A colorful life

Published 6:25 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jordan Hall, Wes Hall, Wanda Hall, Christiaan Pond and Cristin Pond regularly gather in the kitchen for drinks and games like Apples to Apples.

Column by Janice Powell
Photography by Paul Costen

When they first began decorating their home by the Nansemond River four years ago, Wanda and Les Hall had a goal of a home that would suit their casual lifestyle and love of entertaining.

An open-plan kitchen and living room helps achieve that goal by fostering togetherness. It is perfect for Wanda’s passion for cooking and party planning.

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The couple has carefully edited a mix of modern and traditional, coastal and classic, resulting in a look that’s refined and relaxed. When it came to choosing the color palette, Wanda said, her surroundings and her memories of Turks & Caicos were both inspirational. Influenced by their travels to the Caribbean, the Hall’s collection of mementos, treasures and artwork adds just the right amount of color.

“Les always jokes that our home is like the bulletin board in my old kindergarten classroom,” Wanda said. “We have so much white in the house that I can add pops of color whenever the season or subject matter changes.”

The Halls’ home proves that “neutral” doesn’t mean boring. In this case, it provides the backdrop for stunning, classic pieces of furniture, decorative accessories and Les’ colorful oil paintings.

But what really adds the color is the family’s sentimental collection of treasures. In his spare time, Les is an artist, and his paintings reflect their travels over the years. On the mantel is a carved wooden whale given to them by daughter Cristin. A bowl of shells reminds Wanda of her walks on the beach with daughter Jordan. Framed watercolor paintings of Suffolk landmarks are some of Les’ earlier works of art.

A big part of the reason the Halls purchased their waterfront home was to capture the feeling of calm and serenity they find in the Caribbean.

“We thought we might like to buy a home there, but then we thought we could create the home of our dreams here and visit the island as often as our time allows,” Wanda said. “This home combines the best of both worlds for us. Many times I’ll leave clothes behind in order to pack more shells to meet the quota. We just love our visits to the islands, and we bring a part of each visit home with us in one form or another.”

It’s been a colorful life for the Halls, and in this case, color isn’t about walls or furniture. It’s about a little imagination and a lot of love.