All in the Family


Melanie Pounds transformed a bachelor pad into a comfortable but sophisticated family home for her brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Now the space is also home to 11-month-old twin girls.

By Mary Ellen Stancill   Photos by Beau Gustafson

Bonnie and Hamilton Pounds

When Bonnie and Hamilton Pounds began searching for a new home, they didn’t have to look very far. They found their perfect match in a Crestline cottage owned by Bonnie’s brother. After purchasing the home, they enlisted the help of another family member—their sister-in-law and interior designer Melanie Pounds—who helped them to update the home to fit their lifestyle. “We basically turned it from a bachelor pad to a family home,” says Bonnie.

Years before as a new college grad, Bonnie had actually lived in the home with her brother. She had the rare benefit of knowing the kinks of the home and what needed to be worked out for the space to function at its best. Because Bonnie grew up in Crestline and Hamilton lived a stone’s throw from their current backyard as a young child, they were sensitive to maintaining the cottage feel of the neighborhood as they updated the decor. Outside, they changed very little—landscaping the backyard for added privacy and softening the front yard with low-maintenance landscaping, including plenty of evergreen boxwoods.

Inside, they worked with the existing floor plan and only did major renovations to the bathrooms—adding clean white marble counters and modern updates to the outdated spaces. Bonnie’s brother had redone the kitchen, “and thank goodness I liked his taste in that,” adds Bonnie, noting that this saved a major renovation expense. As they tweaked the décor, Melanie says, “I think we really just made it more feminine and softened it a little bit.”

And though they didn’t move a single wall, painting every room and adding small details made a big difference. Molding was placed on the solid wood interior doors to give them a less contemporary and more cottage feel. All of the hardware throughout the house was removed and changed to unlacquered antique brass. Cabinets upholstered in a neutral, Ultrasuede fabric with nail head detail added storage space and a soft feel in the den. Textured, monochromatic wallpaper in the hallway contributes to the soothing feel of the home without becoming boring.

Bonnie says, “I wanted light and white and airy,” for her new home. Natural light floods through the back of the house into the den and master bedroom and neutral colored fabrics for upholstered pieces add to the soothing yet sophisticated palette. Not long after they moved into the home, Bonnie discovered she was expecting twins—Mary Harter and Emma who are now 11 months old. And though the home has a sophisticated feel, it also lends itself to accommodating the Pounds’ expanded brood.

The large den has plenty of room for the occasional party or everyday life with baby toys and equipment—times two. Comfortable yet stylish upholstered pieces such as the sofa done in a dark mohair fabric, stands up to sippy cup spills and the family’s black lab, Gussy. European mount antlers from a family trip to Africa add a personal touch to the room. Just off the den, double doors open to a screen porch, where Bonnie and the girls spend time playing or rocking in one of four rocking chairs. “The screen porch becomes an extension of the room,” explains Melanie.

A modified, galley style kitchen at the front of the house connects to both a breakfast room and the dining room. Because the rooms are right next to each other and serve similar functions, Melanie wanted the décor to distinguish the two spaces. In the breakfast room, an upholstered banquette provides a living room feel for the family to comfortably gather while Bonnie prepares dinner. The high back of the banquette allows light to come in but also privacy from the large bay window that overlooks the front yard.

In the dining room, a custom-built marble top table anchors the narrow space while a hand-forged light fixture allows unobstructed views of the fireplace and collection of landscape paintings above. On one wall of the dining room, a group of four, oversized photos, commissioned for the space by Bonnie’s brother, is one of the only pieces that remains in the house from the previous owner.

In the master bedroom, Melanie repurposed furnishings from Hamilton and Bonnie’s previous home—club chairs and a pair of chests from their former den work perfectly in the neutral space. But hot pink accents add an unexpected punch to the all-white bedding.

And the nursery might just be the best room in the house—soft, blue waxed linen drapes, wainscoting, closet doors inset with glass, framed pages from a nursery rhyme book, a pair of tiny rocking horses and miniature antique chairs—all look as though Mary Poppins has just snapped her fingers to put everything in its place.

Now the transformation from bachelor pad to family home is complete, and the home will accommodate this growing family for many years to come.

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