Creating the perfect home is always a mixture of art and science – and nowhere is that better proven than in this fashion-forward, artistically inclined home owned by a high-flying engineer.
The client, her husband and his children had recently moved into a home in Salt Lake City. While surrounded by spectacular mountainous views fit for some of the world's best homes, they were less impressed by the house’s interiors.
‘Everything was knotty alder with walnut floors and travertine,’ said the Alice Lane Interiors team, who worked with the client on the project. ‘Nothing was current, or to their liking, but they didn’t have time to build, so they purchased a home in the right area. We had to scrape off the old finishes and start fresh.’
The client’s vibrant yet considered tastes were hugely influential in the home’s redesign, the team explained.
‘She wanted it to be interesting and editorial,’ they said. ‘She is part Korean and part Chinese, and has traveled the whole world, so wanted it to have a global feel.’
‘She also wanted the home to not have too much exactness,’ the team explained. ‘She is an engineer and deals with exactness all day long. She wanted a retreat that she could feel at home in and have an organic feel.’
The beautifully reworked home is a prime example fun and frivolity blending effortlessly with thoughtful details and design. From ‘hall of mirrors’ bathroom to get lost in, to a majestic walk-in closet celebrating the owner’s passion for designer clothes, the team gave us a tour of this stunning home.
‘We love the chandelier in the entry and the big shield mirror,’ said the Alice Lane Interior Design team of the entrance hallway ideas. ‘It's more of an opening statement when you first walk in.’
The home’s entryway is full of big statements. Alongside the Kelly Wearstler chandelier and Windsor Smith mirror, the space also includes a blue velvet chaise lounge, new black railings heading up the sweeping staircase to the couple’s offices, as well as a towering house plant and open-plan views of the kitchen and family room beyond.
One of the most carefully put together elements of the space was, however, the floor. ‘We had a lot of fun figuring out the marble entry floor and working out all of the cuts,’ said the team. ‘The owners were on their honeymoon and she would text back with edits to the drawings – because she's an engineer, her brain works like that. We kept going back and forth trying to fit in the circles, and she was the one that figured it out.’
What comes across as a bespoke kitchen tailored to the owners’ tastes is not all that it seems. ‘It was fun to see the before and afters of the kitchen,’ said the team of the kitchen ideas. ‘The old cabinet doors are the exact same ones, just painted and gold leafed – it was unbelievable, the transformation.’
Originally a stained, knotty alder wood, the cabinets are now a warm grey tone, that feel sophisticated and welcoming, and pair beautifully with the kitchen island’s largely marble countertop.
These muted tones don’t, however, last for long. ‘Some of the fun moments are the blue bar stools and the island legs,’ said the team. ‘The legs are artistic and really beautiful, like petals of flowers. The butcher block is all walnut end cuts and is a showpiece as well.’ The team collaborated with a metal worker to create a custom design for this quirky piece.
In the corner of the kitchen, a breakfast nook sits in the curve of a bay window, which boasts views of the rolling Utah mountains beyond. Diners are offered a seat at the lazy susan table, ideal for sharing the family’s favorite dim sum. ‘That's a fun part of her culture they brought in,’ said the team of the unusual dining room ideas. ‘The family is very generous and they come together with many family and friends.’
Opposite the kitchen and dining areas, is a stylish but comfortable family living room. Largely monochrome in its design, the blues of the kitchen chairs weave their way into the room’s large rug, but still it is the darker inflections in the white room that make the most impact.
‘The two-story black linen drapes are made with a fabric we imported from a company in the UK, which then was hand painted by Tyler Huntzinger,’ explained the team.
The room needed to balance style and informality, and so the Alice Lane Interior Design team needed to think cleverly about how to incorporate some family necessities.
‘She wanted to accommodate the children and make sitting accessible in the kitchen, but did not want to have a TV in that room,’ they said. After discussing the benefits of having one for the holiday season and beyond, the owner and the design team found a happy medium.
‘We did a framed TV and hung it like artwork on top of built-ins and they can turn it on when they need to.’ When not in use, the living room TV displays artwork to prevent it from looking overtly technological.
‘The living space is where they can entertain,’ explained the team. ‘She is a pianist and likes to sing as well, and the kids take piano lessons.’
As well as a black grand piano in one corner, the artistically inclined living room ideas also feature a number of paintings and sculptures, as well as furniture in varied textiles from velvet to leather, and a coffee table supported by a large piece of sprawling tree root.
‘The chrysanthemum hallway is stunning,’ said the team. ‘It's a connecting space that no one is expecting and then to go through the door, it takes your breath away.’
This unassuming space is decorated with murals of the flower, which is largely found in East Asia, and has special meaning for the owner. ‘That love comes from her grandfather. He did calligraphy drawings of chrysanthemums and it’s become a real symbol to her. They bend the corners and take the edges off the space. It lets down her shoulders and makes her feel like she's home.’
These works are also painted by Huntzinger, and are paired with gold leaf detailing on the millwork.
‘The master bath is a total wow,’ said the team. An all-marble and glass affair, the space creates a magical ‘hall of mirrors’ effect thanks to its floor-to-ceiling reflective walls, faceted into a plaid design. The result is a room to lose yourself in.
‘It's just a jewel box of a space,’ the team commented. ‘The cabinetry has rounded corners again to try and take edges off and blur the lines as much as we could.’ The dazzling effect of the reflected marble is also softened with a powder blue ottoman seat, and a dressing room chair in blush pink.
‘The master bedroom ceilings were super high so we used a navy blue plaster to help shrink some of the space and bring the walls closer to them,’ said the team with regards to the bedroom ideas.
The soft texture of the walls looks almost like velvet, and the way it heads all the way up to and across the ceiling creates a cocooning sensation. This atmosphere is reinforced by the Alice Lane Interior Design team’s choice of bed. ‘We selected a four-poster bed to create a shelter, a room within a room, to give them a feeling of coziness.’
While the owners work hard, but they know when work should be put aside for play. ‘She has a large collection of clothing,’ explained the design team. ‘She loves Chanel the most – so she has a lot of it. We turned the old home office into her closet and it houses all of her collections and shoes.’
The bespoke walk-in closet ideas feature a shoe bench with storage situated in the window, a white island filled with dressing drawers, and open racks to celebrate the clothes and allow them to decorate the room elaborately. ‘It's her outlet and truly collected.’
Interior Design / Alice Lane Interior Design
Ailis started out at British GQ, where a month of work experience turned into 18 months of working on all sorts of projects, writing about everything from motorsport to interiors, and helping to put together the GQ Food & Drink Awards. She then spent three years at the London Evening Standard, covering restaurants and bars. After a period of freelancing, writing about food, drink and homes for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, Luxury London and Departures, she started at Homes & Gardens as a Digital Writer, allowing her to fully indulge her love of good interior design. She is now a fully fledged food PR but still writes for Homes & Gardens as a contributing editor.
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