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Inspired Design for Central Oklahoma

SPRING! Everything You Need to Know

Spring 2018

Get Potted:

Container Gardening Tips You Can Use Right Now

Join us for

A Midsummer Night’s Drink


We can help you get into a new home. But we make no promises about the sofa. The greatest moments in life come with some of the biggest financial challenges. Let Commerce Bank help with straightforward lending and intuitive home-buyer tools. So you can focus on the good stuff, like shopping for some new furniture.

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features

36

VAL VERDE REIMAGINED

Nobody besides Brian Barnes and Dustin Hamby could pull it off. Their home décor is a robust blend of Star Wars, Napoleon and Ralph Lauren. Thanks to their artful eye, and with the help of their four dogs, the home they have created is beautiful and welcoming.

44

EDGEMERE HEIGHTS ELEGANCE Jim and Pam Klepper wanted a comfortable environment to hosting friends and family. What they’ve created is something much more. Their Edgemere Heights home is elegant, playful, personal and colorful.

10 405 HOME SPRING 2018


departments gallery

20 MOOD BOARD

Spring means it’s time to lighten up, literally and metaphorically.

22 BLUE ON BLUE

Sky, cerulean, baby or navy, this season being blue makes us smile.

24 BLUE SKIES, SMILING

A bevy of blues to fill your home and surroundings with clean, crisp cheer

makers

28 COOKING WITH MACKENZIE

Berry delicious ideas for every meal

30 TAKING IT TO THE MATTRESSES Custom, hand-made mattresses and personalized accoutrements for creating a room of one’s own

living

54 MODERN ETIQUETTE: GRACIOUS

GUESTING AND HOSPITABLE HOSTING Whether you’re staying or going, these tips will make your experience sweet and civilized.

56 HOSTESS GIFTS WITH THE MOSTEST Think outside the bottle! Gourmet coffee, lavender syrup and great ideas for hosts of every ilk 58 LETTING GO

One woman’s first-person account from the front lines of the clutter wars

alfresco

64 CONTAINER YOURSELF: SPRING

GARDENING IS HERE Learn how to incorporate thrillers, spillers and showstoppers into your potted palette.

CARLI ECONOMY

20 0

70 A VISIT TO FAIRYLAND

The Samis family’s sweeping sanctuary in the middle of Nichols Hills

74 A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DRINK Join Richard Bruner and Michael Koenig as they entertain 80 guests at their overthe-top annual cocktail fête.

in every issue

16 FROM THE EDITORS Huzzah, spring has sprung! 80 LOOKING AHEAD Fall 2018 is the season of Fika.

on the cover A sparkling pool and an exquisite cabana beguile in the Samis family’s Nichols Hills backyard retreat. Photo by Don Risi. 12 405 HOME SPRING 2018


GROWN

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Art Director Brian O’Daniel brian.odaniel@405magazine.com Associate Art Director Scotty O’Daniel scotty.odaniel@405magazine.com Social Media Coordinator Tiffany McKnight tiffany.mcknight@405magazine.com Contributing Photographers Shannon Cornman, Carli Economy, Charlie Neuenschwander, Don Risi

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Job/Internship Inquiries jobs@405magazine.com Letters to the Editor Your views and opinions are welcome. Include your full name, address and daytime phone number and email to editor@405magazine.com. Letters sent to 405 Home become the magazine’s property, and it owns all rights to their use. 405 Magazine reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Subscriptions 405 Home is a special publication of 405 Magazine. It is published twice a year (spring and fall) and accompanies a subscription to 405 Magazine, which is available for $14.95 (12 issues), $24.95 (24 issues) or $34.95 (36 issues). Subscribe at 405magazine.com/subscribe or by mail, send your name, mailing address, phone number and payment to: 405 Magazine P.O. Box 16765 North Hollywood, CA 91615-6765 Questions or Address Change Visit 405magazine.com/subscribe or email subscriptions@405magazine.com. Back Issues Back issues are $9.50 (includes P&H) each. For back issue availability and order information, please contact our office. Bulk Orders For multiple copy order information, please contact our office.

©2018 405 Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of 405 Home content, in whole or part by any means, without the express written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. 405 Home is not responsible for the care of and/or return of unsolicited materials. 405 Home reserves the right to refuse advertising deemed detrimental to the community’s best interest or in questionable taste. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ownership or management. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 405 Magazine, P.O. Box 16765, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6765. Subscription Customer Service: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST. 405 Magazine, P.O. Box 16765, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6765, Phone 818.286.3160, Fax 800.869.0040, subscriptions@405magazine.com, 405magazine.com/subscribe


