He Needed His Texas House to Resemble a ‘Groovy’ Opium Den


When Kirk Ferguson requested Sara Story to design the interiors of his new home in Austin, Texas, his request was not like any she had heard earlier than.

“He needed one thing like an opium den,” stated Ms. Story, who spent a lot of her childhood in Texas however is now primarily based in New York. “He actually needed a spot with a ’70s vibe, and groovy.”

Mr. Ferguson and Ms. Story had been pals for years, and after speaking extra about what the home might develop into, they arrived at a design idea. “It sounds just a little foolish,” stated Mr. Ferguson, 55. “However it was Lenny Kravitz meets Italian ’60s meets ‘As soon as Upon a Time … in Hollywood.’”

It began when Mr. Ferguson, who labored in funding administration in New York however now focuses his vitality on initiatives associated to the humanities, wildlife conservation and well being and wellness, determined to maneuver his main residence to Texas. He purchased a lately constructed trendy home of about 5,000 sq. ft on a hillside on the outskirts of Austin, paying about $6 million within the fall of 2021.

The concrete, metallic and glass construction, designed by Ravel Structure, reminded him of the Case Examine Homes that modernist architects like Richard Neutra and Pierre Koenig inbuilt Los Angeles within the mid twentieth century. And its lengthy views throughout a canyon to town heart reminded him of the Hollywood Hills, a favourite place.

“It’s mainly a glass-and-concrete field on stilts, hanging off the facet of a cliff, trying over town of Austin,” Mr. Ferguson stated. “That spoke to my design sensibility.”

However the minimalist inside didn’t really feel just like the type of place the place he belonged. “That’s the place Sara got here in,” he stated.

Ms. Story, who’s used to working with eye-catching artwork and design, and daring colours and patterns, was shocked by how energetic Mr. Ferguson needed to make issues.

“A lot of the time, folks wish to play it secure,” she stated. “However he was at all times asking for extra colour and extra sample. He actually pushed me out of my consolation zone.”

By the point they have been completed, they’d crammed the house with visible surprises. Essentially the most audacious room would be the bar and lounge going through the pool. Beforehand a crisp white field, its partitions are actually coated by a mural of thick yellow, orange and brown curving strains painted by Caroline Lizarraga.

On one facet, Ms. Story put in a curvy Seventies chrome bar by Willy Rizzo, which she purchased from an antiques supplier in Belgium. On the opposite, she put in a {custom} sectional couch coated in gold velvet inside a distinct segment lined in mercury mirror.

In the lounge, she put a B&B Italia Camaleonda sectional on the heart of the area, with seating on all sides, envisioning it as an inverted dialog pit.

To create a media room, she enclosed a coated patio with glass, wallpapering the ceiling with a design of hand-painted dots from Porter Teleo and including a shaggy faux-fur rug below a sinuous espresso desk sculpted from a tree trunk by Adam Birch, a South African artist.

Within the main bed room, she positioned a plump custom-made mattress in opposition to a wall painted with one other mural by Ms. Lizarraga, this one with smoky ribbons that curl up from the wall onto the ceiling. On the home windows, Ms. Story added ombré wool-and-cashmere curtains over lacy gold-and-purple sheers that she had constituted of a vogue material present in Manhattan’s garment district.

For the three different bedrooms — one for every of Mr. Ferguson’s three grown youngsters once they go to — she chosen a distinct graphic wallpaper to animate the area. Lastly, within the powder room, she added Londubh Studio wallpaper with mushroom shapes outlined in shiny gold.

The interiors have been accomplished in about six months, simply in time to be photographed for Ms. Story’s new e-book, “The Artwork of House,” revealed this month by Rizzoli. The fee, Mr. Ferguson estimated, was greater than $1 million, however he and Ms. Story proceed to search for distinctive items so as to add to the combo.

“I’m very completely happy,” he stated. “It’s a fantastic place to have folks over, have a cocktail and watch the solar go down.”

Ms. Story’s design has resulted in only one drawback. “I spotted she’d performed such a fantastic job that I’m just a little reluctant to have events to mess it up,” Mr. Ferguson stated with fun. “Perhaps it ought to have been performed in a manner that was rather less wonderful.”

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