Interior designer Katie Skoloff upends the English manor house
“I designed our house on a napkin . . . on our honeymoon,” says Katie Skoloff of In Site Designs. The Greenville-based interior designer, who has handled extensive commercial and residential projects all over the region, was actually a bit timid to design her own home and wanted an architect for the job. Her new husband Eric was convinced she could do it.
At first, she was intimidated by the Woodland Forest property that they purchased before getting married, as the land was nestled in an established, stately neighborhood dominated by large, historic homes. However, Skoloff’s two-story, 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home is both the perfect combination of outward formality and inner contemporary appeal.
Built in 2009, during the housing recession, the circumstances allowed the couple to find a plethora of readily available craftspeople and the build went quickly—taking only nine months without sacrificing quality or workmanship.
“I adore the English Manor style of architecture, and Eric leans more toward contemporary. So, I designed it with a classic, traditional style on the outside and furnishings that would work with that on the inside. Nothing too heavy or ornate, just simple but grand in scale. My family owned a cabin in North Carolina, so we were able to use pieces of it. The old walls turned into beams, the timeworn floors were repurposed into the ceilings, and the chimney bricks went into our landscaped patio outside,” says Skoloff.
“My goal was to see no sheetrock inside, no regular painted walls. I used high wainscoting, hidden doorways, and deep pass-throughs so the walls feel thick. There’s an oversized Indiana limestone fireplace and I designed double-height spaces, bay windows, hidden alcoves, and used wide hickory wood plank flooring to really embody the British Manor feel,” she adds.
English Manor House 2021 Remodel
The home was remodeled in 2021 with refinished floors, new furniture, and lighting — the complete refresh was done all at once. Skoloff approached it like a typical In Site Designs job, with her husband as the client. “I even did a full-scale presentation for him . . . on the beach in Key West.”
The creative, updated look includes sleek velvet sofas from Vanguard, hooded chairs from Arteriors, a Phillips Collection Brazilian redwood tree coffee table, sculptural lamps, and mixed-metal accents. The black, white, and cream monochromatic color scheme utilizes plenty of natural materials like marble and onyx complemented by textural, hand-knotted wool rugs from Nourison. Art decorates every room from local artists Joseph Bradley, Janina Tukarski Ellis, Patricia Kilburg, Traci Wright Martin, Charles Pate Jr., and Rick Standridge, all exhibited with modern lighting that amplifies the work.
Skoloff custom-designed several pieces of furniture—a settee under the staircase, a unique dining room cabinet, a bold four-poster bed in the primary bedroom, and a floating powder room vanity. The couple are oenophiles, so she created four wine cellars: one for champagne, one for fine whites, one for fine reds, and one for everyday reds and whites, which features a dual-zone system.
There’s a charming English country garden out back festooned with fruit trees, seasonal flowers, and evergreens like Hinoki cypress and Cryptomeria. The patio dining area also has a spa with a fountain. “It was really exciting to have the opportunity to redo our house all at one time, just like I do for my clients. I organized it to the max, so it was very efficient. In fact, we can’t see ourselves ever moving from here. If anything, we’ll have fun redoing the entire house again.”