If Hilton Carter has learned one thing over the last year, it’s the importance of happiness at home. “It needs to fill me with light and make me feel like I’m able to just let go and be in the moment,” the plant enthusiast and interior stylist says. But plants aren’t the only thing growing. With a baby girl on the way, Carter and his wife, Fiona Vismans, were ready to bring their dream home to life through plenty of natural light and easy access to the outdoors.
Hilton Carter Creates a Family Home
Published - October 22, 2021
Back to His Roots
After living in New Orleans and Los Angeles, Carter returned to his hometown of Baltimore and brought with him the lush greenery he loved from those warmer climates. His apartment quickly became home to more than 250 plants, a respite through the northeastern seasons, and it wasn’t long before Carter’s “junglified” style was stopping thumbs on Instagram. Now, more than 500,000 followers keep up with his urban jungle and his latest project – a home renovation.
“We were ready to start a family and were seeking more stability,” Carter said. The house had been on the market for a few months without much attention, but as soon as they set foot inside the 1916 fixer-upper, they were drawn to its good bones. “I knew there’d be some changes to the house,” he recalled, “but we were excited to open up the space and make it our own.” Growing up in the city, Carter didn’t always have access to green space (a major motivation for bringing so much flora inside) so he was also drawn to the home’s proximity to a private neighborhood park, a view he’s looking to capitalize upon with new windows and doors.
Making It Their Own
Most of the windows were broken or painted shut. The building envelope was basically nonexistent. To make sure he rebuilt the home with a healthy, natural foundation, Carter worked with Guerilla Construction to bring in E-Series windows. These windows not only had a contemporary look that perfectly coordinated with his folding outswing doors, they also carried an indoor air quality certification, as well as a Health Product Declaration fully disclosing all ingredients used. Other natural and raw materials like walnut, concrete and marble were also brought in to bolster the natural appeal of the house. Each selection and design decision was intentional and meant to create a mindful space. “The biggest moment of excitement is seeing exterior walls get cut up and bigger windows placed in. That’s what allows us to feel like the indoors and outdoors are continuous, whether we add more plants or not,” Carter said.
Bringing In Natural Light
The undeniable allure of living with nature has never been more apparent, and no room meets the trend better than Carter’s south-facing sunroom. Wanting to get as much natural light as possible for their family (and the plants, of course), they swapped standard windows for floor-to-ceiling folding outswing doors that open out to the deck, an area the couple is eager to use for entertaining. The adjoining east wall of the room features floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s basically a fishbowl, Carter laughed, but he’d rather trademark it as a terrarium. “The opportunity to have light pour in from all sides has been life-changing,” he noted of the window and door selections. “We wanted a 180-degree peripheral view, so wherever you were looking, you could see the outdoors from three different areas.” With a clear view from the sunroom to the neighborhood park, Carter is giving his growing family the natural green space he always dreamed of.