A culmination of seven years exploring the globe, residential designer Peter Oleck’s new showroom, Pietra Casa, in Coconut Grove, Florida, flaunts an exquisite collection of home accessories, materials, lighting and architectural elements that can’t be found anywhere else.
Why did you decide to open Pietra Casa? After years designing projects like the Mondrian South Beach Hotel and homes from Golden Beach to Harbor Island, I wanted to create a space that offers specialty goods for luxury homes, hotels and restaurants. Teaming up with Turkish designer Furkan Tan, we’re creating new bespoke pieces and a furniture line called Carbon Studio. In this world of fast-paced mass-production, we want to bring back a sense artisanal manufacturing and products that are driven by authenticity and quality.
What sets your shop apart? Our goal is to showcase objects from all over the world that aren’t widely represented in North America: European furnishings, volcanic light fixtures from Mexico, Italian hand-stitched leather trays, mouth-blown German glass, Turkish linens and more.
What’s next for you? Pietra Casa offers an immense array of products, and it’s impossible to feature everything. So, we expect to open new locations in Los Angeles, New York and Istanbul that continue creating this true sense of luxury living.
In 2009, Atlanta native and RISD graduate Anna McCraney won first place on a Bravo TV fashion series, then blazed her way through the NYC garment industry, teaching fashion design and operating a boutique on the Lower East Side. Five years after launching a consulting business for other aspiring makers, Blank Canvas Development, McCraney headed south for Savannah, coaxed by the SCAD hub’s close-knit community and “amazing well of talent.” Just recently, her brick-and-mortar storefront and studio debuted on Bull Street. There, she displays wares by herself and her clients—all of which are American made using ethical practices and largely sustainable materials. Below, she shares her vision with Luxe.
How do you help burgeoning makers bring their ideas to fruition? We guide our clients through everything from pricing and technical drawings to patternmaking, samples and finished products. We really refine the idea for production, facilitating the entire process.
What are some home goods your Savannah shoppers are loving? We carry dinnerware by Carmel Ceramica, Amsha baskets hand-woven in Rwanda and soft goods featuring my own designs: There’s one with grass and sky, a “melting flowers” print and another I was inspired to make after a trip to Morocco; it’s sort of Berber-esque.
You released a signature “Savannah toile” textile in 2021; what’s new for 2022? We’re adding new colors to the toile like green and red, and next up is a coastal Georgia vintage map print. Our patterns can be used for pretty much any soft goods—think slipcovers, duvet covers, pillows, napkins or place mats.
Originally built as a seminary in 1931, the landmarked brick building anchoring The Lodge at St. Edward State Park sat vacant for 44 years before coming back to life as one of Washington’s newest luxury hotel and spas.
“It’s always been this mystery,” says Jenne Oxford, The Lodge’s general manager. “Now, the community can experience the history of this place firsthand.”
The Kenmore-based hotel weaves together past and present, with painstakingly restored original details and spaces that conjure the building’s yesteryears, including a seminary barber shop-turned-speakeasy bar, original brick façades and windows, and period architectural sketches translated to wall-size murals.
Besides the four floors of guest rooms, a luxury spa, and eateries including a restaurant helmed by James Beard award-winning chef Jason Wilson, the hotel offers a slew of publicly accessible amenities.
Don’t miss visiting a gallery hallway with rotating Northwest artists, high tea service and live music events.
When it comes to her list of wants, Gale Singer, founder and president of Circa Lighting, does not waver. She is as discerning about crown molding (pass), vibrant art (irresistible) and window treatments (no, thank you) as she is about pendants, sconces and chandeliers. After about 15 years of pondering, her agenda for her own Savannah home pinpointed everything from a high-functioning kitchen with great traffic flow to pocket glass doors that open to reveal a saltwater pool and sculpted greenery. Once she found a lot she loved in an eclectic, tucked-away neighborhood not far from the Vernon River, all those years of dreaming finally came to fruition.
By the time she turned over her inspiration folder to Rudolph Colby—the residential designer behind more than a decade’s worth of Circa Lighting stores—Gale felt confident he was the person to bring her vision to life. “Rudy is an artist,” she says of Colby, who, working with general contractor Josh Brooks, also orchestrated the home’s landscaping and pool. “He has a wonderful sense of style, detail and proportion. His designs are classic and timeless.”
