Lawyer Lesley Zaun has owned this traditional Bryn Mawr house for 17 years, but during most of that time, she’s been more focused on traveling the world and opening her home to family than its design.
With her equestrienne daughter, Jillian, 14, growing up, Lesley and her sister Heather (who shares the house) decided it was time to fix what ailed their plain, dysfunctional living and dining areas. “I wasn’t going to move. I didn’t want a bigger house. I just want to travel and enjoy my family,’’ Lesley says. She’s just the third owner of the 2,500-square-foot home—originally built in 1935 for infamous mobster Kid Cann.
Lesley engaged Minneapolis interior-design firm LiLu Interiors to bring the living and dining rooms to life. She wanted the spaces to be “embracing and accessible,” with more usable space to relax and entertain. Further, she specified, the rooms had to be comfortable and reflect the family’s passion for horses, dogs, and travel.
Living room before redesign
“She wanted to add color and have fun and creative spaces where she can create memories,’’ says Lisa Peck, owner and principal designer at LiLu. Lesley has lived in Ireland and traveled to South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, bringing back a treasure trove of art and memorabilia. She also owns beautiful rugs.
Peck and assistant designer Ally Evander reimagined the Zaun family home with a happy palette of colors: yellow walls for the dining room, green for the sunroom, and warm beige for the living room. Complementary blues, oranges, and greens in each room play off the rugs and artwork.
The dining-room makeover started with a rusty red rug from Turkey. The design duo stained an inherited trestle table gray to create a functional centerpiece then added Asian-inspired chairs. They remade the awkward bay window into a gracious window seat, fronted by barn-inspired doors, adding both seating and storage. Sheer cafe curtains with a Celtic-knot design provide pretty privacy. A custom cabinet angled into a corner holds wine and serving pieces. Italian botanicals and a chandelier from Lesley’s brother completed the transformation of the once-spartan dining room into a versatile, welcoming gathering space.
In the rarely used living room, the designers created a fireside seating area with a comfy blue sofa, an oversize woven leather ottoman, and matching chairs in a playful poppy print. Lesley’s collectibles—pottery, masks, and pictures—added personality to the bookshelves. Another window seat created continuity with the dining room and is Jillian’s favored homework spot. And durable fabrics on the furniture make the space pet- and kid-friendly, and low-maintenance.
The charming, cozy, collected results have led to more entertaining, but more importantly, family comfort. Lesley says her home now feels like a big hug. “I love coming home!’’ she says.
By Susie Eaton Hopper
Photos by Susan Gilmore
Interior Designer: Lisa Peck and Ally Evander, LiLu Interiors