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from the editors

A SEASON FOR INSPIRATION

16 405 HOME SPRING 2018

ty in Ada spanned decades. Lafon’s work is instantly recognizable, equal parts whimsy and oddity. Each of our featured homeowner couples loves his work for different reasons, and the homes are different from one another, which only underscores the axiom that if you fill your house with things you truly love, you cannot go wrong. In both homes, every inch is perfectly orchestrated, and both compositions are beautiful. And speaking of beautiful, we scored an invitation to a one-of-a-kind mid-summer soiree and have the pictures to prove it. A more spectacular cocktail party, or more gracious hospitality, we have never seen. On that note, we asked for some help in selecting the perfect host or hostess gifts, so you’ll be ready when that magical invitation comes. We hope you enjoy these warm, sunny months … and that this issue leaves you inspired. All our best,

CHRISTINE EDDINGTON Editor-in-Chief

SARA GAE WATERS Editor-at-Large

PHOTO BY CARLI ECONOMY

ALTHOUGH IT MIGHT SOUND OBVIOUS, after putting this issue together, we can’t help but exclaim: “Spring is in the air!” We realize that may be wishful thinking as you read this — its debut is in April, which can be a tricky month to predict weather-wise. And if you’ve happened upon this glorious issue in July or August, well, we sincerely hope you’re either poolside or happily ensconced in a well-air-conditioned spot. No matter when or where you’re reading this issue of 405HOME, we sincerely hope that you will find it to be a breath of fresh air, perhaps a source of inspiration, or even aspiration. This, our third issue as collaborators, is saturated with beauty, color and an exhilarating burst of freshness to propel you toward the idea of lightening up your home for the season. We also dive enthusiastically into some of the things that come naturally in the spring: clearing things out and starting anew, investing in new bedding — and potentially splurging on a beautiful handmade mattress — and a couple of gorgeous ways to move the party outside. Our two featured homes are very different, each exuberant in its own way. What they share surprised even us: Each couple owns a remarkable collection of paintings by one renowned and unique artist: the late Dee J. Lafon, whose chairmanship of the art department at East Central Universi-


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GALLERY

IDEAS, OBJECTS AND LIFE HACKS WE FIND FASCINATING, HELPFUL AND BEAUTIFUL

THE BLUES

BB King said it best: “Blue is a tonic for whatever ails you,” and we couldn’t agree more. Our mood is blue, in the very best ways, and we azure you that after you peruse page 22, you’ll be happily blue, too. This acrylic painting is from Piper Bridwell Studio, piperbridwellstudio.com SPRING 2018 405 HOME 19


gallery inspirations

Soft hues

â&#x20AC;&#x153;

The soul never thinks without an image. ARISTOTLE

Shine on

A touch of gold in any small vignette brings richness to the setting.

20 405 HOME SPRING 2018

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Shades of pink, blue or yellow, like the flowers on this wallpaper, are simple and exquisite.


IN THE MOOD FOR SPRING Suggestions for visualizing ideas BY SARA GAE WATERS | PHOTO BY CARLI ECONOMY

WATERCOLOR-SPLASHED WALLPAPER, gilded and glossed finishes and the sweet smells of budding flowers … spring is in the air, and right alongside it – imagination. Once the frosty days are gone, it’s time to make things light again. And as always, that holds true for personal spaces right along with personal goals. The sun seems to shine a bit brighter, so it’s no wonder that what catches our eye is bright colors. Allow us to guide your inspiration here, with a few things to brighten up your special places. It’s not just the pretty things that can spark our imagination and vision for something new, but also the simplest of things: the empty vase or cherished photo, the curvature of a china cup or a slice of lush fruit. Imagination and inspiration are always a couple, and together they can create something meaningful, while adding no small measure of beauty to your home.

In bloom

From honeysuckle to English ivy, bringing wild vines inside is always a good idea.

Au Naturel!

Glass, marble, wood … these tiles that mimic nature’s beauty are perfect inspiration for a new backsplash or bathroom floor.

Ring box from The Mrs. Box, themrsbox.com Wallpaper from Ketch Design Centre, 4416 N Western, OKC SPRING 2018 405 HOME 21


gallery spring color

BLUE ON BLUE

Soaring shades to lighten a room BY SARA GAE WATERS | PHOTO BY CARLI ECONOMY

WHETHER IT’S A PERFECT LENGTH of icy blue grosgrain ribbon or a cake enrobed in a sheath of blue fondant, blue is the opposite of sad. The great outdoors have always been the original Pinterest or inspiration board; we only need to turn our gaze skyward to find new ideas. From the deep tones of indigo or navy to pale robin’s egg, blue can transform any room, piece of fabric or even dessert into something scrumptious. As a highlight color, blue is a smash hit – check out the objets de bleu we’ve chosen that would make any kitchen, living room or dining room happy.

