Take Time to Travel Over the River and Through Some Woods to the Richmond Symphony Designer HousePosted: October 1, 2012
To all of my West End friends: you only have one week left to set your g.p.s. and venture across the River and a couple of miles down Huguenot Road to visit the 2012 Richmond Symphony Orchestra League (RSOL) Designer House at Pinifer Park at 3312 Robious Crossing Drive, Midlothian, Virginia. Don’t worry that you’ve got to go all the way to the Southside. The unusual setting really is not very far, and if you have any interest in seeing local design talent, you will be so glad that you went.
Pinifer Park is a stately early 20th century home now set at the back of a 1970’s era subdivision. Once you reach the property, you feel as though you could be in the back of Windsor Farms. The former home of the Laird family, the current owner/developer has shrewdly partnered with the RSOL to present this home and land which he plans to subdivide into several building lots to sell along with the original home and its immediately adjoining 3 acres.
Showhouses like Pinifer Park provide a unique opportunity for designers to exhibit their talents free of the constraints of client preferences and budgets. The delightful and savvy Tobi Fairley mentioned in her lunchtime IFDA talk before we toured Pinifer Park that participating in designer showhouses has catapulted this Arkansas girl into the spotlight in national magazines like Traditional Home, House Beautiful and Southern Living. Twenty-two of the region’s finest designers have pulled out all of the stops throughout the different areas of this detail-rich home. The result is a series of “wow” rooms that may not relate to each other, but all celebrate and enhance the discreet areas.
Pinifer Park’s unique floorplan is relatable to today’s transitional home spaces. Guests enter through a covered porch that wraps-around three sides of the house and into a two-story entry and “great room” with central fireplace. The remainder of the rooms in the house are on the cozy side, and while I really appreciate the designs in all of them, a few of the rooms really stand out to me.
My absolute favorite room is the dining room, which I immediately knew was designed by Kat Liebschwager of Ruth & Ollie the moment that I entered. This rendering does not fully show the fabulous eating and sitting area, but you can get a flavor for the bold yellow, pink and white color scheme with a Greek key flair. The original floors in the great room and dining room feature Greek key detailing, and I love how Kat played up that theme in this glamorous space.
I also correctly guessed that one of my other most favorite spaces, the first-floor sitting room, has been designed by Kevin Malone, along with Jamie Coffey, at Williams and Sherrill. I have become a huge fan of Kevin’s since seeing the William’s home in the Summer 2012 issue of R Home magazine and hearing him speak at the recent Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Designed for a Cure event. In this cozy sitting space which features three walls of tall windows, Kevin plays up the ceiling’s height with artwork and perfect editing to create a space that is comfortable for both men and women.
Jennifer Stoner of her eponymous interiors business (as well as the organizer of the IFDA luncheon) took on the challenge of the great room with great success. Jennifer has really played up the dark wood beams, railings and moldings in this large area while managing to make it feel timeless yet fresh. Though the whole blue and brown color trend seems so “done”, the aqua blue walls lighten the space, while the vibrant Rodulph fabric curtains inject some youthful energy into the home.
The master suite has been designed by Moyanne Harding of Lynchburg. Though unfamiliar with her work, the posse who joined me for the IFDA lunch were all immediately impressed by how she has complemented many of the original features in the master bath and the bedroom with absolutely gorgeous and detailed linen fabrics, along with European lighting and mirrors. The result is a serene and sensuous space.
The second-floor bedroom created by Helen O’Ferrall of H.P. Grace and Company is also a serene stand-out. She had canvases hand-painted to hang like wallpaper within the wall moldings. The lightly colored fabrics provide a clean palette that lends a modern feel to the vintage pieces used throughout the room. One new piece of note, though, is the dressing table that Ms. O’Ferrall commissioned. The top of thick poured concrete with organic curves contrasts to stunning effect with the voluminous skirt made of silk burlap so that it will be soft to the legs while primping.
Unfortunately I have no pictures of this amazing dressing table nor any of the other wonderful pieces on display at the RSOL Designer House because pictures are not supposed to be taken in the house. The designers’ renderings above from the RSOL program were made in advance and do not feature all of the wonderful details that they have included in their final stylizations. To see them, you’ve got to take the tour, and you’d better hurry as the Designer House closes on Monday, October 8. I promise that it will be a brief journey that will delight and have your design juices churning for a long time.