If the walls could talk at the 2012 Symphony Show House, they would likely recount memories of the
Roaring Twenties, when the elegant mansion was first built. The home, dubbed the “Jazz Age Manor,” is a 10,000-square-foot Tudor Revival estate in Heritage Hills built in 1925.
The walls might recall the fire that badly damaged the home in the '60s shortly after a new wing was added. They might bring up fond reminiscences of the Petyon family who bought and renovated the neoclassical-style home in 1983 and lived there until recently.
The walls might also mention that the home is for sale with an asking price of $1.8 million.
And they might speak of the many transformations they've undergone as decorating trends evolved during its 87 years.
Most recently, many of the home's walls have been updated, along with most of its interior and exterior spaces, by teams of Oklahoma designers who volunteered their time and talents to ready the home to be open to the public.
Each year, the Oklahoma City Orchestra League sponsors a different Show House as a fundraising opportunity to support the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Oklahoma City Orchestra League Music Education Programs.
This year, the Symphony Show House is located at 440 NW 15 and will be open May 5 through 20.
Each room of the home has been re-imagined by the creative designers to reflect not only their personal styles and today's decorating trends, but also to enhance the home's architectural integrity and design.
Upon walking into the grand old mansion's front doors, visitors will be greeted by opulent chandeliers, extravagant furnishings and oversized mirrors in nearly every room that reflect the ambience and attention to detail the designers have lavished on its rooms.
And quietly surrounding guests are the walls which themselves have been given new lives by layers of paint, plaster, wallpaper and unexpected treatments such as prints of foreign money.
Interior decorators today know how important a statement walls can make and how they can be used effectively as major design elements.
A striking example of this can be seen in the home's downstairs hallway which connects the foyer to the library and formal dining room. There, designers Deb Johnson of Paint Inspirations and Jeannie Kind collaborated to create an old world Venetian plaster effect.
The designers layered paint in natural shades to build up the texture and bring depth to the color. They finished the treatment by thickly stenciling an oversized damask pattern atop the layers.
To offset the drama of the walls, the pair chose to paint the ceiling, again in several layers, for a subtle opalescence.
“Less is more,” Johnson said. “Don't mix two patterns that scream for attention. You want something to be subtle and something to be dramatic.”
In the master bathroom suite upstairs, designer Susan Tiffin of Susan Tiffin Interiors and Rhonda Nixon of Rhonda N. Nixon Interiors teamed up to create a glamorous Hollywood regency theme inspired by Liz Taylor.
The bathroom, whose walls are almost entirely mirrored, was decked out in black, silver and white with pops of plum. To soften all the mirrors, the decorators hung thousands of dollars worth of draperies, swagged at the sides.
Nearly everything brought into the Show House, such as these drapes, is for sale during the open house.
Reflecting in the bathroom's miles of mirrors, the room's ceilings are covered in a graphic black and silver floral patterned wallpaper.
“When we put the wallpaper on the ceiling, it was a surprise that when you look in the mirror, the ceiling just goes on for infinity,” Tiffin said. She loves wallpaper because it is durable, fairly easy to apply and is available in thousands of interesting patterns and textures. But applying it to the bathroom ceiling was a challenge that took three people to accomplish, Tiffin admitted.
Many designers today embrace black as a neutral and metallics as design elements. The master bedroom and its connected sun porch are decorated with this concept in mind.
The sun porch was decorated by Ronette Wallace of Off the Wall Interiors and Lezley Lynch of Lezley Lynch Designs and features an accent wall, painted by Lynch, that gives the transitional décor a touch of glamour.
Lynch started with a neutral shade of taupe and, inspired by peacock feathers she says are popular in décor trends, she painted a mural that “put a transitional spin on the traditional peacock design.”
Lynch said murals are still a great way to add interest and character to a room.
“What's more popular and current is mural designs that are abstract, not a scene,” she said. She hand paints her murals and uses minimal colors in bold designs.
Another unexpected wall treatment found in the Jazz Age Manor was created in the downstairs butler's pantry by designer Nora Johnson of Gold N Design.
She color copied foreign paper money her father-in-law collected during his world travels and used the copies as wallpaper behind built in shelves in the bar. To carry on her “Cash Bar” design, Johnson encrusted the top of a butler's tray with shiny copper pennies. All the pennies are lined up perfectly, heads-up, except on errant coin that is tails-up and upside down.
“I want a room to reflect personality and I want it to be a fun place,” she said.
It's unexpected and exciting ideas such as these that will inspire visitors to the Symphony Show House to bring their favorite design elements into their own homes.