is how designer Bebe MacKellar of Fanny Bolen Interiors describes the result of her work.

A custom iron and resin leaf chandelier, handmade in California,
casts a warm glow over the formal dining area. The table is a recycled piece surrounded by chairs reupholstered
with laminated fabric for easy cleanup.


With a house full of youngsters and frequent visits from nearby relatives, “I wanted a calming interior design plan,” explains Bailey. Bebe used whites, soft grays and gentle earth tones to enhance the natural light, while splashes of color are interspersed throughout the home to energize the color palette. The liberal use of whites and lighter colors runs the risk of creating a sterile perception, but Bebe deftly sidestepped this trap by dotting the interiorscape with colorful artwork, intricate accent pieces and the occasional flashy fabric. There is just enough of everything but never too much.

Dabs of color welcome you into the living room. After living in
the house for six months, the Lambs are settling in. “At first, when everything was so new, we were trying to keep the kids from messing anything up,” Kevin laughs. “Now we’ve found
a way to make this a space for all of us.”


Turning these bright ideas into one sun-splashed sanctuary was the result of great communication and teamwork. Builder Don Childress says, “It started on day one – all of us working together.”

The Lambs’ vision started to take shape with Bruce Bockus’ drafts. “I work by listening,” he explains. “They wanted traditional and contemporary forms, and Don’s team pulled it off.”


The study features functional contemporary furnishings.
The paneled walls here and elsewhere throughout the main floor
are set with minute, quarter-inch gaps that give the spaces
a feeling of additional depth.




Pocket doors glide out to separate the kitchen from the formal dining area. The clean lines in the kitchen are accentuated by
modern cabinet hardware.




The floral print headboard and matching blinds in the guest bedroom encourage occupants to enjoy the mature trees in view outside. Furnishings such as the floor lamp and cushioned bench cleverly combine classic and contemporary elements.


The cozy sunroom, positioned on the opposite side of the pool from the kitchenette and covered patio area, provides a peaceful vantage point on outdoor activity.

The interior designer was there every step of the way as well. “As a traditional interior designer, I work with clients from the beginning,” Bebe says. For people new to the process, her input and experience with the building profession – and building professionals – is invaluable. “I know the terminology,” she continues, “so I can help explain how it all works.”

This house works. Have a look – and enjoy the sunshine!