Mid Century Muse
The Clarks Make a Move to Monroe and Renovate a Rambling Ranch in DIY Style
article by Maré Brennan | photography by Martin G Meyers
styled by Brandi Howard and Kelly Moore Clark
Try to find a couple more suited to successfully complete a do-it-yourself home renovation – who can accomplish it in 1 month no less. That’s exactly what Kelly Moore Clark and her husband Kelly did. And yes, both husband and wife are both named Kelly, both love Crossfit workouts and both love a project that can bring them together creatively. You may recognize the name “Kelly Moore” from her line of eponymous bags, which grew out of her highly successful photography business. No stranger to renovations, the Clarks have undertaken restoration projects before, including the Kelly Moore Bag building in downtown Ruston.
The couple, natives of Ruston, were itching for a change back in November of 2014. The husband wanted a new home for the young family which includes three adorable little girls, and the wife wanted a project that would include a remodel. Says Moore Clark, “My husband and I are both dreamers and very spontaneous. We decided to move on the spur of the moment. We looked at probably 20 houses, before we settled on this one in Monroe. Once we signed the papers, we jumped into the remodel and got it done in five weeks.” Talk about a whirlwind!
The fact that the neighborhood was well-established with gorgeous live oaks was a draw for the family who moved from a more rural setting on 6 acres in Ruston where they raised chickens. It’s been a huge adjustment for the family, according to Moore Clark, but they love their move to Monroe as well as their children’s schools, Geneva Academy and Covenant Day School. The home they bought on the northside of Monroe had been partially renovated, but this thoroughly modern family had designs for a more open floor plan that would fit their lifestyle. “Kelly and my dad did all the work themselves on what we call the ‘World’s Fastest Remodel,’” says Moore Clark.
In the once closed-in, peach-painted kitchen, two walls, including a load-bearing wall, were eliminated, opening up the kitchen to the great room and the dining room. The new kitchen island is sheathed on the backside in shiplapped pine, stained a lovely pecan color from Sherwin Williams. Moore Clark chose a white Silestone quartz for countertops with a counter-to-ceiling backsplash of traditional white subway tile with a graphic black grout for contrast. A black undermount sink punctuates the countertops and was found at Lowe’s. The rose gold Delta fixture adds pleasing, graceful movement to the space. “I love the mix of modern and old. I don’t prefer one over the other,” explains Moore Clark of her singular design aesthetic. For example, the GE refrigerator is very vintage-looking. “We went with all white appliances and found them locally at Basic,” says Moore Clark. Many appliances, like the microwave, are stored under counter to keep countertops pristine. The couple salvaged the original cabinets, but had a friend in Ruston build new Shaker-style doors. Gorgeous gold pulls, designed by Lewis Dolin, highlight the simplicity of the cabinetry. With the elimination of a wall, a downdraft for the Jenn-Air gas stovetop had to be rerouted and is now housed within a little built-in bench along the kitchen island. Three Dot & Bo black metal pendants in an unusual shape glimmer from within as light reflects the gold inside the pendant. “I love mixing metals,” says Moore Clark, “and not apologizing for it.” Moore-Clark’s playful mix of high/low continues with the black chalkboard painted wall behind the refrigerator. One of Clark’s trophy deer mounts has graduated to a place of honor in the kitchen above a custom Kelly Moore Clark designed piece of furniture which was handcrafted by the homeowner’s dad, Keith Moore. The cabinet has a distinctly mid-century modern feel and is crafted from luscious black walnut and features interchangeable panels which transform the doors from white to walnut and back again at the designer’s whim. A Kitchen Aid stand mixer adds a pop of vibrant orange to the space. A small gallery wall of personal photos and mementos, including a family caricature done by a good friend who is also a pilot for O’Neal Gas, reveals the personality of this vivacious family and leads to the dining room and great room beyond.
The dining room features a large black pendant light which provides light above the Moore Crafted dining table, handmade by the homeowner’s dad. Phillippe Starck’s Louis Ghost Arm Chairs in black acrylic and Eames-style DSW chairs with molded plastic seats provide chic modern seating. A large black and white cowhide rug anchors the gallery-like space. Walls throughout the home are painted a well-curated Sherwin Williams’ Pure White. Moore Clark, whose work as a photographer informs her interior design decisions, explains, “I tried so many whites, but Pure White was the one that worked in every situation.” A favorite saying of Moore Clark – “I love you, like a lot.” – became artwork when her friend, Henry, at Fine Line Art Supply in Ruston framed it amid lots of white space for emphasis.
