When a client’s directive for a design project is “Let’s just have fun,” the result is sure to be something special. That was precisely the case with a recent home redesign by Hannah Crowell of Nashville-based Crowell & Co. Interiors. Longtime clients had purchased a brand-new, fully furnished vacation house in Anna Maria Island, FL, but found it lacking the personality and pop they craved. Hannah took up the challenge, bringing along her signature mix of vibrant color, bold pattern, and eclectic artwork and furnishings.
Her goal was to create a fun and functional home that the clients, their young kids, and their friends and family would enjoy for years to come. But she didn’t want to create a typical Florida beach house (no seashell motifs or sorbet pastels—though you will spot a mermaid or two). “I never want my projects to feel overly designed but rather playful and imaginative—especially a beach house for a vibrant young couple and their supercute kids,” she says.
First order of business: paint. “All the walls were a light shade of blue that was pretty but just a little too blue,” Hannah says. “We painted the entire house white and began anew.” Read on to see how this sunny, spirited space came together.
Letting Instinct Lead
Hannah describes her aesthetic as “modern bohemian” but doesn’t limit herself to any single style. “I like clean lines and minimalism, but then I also love to go overboard with wallpapers and textiles. I try to create well-curated spaces that somehow straddle those two worlds,” she says.
To achieve that balance, the designer takes a somewhat intuitive approach. Art placement, for example, is often done on the fly. “I always tell clients not to think about where the art is going but rather focus on what you love,” she explains. “I’ll be intentional about the art if there’s a large wall I need to fill or a quirky little spot that needs something specific. Otherwise I just wait until it all arrives in the space to figure out placement.”
Design schemes come together in a similarly fluid way. This home incorporates touches of turquoise throughout, from the barstools in the kitchen to the tray on the coffee table to the vanity in the boys’-room bath—a thread Hannah recognized only after her photographer pointed it out. “I love it,” Hannah says of this unconscious theme. “I am not a structured person by nature, and I think my work follows suit.”
I like clean lines and minimalism, but then I also love to go overboard with wallpapers and textiles. I try to create well-curated spaces that somehow straddle those two worlds.
I never want my projects to feel overly designed but rather playful and imaginative—especially a beach house for a vibrant young couple and their supercute kids.
When Pretty Meets Practical
To create high-style spaces that can stand up to kids, pets, and wet bathing suits, Hannah has a few go-to tricks. “I gravitate toward textiles that either hide dirt (lots of pattern!) or can be bleached,” she says. When it comes to the walls, her solution is somewhat counterintuitive. “Wallpaper is expensive, but it is actually so much easier to keep clean than painted walls,” Hannah says. “And the walls in kids’ rooms—especially at a vacation home—get pretty trashed pretty fast!”