Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Whole Home 2020 by House Beautiful

House Beautiful magazine created a ground-up build in Colorado called The Whole Home and invited a slew of talented interior designers to furnish all the various zones inside. And since our beloved San Francisco Decorator's Showcase was only virtual last year and I had no in-person delights to enjoy, I am posting this here as a substitute.

The concept for this house was extended living, bringing together multiple generations under a single roof. As we journey through, notice how much glorious texture and pattern there is--it's everywhere! Let's start with the entry and living room designed by Lucinda Loya. A gallery of art on some amazing Phillip Jeffries wallpaper and stunning brass stalactite-esque pendants greet guests as they come in (I bet those light fixtures create a fantastic glow at night!), and a floor-to-ceiling fireplace offers bench seating for extra friends (or pets) to perch. An oversize sectional with an extended backless chaise covered in a no-nonsense performance fabric, supplies the perfect spot for gazing out the large windows at the expansive Rocky Mountains.

Next is the kitchen designed by Sarah Robertson of New York’s Studio Dearborn who dreamt up a multigenerational space. Handmade zellige tiles in fresh white and peacock blue offset rustic alderwood cabinetry, and rather than selecting one type of hardware, Robertson chose five different designs, including brass and leather. The nearby farm inspired batten-style panel fronts on the refrigeration wall, while the island, made of quartz and wenge wood, has plenty of space for grandparents to pull up and chop; additional undercounter storage makes cleanup easy for all. And off the kitchen, a two-room pantry is both utilitarian and fun, with a tough quartz sink for secondary prep, a professional preservation vacuum sealer, and a striking wallcovering that peeks out from a quiet corner of the kitchen.

Once dinner is ready, it can be served in a dining room that is certainly design-forward! Andrea Schumacher echoed the sense of nature just outside: twelve flowerlike pendants and their whopping 1,400 petals fill up the two-story space, alongside a single linear fixture; collectively, they conjure “the tumbleweeds and sticks” of Colorado. Rather than adding wallpaper below, she wrapped her own Woodsy paper, inspired by her grandmother’s art, near the bookshelves above. A custom copper-topped table is rooted by an actual tree trunk and surrounded by vintage chairs with cheerful pink furs. It all sits on a delightful rug of monkeys dancing through the trees!

When offered the slim space between the living room and the owners’ suite in this year's Whole Home Concept House, Marie Flanigan could have plugged in a computer and called it an office. Instead, the Houston-based designer concocted the ultimate ode to her Southern roots: a room dedicated to tea. “I wanted to fashion a space where you could have a friend over for coffee or tea…and actually use your collected china,” Flanigan says. Bountiful seating, brass detailing, and red walls in a high-gloss finish (YUM!) conspire to impart a dose of luxury. Hidden away in the floor-to-ceiling cabinets is a spot for all the accoutrements—cups and saucers, sugar, and biscuits—just right for a tea party or, well, hell, a glass of wine.

In this age of Shelter-In-Place and quarantine (which sounds like it will last well into this coming summer, maybe even fall or winter of 2021?),this family-friendly lounge was designed by the Brooklyn-based duo of Cristina Casañas-Judd and General Judd, and is packed with everything you need for your pod. The punchy, modern Old West–inspired room mixes an overscale basket-weave wallcovering (again from Phillip Jeffries!), electric-blue cabinetry, a Day of the Dead print, and graphic black-and-white tiles to let you know the party’s here. What looks like a surfboard over the bar is actually a sound system primed for dance-offs and sing-a-thons. The bar itself (aka a mini kitchen of its own) is stocked with tools to prevent any need to run upstairs, like a popcorn-ready microwave, a two-in-one beverage fridge, an ice maker, and even a dishwasher. A beer tap and in-counter wine chiller promise to make your family bar the place to be.

Adjacent to this lounge is another superb hangout space which compliments the colors and sense of the Judd's area nicely. “I wanted to create spaces where people come together, look at one another, and engage in conversation,” says San Francisco–based designer Noz Nozawa, who created a cozy hangout for this year's Whole Home Concept House. In the interest of encouraging folks to put their phones away, she pulled motifs from midcentury furniture and conversation pits, traditional Japanese seating, and African furnishings for two alluring zones with distinct personalities that live happily together. The more revved-up fireside area, anchored by a fireplace with agrarian tile reminiscent of a bird’s-eye view of farmland and cast in a sunny 1970s color palette, includes inset shelving and an eclectic mix of vintage leather furniture paired with contemporary (and height-adjustable) Ghanaian-inspired stools. The plush Berber rug, traditionally made by women of the North African Beni Ourain tribes, encourages lounging on the floor. Across the room, a circular seating area becomes a family gathering spot for game nights, snack time, or intimate conversation.

Once playtime is over, what better place to head than a tranquil room meant for nothing more than recovery from your day (or a few too many cocktails)? Boston-based designer Elizabeth Georgantas created this lower-level, glassed-in getaway which is right off the prior Jud and Nozawa designed lounge space to be over-the-top Zen, with bark-inspired wallpaper, a grown-up futon, and beanbags that can be pulled down for friends. Window coverings and a wall-mounted water feature, which adds just the right dose of white noise, prevent light and sound from disturbing the vibe. When you’re actually trying to stay awake, more structured seating and plenty of tables can be pulled up for a quick nosh and sip, away from the more boisterous space next door.

Moving on to the private spaces of the home, let's visit the master suite. “This is the anti-sensory-overload area,” says Elizabeth Georgantas who designed the previous nap-room. “I wanted it to be the single place at home where you have room to breathe.” The soft, minimalist bedroom feels like an upscale boutique hotel in the mountains—the kind that convinces you to stay in bed rather than hit the slopes. An abundance of storage in the en suite bathroom allows for a clutter-free visual environment, while a copper soaking tub (which looks wonderful against all the white) in front of a shower column begs you to submerge. Closed cabinets rule in the bathroom, but Georgantas opted for open shelves and hanger rails in the closet so that all wardrobe options could be assessed and accessed at once.

A pair of bedrooms received a unique approach. Would teenage girls be willing to give up separate bedrooms if it meant gaining their own super-swanky lounge? When designer Charlotte Lucas of Charlotte, North Carolina, considered these bedrooms, she decided to create one for sleep and one for, well, everything else. A whimsical leafy mural envelops the bedroom and is offset by a graphic dotted carpet and matching 70s headboards. The adjacent salon has all the function (and fun) they could dream of: a re-covered, vintage ombré sofa for kicking back and hanging with friends, a long desk with floating shelves for focused study time, and an entertainment unit for marathoning YouTube and blasting music. I can tell you when I was a teen, I would have relished my own living room!

And finally, the Whole Home boasts a whole separate guest suite, and considering the idea of multi-generational living, designer Tiffany Brooks whipped up an apartment with its own kitchen and living room in addition to a bedroom and private patio. This would be a perfect spot for parents to visit or to move in. Motivated by her own parents’ style then and now (“Imagine if the ’90s were done right!” she jokes), the Chicago designer carried the color mauve throughout the great room (watercolor-like wallcovering by, again, Phillip Jeffries), while a saturated green is set against a grand four-poster bed with its own chandelier in the sleeping area. In lieu of a formal dining table, Brooks added a banquette and breakfast nook with bonus storage underneath; the cozy outdoor couch near the fireplace is another desirable spot for sharing a bite. In ways, I think this whole suite is my favorite space--the layering of texture and color and pattern is exquisite.


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