La Nouvelle Orleans

  • Celedon is a refreshing complement to the more neutral French grey and buff colours in this cozy family room.
  • The formal living room is filled with fine antiques Terri has sourced during her many trips to Europe.
  • LEFT: A velvet sofa rests handsomely beneath a hand-painted wooden screen.
  • Silk drapes puddle decadently onto gleaming parquet floors.
  • Antique dealer Terri Goldsmith arranges a bounty of hydrangeas and lilies in her elegant foyer.
  • The garden and pool mirror the formality of the home.
  • Manicured walkways are outlined with neatly clipped box wood hedges.

Sweeping down the intricate wrought iron staircase, surrounded by luxe floor mosaics and Antique Lighting crystal chandeliers, who wouldn’t feel like a French empress? Terri Goldsmith gives Dabble a royal welcome, New Orleans style.

Unlike the proverbial shoe maker’s child, antique dealer Terri Goldsmith enjoys living in a well-appointed home. One that shows off her masterful skill in decorating with fine furnishings, attention to detail and savoir faire.

Photography by Cherie-Lynn Buchanan

Spring Forward

  • Panelled walls and cofferred ceiling, were designed and installed to satisfy the clients’ craving for architecture more commonplace in stately east coast homes. The sunburst mirror is a “placeholder” to enjoy until a large scale piece of artwork is purchased.
  • Art: Oil painting by artist Michelle Armas provides a counterbalance to the geometric prints on the furniture and pillows.
  • Kitchen: The all-white kitchen gets its drama from dark stained 5” wide rift cut white oak floors, with a Rubio Monocoat oil finish. The table and Navy chairs are Restoration Hardware.
  • Dining Room: White panelled wainscotting is handsomely paired with a Phillip Jeffries grass cloth (Manila Hemp Graphite 3444). The head chairs, backed in raspberry, create a flow of colour from room to room.
  • Children's Bedroom: Fiorella likes to take her colour cues from the clients—pink and green are obviously a favourite combination for the girls (age 4 and 6) in residence.
  • Family Room: “We rotated the kitchen and removed walls so all the rooms face the back yard and pool area.”

When clients moved from Connecticut to sunny Menlo Park, it didn’t take them long to shed those extra layers required for warmth back home and embrace their new lighter California lifestyle.

The designer created a blend of east coast-west coast that would respect her client’s love for architecture with a pedigree and inject a more playful west coast palette.

The result? Springtime, year round.

Photography by Frank Paul Perez

At Dusk

  • Orange and blue are complementary colours that work in harmony with the pool.
  • “I dabble in... entertaining. There’s nothing I like more than having my close friends over”. ~ Matt
  • Matt prepares tangy martinis at the tiki bar.
  • RIGHT Simple and stylish appetizersare crowd pleasers.
  • Send a message to guests on slate plates from Crate and Barrel.
  • Dabble’s DIY Guy, Nicholas Rosaci takes a well-deserved seat in the lush setting he’s created for his client.
  • "Attention to detail is what really gives a home a feeling of quality and style. Every detail should work in harmony to create a space that truly sings." ~Nicholas

At dusk….that’s when this newly transformed backyard looks its starlit best. How fitting, since the house in question belongs to crooner and jazz vocalist Matt Dusk.

In designing an at-home retreat for the globe trotting musician, designer Nicholas Rosaci artfully combines two of his client’s passions—travel and vintage Hollywood.

Starting with a great backdrop helps any decorating project and Nicholas was pleased to see the combination of buff brick on the house and terracotta on the patio floor. Against these fixed elements, the daring designer added bold aqua blue and fiery orange to, “Ahem, jazz things up.”

“Orange is current and urbane,” says Nicholas, “and it complements the watery blues of the  swimming pool, which we put in recently ourselves after finding a place to rent a mini excavator.” To give the casual dining area a sense of ceremony, Nicholas circled its perimeter with breezy white drapery panels by Sunbrite Drapery. Moroccan lanterns lend sparkle to evening events and set an exotic mood.

