1 of 5
Photography by Ashley Gieseking
2 of 5
3 of 5
4 of 5
5 of 5
On Father’s Day 2010, Matt and Lisa Hall were still unpacking cardboard boxes in their new University City home when a neighbor rang the doorbell, a welcome present of Winslow’s Home chocolate-chip cookies in his arms. It was Dr. Michael
Tomasson—who’d been Matt’s oncologist four years earlier and had become a trusted friend. As it turned out, he lived next door.
Obviously, Matt told Lisa, they were meant to be in this house. Next he offered to pay a friend, graphic artist Cheree Berry, to walk through and give them decorating ideas. “Oh no, Matt,” she replied. “You need Amie.” So Matt and Lisa had lunch with designer Amie Corley, and by dessert they knew she was the right person to make their house happy, fun, and smart. “You know when you read a good book,” Matt says, “and the author says something you’ve been thinking but in a better way?”
As he talks, his daughter, Harper, spins on the zigzag carpet, her orange ruffled dress a hot blaze against the cool turquoise-and-green window seat. “I’m 4,” she offers. “I like to play. With bears.” Some of whom live in the white cabinets under the bookshelves. “We do everything in this room,” says Lisa. The TV is mounted on a discreet diagonal; the focal point is the Shanghai dragon print. “I never in a million years thought we’d have fabric like this,” Matt admits. “The first time I saw it, I thought, ‘What are we getting into?’ But we didn’t want to be constantly second-guessing Amie. We said, ‘Hey, even if that piece of fabric in isolation frightens us, we know you won’t steer us wrong in the big picture.”
She’d already taken the house—which “felt like a 1970s cigar room,” all the woodwork dark brown, when they bought it—“and splashed it with light and color. The navy wall-to-wall carpet was gone, the peach walls were covered with a bold green patterned wallpaper, and she’d suggested intense turquoise curtains. That night when Matt came home, Lisa murmured, “Turquoise curtains. Thoughts?” To their relief, it worked. Everything worked.