A Family Ditches the Big City for a Bow Mar Suburban Gem
Escaping to the suburbs helps the homeowners find the serenity they've been looking for
When Julia Wilder and her husband Sam ditched the big city to move to the ‘burbs, they were seeking refuge. With three young children and two high-powered jobs, they’d been running at an exhausting pace. “Downtown, everything was a race,” says Wilder. “There was always this feeling—we gotta go out to the park, we gotta go out to eat, we need to be out and about.” Something had to give. And so, the search began.
The Wilders lucked out with a 3,800-square-foot, 5-bedroom gem Bow Mar. Built in the 1970s and sporting a ’90s Tuscan palette, the house was full of promise but a far cry from the look they were going for. The couple enlisted Gruber Home Remodeling and Kimberly Timmons Interiors to help transform the home with a top-to-bottom renovation. From the get-go, the trio clicked. “We were aligned by the same goal,” says lead designer Nikki Holt, “of wanting to love this family and create something spectacular.”
In addition to creating a comfortable home that provided the space and sense of order the young family needed, the team wanted to ensure that the space reflected their fun, energetic vibe. Julia says laughing, “My first question for Nikki was: Can you make this place cool?”
Working within the footprint of the home, the team knocked out walls to open the floor plan and vaulted the ceilings to create a grander, more inviting layout. The high-contrast palette of white and black balanced with warm woods and infused with pops of burnt orange throughout created a classic, timeless backdrop for funky, unique touches that showcase the family’s personality.
Every inch of the home’s interior was touched, but two spaces emerged as quintessentially Wilder. The kid zone, crafted from an awkward space adjacent to the kitchen, features a custom desk just the right size for their five-, three- and two-year-olds to be part of the action as they craft and play. Loads of storage and shelves overhead provide ample space to contain what Julia calls “kid eye pollution.”
An existing addition over the garage was transformed into a chill adult space featuring a home office for Julia Wilder and a spacious TV area—the couple hangs out there nearly every night after they put the kids to bed. And on weekends, the art-deco-inspired bar, affectionately called the Wilder Tavern by friends and family, serves as the ultimate entertaining space.
The Wilders, thrilled with the results, are contentedly settled, and the change of pace suits them. “This is a really great neighborhood,” says Julia. “We don’t have to plan everything out—it takes so little effort to make fun happen. It just feels so good to be here.”
INTERIOR DESIGN Kimberly Timmons Interiors
BUILDER Gruber Home Remodeling
PHOTOGRAPHY Kylie Fitts