Miniature cake in blue by Amy Cakes, amycakesok.com Ribbon from Adorn, adorncompany.com John Derian paperweight from Bebe’s, shopbebes.com Ticking fabric from The Fabric Factory, fabricfactoryokc.com Paint colors from Sherwin Williams: 1. Resolute Blue; 2. Soul Seeker; 3. Cold River; 4. Comtemplative; 5. Crystal Stream; 6. Pensive Skies

22 405 HOME SPRING 2018


gallery blue hues

BLUE SKIES, SMILING Start spreading the shade

BY SARA GAE WATERS | PHOTOS BY DON RISI & SCOTTY O’DANIEL

ALL OF THE COOL BLUE inspiration in this issue left us wanting more, so we set sail for some local shops to find some practical and beautiful home items. Navy, robin’s egg, sapphire, cerulean … these beautiful pieces – from furniture to rugs to accessories for the home – actually made us fall in love all the more. Solid blue, different shades paired together, blue and white, and even blue and white and black have us smitten. While these choices prove you don’t have to go all in to add blue to your homes, they certainly have us thinking about it.

“Blue is a tonic for whatever ails you. I could play the blues and then not be blue anymore.” B.B. KING 1. Turkish Tea Towel, $25 from Sara Kate Studios 2. Jonathan Adler highball glass in blue, $48 from Culinary Kitchen 3. Antico Orleans Orillas Frotadas brushed deco tile, $40.50 per square foot from Artisan Tile 4. Hand-knotted silk and wool area rug in standard and custom sizes. Price varies according to size, from Designer Rugs, OKC 5. Casa Stone spot on pitcher, $80 from Culinary Kitchen 6. Blue and white dragon basin, $445 from ME Home 7. Cobalt and white polka dot table lamp, $309 from 3B Home 8.Juliska Country Estates 10” lidded ginger jar, $238 from Bebe’s 9. Blue club chair, $959 from Emory Anne Interiors 10. Blue and white floral linen, down-filled pillow, $195 from Designer Rugs ME Home, mehomecollection.com Bebe’s, shopbebes.com 3B Home, 3bhome.net Sara Kate Studios, sarakatestudios.com Culinary Kitchen, culinarykitchen.com Designer Rugs, designerrugsokc.com Artisan Tile, 7108 N Western, OKC Emory Anne, emoryanneinteriors.com

24 405 HOME SPRING 2018


Designs that inspire.

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MAKERS

MEET THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE LIFE A LITTLE LOVELIER.

BERRY BOUNTY

SHANNON CORNMAN

They are tasty seasonal treats all by themselves, but that’s only the berry beginning of these colorful fruits’ culinary possibilities. Local chef Mackenzie Bentley dishes up a full day’s worth of well-rounded recipes, made all the sweeter by incorporating fresh berries. See page 28.

SPRING 2018 405 HOME 27


makers flavors

BERRY NECESSITIES Mackenzie Bentley helps fruit shine BY ALISON BEELER | PHOTOS BY SHANNON CORNMAN

SPRING IS HERE, and as the season changes to summer, the evolution is reflected in the produce at the local farmer’s market. The colors move from dull and drab to bright and vibrant, while delicious flowers and berries come to life once again. This movement inspires growth and creation of the new — new ideas, new experiences and new recipes. Inspiration from adventures stimulates passion and creativity for local individual chef Mackenzie Bentley. When cooking with berries, one often only thinks about desserts, or sweet and tangy dishes. But for Bentley, achieving a dish with all five basic tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savory) – is the goal for any well-rounded meal plan she creates.  “It’s about the acid, fat, color, texture – and it’s about nature, too,” Bentley explains. “There is a story from how the food and berries or their trees come from the soil, while their roots tell the story of where they came from, and I get to decide where they will go.”  Bentley believes that the more simply a dish or plate is made, the bolder a statement about the food and ingredients it becomes. She illustrates this idea with a whole day of berry-inspired dishes. “For instance, think about avocado toast, then add a blackberry serrano jam, a fried egg, bacon and a sprinkle of some sea salt on top,” says Bentley. “The berry then becomes the star of the plate, but all of the elements I contemplate before are carefully chosen to complement the berry, or bring it to life.”  For a lunch dish, she uses strawberry balsamic vinaigrette to punch up her Blueberry Beet Salad. Then for dinner, she uses the blackberry serrano jam again on a new twist for chicken wings.   28 405 HOME SPRING 2018

“I try to think simple, to inspire the everyday kitchen,” Bentley says. With the whole day of meal planning centered around the berry, she built all of her ideas and inspiration from the basics. She tells home cooks to do the same, to build blocks of flavor and continue to add to what is there to create a flavor story.  “Inspiration comes from the unrestrictive quality of playing with flavor and food,” she explains while creating more recipes for the berries she found at the farmer’s market. “I just want people to know you can’t be afraid to create a failure of a dish. But when you find one that works, write it down!”  In order to create a perfect original dish, Bentley suggests taking an old family recipe or an old favorite, and updating it with new ideas about food. She finds new ideas by traveling, talking to growers or letting her mind wander at a pick-your-own farm. She believes there is a connection you experience when you see where the food comes from, and with several pick-yourown farms in the OKC metro area, finding inspiration for an original farm-to-table meal with berries is only a short drive away.  “Find your inspiration and don’t be afraid to fail,” Bentley says as she encourages everyone to find their own culinary adventures in the Mackenzie Bentley kitchen.


