Repeat, repeat, and happily repeat again.
This was the third consecutive home we were asked to design by our long-time client.
I had to tease them a bit. As the family gets smaller with kids living their lives and off to college, their houses keep getting larger! This house had much more square footage than their current home, and they weren't planning on taking any of their existing furniture with them. Plus, it was a contemporary design, quite different from the sprawling ranch-style homes they had previously owned.
The client was ready for something different. So before the house closed escrow, our firm was already hard at work on style, color, and material directions. There is a very distinctive, neutral palette of black, white, gray, and wood in most Modern Farmhouse homes. With my love of color, I utilized the neutral palette as a base to ground a much brighter, richer palette to add interest, uniqueness, and flow throughout the new home.
I am a designer that embraces color. I can thoroughly saturate a room. In this case, however, I carefully edited where and how the color would present throughout the house and how each room ties together within the overall palette.
Light streams throughout the home. The tall ceilings, sliding glass doors, and plenty of windows allow views of the lush grounds and the pool outside. The sliding doors are fully retractable, so they open the entire length of the wall, which creates a seamless extension of the main house to the grounds. This influenced the interiors to a large degree.
The goal throughout is what I call “relaxed contemporary”. The house contains natural finishes such as multiple wood species, marble, concrete, and other stone surfaces. The design was directed toward the concept of developing a more organic feel to the home. Handmade items and unexpected furniture silhouettes added a warm atmosphere to the contemporary envelope.
I am always very observant of a home's architecture and site location when I am designing. It must be cohesive inside and out.
The interior took longer than expected with the onset of Covid and manufacturers shutting down. Orders had been placed, but it was a complete unknown about its impact on delivery at that time. The firm quickly reacted; we called vendors and manufacturers to discuss each company's status in producing and shipping products. This is just one of the essential services we bring to the table; solid, long-term relationships with our vendors. We can call and receive immediate attention, status checks, and alerts regarding what is going on with our orders. A few times, items had been dropped due to Covid shutdowns across the globe, and new pieces were quickly sourced in their place.
In the dining room, both the client and I wanted a color story. It's not often you see chairs in a series of colors, but I wanted to play with the garden palette and incorporate that into the room. So, I upholstered the chairs in analogous shades of green as a statement.
The Master bedroom was kept in a neutral palette, layering various tones and textures to create a calm space where the owners can unwind from work and kids. The windows have black-out roller shades to block light and soft, transparent sheers so you can still feel the grounds outside. There is nothing more relaxing than a nice breeze and billowing sheers in a bedroom.
For the home office, I commissioned a custom desk. One of the primary considerations was a spacious desktop, and all technology was to be hidden. It was and always is important that all cords, cables, and hard drives disappear. I don't want to see that nest of cabling so often experienced in a home office, so the mortise and tenon design was an excellent solution.
I wanted the smaller objects and accessories to feel artisanal. There is nothing really high-polish in the house; it is much more about architectural shapes with matte finishes, textured ceramics, and a mixture of materials that helps tell the organic story and connection with nature. I have always designed with a biophilic hand. Connecting with nature is another calming influence in our lives and one we all found more than necessary during the pandemic.
I focused on the silhouette and texture for each item chosen for the house. I was inspired early on in the project, by Johnathan Adler. He started out as a potter in his career and had recently created an organic modernist series of white porcelain vases that were not yet in production, called "Paradox."
I really loved them. They embodied my design vision for the house which was juxtaposing the rectilinear form of the house with curvilinear shapes to humanize it and add a feeling of comfort and invitation for the eye.
The home is comfortable, functional living with an appreciation of color and form. It was a pleasure working on this project with my client even if this is not their "forever home" yet.
The third time was definitely a charm.