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Martha Schneider’s Bright Ideas

The interior designer’s North Carolina residence radiates comfort, color, and elegance
dining room, interiors by Martha Schneider,
The Schneiders’ dining room features a vintage chandelier from Paris and their beloved Oscar de la Renta dining table by Century Furniture. See a list of sources for this home.

Inside interior designer Martha Schneider’s Raleigh residence, sunlight streams through the lavender living room, brightening the coral, pink, and blue glass vases that rise from the mantel like flowers.

Playful color pairings are but one of many pleasures in this Georgian-style home, which was built in 1918 by North Carolina’s first general surgeon, Dr. Hubert A. Royster. Since purchasing the property in 2003, Martha and her husband, Kevin, have renovated the house four times. Today, it is a happy, historic homestead for the couple and their three grown children.

portrait of interior designer Martha Schneider,
In the sunlit kitchen, Martha positions a colorful arrangement from her floral company, Trellis.
interiors by Martha Schneider
An elegant vignette in the bedroom. The lamp is vintage by Louise Gaskill.

In addition to running her interior design firm, Martha is known in Raleigh for her beloved home store, La Maison, along with her neighboring floral boutique, Trellis. Together, these venues have become destinations in the capital, curated with elegant furnishings, original art, and fresh-cut flowers.

“I love surrounding myself with luxury and beauty in furnishings and florals, and I’m thrilled that our customers do also,” she says.

Before pursuing design, the Ohio-born entrepreneur worked in fashion retail. Fashion is one of Martha’s first loves, and her passion for it is evident throughout her home. In the living room, pillows are upholstered in Hermès and Christian Lacroix fabrics, while in her light-filled dressing room, glamour abounds, with labels including Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana.

dressing room
The designer’s stylish dressing room

“I wanted it to make me happy every day when I walked through it to the bathroom,” she says of the space, with its gold chandelier, lilac walls, and balloon valances trimmed in beaded fringe. The result is a feminine, nostalgic boudoir that is both stylish and functional. “My dressing room is a perfect example of the way I love to design—beginning with the function of a space, selecting the right furnishings, creating joy, adding a touch of glam, and in most cases, finishing with an animal print,” she says.

In addition to high fashion, Martha’s affinity for French antiques pervades her residence. In the front hallway, an oversized mirror that once hung in a hair salon in Paris is accompanied by a Willy Guhl concrete planter, a whimsical blue rug from Romo, and a French settee.

“I love my antique mirror,” she says. “I can imagine living in Paris and going to a hair salon in an old building with high ceilings and this large baroque mirror in front of me.”

kitchen island
In the kitchen, Martha played with patterns, from the Walker Zanger mosaic backsplash to the Schumacher velvet on the barstools.

For a woman whose livelihood has been built around fine furnishings, naming a favorite piece could feel like naming a favorite child. And yet, when asked, Martha quickly answered that her dining table, an Oscar de la Renta original by Century, takes the prize.

“I would definitely say our big round dining table is our most precious piece of furniture because it creates that sense of family for us,” she says, adding, “We love sitting at that table as much as we possibly can.” Both Martha and Kevin are self-proclaimed foodies and avid entertainers, and the table has been witness to a healthy heaping of debate and conversation.

The designer’s love of art is yet another way she incorporates color and conversation into her home. Water Landscape, the Diana Greenberg painting that hangs over the living room mantel, is particularly meaningful. She found it on a trip to New York in 2017, just three years after opening La Maison. “That started the renovation of color,” she says of the discovery.

“The painting was my inspiration for redesigning the living room from a mainly French-influenced space to a brighter, more contemporary one.” — Martha Schneider
living room, interiors by Martha Schneider,
Water Landscape by Diane Greenberg commands attention in the lavender living room, as does the vintage French sofa upholstered in emerald green velvet. Pillows by Hermès.

In 2019, Martha opened Trellis after noticing a void in the market for fresh-cut specialty flowers. “I was selling beautiful vessels out of La Maison, so I knew people had the same passion,” she says. While her own favorite blooms are dinner plate dahlias, she believes florals in general are the ultimate accessory, “For me,” she says, “they round out how homes should be furnished.”

Continue the Home Tour

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sunroom, interiors by Martha Schneider,
A custom marble coffee table by La Maison Interiors anchors the airy sunroom.
kitchen and breakfast table, interiors by Martha Schneider,
The breakfast area draws you in with commissioned art by Carol Benson-Cobb and a vintage glass chandelier in silver and gold leaf by Louise Gaskill.
settee
The dining room settee, covered in a playful Cowtan & Tout fabric, sits in front of sunlit windows draped in ivory silk by Pierre Frey.
main bedroom and dressing room
In the main bedroom, vintage French sconces flank art by Martin Sumers. Pillow fabric by Pierre Frey.

By Sallie Lewis | Photography by Catherine Nguyen | Interiors by Martha Schneider

See a list of sources for this home.

Flower magazine May June 2021 cover

This story originally appeared in Flower magazine’s May/June 2021 issue. Find Flower in a store near you or subscribe.

On the Cover: In a garden by landscape architect Quincy Hammond, a bench based on Beatrix Farrand’s drawings for the Rose Bench at Dumbarton Oaks sits on an axis through the cutting garden, beneath red-leaved Norway maples. Photo by Lauren Coleman. See story.