It was a short list but a tall order.
As the proud owners of a newly built, 5,600-square-foot home built by Swen Larson Construction in a lush wooded setting, the homeowners wanted the interiors to be a blend of formal and casual — gracious living spaces that were earthy, but polished — and don’t forget the sparkle.
Interior designer Alex Von Ahsen of Phelan’s and cabinet designer Monica Boeckenstedt of 929 Design delivered in a big way.
“Alex and Monica took time to learn about us and our lifestyle, and how we could best use the space. Now I feel like I’m home — and I love it. Every morning I wake up and can’t believe I live here. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that feeling. I hope I don’t,” says the homeowner.
Von Ahsen’s deft mix of sink-into furnishings and a monochromatic color scheme is inviting, and the fabrics can easily stand up to the wear-and-tear of grandchildren and the owners’ pair of golden doodle dogs.
“I’m a big fan of working in the warm end of the gray family, the taupe-y end of gray, and it works well with accent shades like aqua and purple. And because it’s monochromatic, playing with textures and patterns in fabrics provides contrast,” the designer explains.
Oiled oak plank floors in a soft gray wash run through the public spaces, durable but unsealed.
Comfortably arranged in front of the limestone fireplace, Norwalk sofas are upholstered in woven chenille, paired with chairs in faux mohair and two swivel metallic leather chairs. Twin ottomans are tucked into two coffee tables, and the entire setting is grounded on a patterned rug from Stanton.
The large, shapely walnut dining table with its rough-hewn edge that seats 10 separates the living area both visually and physically from the kitchen. “I told my husband we bought a tree and had it shipped in,” she says, laughing. Her nephew carved the shape, and her brother welded the base.
The homeowners worked closely with Boeckenstedt in designing the kitchen with its 11-foot ceiling, including cherry cabinets with mocha stain from Bertch, Cambria quartz countertops and subway tile backsplash. The big island – stained black for contrast — comfortably seats six and an appliance suite that includes a Wolf oven (with the ever-popular pancake griddle) and Sub-Zero refrigerator that includes a cold drawer that lets the grandkids easily reach for juice or chocolate milk.
“When a kitchen is bigger, function and flow become very important. Where you put your work zones matter because you want to be able to move easily and efficiently,” says Boeckenstedt.
A window opens onto the outdoor kitchen to allow food to be easily passed through. Guests pass through the sunroom into the deck area, which features a big table with plenty of seating, a fireplace and TV. In another area of the deck, there’s seating and a table designed for more intimate dining.
It’s in the master suite where Von Ahsen really let the homeowner’s love for both purple and sparkles shine. Matching Thomasville dressers with pearlized finish flank the tall, curvaceous and tufted brocade headboard. A small seating area provides a place to relax in front of the two-sided fireplace that also adds romance to the master bath’s deep spa tub.
Bertch cabinets are custom colored and topped in a mica-specked Cambria quartz stone, “Whitney.” Sparkling Brizo faucets, chrome and crystal hand pulls and porcelain tiles complete the look.
“Galloway” Cambria quartz covers the coffered-ceiling bar and imparts a more masculine vibe in the lower-level family room. There’s also game space, exercise room, sauna and shower.