Designer Digs: Casey Sanford takes a clean approach to her new home

A design-savvy couple puts down roots in Warrenton, celebrating wide-open spaces.

casey sanford
Casey Sanford (Photo by Krisztina Thorsen)

Just over a year ago, interior designer Casey Sanford pulled up stakes in Alexandria for Warrenton’s wide-open spaces. Trading postage-stamp backyards for the bucolic, rolling green hills of Fauquier County, she and her husband, Houston (who is also her business partner), wanted to begin and end their days with sunrises and sunsets. Now, their front porch and backyard deck serve as perfect perches for both.

In the year they’ve been in the Cape Cod-style home, built in 2016, they’ve put in some sweat equity: painting doors a striking Sherwin-Williams Greenblack, swapping out hardware, hanging stunning new lighting and turning the living room fireplace into a showpiece. A kitchen redo is on the to-do list: the native Mississippians brim with Southern hospitality and love to cook and entertain.

Designer Casey Sanford and her husband, Houston, created a serene space in their master bedroom and bathrooms, with a soft palette and rustic touches. (Photo by Krisztina Thorsen)

But the soothing master suite is Sanford’s favorite. She opts for white bedding for practical reasons: It’s easy to mix and match and easy to clean. The bed is topped with gray, green and cream throw pillows in soft fabrics and serene patterns—layering “is a nice way to bring a room together,” she says.

A collection of four framed cotton botanicals by an Alabama artist and friend hang on either side of the window, the silvery gray drapes pull back to reveal the verdant front yard. Twin white dressers spotted at High Point, North Carolina perform double duty as storage and nightstand, and are topped with bedside reading lamps and vases of fresh flowers. A sideboard sits opposite the bed, treasured because it was the designer’s first antique purchase.

Casey Sanford's master medroom
Photo by Krisztina Thorsen

The chair in the reading nook is precious, too. It was a piece Sanford fell in love with while working in Mississippi; her colleagues gifted it when she got engaged and moved to Northern Virginia. It, too, has followed her from home to home, and “it will probably be recovered five times,” she laughs.

Design Philosophy
“Green has become a neutral for me,” says Sanford, who favors earth tones. “I think it’s the landscape around us; green is a very soothing color.” Every day, she is inspired by their move to the country, and that’s evident in the master suite. The couple says their first year in Warrenton, surrounded by nature and the outdoors, has them thinking bigger when it comes to projects.

Photo by Krisztina Thorsen

Renovation Frustration
Although no walls came down, Sanford said there were “things we needed to do initially to set a good foundation.” There are hardwood floors throughout, but in the master the couple chose an off-white and taupe wool carpet for comfort and durability. They wrapped the suite in crisp shiplap paneling to add depth and texture, and serve as a coastal-vibe memento of their beloved Nantucket vacations.

Favorite Feature of the Room
“The chair nook is one of my favorite places to sit down and grab a book,” says Sanford, who always has three in rotation: mystery novels, business and motivational books. Thanks to a talented friend, the chair’s cushions were recovered in a luxe olive green leather. Beneath the window’s natural light and the lamp’s soft glow, Sanford loves to settle into the “quiet little space” with a title that suits her mood. Their playful puppy, Odell, finds himself at home there, too.

This post originally appeared in our September 2019 print issue. For more Home & Design content, subscribe to our newsletters. 

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