Favourite element? “Oh, it has to be the tiki bar,” says Matt. “And I make a mean martini too.”

The World on a String
Create a romantic mood by hanging all-weather light strings reminiscent of an Italian piazza or Tuscan courtyard.

Dream a Little Dream
Before purchasing a patio set, find some online design images for inspiration. End of season deals are always a possibility.

The Best is Yet to Come
Treat the patio with the same reverence as the living room. Dress the fence with art, mirrors and sculpture.

Memories are Made of This
Once the project is complete, christen it with friends and a festive celebration.

Backyard Bliss

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It’s dusk–.at Dusk’s. Crooner Matt Dusk has every reason to sing the praises of his designer, DIY Guy Nicholas Rosaci.

To read more about Matt’s digs, visit Issue 7: Apr/May’12.

Read the entire article ‘Home Tour – At Dusk’ in Issue 7 of Dabble.

Swimming Pools and Movie Stars

  • The stucco exterior is enlivened by a series of grid patterns —on the garage doors, at the front door, and in the concrete pads of the driveway.
  • In a city where everyone’s a star, Erinn knows what it takes to make a dramatic entrance. The Asian inspired fretwork of the front door is the result of a sketch she penned while out to dinner with friends.
  • The difficulty with contemporary design is its tendency to be cold. Erinn created a warm, modern feeling by incorporating sleek wood features in the window surrounds, on the floors and in the landscaping.
  • With a base of warmth established, she was able to clad the living room fireplace in stucco and insert a chrome U-channel to create the massive grid, mimicking exterior materials, without fear the feature would read as “cold”.
  • Introducing the soft, gray oak (a repeated element from the living room floors) warms the high gloss surfaces of the spacious kitchen.
  • The sun-drenched family room and kitchen enjoy poolside views and easy access to the outdoor barbecue. Erinn insists on an open floor plan for homes where entertaining happens frequently.
  • Erinn pays particular attention to the backsplash when she’s designing kitchens. “A typical mirrored backsplash might have created uncomfortable shine with so much sunlight,” says the designer.
  • Casual seating provided by sleek bar stools tucks discreetly beneath statuary Calcutta gold marble countertops.
  • The master bedroom is something of a departure from the rest of the house. Here, dark wood floors and the royal blue suede headboard create a cozier, more dramatic setting. Floor-toceiling bookshelves conceal a central pocket door that leads to the ensuite. “It’s almost like walking through a tunnel,” the designer enthuses, “which is very cool.”
  • Honeyed wood and white lacquer cabinets combine with champagne coloured mosaic tiles in the master ensuite. The room’s most dramatic feature is the private garden seen beyond the glass shower wall.
  • A repetition of organic materials—wood, stucco, stone—creates flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • An avid gardener, Erinn uses succulents in boxed concrete beds to provide structure to contemporary gardens. Japanese maple trees (seen in the back corner) add complementary colour to large expanses of green.

Making a comeback in swanky town USA takes more than desire. Hard work, vision, re-direction and a bit of luck are required to bring waning potential back into the spotlight. Dabble chatted with interior designer Erinn Valencich who recently faced such a challenge transforming a traditional home in the tony Trousdale Estates neighbourhood of Beverly Hills.

“I envisioned an urban oasis with large windows leading to outdoor rooms,” says the designer. “We started with a beautiful footprint and expansive views. I added floor to ceiling glass walls and additional ceiling height, growing rooms from 9 to12 feet.”

Dabble Savvy: UNDERSTATED IMPACT

  • Sleek pattern makes a statement in contemporary settings. Graphic lines provide order and can be introduced as architectural detail.
  • High contrast adds drama. A combination of light wood floors and dark window surrounds produces head-turning results.
  • Combine diverse textures for impact. The rough, matte stucco and smooth, concrete stepping stones are complemented and softened by shrubery and trees.

Designed by Erinn Valencich; Photography by Adrian Anz