Tell us about your DTLA location.
The Row became home to our studio and shop because it had a great mix of independent brands. It’s a perfect fit with our desire to show some of L.A.’s great ceramicists.
What will visitors find?
Our Still Life collection of tableware, but we also showcase local pieces like clay-chain wall hangings by Taylor Kibby of Grit Studio and small sculptures by Ben Medansky.
Describe the pieces you and Mel create.
We focus on celebrating every moment at the table, whether you’re eating alone or feasting with friends and family. The pieces are minimal in shape but expressive in glaze.
And you teach classes?
After production hours, we open for workshops that range from one-hour wheel-throwing to months-long courses. It’s how we share our love of this wonderful craft!
Following a $30 million renovation, the former Courtyard San Francisco Downtown received a redesign and new name: The Clancy. The 410-room boutique hotel, part of Marriott’s luxury Autograph Collection series, was reimagined by EDG Interior Architecture + Design.
“The Clancy is a celebration of the best of SoMa, where tech converges with a bohemian energy. A bold personality, high-concept creativity and ultra-modernism show guests and locals we’re not afraid to be daring,” says EDG president and CEO Jennifer Johanson.
EDG partnered with local creatives on spaces throughout, such as the central courtyard which features a street art-inspired mural by artist Ian Ross.
Clearly, homeowner Jon Kinning is not afraid of color–and for the designer that was a welcome change. “So many clients these days are asking for white and bright,” Cullen says. “Jon’s love of dark blues, greens and even hot pink was really refreshing.” And while the finished project is undoubtedly a chromatic statement–complete with magenta tufted-velvet ottomans and flocked black wallcoverings–at its heart, the house is actually study in strict functionality.
“I approached Duet Design Group because the house wasn’t really fulfilling my needs at the time,” says Jon, who is a father of two teenagers. “We weren’t utilizing the spaces and the furniture layout wasn’t comfortable.” The fact that that a full redesign would offer the opportunity to abandon the dated furnishings and reimagine a dull color scheme was an added bonus. Jon had purchased and expanded the residence, but over the years had found that much of its nearly 6,000 square feet was going unused, specifically a sprawling open-plan basement that the family almost never ventured into.
Cullen, along with designer and co-principal Devon Tobin, made a handful of simple yet strategic changes to the home’s layout that made a dramatic impact. For instance, they removed a bulky wall and fireplace in order to gracefully connect the living room, dining room and kitchen. “The huge existing fireplace chopped up the spaces and wasn’t really true to the architecture of the 1905 house,” says Cullen. A new svelte partial wall features a modern fire box that’s open on both sides and is lined in three-dimensional tile lacquered in a deep blue. The piece acts as an accent wall for the dining room, where a chandelier of lissome gold branches hangs above a modern white dining table.
These same bold blue tones take center stage in the adjacent living room, where the walls are painted the same high-gloss hue. Rich velvet curtains were sourced to match the shade and trimmed with a pearly white wood tassel fringe by Samuel & Sons. A pair of floor lamps with chrome shades, a 1920s style sunburst mirror and a chandelier made up of delicate gold leaves brings additional elements of glamour. And while Cullen didn’t feel the need to stay true to a single era or style while selecting furnishings and accessories, she did want to honor the elegant turn-of-the century architecture in order to create a more cohesive look throughout. “The house was built more than 100 years ago, and she wanted us to recreate all the original trim,” says general contractor Rob Bacher, who had all of the molding custom milled.
Cullen’s big test was the rarely used basement. In other parts of the house she opened up the rooms, but on this level the designer felt the problem was too much undivided space. She made another partial wall, this one fitted with a bar, to create separate areas for a home theater and a game room. One side contains a vintage arcade and a custom poker table emblazoned with the green-and-white logo of Jon’s alma mater, Colorado State University. In the movie room, instead of unwieldy theater chairs, Cullen opted for a massive L-shaped sofa fronted by a collection of ottomans that can be arranged as desired for extra seating. The media system is custom fitted with recessed niches behind the projection screen for the speakers, creating a big screen worthy surround sound experience.
And while the new basement got rave reviews from Jon, it was praise from an even more discerning critic that ultimately deemed the space a blockbuster. Jon’s 16-year-old daughter has taken to throwing regular end-of-the-week movie parties there for her friends. Close to a dozen teens fill the space on any given Friday, drawn by a vintage-style popcorn machine and a fully stocked candy bar in addition to the theater and the arcade games. The house has become the place where all the kids like to gather, and Jon says it’s the home’s defining moment. “I challenged the designers, saying that for me success would involve actually using that basement,” says Jon. “And they crushed it.”
The owners also enlisted building designer Todd D. Rice, who drew the plans for their French cottage-style house to include painted brick, shutters and cast-stone accents. “We had a specific vision in mind for the bones of the house and we wanted the style to be classic,” Beth says. To that end, Henley Sims began by selecting traditional plumbing fixtures and hardware in an unlacquered brass finish. “One of my favorite things about this residence is the cabinetry detail and millwork,” says Henley Sims, referencing the cabinetry with a mesh faÃ§ade–also in an unlacquered brass finish–that Nadia Palacios custom designed for the bar area and family room.
