Ralph Lauren once wrote that “white in design has no competition,” and “white is simple, elegant, and fresh.”
The same could be said of interior design consultant Anjel Herman — she’s genuinely simple, elegant, and fresh — and her bold use of white in her home in Highland Park (where she resides with her husband, Jeff) is a testament to what white can do in the hands of a talented decorator.
For Herman, the decision to become a professional interior design consultant followed on the heels of a successful career as an investment advisor. When she decided to follow her passion into interior design and decorating, she took her unique skill set of helping clients achieve their future financial goals and applied them to the service of helping couples achieve their ‘house beautiful’ in the here and now.
Today, the interior design consultant and creative force behind Defining Home has become the darling of some of Winston-Salem’s more high profile clients. Her mantra is simple: Home is a place that defines you and is defined by you.
Herman says it’s been a transformative journey that began with what she describes as “a life changing event;” moving into her soon-to-be-husband’s bachelor pad. Confronted with tan walls, heavy dark leather furniture, a healthy collection of sports memorabilia, and a large Jimmy Buffet-style ceiling fan in the living room, she went to work marrying their individual tastes with their new life together to create a world that defined ‘home’ for them both.
“I wanted us to come home to simplicity and peace, a place that is both elegant and timeless,” she says.
For a couple who loves to entertain and socialize, living in a small, gated community of close-knit neighbors, the kitchen naturally became a focal point of a phased remodel that includes a Step Inside first: a baby grand piano in the kitchen for anyone whose appetite includes a little Elton John with their wine.
“It is the epicenter of every party,” Herman says. “No matter how many guests attend our soirees, they all seem to hover around that island.”
With that in mind, the design consultant removed the much smaller two-tiered island and its large built-in awning and replaced it with the simple but ample, front-and-center serving island you see today.
“The kitchen is light and airy now,” Herman says. “I love the beautiful quartzite countertops and backsplash.”
For social gatherings of a more intimate nature, she designed a dining room in white that expresses every texture, every shape, and every mood. Inspired by Europe and a hotel bar ceiling that wowed her, Herman cross-pollinated design elements with the room’s drapery panels and mimicked them in the applied moldings of the architecturally inspired ceiling design. That ceiling design then found further artistic expression in the pastel-colored cut glass diamonds that hang on ribbons of silk from the chandelier. The overall effect catches the shimmering light of the setting sun in a room that makes you feel like you’re floating on a cloud.
“I love creating architectural interest and depth in a room,” Herman says. “I’ve never seen one done quite this way.”
When Jeff finally joins us in the kitchen, he gently reminds Herman that their dinner reservations at Ryan’s are for 6 o’clock. Jay and I say goodbye, for now. Like so many talented designers and decorators we’ve profiled over the years, Anjel Herman is sure to make her mark in the pages of Step Inside again.
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