The penthouse of Founders Tower features an awe-inspiring view and crowns one of the prime examples of midcentury Populuxe architecture in the state, but designer SaDawna Coburn still found something missing.
In the guest powder room, at least.
“It was boring!” she said.
So she and her design partner in SC Design, her son Oliver Coburn, set about changing that.
The “Skyline Lounge” the Coburns created is an energizing, attention-grabbing early stop for visitors to the 2014 Symphony Show House, which continues this weekend in the 7,000-square-foot, 18th-floor penthouse of Founders Tower, 5900 Mosteller Drive.
The Show House is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with lunch served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, with lunch from noon to 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $15. For more details, go to www.symphonyshowhouse.com/.
For this year’s Show House, the Oklahoma City Orchestra League’s theme, “A View to a Thrill,” is meant to evoke images of the nascent James Bond — the globe-trotting, cosmopolitan secret agent who would have been right at home in just such a spread.
The Coburns, who have worked together as a design team for the past nine years, “wanted some punch” in the powder room so they chose a custom wall covering based on Oliver’s artwork.
They enlarged his piece into repeating panels, which were burnished onto the wall using a gold-leafing process. The result is a colorful, reflective surface reminiscent of stained glass.
Oliver joined SC Design after graduation from high school, when “Mom told me it was time to get to work,” he said.
SaDawna’s other son, J.T. Coburn, also a collaborator on the room, designed and built a sleek, graphite-textured vanity.
A repeat contributor to the Symphony Show House, SaDawna said that “people love to see the crazy stuff we come up with” when her family works together.
Across the foyer from the Skyline Lounge, color is front and center in the library, dubbed “The Grand Athenaeum” by designer Keven Carl.
Carl, like the Coburns, works in the family environment of Mister Robert Fine Furniture and Design. The daughter of founders Robert and Sara Jean Calonkey, Carl joined the firm as a designer in 1980. She has presented Show House concepts repeatedly over the years.
The library inspired Carl to make visitors feel “like they’re entering a candy store,” she said, with vivid colors punctuating the room from all perspectives, from cotton candy and lime accents in the rug, to a raspberry-leather desk chair, to a turquoise, crackle-finish cabinet.
Carl chose vivid, original oil paintings and hand-blown glass bowls to accessorize the bright-yet-relaxing study.
Carl said she was pleased to be offered a room in the Show House again this year.
“I love knowing that a percentage of every sale I make out of this room goes to the Symphony League,” Carl said.
Visitors will find a designer sales boutique in the lobby of Founders Tower, as well as the ability to purchase most items in all rooms of the Show House.
For Carl, the hard work of creating a Show House room can pay off not only as a contribution to the education programs promoted by the Orchestra League, but also in that Show House visitors have become clients over the years.
“I get calls on designs I did three or four Show Houses ago,” Carl said.
Recently she was asked if she could replicate her Show House bedroom design. “I told them they must be mistaking me for another designer,” Carl said. “My room is the library.”
But as the conversation went on, Carl figured out that the caller was referring to a Show House program from years ago, which she had saved.
“Oh, that bedroom!” Carl recalled. Once her memory was jogged, she was happy to reproduce it for the customer.
This year, the Orchestra League chose a venue with fewer rooms — and therefore fewer available opportunities for designers — than in larger, past Show Houses.
With 19 designers or design teams represented, 32 distinct spaces, including the laundry room, foyer and 10 balconies, were remade for this year’s Show House, said Rhonda White, co-chairwoman.
To see a related video, scan the QR code below or go to NewsOK,.com