When a Highland Park couple with two teenagers hired Randy Heller to help them redecorate their home, she was forced to hit the ground running.
“The house was chaotic, and they needed somebody who could take charge and manage the project,” Heller says, noting that several pieces of furniture had already been ordered and that the kitchen had been demolished. “In a perfect world, we like to start with a clean slate, but that’s not always the reality.”
As she does with all her projects, Heller conducted a lengthy interview with the owners about their aesthetic sensibilities and how they used the main living areas. “How often do they entertain? Do they own good china? How often do they use it? Are they right-handed or left-handed?” Heller asks, rattling off a just a few of a long list of questions she asks new clients. “It gets very intense.”
Armed with information, Heller designed a plan to weave her client’s existing pieces into a luxurious tapestry with plenty of subtle contrast. “It’s not about black and white, it’s about visual and tactile texture,” the designer says.
Creating luxury with texture and contrast
Draperies: In a dining room tailor made for intimate family dinners, Heller added elegant silk draperies that seem to blend into the walls. “The draperies have an opalescent value that’s the same undertone as the wallpaper,” Heller says. “I like window treatments to blend into the wall. In smaller spaces, it makes the room look bigger because your eye doesn’t stop.”
Paint and wallpaper: A bold wallpaper pattern and metallic paint lend the dining room a touch of glamour.
Lighting: To contrast the dining room’s wallpaper and silk draperies, Heller selected a chandelier by German designer Gunther Lambert made of steel and hand-blown glass. “It’s still dressy, but it’s industrial at the same time,” she says.
Furnishings: Heller dressed up the owner’s existing rustic kitchen table with a set of ghost chairs. “Polar opposite in texture but gorgeous when paired together,” Heller explains.
Kitchen cabinets and counter tops: The owners loved Calcutta marble counter tops but they were worried they would become stained over the years, so Heller used black granite for the perimeters, which the owners use regularly and saved the marble for the island, which they rarely use for food prep.