Comfortable seating and conversational areas abound in the home’s spacious living room. Moore Clark’s best friend, Brandi Howard, happens to be a stylist and helped arrange seating areas that made sense for the family, including a separate area for watching television and one for enjoying nights spent fireside. Moore-Clark found the antique mantle beam from Rustiques. Once a part of a turn-of-the-century factory, the beam now holds a photo of the family that was taken in Moore Clark’s Smile Moore Photobooth. “It’s my favorite family photo yet, because it captures real life,” says Moore Clark, her face beaming as she surveys her beautiful family. The brick fireplace façade and built in shelving is made modern by the coat of white paint. A shag rug in a muted cream and grey pattern is topped by a brightly hued kilim. An upholstered Danish modern rocking chair and a leather club chair are brought together for easy conversation. Yellow trunk and vivid floral pillows are from CB2. The lamp on the side table between the chairs is made by Cassidy Keim, co-owner of Ruston’s Makers Union, using industrial tubing on a raw wood base with a red twisty cord. Another tribal shag rug with braided fringe with hints of bright colors and grey trellis pattern grounds a light grey sectional sofa and a gunmetal grey upholstered ottoman. In the corner a wingback chair upholstered in a spring green velvet provides additional seating beneath an antique mirror sourced at Chartreuse Pear and hanging planters from Target. The family’s television tops a console from West Elm. A statement painting of a cow in Fauvist hues was found during a photography business trip to the Appalachians by the homeowner. Says Moore Clark, “I love cows and was shooting a wedding up there. I ended up shooting extra time for the wedding which ended up being enough to buy this painting from a local Appalachian art gallery. It’s folk art yet at the same time it’s modern because of the fun and funky color of the cow.” Lighting for the living room is made brighter by the addition of West Elm’s spheres at the four corners of the room.
In the master bedroom a Sputnik chandelier, found on Etsy, adds a touch of mid-century glamour to the understated space. The streamlined open shelving headboard bed and an 8-drawer chest of drawers were built by Moore Clark’s grandfather and refinished for use in the Clark’s home. Above the chest, a custom-made, Moore Crafted shelf with a white-painted beveled edge holds abstract floral paintings by Jenny Lou Art. Says Moore Clark with a wink, “I framed the floral in an over-the-top gold frame from Hobby Lobby. Who’d have thought I would be putting a gaudy gold frame on a painting for my bedroom?” During the renovation, cream carpeting in the bedrooms was changed to a soft grey. Cream and grey companion rugs in different patterns flank the bed. West Elm panels in a deep grey crushed velvet adorn the master bedroom windows. As part of the renovation, all windows throughout the home were replaced with energy efficient ones that eliminate drafts and let the sun shine in. The master bedroom walls are painted Sherwin Williams’ Crushed Ice, as is older daughter Esther’s bedroom. A large fiddle- leaf fig is placed in a well-lit corner to take advantage of baths of sunlight. Above the bed, The Lord’s Prayer is painted on a large canvas in handwritten letters. Pintucked cotton bedding from Target is both chic and sustainable. Explains Moore Clark, “You don’t have to limit your style just because of your kids. You can be stylish – and practical! Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is my friend and is great for little hands’ smudges on walls.” A staghorn fern from Parterre is mounted above a Parsons style desk. White bedside table is from West Elm, and wall-mounted lighting provides his and hers nighttime reading illumination.
The two younger girls’ room is a study in simplicity. Moore Clark found the century-old, metal twin beds, which are painted blue with stenciled daisies, at Ruston’s Serendipity. Simple white linens, which are easy to bleach, keep the room light and airy. IKEA shelving provides modern storage for the girls’ colorful storybooks. Light grey linen/cotton drapery panels from West Elm hang from ceiling to floor. The Clark’s middle daughter, Chapel, was a special adopted blessing for the family. Friends of the Clarks made a special collage for Chapel before she was born, incorporating symbols throughout the artwork that symbolize circumstances surrounding about her birth. The collage rests on a chest of drawers. A hand-hooked floral rug looks super girly in saturated pinks on a light grey field. Between the little beds, a West Elm bedside table in silver holds a gourd lamp. Above each bed are framed prints of butterflies and beetles which the homeowner found online. Original doorknobs are spherical porcelain which look very modern, even today.
In the girls’ bathroom, Moore Clark had her good friend and ultra-creative designer Libby Gifford hand-letter a chalk art design. “Anything you want to do, DO IT! Want to change the world, There’s nothing to it! – Willy Wonka” – one of the family’s favorite quotes – gets special treatment at the hands of Gifford. The Clarks left the existing tile and painted the walls with black chalkboard paint. Above double sinks are round, brushed nickel mirrors from IKEA. A West Elm shower curtain with black and grey poppies on a field of white provides a pretty, soft design.
The girls have their own creative nook and designated playroom at their new home as the former garage had been enclosed to create a bonus room. With concrete floors softened with fluffy area rugs, clean up is made easy.
Want the Look? For those interested in custom furnishings with a distinctly modern feel, Moore Crafted Furniture is now accepting commissions. From shelving to tables to case goods designed and built by Kelly and her dad Keith Moore, the father/daughter duo is taking orders through social media, see more at https://www.facebook.com/moorehandcraftedfurniture. “My mom’s dad was like a father to my dad and taught him how to make furniture,” says Moore Clark. Now you can own an heirloom piece of furniture hand-crafted and made custom for you and your home.