Gale is a hands-on client. “The most fun we have, ever, is when we sit down together, spread out a piece of paper and each pick up a pencil,” Colby says of their tactile process. Having initially conceived of an on-site renovation that ultimately had to be scrapped due to water damage beneath the property’s existing house, the residential designer’s “take two,” as he calls it, followed the original home’s layout quite closely. What transpired was a practice in extreme simplification, subtracting everything extra. “Any time there was a line or shadow that could be removed from a window or door or piece of hardware, she would nix it,” Colby says of his client, who dictated the project’s concealed door hinges and nearly invisible reveals.
“There’s nothing trendy about it,” Gale adds of the residence, which cleverly combines modern-leaning and ranch-inspired influences behind a façade of slender white Norman brick and horizontal board-and-batten siding. Though her linear, tightly landscaped home might diverge from the typical Lowcountry vernacular, it’s connected to the fabric of the city in a manner very personal to its owner: fine art. “I’m lucky to live in a place with such close access to the Savannah College of Art & Design and all the wonderful artists that have come out of that university,” says Gale, an ardent collector.
Her expansive art assortment comes to life thanks to sizable skylights—Colby’s solution for illuminating the east-west-oriented house from the inside out. “You get direct sun at different times of the year, and it’s really quite fabulous,” Colby reveals. As a lover of natural light, Gale eschewed window treatments in most rooms, adding extra layers by way of Circa Lighting fixtures. However, her selections were not chosen for dramatic impact, rather for subtlety. Most had remained stalwarts on her personal wish list for years—particularly a pair of Thomas O’Brien-authored pendants named in her honor, which today suspend over her kitchen island.
To ensure interiors that would incorporate all of these items masterfully, the discriminating homeowner looked to Michael Del Piero, a designer whom Gale praises for her “neutral palettes, and ability to layer textures and to curate objects.” Del Piero, who had previously designed Gale’s Chicago loft, has long felt a sense of aesthetic alignment with her client. “What Gale wanted is what my firm is known for: livable, approachable and interesting interiors with nothing too precious or fussy,” she notes.
Decorating decisions between the two were uncommonly swift, with most made on a single trip to High Point Market. “For three days, in the pouring rain, we literally furnished the entire house, inside and out,” Del Piero recalls. Together, the pair selected deep sofas with simple lines, intriguing Louise Nevelson-esque nightstands, even an oak dining table to sub as an oversize desk in the grass cloth-clad home office. “Gale is super no-frills; she wants the best but she wants it simple,” says Del Piero, who finished off spaces with antique rugs to warm up the sleek wood and stone floors.
In sum, the lighting maven’s Savannah home demonstrates her strong understanding not only of design, but of herself. No space is wasted, and every element is optimized for the way she wants to live. “She has a really sharp eye,” Colby concludes. “There’s a place for everything and everything has meaning. And I think there’s a strong reason for that: Gale sees things differently.” Certainly, in the case of curating her own home, she’s seen the light.
Furloughed during the pandemic, Miami-based interior designer Kenzie Leon Perry turned lemons into lemonade when he started his own firm, Ze Haus Interior Design Studio, and launched a spirited collection of throw pillows, drapery, fabrics and wallpaper recalling the vibrancy of Miami and the Caribbean. Here, he shares his colorful approach.
How do location and culture influence your pieces? I worked in Jamaica and throughout the eastern Caribbean for an all-inclusive hotel as an interior designer for more than six years, so I’m directly influenced by the culture, people and environment. Having worked with rigid hospitality brand standards while employed at corporate design firms, it was important for me to flip the color narrative by introducing bright and bold hues in the Caribe collection.
What inspired the collection? My Miami neighborhood, Buena Vista West, which is a part of the Little Haiti community. I hand-painted yardbirds (the chickens roam my neighborhood) wearing headdresses and fedoras and surrounded by sugarcane, a Caribbean delicacy grown in the Florida Everglades. The collection has three coordinating patterns as well as original painted portraits of Caribbean people.
Favorite item in the collection? The Plis Kann print, consisting of sugarcane stalks arranged in a chinoiserie pattern, because it blurs cultures with an Asian feel.
What’s next? I’m working with a New York wallpaper manufacturer to produce, market and sell an exclusive wallpaper line designed by myself.
Photo: Courtesy Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection
Recently opened at the Commodore Perry Estate in Austin, Lutie’s Garden Restaurantadds one more great reason to visit the lush property.
