In Highland, an evocative mix of trendy and timeless design gives a French-inspired home a hit of haute livable style.
By Brad Mee, Photos by Weston Colton
From the onset designers Jessica Bennett, Christy Klomp and Kristina Kellett knew one thing for certain about the interior they would be creating for this large Highland home: It would be as fashion-forward as its young homeowners and as timeless as the French Manor architecture that defines the house and its tony neighborhood.
“The wife loves trendy design, so we took a modern approach by adding it in a classic and clean way that speaks to the style of the home,” Bennett says.
The team’s tactic presents itself from the get-go. Inside front doors glamorously dressed in black paint and swanky gold hardware, the chic two-story entry daringly introduces the home’s au currant-meets-ageless design.
Walls sheathed in traditional paneling rise from a marble floor configured in head-turning geometric shapes. “It’s an edgy pattern the wife would wear, but we created it from classic stone,” Klomp explains. Overhead, a golden orb chandelier shimmers through a round window and hangs below the ceiling’s ringed paneling.
These elements contribute to a circular motif that subtly flows throughout the home to foster continuity. “You don’t really notice the circles, but they connect the spaces,” says Kellett. The design trio employed black in a similarly strategic manner.
“Black has a lot of heritage, but it also adds a casual young vibe,” Bennett says. The designers deftly used the color to embolden window frames and repeated it generously throughout. It glams the powder room ceiling and master suite’s desk, animates the mudroom’s checkerboard limestone floor and accentuates the main stairway’s architectural railing.
It also enriches dining room chairs and countless artful accessories. “Contrasting black against the home’s neutral background gives the décor a fresh edge,” Klomp explains. Richly mixed metals accomplish the same.
From shimmering gold and brushed brass to brilliant chrome and sleek nickel, the interior’s assorted metals may appear effortless as they recur from space to space, but their dance is carefully choreographed.
Rejecting rigid rules, the designers mixed metals in all spaces, tending to employ gold to embellish dressier rooms including the master suite and foyer while fancying silver finishes for more casual areas including the lower level family room and kid’s bathrooms.
The team also turned to brass and gold to flatter cooler-colored surfaces while choosing icier nickel and chrome to dress warm-toned woods and materials.
“Metals offer the opportunity to create depth and tension through the contrast of warm versus cool,” Bennett explains. But matching finishes were a no-no. “You have to mix it up with different shades of gold or brass, for example, otherwise it will look like paint-by-number and fall flat,” Klomp says.
The designers’ disdain for predictable “dial-it-in design” and their passion for creating surprising “moments” are vividly evident throughout the décor. In the kitchen, a custom gold-and-silver hood and a foursome of brass pendants crown the room with drop-dead chic style. In the nearby dining area, a chandelier of freeform glass orbs floats like clustered clouds in front of view-laden windows.
Glamorous knobs of gold-wrapped quartz bejewel the master bathroom’s white vanity, while nearby, a chrome-framed canopy bed shimmers brightly in the dreamy bedroom. “We decided which elements would be the stars in the rooms and let other details play supporting roles,” Bennett explains. “Not everything needs to be a hero,” she insists.
The designers’ masterful mix of lux and laid-back, elegant and edgy thwarted any hint of boredom—a feat in a home of this size and scale. “Our goal was to create something different and include surprise and delight around every corner,” says Klomp. Fortunately for the young homeowners who relish the spectacular results, that’s exactly what the talented team did.
Senior designer Christy Klomp, design principal Jessica Bennett, and designer Kristina Kellett, from Alice Lane Home Collection in Salt Lake City