Within the rooms, American and English antiques are blended with comfortable chairs and sofas to create what McElveen-Bogache calls “casual elegance.” The house, she says, “was designed to put people first. It is not a museum.”
The traditional décor is given a twist through surprising combinations of furnishings and artwork. “Bonnie is anything but boring,” her sister says.
In the living room, a modern Lucite coffee table is an unexpected touch next to tufted armchairs and 17th-century Spanish paintings of angels flanking the fireplace. Next door in the library, a 1968 painting of watermelons by Colombian artist Fernando Botero hangs opposite a breakfront filled with vintage leather-bound volumes.
Leopard-patterned carpeting there is repeated on the stairs leading to the second floor. Adjacent to the staircase, an imposing wooden eagle sits atop a pedestal in the foyer. “I was told it came from Gloria Vanderbilt’s house in Maine,” McElveen-Hunter says.