“I try to think simple, to inspire the everyday kitchen.” M ACK ENZIE BENTLE Y { Blackberry Habanero Avocado Toast } Blackberry Habanero Jam: 2 cups blackberries 2 packets liquid pectin 1.5 cups apple cider vinegar 6.5 cups sugar 2 habaneros, seeded 2 tablespoons lemon juice Fine dice the habaneros. Blend the blackberries and lemon juice until it creates a thick pulp. In a large pot bring vinegar, sugar and habanero to a boil. Add blackberry mixture to pot using a fine mesh strainer. Add pectin, boil another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, skim foam from jelly, cool completely, place in mason jars, seal. Refrigerate. Assembly: Inch-thick sourdough bread, toasted Layer of blackberry habanero jam Sliced avocado Fried egg Crispy prosciutto or bacon  Fontina cheese slices Place under a broiler until the cheese melts, sprinkle with Aleppo pepper. For more recipes, visit 405magazine.com/405-Home

SPRING 2018 405 HOME 29


makers bedroom

Jim Hunter

TAKING IT TO THE MATTRESSES Creating a dreamy bedroom BY JILL FARR | PHOTOS BY CHARLIE NEUENSCHWANDER

WHEN YOU THOUGHTFULLY EXAMINE the reasons for your home design choices, it’s likely that you’ll find a desire to express your tastes, alongside the tendency to gather objects you love. Ideally, these coalesce into an environment that welcomes guests, projects the style you want and makes you happy. While most rooms in the house have the double duty of maintaining an outward face and an inner purpose, it could be argued that your bedroom (visibility during short tours for guests aside) is the one part of your home that is the most private, the one room that is completely yours. The bedroom may also have the highest purpose: intimacy, sleep, retreat from the rest of the world. Eating is important, and so is bathing, but the impact that a good night’s rest has on your life is tremendous. If your work 30 405 HOME SPRING 2018

life requires eight hours outside your home, and you have obligations that send you elsewhere during the day, your bedroom may be the most used room in your house – it should be the most comfortable, and the most calming. Enabling your bedchamber to serve its purpose as fully as possible doesn’t have to mean a huge time or financial investment, but you should look at the key qualities that will make the most impact. We’ve collected some expert suggestions for tools, techniques and touches designed to help you in your quest for getting a good night’s rest, in style. The cornerstone of your boudoir is the bed, and the soul of that piece of furniture is the mattress; no matter how sturdy the frame, or soft the bedding, your mattress provides the foundation for your sleep experience. When you


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makers bedroom have that right, everything else is icing on the bedding cake, so to speak. The Oklahoma Mattress Company (915 NW Fourth) has been in business since 1913, providing people with handcrafted, made-to-order mattresses and toppers. Longevity aside, the business’ success can be measured by the number of satisfied customers from around the United States — not just the OKC metro — who call regularly on owner Jim Hunter for his expertise in all things mattress-related. “In the last several years,” Hunter says, “mattresses have gotten more expensive, but decreased in quality.” Hunter explains that the characteristics of a good mattress depend on the individual who will be sleeping on it. Walking into a chain mattress store and testing several varieties on the hard-tosoft spectrum may seem like customization, but Hunter takes his mission seriously, and the results are nothing short of amazing. (Full disclosure: I am the amazed owner of an Oklahoma Mattress Company mattress and topper. The genesis of this article was my experience with OMC and the blissful, enriching sleep I’ve gotten since.) Mattresses can be constructed completely with cotton or latex, or with a combination of both, depending on your needs. OMC can also work with memory foam, if it’s better suited to your situation. If you’re wondering what the difference is, the short answer is that latex is breathable, and natural. Memory foam is not. Toppers made from latex are available, as well, and can fine-tune your mattress for individual comfort, plus allow for customization for couples. A topper for one side only can help if your partner needs a little more cushion than you like, or vice versa. There’s a comfort guarantee with every mattress Hunter sells. If you get it home and find that the density you thought would be ideal isn’t going to work, they can adjust the fill. The goal is to provide you a mattress that will last for years. While the average mattress salesman may have some stock answers for you to the questions that have been raised in recent years about various components and how they affect us while we sleep, nothing really replaces talking to the man that’s going to oversee your mattress being made. Hunter is a wealth of information, and something akin to a magician when it comes to determining a great fit for each person. “I enjoy talking with people, and helping them figure out how their mattress needs to suit their physiology,” he says. “Everyone needs something different. Our bodies need resistance, but we shouldn’t hurt after sleeping. We should be rested, restored.” 32 405 HOME SPRING 2018