Tile was next on the to-do list, and that’s when Henley Sims and her client fell for a blue-gray subway pattern for the kitchen backsplash. The color suited Beth, who favors a pale shade of sky blue. “It’s so ethereal, and there’s a lot of it throughout the house,” the designer says. “I coined it ‘Beth Clarke blue.’ ” The tile selection quickly led them down a path toward a primarily blue palette throughout the interiors. “Hallie was able to make it a neutral in our house,” Beth says, “and use it in a variety of textures and shapes.” The color now asserts itself as grass cloth on the study walls, on accent pillows in the family room and on wallpaper printed with peacocks perched atop flowering vines in the powder bathroom. Henley Sims branched off with a dramatic navy on the dining room walls and velvet family room sofas and with a Robin’s egg blue in the home office before bringing multiple shades together on the bold upholstery print adorning the master bed. All the while, contemporary art offsets the traditional furniture profiles and fabric patterns, which, Henley Sims notes, “makes the design more interesting.”
Meanwhile, the floor plan was arranged to grow with the family’s needs. “I design for lifestyle and how owners will live and function in the house,” explains Rice, who referred Trinity Estate Homes–including owners Troy Eschberger and John Yoder and project manager Kyle Jensen–to construct the house. Rice positioned the master suite on the main level, while the upstairs playroom and adjacent storage room will eventually morph into a teen media room and homework area. And while Buddy largely stayed out of the design process, he did request a bar area and refrigerated wine closet to accommodate the couple’s penchant for entertaining. Rice obliged with a bar space off the dining room that features a pass-through window to the stair hall. Henley Sims designed the steel-framed glass wine closet and a bar with cabinetry while the stair hall’s millwork on the other side of the pass-through elegantly frames the opening where guests place cocktail orders.
The stair hall paneling flows right into the family room, creating a seamless transition from the front of the house to the rear. “Consistency and continuity are important,” Henley Sims says, adding that she unified the main-level spaces with casual sea grass rugs. “They’re durable, they don’t absorb liquid and they’re cost-friendly,” she explains, “and because the home belongs to a young family, the rugs help make it feel more casual.” With durability in mind, Henley Sims also selected mostly spill- and stain-proof upholstery–and went one step further by laminating the kitchen’s dining chair and counter-stool cushions.
Now that the project is complete, the designer and her client have traded design meetings for moms’ nights out. Says Henley Sims, “This was truly like a dream project–the best-case scenario.”
WHO:Studio Thomas, a Denver design firm helmed by industry veteran Kristen Thomas and known for residential interiors that are tailored, timeless and luxurious in their striking simplicity.
WHAT: Thomas and her team take cues from fashion (think: Ralph Lauren and other classic labels), architecture, nature and international travel when curating interiors, and you will find the styles and spaces that inspire their work—as well as gorgeous mood boards, vignettes and entire rooms they’ve created for their many Colorado clients—on their feed.
WHY: You’ll gain a new appreciation for neutral colors, natural materials and classical architectural details, as well as the “less-but-better” design philosophy the Studio Thomas team espouses.
IN HER WORDS: “We don’t want to just show a pretty home; we want to capture the feeling of the kind of life you’re going to live in that home. We hope our followers will find inspiration to live well, to choose quality over quantity, and to curate their home with an intention that’s centered around the lifestyle they want to live, rather than the popular trends of the moment.”
When an interior designer opens a retail shop, she doesn’t just offer curated goods but also a glimpse into what drives and delights her. Guesthouse founder Kate Sehulster launched her firm in Seattle in 2009 and was joined by designer Kaitlin McCague in 2014. Five years later they moved its headquarters to South Lake Union (2128 Westlake Ave.), combining workshop and retail space.
The shop itself is a launchpad for discovery, whether it be vintage furniture reimagined with a Kelly Wearstler fabric or a playful wallpaper perfect for reviving a drab accent wall. The rotating display of finds inspires clients, shoppers on the hunt for that perfect piece—and, of course, the Guesthouse team themselves.
Perfect in theory, that is. Built in 1997, the house had the square footage the couple wanted, but the finishes were dated, and the layout needed work. “You had to have some imagination,” the husband explains. “We walked through and said, ‘We could do this, we could do that.’ ” To make their dreams a reality, he and his wife reached out to designer Laura Kehoe, whom they’d collaborated with previously.
The couple’s Paradise Valley residence had been Kehoe’s first commission when she launched her Scottsdale firm in 2010, and she later worked on their Southern California beach house. The designer understands their love of rooms that are traditional with a “kick your feet up” vibe, she says, but this was an opportunity to give them something fresh. “I wanted it to feel different, not like their main home,” says Kehoe, “I wanted them to feel like they were getting away.”
