Encore at the Beach
Interior Designer Lisa Slayman Keeps Them Coming Back For More
TEXT BY MELISSA SHERMAN PEARL
Standing ovations are always nice, but truly there is no greater compliment to an artist than a request for an encore. One of the true testaments to the talents of Lisa Slayman, ASID, IIDA, is the fact that a large number of her projects are command performances. Rather than pull from her past repertoire, this interior designer extends beyond the past and into the future to create something fresh and innovative for every client on each individual site regardless of how many times she has worked with them.
In developing the relationship necessary to achieve significant levels of comfort and trust, this principal of Slayman Design Associates, Inc. takes the time to understand what it is her clients need. It’s not simply about their tastes, it’s about their passions, their habits, their lifestyles, and, of course, their favorite colors. In other words, it’s about the client.
A worldly, retired couple initiated a fifth reprise when they unveiled to Slayman a spacious, Mediterranean-flavored 8,000 square foot abode nestled within the same Southern California community where their contemporary home had just been listed. It was a larger space with more land that also offered amazing views of the Pacific. In addition to simply personalizing the new house, it needed to accommodate a spectacular contemporary art collection acquired over a 30-year period and inspired by time spent on the National Committee for the Whitney in New York as well as a personal affiliation with Frank Lloyd Wright.
A mix of classic and modern forms defined by clean lines is prevalent throughout the property. I spent a lot of time customizing each and every selection of detail and design, remarked Slayman, making sure I created the perfect environment as the backdrop to their museum quality art collection. The collection drove the design instead of the design driving the art because it was just too precious. The design is within the art itself. The use of texture, color and detailing was critical for the interiors. It was very important not to have the interior design dominate the paintings and sculpture. Materials such as wool, silk, suede, leather, wood, stone, chenille added the warmth and refinement that the spaces needed. This applied not only to the furniture but to every single aspect of both the private and public regions of the home including the walls, floors, ceilings, and built-ins.
In the bedroom it was crucial that the bed and nightstands be very sculptural art pieces themselves. The wood is Ribbon Grain Sapele veneer with dark Wenge veneer accents in a high gloss resin finish. The use of geometric and curvilinear lines, architectural details and tailored finishes complemented the intense abstract art pieces. By opting for two separate dining areas in the dining room as opposed to one large table for 16, she created a more intimate dining experience. The bold geometric shapes, further enhanced by a handmade wool area rug custom colored in neutral tones with a circle and square pattern, balance the strength of the sculptural and colorful artwork. The homeowners love the level of comfort Slayman achieved in the home they not only enjoy for relaxation in between educational journeys across the globe inspired by their favorite causes but for hosting grand philanthropic and political events as well.
After spending 21 years on her own designing for others, Slayman has recently added a whole new facet of design in the creation of an environmentally friendly vacation home in Oregon. Her self-sustainable property will utilize geothermal and solar power, renewable resources, and products low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds) while creating an ecosystem that benefits local wildlife. As many residents of this northwestern town have embraced the green building movement, she has found a local team of well-educated talent to help design and construct her dream.
As with her personal projects, Lisa Slayman’s design style is extremely hands-on. Simply costuming the interiors is not enough and so she and her team remain ensconced in projects anywhere from a year or two, sometimes longer, with a beneficial bi-product being friendships that endure far beyond the home’s completion. Accompanying these long-standing relationships is the continued understanding and trust shared by the homeowner and the designer. Perhaps this is why every time one of her past clients opens escrow on a new home, the second call they make is to her. And no amount of applause could make her feel more honored.
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