Home Away From Home: A Posh Williams Creek Guest House

Interior designer Julie Boutilier outfitted this space with familiar comforts—and a dash of fun.

An Indianapolis family doesn’t have to go far for a taste of a posh East Coast vacation destination. They don’t even need to board a plane.

The owners of this Williams Creek home re-created a taste of the Hamptons in their attached guest house, where lucky visitors can pamper themselves with simple luxuries and an open-air feel. Outfitted in white, the home also features rustic textures and clean lines that give company a sense of a seaside vacation, even when they’re miles from the ocean.

Julie Boutilier, interior designer and owner of Cornerstone Interiors in Greenwood, was tasked with furnishing the home from the ground up. The homeowners had visited the Hamptons, a popular summer getaway spot, and fell in love with the house they rented there. As luck would have it, that vacation home was featured on a local TV program. The couple sat down with Boutilier, turned on a recording of the show, and asked her to replicate the feeling.

Then they left town for six months on a mission trip, with no intentions of checking up on her while the home was under construction.

“They spent a long time trying to convey the idea, but then they let me loose,” says Boutilier, who had done previous design work for the owners and was familiar with their tastes.

A soaring ceiling adds to the great room's airy ambience.
A soaring ceiling adds to the great room’s airy ambience.


Off to a good start

Boutilier took the main home’s traditional design, starring warm woods and rich colors, and worked to transition that environment to the guest space’s coastal tones and vacation vibe. She started the journey with the original home’s screened-in porch, which became a four-seasons room complete with a sitting area and kitchen amenities. Two-tone brick walls reflect the exterior, while mahogany cabinets, soapstone countertops, and heated travertine floors ensure indoor comfort.

Just beyond the updated four-seasons room, Boutilier installed an arched opening to the guest home. Like Dorothy’s threshold to the Land of Oz, the doorway’s simple shape frames an entirely new world.

“The arched doorway became a fantasy portal to the vacation home away from home,” Boutilier says.

The trip from Indy to the Hamptons begins quietly, with light-gray wooden planks on the walls and porcelain wood-grain tiles on the floor, suggesting a fresh-air feel. Light fixtures lead guests past a changing room where they can stash pool supplies or grab a fresh towel before heading outdoors. The pool area includes a spacious guest bath with an elaborate tiled mural and a walk-in shower lined with matching tiles, as well as a convenient laundry space that allows for efficient upkeep.

Beyond that, the home takes on an enchanted feel within its walls, thanks to several small touches that add up to a study in elegance. Boutilier carried the water theme throughout the home, installing porthole windows and circular cutouts in the wood trim in the kitchen/living-room space and lining the staircase with wire rails. She underscored the homeowners’ faith by quietly integrating the Christian fish symbol into the home’s design. Look closely, and the familiar shape shows up along the wet bar, the kitchen cabinetry, and the living-room chairs.


The familiarity of home

Old meets new as the home’s style juxtaposes shiny surfaces with antique accessories. A rustic bench sits across from an elegant wet bar. Simple light fixtures hang above a state-of-the-art kitchen.

“The idea of mixing old and new was a constant mantra throughout the design process,” Boutilier says.

“[The husband] wanted a comfortable, not fussy, space,” Boutilier says. “[The wife] loves glamour and excitement. My challenge was to incorporate these two distinct personalities into one space. Therefore, the idea of mixing old and new was a constant mantra throughout the design process.”

The home is designed with comfort in mind, especially when it comes to visiting friends or colleagues. Where appropriate, Boutilier incorporated glass surfaces and open arrangements so there would be no need to search the kitchen for a certain serving utensil or clean drinking glasses. Glass shelves line the interior of the wet bar, while the dining area’s coffee station features gleaming white plates on an open shelf above. Even the refrigerator has a see-through door, inviting guests to peek at what’s available before they help themselves.

The main dining table is large enough to seat 12 comfortably. Smaller parties may prefer to have breakfast at one of the bar stools along the kitchen island, which is covered in a honed white Calcutta Gold marble. A custom-made stainless-steel range hood throws out a little bling with its mirrored edges.