Kehoe happens to be very skilled at creating environments that not only complement their inhabitants but have a sense of place. The Paradise Valley residence, with its warm tones and intricate details, set a more formal tone, while in the mountains, “there was a huge importance placed on comfort,” Kehoe says. “This was easy, because with cooler temperatures, we were able to utilize extra soft and cozy fabrics.”
Before Kehoe could get to work, architect Anne Sneed began conceptualizing how the interior architecture could meet the needs of the growing family for years to come. She drew up plans for a host of changes that included redesigning the lower level to accommodate an expanded family room, a bar and a bunkroom, as well as enclosing the staircase up to the main level to ensure that noise wouldn’t travel upstairs.
General contractor Ryan McCormick joined the team and proposed ways to replace the home’s existing honey-colored woodwork with walnut–a request from the husband. He wrapped the exposed ceiling beams and trimmed the windows and doors with wide walnut moldings. “Originally, there were standard 3-inch moldings,” McCormick says. “Now they range from 4 to 7 inches, which adds mass and interest.”
Reclaimed brick from New York gave the new downstairs bar a pub feel, while silvery-gray barnwood lent rustic character to the adjacent powder room. Upstairs in the kitchen, the dated yellow-pine cabinets and tile counters were replaced with a sophisticated mix of Calacatta marble and honed black granite, walnut and silver-gray cabinetry, and a backsplash of gray ceramic tile. Counter chairs in tones of gray–with solid leather seats and fabric print backs–complete the look.
“It’s not a modern home, but it has cleaner elements than we’ve used with these clients,” explains Kehoe. Pointing to the blue-gray millwork used on all three levels, she adds, “That stormy color reminded us of the mountains, but here it’s more ‘mountain modern.’ ”
As the bones of the house took shape, Kehoe began selecting a range of fabrics to give the living room depth and texture, including chesterfield-style armchairs with a rich gray leather frame and contrasting velvet pillows. Plaid wool throw pillows add extra warmth. “We wanted the woodwork to tell the story of the house,” she says. “So, we balanced it with soft fabrics and kept the colors neutral so none of them would overpower the house.”
The dwelling sleeps 21, and two bedrooms on the top floor are designed to do double duty for the couple’s children and grandchildren with built-in bunks and king-size beds extending from inviting walnut niches below. For the bunks, Kehoe and her team specified industrial-steel ladders guaranteed to hold up to wear and tear. “Everything was meant to take a beating,” she says. “It was a very important consideration that we thought through on every single decision–everything had to stand the test of time.”
“Laura thought of everything,” says the husband. “We wanted an elegant house, but also a place that people could enjoy and not be afraid to sit on a chair. Here we can be upstairs enjoying a book and the fire, and the kids can be downstairs, and everyone’s happy.”
The first hotel built on Florida’s West Coast, the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, has been restored and reimagined as the Belleview Inn.
Built in 1897 by Henry Plant, the iconic four-story landmark hosted every living president until it closed in 2009. JMC Communities preserved its most authentic 120-year-old features—among them, the grand staircase in the lobby and the fireplaces—while incorporating a resort-style pool and sundeck and a fully outfitted fitness center.
Additional charms include the Tiffany Room, so called for its Tiffany glass panels from the original building; Mort’s Reading Room—named after Plant’s son—stocked with displays and historical information about the establishment’s legacy; and Maisie’s Marketplace, namesake of Mort’s wife, serving up breakfast and small plates.
Collected, crafted and curated are the words artist and interior designer Teresa Davis uses to describe her aesthetic, as well as the common thread that unites her residential designs. “My motto has always been, ‘It’s the mix, not the match,’ ” she says. Davis’ creative eye and formal training, coupled with “incurable boredom and a need to push myself into uncharted territory in life and art,” have yielded an elegant array of interiors for clients in Davis’ former and current hometowns of Memphis and Denver, plus a portfolio of intriguing multimedia figure studies. Luxe explores them here. post31interiors.com
As an artist, what compelled you to explore the human form? I’ll never forget the first time I attempted to draw the human figure in college, and how completely captivated I was with the idea of recreating movement from this fluid subject.
How does your knowledge of fine art inform your interior design work? My design work has always included pieces from all disciplines: drawing, painting, photography, textiles and pottery. My art influence provides the character, warmth and sparkle that my clients appreciate.
How do you envision your latest artwork fitting into a home’s interiors? My work spans several genres, and you’ll see stylized traditional figures coexisting with unrecognizable deconstructed figures. Both styles partner perfectly with each other in any interior space. Although I prefer working large and love the power a bold piece brings to a room, I also do smaller paper pieces that can be mixed on a gallery wall.
And you love a good mix! My personal style is very much a collected, layered look; a visual conversation about living with things I love and am drawn to. I’ve always been crazy about one-of-a- kind pieces and those crafted by the human hand. I search long and hard for pieces that tell a story, and I am ecstatic when a client provides treasures to be incorporated in a project. It’s incredibly important to me to add this layer of interest to a project, rather than just “decorating” it.