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  • August 31, 2014

In Fine Style--A Global Affair - Ladue News: Design

In Fine Style--A Global Affair

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Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2011 2:45 pm | Updated: 2:50 pm, Thu Sep 1, 2011.

All at once sophisticated, whimsical and just drop-dead stunning, this internationally themed sunroom is rich with treasures from France to Bali and beyond. The complexity of fabrics and textures creates a space impossible to classify, but delightful to experience. It’s not strictly Asian or African, but the room is absolutely continental in both décor and scale.

“I just love to mix things up!” says the homeowner. “The piece from Angkor Wat, for example, is 12th century, but the prints at the end of the bar are reproduction pieces I just liked.” The Angkor Wat artifact, from the Cambodian temple built by Suryavarman II, king of the Khmer Empire, stands larger than life on the west wall of the sunroom, bathed in sunlight from the seven mirrored skylights and the eastern glass wall.

The marble-floored sunroom, added to the home a few years ago, is seamlessly integrated into the original 1929 structure, opening to the breakfast room, study and a covered patio. Three sets of transomed French doors connect the space to the formal living room. Just opposite, a wall of glass provides a panorama of serenity—a swimming pool with infinity-edge fountain, pool-side cabana, and a raised bed of tropicals in fiery hues.

With gathering spaces placed throughout, the room can easily host a casual dinner for four or a serious party. Just a few steps down from the kitchen, cushy upholstered chairs encircle a low oval table. At the far end of the sunroom, a second seating arrangement beckons with twin animal-print loveseats piled high with lavishly stuffed and fringed pillows. Bookworms can relax with a generous stack of travel and arts books or a first-edition volume of Longfellow. And small visitors will be enchanted with the child-size wicker chair from France, outfitted with a hidden music box that is only activated when the chair is occupied.

While the room is a study in superb details, it’s the granite-topped bar that steals the show. Traversing more than half the sunroom’s width, the custom-built bar offers guests a perfect spot to survey the pool and expansive grounds beyond. Matching Chinese Foo dogs flank the window, fiercely immune to their plush surroundings.

Real-life canines aren’t forgotten. Tucked into the corner, a pagoda-style dog bed is a favorite cuddling spot for the owners’ Japanese chin pups. With four posters, miniature draperies at each corner and a satin pillow, it looks precious rather than practical, but the dogs actually do curl up under the peaked roof. Purchased for a princely sum at an auction benefitting the Humane Society of Missouri, the dog bed was copied for the set of Meet the Fockers.

A hand-painted mural, featuring marvelously expressive monkeys clearly up to no good, surrounds the entire sunroom. It’s the perfect crowning touch for this international space.

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