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When Katharine Guerra was a little girl, she remembers driving by a home on Cherry Hill that simply captivated her. “There was just something magical about it,” she says. Last year when her real estate agent called and said “I found your forever home,” she knew she had to drop everything and go see it.
“When my Google Maps took me to the front drive, there wasn’t any doubt in my mind…this was our home. It was the house I had admired since I was a young. Life had been leading us here, and this was our next chapter,” she twinkles.
So Guerra bought the home and moved in with her two children, Eduardo and Sophia, and dog, Evie.
Walking into the house you are greeted with breathtaking views of the Country Club golf course and amazing trees. Here, smack dab in the middle of the city, and all you see are coastal greens and beautiful palms. The natural light is organic, hallways are linear, and the entire home feels solid and peaceful.
This country club pleasantry certainly had some charm. The idea was to ditch the dated, hold on to the alluring original amenities, and glamorize it! “My style is unique and is always evolving; has been that way ever since I was a child (my poor parents!). I am a single mom and work from home with two kids under the age of ten. It’s important that we cultivated an inspiring and forgiving space where creativity is encouraged, and we can all blossom,” she says. While the architecture of the house was motivating, the aesthetics were very unique to the original owner’s style. But Guerra knew exactly the direction she would take it.
“I love clean lines, lots of black, and luminous accents. While I wasn’t sure where to start, my dear friend, Jo Anne Howell (Oh, Goodie Designs) was up to the challenge and called Ryan Rios with Square Foot Design Studio,” she beams of her friends.
Together, they looked for elements that would engage their minds. The home, ever evolving, has had the likes of Ashley Woodson Bailey come and fit the entry for one of her pieces, and Square Foot come to hang seven different styles of wallpaper.
They also were steady in following the rule of threes. The living room has three shiny and intriguing gold coffee tables that make the room simply exquisite. Another way they chose to bring drama was by adding a pop of color. Black and white reign supreme, but the dining room in particular is special. It is graced with the color of royalty - purple.
“The dining room is all in the stars. It is at the heart of the house; you see it from the outside and it is celestial. It is probably the poshest space in the house. It’s primarily purple, and purple is my power color. There are so many elements that make this room come together from the plush velvet chairs to the oversized photographs by Matthew Scott (MattGeo Photography). Jo Anne surprised me with these prints that really sing to my love of astrology! They are so rare and special. There is this amazing geometric wallpaper on the ceiling that sets the perfect backdrop for the large and luxe Jonathan Adler Giant Sputnik Chandelier,” Guerra says. They really put every effort into keeping the most artistic purchases local. The room is femme fatal, and yet, it’s worthy of James Bond in his finest tux.
The guest bathroom is admittedly one of Guerra’s favorite rooms, due to a few very special elements. One is an original letter written by Dean Rusk, former Secretary of State. It tells the reader to not sweat the small stuff, and that if you live your life in a perfectly normal and relaxed manner, everything will be all right in the end. They also have two lights called Jeeves and Wooster that are fun and surprising hats. Then, the wallpaper is an entrancing shade of red that flows from floor to ceiling. These all combine to make this tiny space of a guest bathroom one of the most engaging rooms in the house.
“This house makes people smile; there is a lot of personality here. I think the mix of colors and textures that were incorporated through the wallpapers, furniture, and textiles makes you want to keep going,” she explains. There is a lot to touch and feel here, not only with your hands but with your heart.