Designed to meld warm hospitality with the jovial spirit of its Jazz Age legacy, “Lutie’s is delightfully old-fashioned, like the best version of country club-meets-charming garden party,” says creative director and designer Ken Fulk.
Eye-catching details include tumbled black-and-white stone floors and a green latticework ceiling hung with plants; a grand oak bar lit by retro Murano glass chandeliers (above); custom-upholstered furnishings like tufted teal barstools and freestanding scalloped banquettes covered in a bespoke floral print; plus wood-and-brass café tables and chairs with a ticking stripe seat. Head outside to linger even longer on classic wrought-iron pieces covered in Lutie’s signature florals.
RH’s newly unveiled RH Dallas, The Gallery on Knox Street is as much an experience as a destination. The 70,000-square-foot, tri-level space not only houses one of the largest collections of home furnishings in the world, but also features a dramatic rooftop restaurant and park, wine bar and in-house interior design services.
As RH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Friedman states, “RH Dallas, The Gallery On Knox Street represents our ongoing quest to revolutionize physical retailing with architecturally inspiring spaces that blur the lines between residential and retail, indoors and outdoors, home and hospitality.”
With that in mind, the new structure’s striking Venetian plaster exterior is lined with French doors opening onto inviting courtyards and terraces. Access each level via a grand double floating staircase, and definitely head all the way to the top: The third floor reveals the restaurant and opens onto a green roof park inspired by classic European gardens, studded with a series of intimate RH Outdoor lounge spaces.
Headquartered in London, leading British interiors brand OKA—which was founded in 1999 by Sue Jones, Annabel Astor and Lucinda Waterhouse—has debuted its first-ever American location in Houston. “It’s been our dream to bring OKA to the States since the very beginning,” says Jones. “And Houston was the perfect fit for us—a big city in the heart of the U.S. with residents who already live by the OKA ethos that a beautiful home is designed to be enjoyed with friends and family.”
The new 9,000-square-foot space houses all the essential ingredients required to bring the British way of life into the home. Product highlights include The Chronicle Collection of home fragrances with candles made by Cire Trudon and OKA icons like the Stafford dining chair, hand-crafted rattan accessories and the blue-and-white Kraak China Collection. Additionally, look for the elegant, whimsical tableware collaboration with American fashion designer Adam Lippes.
The LongHouse 6, 2019, Will Ryman. (Photo Courtesy Will Ryman Production)
Sixteen acres of intricately designed gardens and art installations beckon at LongHouse Reserve, which is welcoming guests back to East Hampton this season with a host of exciting events and exhibitions. Save the date for these three must-attend summer fêtes.
SAY YES SUMMER BENEFIT
Stroll through the art-filled grounds while enjoying a variety food, drinks and music at LongHouse Reserve’s Say Yes Summer Benefit on July 24. Don’t miss the chance to win something special at the LongHouse Shares Artsy auction before the night’s end.
PLANTERS ON+OFF THE GROUND X
Take in imaginative container gardens of all shapes and sizes, including the winner of this year’s ON+OFF The Ground X competition: Joshua Werber’s “Cornus Cocoon.” The top design, along with the other finalists’ works, will be on display through July 31.
JACK, LARGER THAN LIFE
Gather for an intimate portrait of creator-collector Jack Lenor Larsen. Nearly 50 iconic textiles are on display along with garments, furniture and art from Larsen’s home. The exhibition, designed by Lee Skolnick of SKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership, will be on view through Sept. 5.
Oak Farm Vineyards, a 70-acre California estate in the heart of Lodi’s celebrated wine region, is a dream event locale. Its historic barn is available during temperate months, and the Club Room works for small gatherings. Now Oak Farm’s owners, the Panella family, have added a 2,000-square-foot Barrel Room for events, as well as a commercial kitchen. The interior features natural wood finishes, rolling pendant lights emitting a warm glow, and an 11-foot antique wood bar. “This area feels grand, with vaulted ceilings and lots of light,” says Heather Panella, co-owner and general manager, who spearheaded the design with her mother-in-law, Dorothy Panella, co-owner and managing partner. “We envision this room to be used for all types of private parties, corporate events and small receptions,” Heather says. “We also anticipate that it will be used for our own wine club events as well as seasonal festivities.”