There is no other occasion in Central Ohio in which visitors can observe the design genius of more than 20 decorators, whose work appears within one grand residence. As always, The Women's Board of the Columbus Museum of Art took great care in pushing creativity to the edge this spring with its biennial Decorators' Show House.
We were, perhaps, most in awe at David M. Berg's mojo at work in the uniquely designed, second floor nursery-which included a floor that looked like a huge puzzle and a hi-tech mobile nursery that we can only hope would keep any baby content.
But there was more. We envisioned foie gras and truffles served in the exquisite dining room designed by Pamela Yost and only now have started to imagine the consequences of the intimate dining room bench during a dinner party of this caliber.
There is the possibility of much privacy in this spacious home, a 1928 Spanish revival located in Upper Arlington and filled with plenty of unique spaces. The multiple rooms here allowed for both male and female master bathrooms and then down the hallway-past a prim and perfectly designed window seat-are his and her dens. The shoe display over the sofa in the She Den by designer Kellie Toole was found art at its best, although we mourned briefly that some very funky shoes were rendered unwearable because of it.
Layers of warm white have recently caught our attention, as it has with designers on both coasts, and we were pleased to see Susan Matrka put this concept into action. Yet, her living room design-albeit meant for company-made us feel like kicking off our shoes and curling up with a good book in such peaceful surroundings.
No space lured us in more, though, than Sally McDonald's blue veranda off of the second floor. Indeed, McDonald has had a long-time knack for good use of blue and she wasted no space on this second floor balcony with comfortable furnishings and plenty of plants.
For those who attended, as well as those who did not, the following summary is provided for continual inspiration as we wait, once again, two years before Central Ohio designers and the art museum's women's board do it all over again.
The veranda had beautiful light and views, but the narrow space and flooring were a challenge. I wanted to play up the Spanish feeling and decided to paint the cement flooring to look like Spanish tile. I had been in Spain during college, and could not believe the town of Seville; every home had blue and white floors, walls, balusters, even the sidewalks were tile! Valencia Hathcock, an artist who does faux finishes, painted the floor, and also stained the existing wood decking a driftwood color. The driftwood-colored, outdoor wicker is comfortable, and transitions it into more of an outdoor living room than a porch. Lamps and other accessories make it seem as finished as indoor spaces. The rest of the furniture pieces are in the driftwood sort of color, appearing somewhat weathered and informal. Blue gives it some punch, and it seems cool on a hot day. It also picks up the color of the patio pool, visible from this area.
As designers, we recognize the importance of creating a living space that is at once comfortable and sophisticated, but also brings an element of inspiration to our daily lives. We understand that our clients want to invest in furniture that stands the test of time while still being stylish and fresh. That is why we have chosen Ralph Lauren's Brook Street Collection for our master suite.
The refined lines and tailored details offer a classic look while the crisp modern color palette creates an impeccably luxurious space. We have accented the room with rich aubergine walls, subtle touches of whimsical chrome accessories and artwork that recalls the glamour of Hollywood's golden age.
The she den is a quiet, intimate place. It is feminine but not fussy.
While meandering through an arts festival in Chicago last summer, I found myself in love-with a vase. A wood-fired, clay vase of terracotta conjured up strong industrial images balanced by the beauty of nature. I was uncontrollably inspired. These elements, in my opinion, form the very definition of woman.
The she den is all about your favorite things. Topping my list are shoes! I wanted to use some of my favorites in the room. What better way to display them than as artwork? The two in the center are vintage. As a matter of fact, the bottom shoe is the first pair I ever played dress-up in as a very little girl. I borrowed another, but the rest are from my collection.
The space was originally a bedroom. I removed the closet doors and designed a media unit to slide into the existing space, using the existing trim work, and maximizing the available space. I had brick veneer installed over a bump-out in the corner to create the illusion of a chimney, adding texture and warmth against calm, gray walls. Natural materials, such as twigs on the window treatment and a cocktail table constructed from a reclaimed sugar maple tree trunk, were used to balance the industrial feel of the brick.
My idea for the kitchen/breakfast room started to formulate around the existing tile, which needed to be softened with disappearing grout lines. I wanted to create a casual, warm atmosphere with a European flavor.
The walls were painted to reflect the warmth of Tuscany; the blue of the rug and fabrics brought in the sparkle of the Mediterranean. Using an abundance of Italian pottery punctuated the overall feel and pulled the two areas together. The finished design became calm, yet happy and inviting. It is a true family space.
The living room was designed using shades of white as its foundation. Combining light and dark-the richly finished wood tones of the furniture, the floors and the trim provide a strong counterpoint to the warm white fabrics and wall color. Texture, a raspberry accent color and the soft silhouettes of the classically tailored upholstery come together to create a refined, yet casual, space. Abstract art, personal photos, favorite books and accessories contribute to the room's personality. Ultimately, using a fresh approach on a traditional space was lots of fun and very rewarding.
When it comes to a nursery, the concept doesn't have to be pink or blue, with teddy bears and puffy clouds. It can be a classic design with elements that can change as the baby grows, yet remain timeless and characteristic throughout the years, easily transitioning to a teenage room and beyond. This nursery features several exciting points of interest.
The custom designed and fabricated puzzle parquet floor was inspired during a trend-spotting trip made to Paris last year. I saw a table with a wooden puzzle-shaped top, and immediately sent a picture to our craftsman and inquired, "Can you make this into a floor?" He did, and it is one of a kind.
The hand-crafted poplar crib is custom painted and glazed to give it a vintage look. The crib art installation is an interpretation of a crib mobile.
All of the wood in the room, including the walls, trim, closet doors and crown molding, is Douglas fir, and has been repurposed and remilled from an old barn silo found in the Utica, Ohio area.
Our room is equipped with adjustable light sources on controls, which allows them to be preset in scenes, temperature, intensity and also to play music.
This formal dining room invites all to linger. Sparkling crystal and candlelight set the tone for an evening of celebration.
Beautiful furnishings include a table and buffet by Hickory White, as well as chairs by Century Furniture. The cozy bench by Vanguard and a chic Arteriors bar with a custom finish add to the intrigue.
Fabulous food and wine shared with dear friends in a luxurious setting nourishes all the senses in this room.
WOMAN'S MASTER BATHROOM
I took a neo-classic approach to the woman's master bath. I surrounded the soaking tub flanked by columns with a metallic, sheer fabric in colors of platinum and gold. This dominant sheer pattern was used on an additional smaller window in a unique, pleated treatment adorned with crystals. The oversized contemporary chair makes a noticeable statement. The room reflects glamour, sophistication and luxury.
Sherry Beck Paprocki is the editor of Columbus Monthly Homes.