Beige-on-Beige Fantasy

While perusing the February Architectural Digest I was stopped in my tracks by the amazing thoughtful and deliberate penthouse designed by Rafael de Cardenas. The skillful use of beige combined with other elements to keep it from looking like a sepia photograph. The limestone and brass mantel, the beige Malachite finish on the ceilings, light herringbone wood floors all combined with really bold moments make this penthouse a masterful expression. 

I took this shot with my phone...sorry for the quality.

The entire home was designed around the above pair of armchairs, created in 1958 by Joseph-Andre Motte. They're upholstered in soft leather the color of sand. "I totally fell in love with them, and I never fall in love with beige things," says De Cardenas, acknowledging his reputation for dramatic color. "Then I got into this whole beige-on-beige fantasy, like Armani in the 1980s, and she (the client) started teasing me that I was going through a beige phase."

Can we talk about that ceiling? I've honestly been obsessing over this very pattern of outsize slices of malachite (if malachite was anything but green) for years. I first imagined it in a gray toned concept, I love it in beige though. I'm currently having it done in a radically different colorway of nearly fuchsia in a client's dining room. 

How incredible are those kitchen cabinets? Wonderfully imaginative. The bespoke hardware was done by E.R. Butler and Co. 

Again I took this with my phone...

I had to include an image, even a poor one, of the breakfast banquet area. The chicest banquet I've seen. Very classy. I love how the photo based framed grouping by Walead Beshty add color to the space.

Here's the bold color that Rafael is known for! I can't get this space out of my mind. The reason it works is because everything else is simple and traditional. When going with a bold element in a space the rest of the room must be more restrained to keep it from being a funhouse type look. Check out Rafael's firm Architecture at Large