Friday, September 17, 2010

Steven Miller: The Soul Solution

When designer Steven Miller first visited the newly built home of a professional chef in Los Altos, California, two things immediately struck him: Its stunning views of San Francisco Bay, Belvedere Island and the city, and its cold spec-house appearance. His design goals for this well-traveled, entertaining-focused family of four were to maximize the Riviera-like vistas and minimize the soul-less character of the structure while honoring its Mediterranean references. “I wanted to give it a true sense of history—to make it look as if the owners had lived there a long time, amassing pieces culled from many years of travel to far-flung places,” says Miller.
LIBRARY: In the library, Miller enhanced the appearance of the built-in cabinetry in a manner that draws attention to the objects within by lining the rear panel with subtly textured silk wallpaper. A Berber rug in the same pale gray-blue hue underpins less subdued furnishings: a pair of the homeowners’ armchairs newly upholstered in JP Garten printed cotton fabric, a Miller-designed ottoman, and unmatched side tables from McGuire.
LIVING ROOM: To set the stage for the living room’s Euro-eclectic scheme, Miller left the windows uncovered and replaced the tract-home-looking wooden fireplace surround with Renaissance’s beveled concrete model. He then circumscribed a black Chinese-style coffee table brought in by the owners with a Donghia French-style sofa upholstered in a blue Pierre Frey fabric, an undulating Dutch reproduction commode, a custom lacquered pedestal table from Holly Hunt, a Wiener Werkstatte-inspired mirror, and an Italianate Michael Taylor side chair. Anchoring the arrangement: A silk and wool rug of Miller’s own design featuring a scroll pattern based on an illustration of a Versaille garden. Good things that came in twos here: Baker’s Tommy Parzinger-designed floor lamps and Miller-designed floating ottomans—fabric-covered poufs resting on Viennese-style plinths.
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