Sometimes, a design is executed with so much restraint that you might be quick to dismiss it or think that it feels unfinished, but mixing simplicity with luxury details in order to create a feeling of casual elegance is often harder to achieve than you might think.
Mark Weaver did just that with his design of the dining room at the Santa Barbara Design House and Gardens. Graced with a beautiful ceiling and windows that allow warm California light to stream into the space, he mixed modern art, luxury materials and fine antiques with ease.
The airy Perching Bird chandelier from Chart House and accessories from Rose Tarlow allow the eye to travel to the view of the side garden. The Otto Console, also from Rose Tarlow, keeps the space between the draperies feeling light, while the color of the pears in the Kelly Nipper print echo that of the wood on the chairs.
Mark says that he has, “an obsession for quality and detail”, so I thought I would share a couple of my favorite quality details from his design.
The Vermicelli wallpaper from Farrow and Ball reads as color from a distance, but up close, it has light hearted, modern appeal. The wire sculpture by artist Sabin Howard is whimsical and well executed, and it really stands out against the neutral tones of the paper.
I love the base. It elevates the piece and gives it weight, but doesn’t compete with it.
The Chinon Silk Weave Schumacher fabric and trim of the drapery introduces a new texture and sheen to the room, adding dimension and depth, but it is the sextet of 18th century Danish Rococo chairs from Therien that really caught my eye.
Made of beechwood with gilt highlights on the carved details, the chairs are of exceptional quality. That Mark was able to dress them down in this dining room, while still keeping the focus on them, is a testament to his well honed design skills. In a formal house, with a wood table and more traditional finishes, the beauty of these chairs might get lost.
They look completely different on their own, don’t they?
As far as I can tell, the chairs are available for purchase. I do know enough to say with some degree of certainty that they are well out of my price range if they are for sale. They did give me an idea though: The materials for gold or silver leaf are very affordable.
With careful thought and planning, you can create this look for yourself by highlighting carving on your furniture. I would probably choose to accent only the details on the back and legs of a chair, because the leafing on the apron feels a bit heavy to me, but you could do as little or as much as you want. That’s what is known as personal style, my friends friend.
Take another look at the dining room Mark designed:
What looks simple and casual from a distance is in actuality more complex and detailed than the eye first perceives. It takes a pro like Mark Weaver to pull it all together and make it look easy. Spend a little casual time rooting around in his portfolio. I think you’ll find it very elegant!
The show house, with proceeds benefitting the Junior League of Santa Barbara, is open Thursday-Sunday from 10:00 to 2:00, until October 7, 2012. Advance tickets are $35.00 and are available through the Junior League and SBDHG. Tickets are also available on site for $40.00.