“Everyone needs something different. Our bodies need resistance, but we shouldn’t hurt after sleeping. We should be rested, restored.” JIM HUNTER An adjustable bed can also be an answer for getting a good night’s rest, and Oklahoma Mattress Company offers those, as well. In fact, their prowess as mattress-makers could be equaled by their aptitude for constructing high-quality adjustable beds that are stylistically unobtrusive and space-conscious, allowing you to have comfort that doesn’t come at the expense of aesthetics or floor space. Hunter also offers a surprisingly simple tip for the bedding-buying process that could save you money, and help you optimize your sleep implements. “Don’t buy a pillow until you buy a mattress,” he counsels. “They work together, and the mattress is the most important part. Your body will adjust to all of them, but the pillow, topper (if you need one) and mattress should all work together, for the alignment your individual body needs. Build on what the mattress does for you.” The major role of the mattress is something that Paige Smiley of Bella Vici agrees with; “I didn’t sleep well for years,” she says, “and then I decided to invest in a good mattress, and it made all the difference.”


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makers bedroom

Bella Vici (1 NE Second) is an Oklahoma City-based design firm and retail supplier, providing home help for metro residents from overall conception down to minute detail. “We do everything from building to decorating interiors,” Smiley says. “We can facilitate it all, or help with finishing touches.” Smiley agrees with the practicality inherent in remembering the bedroom’s purpose, and in starting with the primary piece of furniture, the bed. After obtaining a good-quality mattress, the question arises of linens and their part in the furtherance of restful sleep. While clients always have their own preferences for what they want in any room, bedrooms included, Smiley shared her personal methods for building the perfect snooze room. “I made a little bit of a different color choice in my bedroom,” she says. “It’s a warm, brownish gray, and I find that it, along with blackout drapes, helps to make the room dark enough for me to really relax. I think it promotes deeper sleep.” 34 405 HOME SPRING 2018

Many people are looking to set up a bedroom that looks like a magazine page, and while Smiley loves the clean lines that look great in a photo shoot, common sense and functionality fuel her personal bedroom set-up. Comfy bedding is also the rule — knit comforters, cotton sheets — as well as another practical touch: minimal decorative pillows. “I’m not a big pillow person,” Smiley says. “They just end up on the floor.” While that may not have much to do with sleep, it does keep evening and morning routines simple, which can help maintain your doze chamber’s vibe as a place where you relax as much as possible. “I don’t like to make my bed,” she says, “so this keeps it easy.” Whether you find simplicity relaxing or take comfort in the richness of Marie Antoinette-level accoutrements, focusing on quality basics such as a sound mattress, comfortable bedding and an appropriate amount of light should help you make the most of your bedroom’s purpose. Sleeping.


VAL VERDE VISION

ART AND ANTIQUES IN THE BARNES-HAMBY HOME

BY GINA A. DABNEY | PHOTOS BY DON RISI

36 405 HOME SPRING 2018

Step inside this home in northwest Oklahoma City to a wondrous interior created by owners Dustin Hamby and Brian Barnes. In the den, a full-wall portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte gazes over the billiards table and all those who dare play under his vigilant eyes. “It is just fun,” Barnes says.


(Above left) Step down into the living room to discover a large intricately carved cabinet from Bali, found at K&N Interior Consignment on Western. “It took five people to move,” says Hamby. It now contains treasures including a bronze clock, a rare blue Steuben glass vase and Gallé art glass. (Above) An Underwood typewriter, a bronze statute and photos grace this table. “I have dedicated this area for family photos,” Barnes says. The painting above is “Andy” by Michele Mikesell, which was purchased through JRB Art at the Elms in the Paseo District. (Left) An Italian bust anchors the desk with tortoise inlay sitting behind one of three couches in the living room. Hanging in the room’s center is a Maitland Smith chandelier from Mathis Brothers, a 42-inch diameter gold sphere illuminated by Edison bulbs. The floors have a honey oak finish, and the walls are painted Kodiak Grey by Pratt & Lambert Paints. (Below) A pope’s head, which was recovered from an Archdiocese campus dormitory, rules above the English buffet.

SPRING 2018 405 HOME 37


Light floods this dining space, which houses a hand-painted blue and white toile console. Above is an early 1900s ornate mirror from France. An English desk with a parquet top, from Notting Hill Antiques, serves perfectly for a dining table. Chairs have barley twist legs and are upholstered in a quilted cream linen with nail head trim. Above the table, an empire-style chandelier holds court.

38 405 HOME SPRING 2018


(Above) In the kitchen, a large chandelier with wood bead accents is suspended over the island, and coordinates with the brass hardware on the bone-painted cabinets. Several roosters reside in the kitchen, including a favorite that was acquired on one of the couple’s trips abroad. “We got it at a flea market in France,” Hamby smiles. “We love France.” (Right) Wedgwood china and Ralph Lauren crystal stemware rest on a custom, 66-inch round, 3/4-inch glass top with an Italian base. The chairs are from Suburban Contemporary Furnishings; chandelier by Ethan Allen. The painting “Lilly at the Height of Her Career,” by Dee J. Lafon, was purchased at JRB Art at the Elms in the Paseo District. “The room,” Barnes says, “is a modern take on a traditional dining room.”

