It is easy to fill a house with furniture and personal items, or perhaps to hang drapes or wallpaper in a room to give it an added personal touch. It is difficult to take basic interior design and add another layer of customization that will flow seamlessly throughout the space. It goes beyond paint, carpet and furniture in a room. It requires skill, a deep knowledge of design and an incredible attention to detail, no matter how minute it seems.
Lee W. Robinson has created a masterpiece with his latest home project in Louisville, Kentucky. Upon first glance of this home, it is majestic, located on a beautiful historic piece of property surrounded by woods near the Ohio River.
Upon entering the front door, the sight line is focused directly ahead to the magnificent view of the backyard. The room is large and airy, with your attention captured by the cool colors of silver, gray, celadon and white in this color palette. The color scheme is decidedly neutral, but the use of multiple textures adds an overlay of modern elegance. Further attention is required in each room, allowing the viewer to absorb all that was intended in the creation of the space.
The hallway that transects the living room and the foyer is a mirror image, literally. On opposing ends of the long hallway are antique mirrors accompanied by alabaster urns. The gray and white marble floor from the foyer is continued through this space, as is the wallpaper, offering a concentrated look at both, while also acting as a smooth transition between rooms.
Just off the foyer is a large dining room that’s unassuming at first glance, but actually has many latent details. There are many ways to add additional seating that are not noticeable at first. This large table has leaves that pull out for additional dining possibilities. Notable in this room are the two custom-made banquette chairs that are along the wall. Smaller tables can be pulled up to these chairs to offer a cozy booth for guests, with additional chairs added to the other side of the table. Another subtle detail is the mirror-backed wainscoting around the lower half of the chair rail, also custom designed. The mirrored backing creates the illusion of space and gives off light to the entire room.
Adjacent to the dining room is a small but grand butler’s pantry. Robinson designed the cabinetry to best profile the beautiful serving pieces. This room is completely functional, with a sink and additional oven.
The living room is a great mix of old and new, with the owner’s antiques passed down in the family joined with modern furniture. Across the top of the room is mirror-backed crown molding, reminiscent of the mirror-backed wainscoting in the dining room. While the room is painted a neutral cream color, the fabrics are accentuated with aqua and coral, making for a bright and sunny space.
The heart of the house is always the kitchen, and in this case, the great room. This white sparkling kitchen has gray nailhead stools at the island, and the gray color segues neatly into the great room with the sofa. Pops of yellow are found throughout this space, from the fresh flowers in the kitchen to the drapes in the great room. Also prevalent and pervasive is the Greek key pattern, which is found throughout the house and picked up in various places. There is a living area in the great room as well as another cozy table for dining.
The homeowners love wine and wanted a great bar in their house for all of their entertaining needs. They created an indoor wine cellar and bar all in one space and all behind glass, showcasing their magnificent collection. As true Kentuckians, their bourbon selection is top notch as well.
The powder room located off the main hallway is a jewel box, layered with fine details and ornate decor. Robinson has made what is just a vanity and mirror into a work of art. Directly on the wall behind the vanity is a large mirror. He placed another decorative mirror on top of the large mirror, adding depth and light to the small space. Around the vanity are luxurious fabric treatments, making the room cozy and contained as well. The color palette of celadon and gray with Greek key designs is continued in this room.
We saved the best room for last: the study. With the house full of a neutral and elegant color palette, this room breaks from the continuum. It is a spectacular vision in navy. The navy paint was custom made (and Robinson’s secret) to look like navy patent leather. The navy velvet sofa and other fabrics all blend together in a sensory fusion that is completely luxurious. Gold accents and furniture by Celerie Kemble complete the look. This is a room perfect for retreating with a book or a glass of wine (from the wine cellar), all day if possible.
All photography (unless otherwise noted) by Christine Mueller Photography.
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