Houston, Texas Penthouse – Belfiore
Jennifer Burgess Loh and her design team had the opportunity to work with an existing client to implement a new direction in the style and character of their home, as they transitioned into a new lifestyle of high-rise living. Moving from a very large Mediterranean style home into the Houston’s Belfiore gave them the perfect opportunity to do a 180 degree turn on their overall style and color palette. Choosing to go with more serene calming colors, they selected blues and grays for the base of the new palette.
To keep the warmth that the client requested, wood was incorporated as a main element for the design. Use of walnut floors and casework, as well as exotic wood species throughout the 11,000 SF unit achieved this modern twist. In the library, Jennifer created a unique design by combining crosscut veneers with a highly polished and satin lacquered finish, adding bronze leather wrapped handles and horsehair wall covering. In keeping with the softer design palette, Italian venetian and luster plaster cover the ceilings and many walls are textured using wallcoverings, specialty finishes and stone.
Having the luxury of combing two units into one allowed Burgess Loh to design a grand kitchen for their clients that met their culinary needs with high end appliances, a separate coffee bar, pantry storage, a small home office and butler area. Interesting accents such as Raindrop decorative fixture and sink, concrete, ribbed wood and glass textures on cabinetry and leathered quartzite, create a warm and intriguing environment for family and guests alike. The client’s large, scaled dining room furniture, unable to make the move into a high-rise unit, was replaced with a new dining table and cabinets perfect for the new style. A unique display for the large collection of china and crystal was created by placing the new solid glass cabinets in front of a wall of windows, allowing light to flow into the room and maximize traffic flow.
Inspired by the Sea Pearl slab, which was used to design the custom vanity for the formal powder room, textures played an integral role in the design. From the glass and metallic in the mosaic floors, to the lurex threads in the drapery and shades, and the three colors of plaster with glass beads all work together to give the illusion of water, throughout the space, fulfilling the clients desire to have a soothing space that echoed water and the skyline palette. Keeping with the light and airy look of a spa for the master bathroom, Burgess Loh found another inspiration around a slab of Brazilian quartzite with pale blues and white crystals. Meeting the needs of the clients’ request for less tile, the shower, and its custom waterfall bench, were fabricated from mostly slab. Offering a unique solution to a high-rise challenge, Jennifer and her team custom designed a double-sided vanity floating off the back cabinets, allowing their clients to have their own space. The design also included a channeled leather wall panel to define the makeup vanity, adding a luxurious touch while unifying it into the larger space.
Wanting to create a cellar-like wine space to entertain guests with modern whimsy, a separate room was created, with a closed door, to set apart its own character from the rest of the home. Contemporary stone and French reclaimed flooring and cabinetry with a roughhewn finish give the desired feeling of old. To liven the space and add a point of interest, The Speaker Cloud, by Richard Clarkson, was added as a novel way to bring lighting effects and stream music into the room for entertaining guests.
For the clients’ elevator lobby, they desired doors that were uniquely different from anyone else. While visiting with Jennifer in her office, the client fell in love with a particular metallic architecture panel from MOZ Designs, that not only became the face of the elevator doors, but set the color palette of watery blues, grays, and warm brass for the whole home. Adding detail and whimsey to the elevator lobby is a Corbin bronze sculpture. Paired with the sculpture and greeting guests on arrival into their home are paintings commissioned by Ted Cowan of the white sycamore trees found along Buffalo Bayou in Houston.
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