The Delights of Downsizing

A talented designer makes a peach of a home in Trezevant Manor.

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An elegant entry foyer leads to an open living/dining room.

McNutt has lots of little tricks of the trade up his sleeve, such as rubbing the entrance-hall chandelier with black paint, so it would look less shiny and “Vegas-like.” Rather than discarding a well-loved old leather recliner, he opted to re-cover it in a soft green Colefax and Fowler chenille. He also reused a classic chintz fabric from the garden room in Williams’ old house to make a dust ruffle and drapes for her new bedroom. She especially loves the two stools at the foot of the bed, which McNutt himself re-upholstered in handsome, high-end Nancy Corzine silk-velvet fabric. 

Williams is from New Orleans originally, and received her BFA there from Sophie Newcomb College in drawing and painting. She has painted a number of pastel portraits of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, which dot the walls throughout her apartment. She also has collected a number of artworks with scenes of her native Louisiana. In this connection is a superb example of Newcomb pottery from the 1920s, a blue vase with a stylized iris design that was inherited from her parents. If you are an Antiques Roadshow fan, then you will know that Newcomb pottery is very special indeed.

Williams and her late husband owned a family business, Williams Equipment and Supply, where her two sons-in-law now work. She often helped her husband in his work, and in their spare time, they loved to travel. Many of her paintings and prints depict memorable places they traveled to as a couple and, as such, provide constant, wonderful memories.

Williams is charming and hospitable, and there’s no question but she is a welcome addition to the Trezevant community. She already has a number of friends there, and we are sure she has made many more. 

She seemed so happy and comfortable in her new abode that we couldn’t help asking what advice she would offer to others thinking about making the move to a retirement home. First and foremost, she says, “Do not wait too long.” She suggests going ahead and making that move “when you are in good health, and well able to deal with all the decisions that arise.” 

She adds, too, that, of course, it’s “a huge help to have someone like Jeremy McNutt envision how the new place will look.” She insists that she could not have done it without him. Of course, the added plus in the entire project is that client and designer became good friends, and had a lot of fun in the bargain. In this case at least, McNutt and Williams proved to be a Dream Team. 

A second bedroom doubles as a light-filled studio.


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