Home By Design – April/May 2013
written by Ronda Swaney
Though the family who calls this dwelling home lives in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, the home itself defies the traditional expectations of this wealthy enclave. The decor, executed by West Hollywood–based interior designer Tracie Butler, introduces elements of both drama and comfort. “I wanted to introduce a little bit of crazy,” she says. “We just wanted a touch so it wouldn’t be overpowering.”
Throughout the main floor, espresso hardwoods serve as a contrast to the airy interiors. This juxtaposition is apparent in the formal living room, where Italian marble surrounds the fireplace and creamy walls add warmth and light. Sumptuous textured fabric covers the chairs and sofa, and the area rug offers additional softness. Butler introduced metallic elements with the bronze urns that flank the fireplace and the coffee table’s gold-leaf frame. Bar stools sporting black lacquer framing and mohair seats pull up to the adjacent wet bar, where the walls and ceiling are covered in gold leaf, and a contemporary crystal pendant sparkles over the bar. “We wanted to make the bar dressy and funky,” Butler says. “I wanted it to feel like a lounge so when the family entertains, their guests feel like they are at a nightclub.”
Next to the wet bar is an equally dramatic library. Butler mixes traditional and modern by combining French chinoiserie valances with contemporary art. “I wanted the room to feel traveled and layered,” says Butler, who chose glazed red walls as a backdrop for the oversize artwork composed of tiny Buddha images. A small bathroom opposite the bar and library continues the sparkly spectacle. Gold metallic wall covering with block black roses mimics the bar’s color palette and a mirrored door camouflages the shower that is dressed in red marble. Cream-glazed cabinetry serves as a quiet counterpoint to the other opulent details.
The drama is downplayed in the more private spaces of the home. In the family room, tightly woven chocolate chenille covers the ample sectional. The square coffee table is constructed of alder and topped with silvery blue stingray leather. Grasscloth adds texture to the walls, while the Macassar ebony wallpaper that surrounds the marble fireplace, delivers another natural, textural element. Underfoot, a taupe rug offers an element of surprise with its delicate lavender border. Silk and wool drapes frame a window wall that leads to the outdoor patio area where copious greenery and a koi pond provide a tranquil setting for a simple family affair or a larger gathering.
Back inside, the grasscloth from the family room continues onto the kitchen walls. Warm wood cabinetry is paired with burnt sienna leather chairs that line the island. Pleated linen provides a crisp edge to the polished nickel pendants over the island while another informal eating area is lit by a Murano glass chandelier.
Handmade Lucite flowers appear to bloom from the pendant light in the formal dining room. “I wanted this room to feel very grand but still seem playful, funky, and youthful; that’s why I chose the light fixture. The flowers are uplifting,” explains Butler. The dining room possesses a formal quality with details such as Ostrich pattern leather chairs, but is casual enough for everyday use. Metallic white gold-leaf wallpaper covers the walls, which is downplayed by white and caramel linen drapes. A floating buffet and clear glass dining tabletop create negative space allowing the room to feel more airy and the bold yellow and gold in the artwork and flowers add sunny vivacity to the room. The staircase leading upstairs is covered by a gray and white wool runner handmade in Nepal. A large pendant art piece made of rice paper flowers crowns the stairs and offers a striking invitation to the upper floor.
Upstairs, the master bedroom is bathed in soothing tones of gray, lilac, and pistachio. Butler used rich fabrics such as velvet to cover the chair and ottoman and silk and linen for the padded headboard and bedding. On both sides of the bed, lamps sport purple and green Murano glass bases. Butler removed a useless wet bar to the left of the fireplace, mirrored the niche, and added shelving for displayed mementos.
In the master bath, gray marble flows from the floors up the walls. A zebra pattern rug visually softens the marble floor and a large wall mirror reflects another flower-inspired light. For a playful surprise, the walls and ceiling of the toilet room are covered in zigzag pattern wallpaper. “It’s very fun for a master [bath] and the colors tie to those used in the bedroom,” says Butler.
Ultimately, the designer, who likens the process of the whole house design to making a movie, used traditional materials and dramatic application to tell the entertaining story of this young family’s life.
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Source: Home By Design