Len Bealer and his wife Kim knew they wanted something unusual when it came time to build their home at The Point. That’s because Len, who owns Kenneth Bealer Homes, uses his residence to display what his company can do for discerning clients.
“We started out wanting to do something unique that showcases our talent. Because of that, a lot of different elements are included in this house. We tried to include features that will catch a client’s eye,” says the builder, whose firm typically constructs 15 to 20 homes a year, primarily around Lake Norman and Lake James.
Yet it was an ad that caught their attention in Today’s Custom Home that led the couple to the interior designer who helped them pull the house together – Nyquell Terry, owner of Dream Home Design.
“We saw similarities in her taste and our style,” Len says, noting the Old World appeal of his 6300-square-foot, stone and stucco residence.
Terry was drawn into the process fairly early on, a situation that she prefers. “They were just beginning to build. The walls and drywall were in, so I started by helping with the hard surfaces, some of which Kim had already selected. Kim has such a great eye and designs beautifully, she just needed a little help,” Terry explains.
“Nyquell was fantastic about keeping Kim and I on track, and we loved having her experience to validate some of the decisions that we had already made,” Len explains. One of those decisions was to highlight the wine cellar. “Len is one of the most proficient builders I’ve worked with. He pays a lot of attention to details. He designs and builds not just a big box with large rooms, but a very creative home,” Terry explains. “For example, when you walk in the front door, you see a glass floor that looks down into the wine cellar.” To complement the stone and brick walls Len had designed, Kim and Nyquell selected stone and an unusual tile that looks like wood to add interest to the floor.
That level of creativity is typical of Bealer’s homes and provided a canvas on which Terry could elaborate. “We like our homes to create an atmosphere where you are led through the house just looking for the next unique feature,” says the builder,who is known for his technical innovation. “We always look for an opportunity to include surprising elements. Since wine is a passion for many homeowners, we’ve created some unique rooms. We’ve built a wine cellar with glass walls placed between the kitchen and dining rooms, so the homeowner could be in the kitchen and see her guests.”
The gracious dining room in this house is one of Terry’s favorite spaces and features a groin vault ceiling clothed in a wall covering that mimics the look of stone. “Wall coverings are definitely making a comeback. They have evolved to the point where you often can’t tell whether it’s a faux finish or a wall covering. We’re also seeing a mixing of traditional patterns with modern colors,” she explains.
A unique Philip Jeffries wall covering with granite crystals that sparkle in the light graces the ceiling of the master bath, where Len fulfilled Kim’s request for warmth with a fireplace filled with glass crystals. “The sparkle is for Kim, whereas the large shower is for Len,”Terry explains. “I strongly feel that the master suite should be for both spouses so they can both enjoy the space. There should be equal amounts of masculine and feminine appeal.”
The media room, on the other hand, is more of a man’s space,from the horn sconces to the full grizzly bear mount on the side of the room. Terry integrated a softer touch with a textured grass cloth wall covering in a muted shade. In the guest suite, she was inspired by the theme of an existing comforter to create a safari-like retreat. “I can take an accessory and go from there to create a theme in each room,”she explains,“
That’s one of the places where Nyquell was most helpful and for which she doesn’t get enough credit - the way she accessorizes a house,” Len explains. “It’s like seeing a woman without makeup and then afterward. A dramatic transformation takes place. When Nyquell came in with the window coverings and shams and pillows that were custom made for the house, it made such a difference. She was able to take a home of this caliber to the right level with those touches and her assistance.”