T

he couple, who have been together for more than two decades, were married in the metro in 2015. They have four dogs: Norah, a 12-year-old black pug who is the queen bee; Lola, a rescued bull dog; Walter, a fawn pug; and Willow, a white pug. The homeowners also work together – in 2004, Barnes started Ghost OKC, a graphic design company of which he is principal. Hamby heads up account services. Their varied client list includes Cox Business Communications, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Positive Tomorrows. In 2015, the couple bought their house in Oklahoma City’s Val Verde neighborhood and immediately began revamping it. “I called this house our ’80s country club,” Hamby says. “We’ve de-’80-fied it.”’ SPRING 2018 405 HOME 39


40 405 HOME SPRING 2018


“When people come in, they immediately become kids again. We love it.” BRI A N BA R NES

(Above) Mule deer horns spanning six feet hang above the Drexel Heritage bed. The Regency chandelier is from K&N Interior Consignment. Over the desk is an untitled abstract painting by Eugene Bavinger. The couple had been looking for a Bavinger painting for years, and found their prize at JRB Art at the Elms in the Paseo District. “We fell in love with art.” Hamby says, “and Joy Reed Belt taught us the art of collecting.” (Left) Barnes sits in his realm that started when he retrieved his Star Wars memorabilia — all in perfect condition — from his mother’s attic. The custom wainscot is laser-cut fiberboard that replicates the Millennium Falcon. On the wall are licensed lightsabers: Luke Skywalker’s blue from Star Wars and green from Return of the Jedi. Figures of R2-D2, Boba Fett and C-3PO reside on the desk. “That is his space,” Hamby laughs. “When people come in, they immediately become kids again. We love it.”

On the other hand, they blasted into a galaxy far, far away in Barnes’ office: It is filled with pristine condition Star Wars memorabilia. He has been an avid collector from the first of the George Lucas movies and has since added to the collection. “The Millennium Falcon from 1983, that’s my favorite,” says Barnes with a grin. The office’s custom wainscoting replicates the Millennium Falcon interior, and the ceiling is filled with blinking LED fiber-optic lights. Several walls hold enlarged concept art from the portfolio of Ralph McQuarrie (1929-2012), the conceptual designer and illustrator who designed the original Star Wars trilogy. SPRING 2018 405 HOME 41


42 405 HOME SPRING 2018


(Above) Reigning across the pool table is a famous portrait, “Napoleon I of France” by Andrea Appiani, that Hamby had reproduced as wallpaper. (Left) Five-foot mule deer antlers, purchased from a Colorado hunter, are mounted over the fireplace. A Ralph Lauren 106-inch couch in black watch plaid with nailhead trim, along with a tufted leather ottoman and Navajo rug, cozy up the den. Game chairs, also by Ralph Lauren, are sage velvet with nail head trim. “It is a gentlemen’s lodge,” Barnes comments.

Hamby and Barnes adore contemporary art and antiques, which are found throughout their home. On the weekends, they can be found at antique stores, estates sales and art galleries. Their collection includes such renowned artists as Dee J. Lafon and Eugene Bavinger – the latter, an award-winning artist and professor at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Art, created more than 1,400 paintings and had shows from New York to California. The couple credits Joy Reed Belt for the find of a treasured Bavinger abstract, as his paintings are scarcely available. “We are always evolving,” Barnes says. “We buy things we love.” SPRING 2018 405 HOME 43


The Kleppers’ Collected

Bliss

A CUSTOM-DESIGNED EDGEMERE HEIGHTS STUNNER

Pam and Jim Klepper’s goal was to create an elegant but comfortable environment for entertaining their family and friends. And so they have. Their Edgemere Heights home also holds a treasured collection of antiques, wine, art and dogs — both real and porcelain. “We are humane society volunteers, so we always have a fleet of animals,” Pam laughs.

44 405 HOME SPRING 2018


BY GINA A. DABNEY PHOTOS BY DON RISI

SPRING 2018 405 HOME 45


“It took a village to build this house.” PA M K LEPPER

T

he couple’s Mortens Studio porcelain dog collection is scattered throughout their home, and consists of a variety of breeds in all sorts of poses. In the mudroom are porcelain dogs’ heads proudly holding their leashes. “I have been collecting Mortens dogs since I was in high school,” Pam says. The couple also has a stunning collection of fine art, including paintings by Poteet Victory, Dee J. Lafon, Joy Richardson and Jerry Nabors, who is Pam’s cousin. “We both are crazy collectors,” Pam comments. Victory, who was born and raised in Idabel, is an abstract artist who the Prix de West website calls one of the most in-demand contemporary Native American artists in the world.

