Tate Gunnerson 2015-07-08 01:21:54
SUNSHINE SPACE Neutral hues and natural textures create a welcoming desert retreat for a Highland Park resident. “I love this house and its connection to the outdoors,” explains Shelly Handman (handmanassociates.com) of the three-bedroom pied-à-terre in Rancho Mirage, Calif., that he designed for his client, a Highland Park woman who has wintered out West for decades. “Th e owner is an elegant and sophisticated woman with extremely good taste,” the designer explains. “She and her late husband weren’t interested in having a huge house, but they wanted it to feel spacious and light-filled.” Indeed, sunlight floods the living room, where a set of retractable glass doors create a 55-foot opening that frames expansive views of the sparkling blue pool and majestic mountains behind the house. “The outside is an integral part of the inside, which is a wonderful way to live,” the homeowner explains. “It makes you happy and brings you peace.” Enhancing that feeling is a quiet palette of neutral hues. In the living room, for example, a sisal rug provides a textural backdrop for a pair of custom sofas covered in linen. “She didn’t want it to be too standoffish,” Handman explains. “She wanted people to walk in and just exhale.” For the dining area, Handman selected a Le Corbusier table with a glass top and incorporated a wall-mounted buff et—one of several “floating” pieces made of rift-sawn oak that Handman designed for the interior, including the vanity in the guest bathroom—and a pair of long side tables in the master bedroom. “Th is house is decorated in a way that’s very comfortable, simple and stunning,” the homeowner explains. “Shelly is so talented and creative, and he is the nicest person.” While working on the project, Handman became so entranced by the sunshine and mountain views that he bought his own desert getaway not too far from his client’s. “I hadn’t been to Palm Springs in 15 or 20 years and still pictured Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore and that whole era, but it was so young, hip and spiritual,” Handman explains. “You’re at work, but it feels like you’re on vacation. It’s a really nice way of doing things.”
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