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Tour a Memphis Home Where Even the Kids' Bedrooms Are Sophisticated

March 30, 2022

Designer Leslie Murphy gave each member of this growing family a bold, luxurious space to call their own. Exploring their contemporary Southern home will inspire you to swing for the fences with your own style choices.

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Photo: Lisa Hubbard

Family-Friendly Functionality Can Feel Fabulous

Leslie Murphy — owner and creative director of Memphis-based Murphy Maude Interiors — knew she’d have to bring her "A" game when she undertook this project in Germantown, Tennessee. “My clients are a lovely family who are third-generation home builders in the Memphis area,” she explains. With their background in development and construction, they had a very particular set of design expectations.

“They have two young children — a boy and a girl — so they were looking to create a comfortable space that could not only accommodate the needs of their growing family, but also allow for entertaining on occasion,” Leslie adds. “The other important (perhaps actually the most important) factor was fostering a connection to the outdoors. The home is set on a rural property and serves as their retreat from city living.” With a combination of bold tones, functional-yet-stylish neutral furnishings and well-chosen accessories, she conjured a fashionable and adaptable home away from home. Follow along as we break down the moves that helped her strike that balance.

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Photo: Lisa Hubbard

Modular Living Room Seats and Tables Offer Modern Style and Versatility

Leslie’s team created 15-foot drapes for the wall of windows in this space, then pushed them wide open. “Those big windows are just divine and we wanted this great room to feel just that — great, grand and open,” she says.

When it came to the furniture before those windows, “we wanted to capture the way this family lives,” Leslie continues. “First and foremost, our goal was for the space to be functional for their daily lives, but still stylish. With this in mind, we opted for custom pieces that were designed specifically to their needs with the coffee and side tables [integrated with] the modular sectional sofa."

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Photo: Lisa Hubbard

Choose Locally-Sourced Stone to Add Character to a Fireplace

The handsome material Leslie selected for the hearth didn’t have to travel too far to become part of this Tennessee hearth. “We chose Indiana Buff limestone for the great room as we were very inspired by the natural surroundings of this home,” she says. “Limestone is a natural-toned material with muted flecks and slight movement at the surface, so we thought it added just the right amount of artful touches and ornamentation to this room.”

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Photo: Lisa Hubbard

Statement Lighting Defines the Dining Area in an Open-Plan Space

Leslie is passionate about collaborating with local makers, and she turned to Dan Schroeppel of 38 Woodwork in Memphis to create this one-of-a-kind dining table with reclaimed wood, epoxy and metal. The delicate pendants, in turn, are her own custom design (crafted by Hammerton Lighting). “I’m a big fan of dramatic accent lighting,” she says. “When done right, it can really serve as a centerpiece to your room and change the entire mood of a space.”

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