Best New Home-Central Gathering Spot

There’s enough elbow room for everyone in the free-flowing dining and living area at the Hierses’ home.
Robert Martin/ Photography Laurey W. Glenn/ Styling Leigh Anne Montgomery

Besides living with three kids―sons Chase and William and daughter Chaney―Wallie and Renee needed ample room for extended family gatherings and entertaining. With this in mind, Bob devoted the central shotgun to housing the social spaces―living, dining, and kitchen. Separated from the kitchen by a freestanding hutch (which is basically see-through), the living and dining areas are only defined by the furniture in them. Other than that, it’s a clean shot, as the term “shotgun” implies, from porch to porch.

Quite an Eyeful

With such beautiful woodwork on display, any additional walls or barriers would have lessened the impact of seeing all the surfaces―floors, walls, ceilings, and built-ins―sheathed in local heart pine. Bob even wrapped the room with two wood bands, one that runs atop all the windows and upper cabinetry and an intermediate band that intersects all the windows and doors. “The harmony of the interior trim and woodwork may look simple, but Renee and I know the considerable design skill and craftsmanship it took to bring everything together,” says Wallie.

The balance and symmetry found in this room as well as in the other wings was no accident. “I based all the window locations and built-ins on 16-inch centers, which correspond to the inner framing of the house,” Bob explains. “This gives an order and a logical rhythm to everything.”