House Tour: Natural Wonder

A stunning home designed incorporates timeless materials, natural elements, and organic textures.

Anissa Zajac has an uncanny eye for design that people are magnetically drawn to. Her serene and approachable aesthetic resonates and inspires. What started years ago as documenting her passion for designing her own home quickly led to an Instagram following and a demand for her design services. She launched House Seven Design eight years ago and hasn’t looked back. The full-service design house now focuses on large-scale residential design with clients nationwide.

Known for curating designs with timeless materials that emphasize the use of natural elements and texture, the clients of this 1930s-era home set in the woods knew that Zajac was the ideal choice. Along with her husband, Brian Zajac of H7 Renovations, they reimagined what the house could be, working from the studs up.

The vision for the project started with a strict color palette of deep tones of wine, dark greens, and chocolate browns, along with a commitment to using materials that could have been available when the home was built in the 1930s. This led to an ethereal blend of textures and materials that feel at once luxe and inviting.

Zajac shares, “With any project, we find four or five elements that really set the tone for the home and subtly, or not so subtly, repeat them throughout.” In this home, those standout elements included arched doorways, statement-making light fixtures with milk glass and brass, and supple fabrics like Belgian linen, boucle, and velvet.

As you enter the home, you are greeted by a long hallway, referred to as the atrium, with white oak herringbone floors, stunning wooden archways that lead to the living room and the dining room, and three angular brass and glass milk light fixtures. “It was a great opportunity to create something cool, a special moment,” says Zajac. A geometric black console sets anchor at the end of the walkway, with a round mirror above to reflect the light through the space.

In the living room, the ceiling had two different heights, thanks to an addition to the front of the house at some point. To embrace this oddity rather than hide it, Zajac got creative. “The ceilings are such an important part of the design, and I love trim. I try to put some form of it on every surface—walls, trim, and ceilings.”

She clad the lower eight-foot portion of the ceiling in white oak planks with perpendicular beams. In the taller portion of the living room, larger wood beams stretch across the ceiling in the opposite direction. This dual approach visually separates the two spaces into a sitting area and a music salon that houses the owner’s piano and her grandmother’s antique grandfather clock.

The focal point of the sitting area is the fireplace built of limestone, a material indigenous to the area. The rustic limestone stones above are juxtaposed with the polished limestone fireplace surround below, adding a dash of modernity.

The entire room feels intimate and relaxing thanks to the Belgian linen and velvet furnishings in varying deep neutral tones. “Belgian linen looks luxurious but it’s still really comfortable, an important request for my laid-back clients who entertain often,” says Zajac. Subtle patterns and textures keep it interesting yet refrained. The brass cylinder lights are a chic way to add overhead lighting without the need for blasé recessed can lighting.

Through the spectacular arched opening, across the atrium, and through a second arched opening, sits the dining room. “The clients wanted moody, and I was happy to oblige,” laughs Zajac.

Choosing a dark mossy green color that can be found in nature, Benjamin Moore’s Calico Blue 707, Zajac used the paint liberally on the walls, trim, door, and ceiling. “If you’re going with a dark color, you have to place it everywhere so that it feels soothing and all-encompassing,” she says. “It creates a complete mood. Otherwise, there would be a harsh visual break between the walls and a white ceiling.”

The dark color is balanced by the cream boucle dining chairs and custom draperies with a block-print Indian pattern. The oversized vintage wooden cupboard from Asia brings a bit of history and soul to the room. An original piece of artwork by Jordan Thompson hangs on the board and batten wall, a subtle textural treatment seen throughout the home. Zajac adds, “It felt authentic to the house. It’s not too ornate but complemented other elements of the home.”

House Tour: Natural Wonder

The primary bathroom is what restful dreams are made of. A free-standing soaker tub set in front of a window, with cobblestone-like tiles below, and a mesmerizing light fixture above. The beams above are painted the same white as the ceiling, giving just a bit of subtle textural interest. The custom vanities with reeded wood drawer fronts are topped with Carrera marble and unlaquered brass fixtures.

The same Carerra marble is used in the luxe shower with dual heads. The arched wood door leads to the walk-in closet. “With so many straight lines in the house, the arched doors were a great place to add interest,” says Zajac. Offering a counterpoint to the doorway is the arched hutch in a matte black, providing a space to store towels and display objects.

House Tour: Natural Wonder

House Tour: Natural Wonder

House Tour: Natural Wonder


~ This House Tour: Natural Wonder article was excerpted from the pages of NEST Magazine…To subscribe to NEST, click here. For the full Winter 2023 issue, click through here

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Posted in Asheville, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana, Greensboro, Greenville, Jackson, Lake Norman, Morganton, NEST Magazine, New River Valley, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Roanoke, Shenandoah Valley, Wilmington, Winter 2023
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  • 10215 Linn Station Road
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