Life in the Country: Designer Betsy Gates Moore
Designer Betsy Gates Moore of Turn Key Interiors traded city living for country life last year, settling at "Traveller's Rest," a refined Powhatan country house modeled after Whippernock, a home designed by Thomas Jefferson in Dinwiddie County.
The transition to a slower pace has been easy for Moore, her husband and their three children. With 13 acres, easy access to the James River, a new swimming pool and uninterrupted vistas of verdant land, what's not to like?
The home itself is a soothing retreat, with large rooms, comfortable, family-friendly furnishings and a color palette incorporating many shades of beige with the designer's signature color, aqua. Moore's office is at the back of the home, offering visiting clients a firsthand look at her talents.
When setting out to decorate her home, Moore — who has been a designer since 1987 and specializes in resort, residential and commercial design — looked to "the tried and true" over the latest design trends. The colors are shades she has used successfully for herself and for clients during the past 20 years.
Original artwork, some of it painted by Moore, personalizes the home. An unexpected mix of Chinese and English antiques, family treasures and modern furniture keeps things from becoming stale. But above all, comfort reigns. "I think the mix works because of the color palette and the casual quality of each piece," she says. "There is nothing here that says, ‘Don't touch me.' "
BETSY GATES MOORE'S RENOVATION TIPS:
- If it's a large project, plan not to live in the space during renovations if at all possible.
- Be on site several times a week and stay in close contact with your contracting team — designer, architect, cabinetmaker and builder. Be available for questions.
- Develop a realistic timeline with your designer and contractor, including dates that specific things are needed such as appliances, lighting and paint selections. Be on time with your choices.
- Enjoy the process, stay flexible and know that some things will go wrong. Then remind yourself that it's not a perfect world. It may involve dollars, but fortunately it's not life or death.
- Know that if you have worked hard, prepared up front, stuck to your budget, and hired competent architects, designers and contractors, you can enjoy a pleasing final result. Focus on the 95 percent that's right and not on the 5 percent that still needs tweaking.