Stylish Condo Living

An empty nest gave this North Carolina couple the chance to move into new, low-maintenance digs. Check out their fresh start in HGTV Magazine .
By: Jessica Dodell-Feder

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Photo By: Trevor Dixon

Maintaining a Home

For two decades, Sandy and Angella Nicholls lived in a 102-year-old Davidson, N.C., farmhouse with four bedrooms and a pool, but also a large, time-consuming garden, hand-me-down furniture and a leaky roof. "It was a great place to raise a family, but we were ready for a change," says Angella, a registered nurse.

The Perks of Downsizing

When their kids went to college, the couple moved to a brand-new townhouse nearby and hired designer Bryn Dunn to help decorate. Their new quarters require almost zero yard work and minimal upkeep inside. "I used to go to the home improvement store twice a weekend, which drove me crazy," says Sandy, a marketing director for a sporting goods company. "Now we laugh about those trips!"

TV Room

He loves: The sectional, which a local company custom-made to fit the space. It's an upgrade from the leather castoff couch in their old house, and the canvas cushions and L-shape allow for comfy TV watching. The white lacquer coffee table is from West Elm.

TV Room

She loves: The silk curtains, from plumridge.com. "I had a yellow bedroom as a girl, so I've always loved the color, and these curtains brighten up the gray walls," says Angella. Gold-patterned pillows from DwellStudio — mixed with solid teal ones from West Elm — tie the curtains to the rest of the room.

Living Room

He loves: The six-foot-tall windows. The living room in the couple's old house was so dark they hardly ever used it. This one is filled with light, even on rainy days. It makes the space, which has 20-foot-high ceilings, seem even airier, says Sandy.

Living Room

She loves: The green velvet sofa. When their designer, Bryn, suggested it, Angella was hesitant. Her previous living room had bright walls, but the furniture was neutral. "I was scared to go with something so green," she says. "But it really adds life to the room." The same is true of the pink and chartreuse pillows.

Kitchen

She loves: The open layout. The old kitchen's only counters were against the walls, so they always had to face away from guests when cooking. Now prep work can be done at the island, which opens to the living room. "It makes entertaining more fun," says Angella. "You get to be part of the action."

Kitchen

He loves: The island. The granite-topped piece not only provides extra counter space but also takes the place of a table. "We eat breakfast and dinner here almost every day," says Sandy.

Dining Room

He loves: The table. Sandy and Angella chose a mahogany table from Bernhardt — a major upgrade from the hand-me-down they used to have. It's perfect when just the two of them want to have a special meal, but it can expand to seat 10. The chairs are from World Market.

Dining Room

She loves: The chandelier. Made with papier-mache, this West Elm fixture is "funkier than any light we've had before," says Angella.

Bedroom

He loves: The privacy. "We used to have to walk down a long hallway just to use the bathroom," says Sandy. This second-floor bedroom has an attached bath.

Bedroom

She loves: The wallpaper. This metallic leaf print by Nina Campbell was a splurge, but Angella likes how it looks with the wood four-poster bed, one of the only pieces of furniture they brought from the old house.

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