46 405 HOME SPRING 2018


(clockwise from top left) A four-point cove ceiling with a red glass antique chandelier welcomes guests. Matching antique consoles elegantly hold court on the geometric tile floor. An antique chest in the master bathroom was the color inspiration for the large double front doors. The upper console was constructed to incorporate the four leather panels, segments of an armoire that the couple owned for years. The custom piece hides a large-format television. A chandelier, purchased at Round Top Antiques Fair, occupies prime real estate on the vaulted, beamed ceiling. An antique carousel horse, named Ed after their grandson’s stick horse, is displayed on the vaulted wall. The painting “Man in Hat” by Dee J. Lafon adorns the wall. Lafon, who taught at East Central University in Ada, was an award-winning artist and his work is in the collections of various museums including the OKC Museum of Art.   The antique carved wood buffet holds a sample of Pam’s collection of Majolica pottery, including famous makers such as Minton and Wedgwood. Pam and Jim Klepper with two of their beloved dogs.

SPRING 2018 405 HOME 47


(above) Natural beams continue from the den into the custom kitchen, where a blue and white tiled hood vent is stationed over a BlueStar gas range. Jim is the cook, so the appliances were his choice, including the TurboChef ovens. To the right, custom cabinets hide a Salamander, one of his favorite appliances. A porcelain apron sink with corner windows overlooks the pool and gardens. Hiding the fridge are antique chalk boards surrounded by green cabinetry, which add whimsy. Whiskey barrel tops are lodged between the kitchen and bar area. (left) A barrel ceiling leads into the bar area, where the serving bar has a stamped leather backsplash and carved mirror inlay cabinets. Custom brushed-nickel handles in the shape of grape vines open the all-glass wine bin. The wine cabinet is temperature controlled, has formal lighting and is built out of stripped redwood. “It is all natural,” Jim says. “We are very pleased … with the overall finished project.”

In 1990, the couple moved from Mangum to Oklahoma City. Jim is a lawyer and heads his own firm, while Pam, who holds a degree in interior design and art, is recently retired after a highly successful career as a real estate agent. “I had sold this house three times during my real estate career,” she says. The Kleppers purchased the more than 4,000-square-foot residence in 2014, and began turning it into the exquisite country French and English home it is today. With the help of their contractor ATDwellings, it took two years to renovate the 1953 building. “They made it work,” Pam says. “It took a village to build this house.” Contractors Terry and Anders Carlson of ATDwellings and their associates, including Master Carpenter Chris Maselli and Jeff Wilder of Wilder Design, executed all of the home’s custom work. “We had suggestions,” Pam recalls. “But [Anders] made it even better than I had imagined.” 48 405 HOME SPRING 2018


The bed is made of cast iron in the shape of tree branches. The armoire holds a portion of Pamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vast collection of Mortens Studio porcelain dogs. Wood beams accent the high ceiling and highlight the large wood and iron chandelier.

SPRING 2018 405 HOME 49


A colorful sitting area just outside the living room contains a Suzanne Wallace Mears sculpture made of mirrors and glass. This expansive covered porch, which has a dining table for ten on the other end, has heat and air to add comfort. Plexiglass in the dormers helps regulate the temperature within the space.

Many items in their home have interesting origin stories. For instance, the ceramic cow head above the entrance to the coffee bar and pantry room was found at a butcher shop, while the entry doors, installed on rollers, were found in a field in Round Top, Texas. Round Top Antiques Fair, located south of Dallas between Austin and Houston, is one of Pamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite places to shop. Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: The Spring Fair at Round Top is April 2-7. Learn more at roundtoptexasantiques.com. Whether entertaining or looking for their next collectible, the Kleppers are right at home in their custom-created, canine-friendly environment. 50 405 HOME SPRING 2018


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LIVING

EACH DAY, GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF LIVING WELL

GRATITUDE IN BLOOM

SCOTTY O’DANIEL

Saying “Thank you” to your host or hostess is simple politeness; giving thanks in the form of a thoughtful gift is even better. This cement bust vase, $18 from Live Boho, 3721 S I-35 in OKC, is one of several possibilities we’ve pulled together from around the OKC metro — small ways to leave a big impression with a gesture. See page 56.

SPRING 2018 405 HOME 53


living etiquette

GRACIOUS GUESTING AND HOSPITABLE HOSTING Tips to better your best behavior BY JILL FARR | PHOTO BY CHARLIE NEUENSCHWANDER

WARMER WEATHER BRINGS with it increased travel opportunities. Comfortable temperatures make journeys more pleasant, and school vacations provide the chance for families to venture away from home, sometimes to visit relatives. Sometimes, too, we host them. Services such as Airbnb also mean that many times, a trip can mean staying in a private home rather than a hotel. On the other hand, you might be broadening your own horizons by hosting others who are looking to visit your locale. Being on your best behavior while in temporary living situations is a good goal. Etiquette expert Carey Sue Vega said that sometimes, many of us need more guidance than we care to admit. “In the era we live in, unfortunately, many of these things weren’t modeled at home — there wasn’t an opportunity to learn them,” Vega explains. “You may think you’re a polite guest or host, but if you didn’t see a full example of that … how do you know? Some of it is common sense, yes, but you have to find gaps by researching, investigating.” Vega has a thriving coaching business, teaching children and adults etiquette basics, as well as specifics about navigating various sectors of life, such as the higher-level business world and getting familiar with the intricacies of college, from dealing with deans to learning about roommates. She’s also spoken and blogged about hosting, and the practice of being a good guest, and offers some tips for people on both sides of the travel trade-off.

