A Cozy Austin Home Exudes Old-World Elegance {A Cozy Austin Home Exudes Old-World Elegance} – English

A Cozy Austin Home Exudes Old-World Elegance {A Cozy Austin Home Exudes Old-World Elegance} – English

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Marcus Mohon says of the southern European-inspired home he decorated for a couple in Austin. “It makes you want to sit down and linger.” Overlooking Barton Creek, the spacious abode exudes approachable old-world elegance through cozy furnishings and mottled-stone walls. “Every space is stylish but comfortable,” the designer says. “We eliminated the concepts of ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ from the interiors.”

After purchasing one of the last available lots in the coveted neighborhood, the owners collaborated with their close friends architect Gary Koerner and landscape designer James Hyatt, whose project manager was Christopher Olson, to develop the basic form of their new dwelling. This resulted in a U-shaped home, in which the main living areas are flanked by the kitchen and the master bedroom. Taking advantage of the breeze and magnificent views, the residence also features outdoor living spaces with a pool in the center. “This property is about various courtyards and rooms that bend around a large courtyard to the rear of the house,” Koerner explains.

A feeling of privacy sinks in from the moment guests approach the front door, accessed through an outdoor entrance behind a courtyard with an antique gate. Adding to the ambience, a gas-burning lantern ties in with both the large glass-and-steel entry door and the steel windows throughout the home, which enhance the views. “We designed the windows to be oversized, with glass to the floor, so your eye is drawn outside when you enter the room,” explains architect Charles Travis, who further developed the original plans and designed the interior architecture. It’s one of the thoughtful ways the team injected contemporary elements into the design. “There’s a seamless blending of different architectural themes that gives this house an authenticity,” Travis says.

It was in this spirit that builder David Dalgleish and his crew approached the project, utilizing time-tested techniques. “The owners were interested in authentic craftsmanship,” he explains. The plaster on the walls, for example, was mixed on site and shows bits of sand in its composition. The stone walls were hand-chiseled and sanded to enhance the aged appearance. And the wrought-iron railings along the outdoor areas were forged and twisted without relying on welding tools. “Even though the home features materials used in southern France centuries ago, they were used in a very crisp, edited way.” Travis says. Case in point: When Dalgleish, who also installed the massive reclaimed ceiling beams, laid the limestone flooring, he carefully detailed the line between the flooring and the plaster walls with a razor blade. “When you can’t cover something up with a piece of trim, there’s no tolerance for error,” he says.

With a simple materials palette as the foundation, Mohon’s selection of furnishings and artwork brings the home to life. “The interiors reflect the wife’s wardrobe of textural neutrals and elegant, understated jewelry, combined with an old-world attitude,” he says. A tactile hide rug layered atop a larger area rug, for example, introduces texture to the living room and defines a seating area featuring a number of custom pieces, including a chaise and a sofa near a large stone fireplace mantel.

Along one wall in the space, a tapestry hangs above a deep-brown antique wood table, punctuating the neutral palette. “A little touch of iron and dark wood creates a strong contrast and highlights everything else,” Mohon says. Likewise, in the adjacent dining room, a striking iron-and-wood chandelier illuminates a sofa settee and a mix of chairs around a circular table.

Nearby, in the kitchen, the designer paired white-oak cabinetry with marble countertops and a monolithic custom-plaster hood. A pair of simple iron pendants illuminate the mammoth-sized island, which is equipped with ample storage space, and tie in with the large-scale sconces flanking the range. “They look like a pencil sketch–a simplified version of an older lantern,” Mohon says. And throughout the home, many bespoke touches exist in the form of doors, like the ornate antique one from Spain the designer customized for the powder room and the leather-paneled doors that mark the entrance to the walnut-paneled den.

Now settled into their European-inspired abode, the owners linger in every room, especially the large outdoor living area–an ideal spot for entertaining visitors or simply sharing wine and conversation with each other. “They love the house,” Mohon says. “It functions great for their large family or just the two of them.”

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A Colorful Home Serves As A Study In Functionality {A Colorful Home Serves As A Study In Functionality} – English

A Colorful Home Serves As A Study In Functionality {A Colorful Home Serves As A Study In Functionality} – English

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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.”

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A Colorado Home Rocks Kid-Proof Global Style {A Colorado Home Rocks Kid-Proof Global Style} – English

A Colorado Home Rocks Kid-Proof Global Style {A Colorado Home Rocks Kid-Proof Global Style} – English

When her longtime clients requested interiors that reflect their love of world travel, Denver designer Ashley Campbell delivered with a mix of new and antique furnishings, accessories and artifacts sourced from points across the globe.

But hidden within the Cherry Hills Village home’s eclectic mix of forms and patterns is functionality befitting the active young family who lives here.

In the music room, for example, a trio of antique metal wheels doubles as a kid-deterring fireplace screen. Kitchen bar stools–upholstered with a washable animal-print fabric from Lee Industries–pull up to a stain- and scratch-proof Caesarstone countertop.

In the dining room, Campbell covered a pair of settees with an outdoor Sunbrella fabric from Pindler. “You can literally take the slipcovers outside and hose them off,” she says.

And though the great room’s black, Chesterfield-style leather sofas are perfect for the “Ralph Lauren-meets-tribal look” Campbell was going for, her choice was driven by kid-friendly function: “That tight sofa back paired with loose throw pillows is so low-maintenance,” she says. “It’s a really cool marriage of form and function.”

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