The home’s heart is its sitting area, and its soul is the custom-designed fireplace at the center. Boutilier used gauzy white curtains, which are automated, to offer a little privacy while still allowing natural light to flood in. She chose simple furnishings, like the white slipcovered sofa facing the TV and leather recliners, which were on the homeowners’ must-have list. Above the fireplace and flat-screen television is an elegant cross, also a homeowner request. A trio of artwork above one sofa pays homage to one of the family’s mission destinations, and a bold-colored pillow on that same sofa is embroidered with a New York theme, reflecting another favorite spot.

Despite the home’s traditional setting and accessories, Boutilier opted for a modern fireplace that sits underneath the huge TV and adds unique character to the room.

“I designed [the mantel] to curve in on the sides and also going toward the back,” Boutilier says. “It was an engineering marvel to create, but the finished product is marvelous.”

A variety of textures keeps the guest bedroom comfortable.
A variety of textures keeps the guest bedroom comfortable.


Creature comforts

The guest bedroom, appropriately referred to as the “white room,” takes the neutral theme and runs with it, with an elegant four-poster bed, white curtains framing the windows, and a loveseat and chair that form a sitting area. Boutilier chose each piece both for its color and texture, which give depth to the white and create an artistic setting.

The guest-suite bath continues the old and new themes. A glass-and-Carrara-marble shower complements the vintage-style floor tiles and a modern freestanding bathtub. The vanity features a trough sink with mirrors set above the countertops and along the walls up to and even on the ceiling.

In another guest bath, the vanity, custom made by Cornerstone Interiors, is outfitted with LED lights that change colors.

“It was a project to create, but we wanted the guest bathroom to be a truly unique and memorable experience,” Boutilier says.

Extra visitors can lay their heads in the home’s office. Boutilier set it up with built-in desks and plenty of white cabinetry and bookshelves for storage. When the occasion calls for it, a Murphy bed can be opened as needed.

Sports fans will feel right at home in the lower level.
Sports fans will feel right at home in the lower level.


Having a ball

The guest experience evolves as visitors venture to the lower level. Boutilier topped the staircase with a beautiful piece of art that at first glance looks like a seashell. It’s actually a satellite picture of an alluvial fan formation in China, another example of nature taking top billing in the home.

“It looks like an abstract painting, but when one finds out it’s a picture of Earth from space, it becomes all the more magical,” Boutilier says.

The lower level is all fun and games, with framed jerseys, a foosball table, and arcade games creating a sporty atmosphere. Visitors can perch upon the barstools and peer below to a subterranean basketball court. With the colors and logos of the Indiana Pacers, Butler University, and Indiana University, it’s a true ode to Hoosier sports.

“The basketball court was important because the couple has teenagers, and they wanted the kids’ friends to be drawn to their home,” Boutilier says.

This Hamptons home story has a happy ending. When the owners returned from their trip, Boutilier eagerly waited for their response. She received it in a late-night text from the wife, who was dealing with jet lag and couldn’t sleep. Instead, she was roaming through the home, marveling at the details.

“She said, ‘You made my life beautiful,’” Boutilier says.




Builder: Jones Building Group, Interior Design: Julie Boutilier, Cornerstone Interiors, Pool Installation: Terry Pool Co., Great-room light fixture: Cornerstone Interiors, Great-room furniture: Cornerstone Interiors, Great-room fireplace tile: ICC Floors, Kitchen flooring: Louisville Tile, Cabinetry: Corsi Cabinetry, Eat-in kitchen table: Hickory Chair Furniture Co.; chairs by Stanley Furniture with custom slipcovers, Eat-in kitchen light fixture: Currey and Company, Pool bath shower tile: Stone Design of Indiana, Outdoor patio furniture: Wicker Works & Patio Too, Four-seasons room flooring: Louisville Tile, White room furniture: Cornerstone Interiors, White room shower marble: Louisville Tile, Bathtub: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Bathroom flooring: ICC Floors, Fixture above bathtub: Cornerstone Interiors, Trough sink: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery


This article appeared in IM Home, a 2015 special publication.