HINTS FOR HOSTS

Give your guests space. Travel is exhausting, and while the chance to interact is part of the fun (mostly), people also need the chance to rest. A room of their own is ideal, or time to be alone, if dedicated space isn’t possible. Make sure there’s enough physical space for guests’ belongings, as well, even if you have to box up some of your own things temporarily. Provide some comforts – and necessities. Something usually gets forgotten when packing, and having some basics such as shampoo, toothpaste and travel toothbrushes on hand can help your guests feel their best. Plenty of towels, toilet paper, etc. in the bathroom should also be standard, and extras including bottles of water can help them feel more at home, since they won’t have to ask. If your guests 54 405 HOME SPRING 2018

are going to be there long term, think about having an extra key made, or giving them a spare if you have it, so that comings and goings can be handled with a minimum of stress. Supply diversions. In the age of televisions, tablets and smartphones, we forget that sometimes a switch in our media can be relaxing; lay out some magazines, books and board games, in case your guests want to unwind a little more simply on their own.

GUEST SUGGESTIONS

Bring a gift. It doesn’t have to be huge, but a gesture of thanks goes a long way toward expressing your gratitude. Small and consumable is best when you don’t know your host well (or if you do, and know that they prefer useful items), but Vega said that if you have the means to wow someone, personalization is best. “I get on eBay and find an odd serving piece in my aunt’s silver pattern to take to her when we visit,” she says. Unique twists on this can often include members of the family that may normally be overlooked; Vega said that one of the most-appreciated hostess gifts she ever received was from a guest at a Christmas party she gave. Instead of the standard bottle of wine, the individual brought a book for her young son. Offer help. This can be financial or practical. Even if it’s been expressed that you don’t have to pay your hosts for anything, pitching in with dinner or dishes is a way of showing appreciation. Cleaning up any messes you make should be standard, as well as respecting expressed boundaries (“The kids nap from 2 to 4 p.m.”). Ask if your hosts would like you to do your own laundry, or do anything else when it’s time to leave, as well. Say “Thank you.” In addition to expressing your gratitude when it’s appropriate during your visit, Vega suggests a handwritten note after your stay is finished. Just like providing books and magazines, it may seem outdated, but often the practices that have fallen off are the ones most appreciated … and the ones we need to re-implement. Whether you’re a guest or a host, Vega insists that the best bottom-line advice is the same as it is for campers: Leave it better than you found it. Whether it’s your host’s home, or your guest’s feeling of welcome – leave it better than you found it.


Carey Sue Vega SPRING 2018 405 HOME 55


living gifts

Fresh bouquet, prices vary, from The Flower Shop “Fresh flowers that are small enough to not disrupt whatever the hostess of the party has going on make a great hostess gift. The flowers may be set on a table or bathroom counter easily, and the container is something that can be used for other things at a later date.” - Lori Wright

Mariposa Fireside Blend coffee, $15.95, pH Alchemy lavender simple syrup, $16, handmade tea towel, $14 from The Social Club This is a go-to hostess gift. Good coffee is a life changer! The lavender simple syrup is delicious in coffee, champagne or cocktails, which makes it fun and versatile. And then the tea towel — who doesn’t love a beautiful towel to hang on your oven? It’s art for your kitchen.” - Dana Scott

Culinary cheese board, $42 from Reclaimed Warehouse “A perfect gift (Made in Oklahoma!) for entertaining over and over again, with soapstone chalk that never runs out.” - Tabitha Clark

HOSTESS GIFTS WITH THE MOSTEST Goodies for giving thanks

BY SARA GAE WATERS | PHOTOS BY DON RISI AND SCOTTY O’DANIEL

French honey pot, $13 from Bebe’s “This French honey pot has a great price point. Tie a little wooden honey spoon on it and you have a perfect hostess gift. After the honey is gone, you have a darling clay vessel for flowers or spices!” - Karen Samis

SOMEONE ELSE kindly invited you into their home, and went to all the effort to arrange the dinner or party or whatever occasion — shouldn’t you make a small gesture of gratitude in return? (Hint: Emily Post says yes, you should.) When there’s a soiree on the horizon, here are some possibilities suggested by local retailers.

Vida Alegria double dip bowl by Beatriz Ball, $38, tea towel, $12, Sugarfina champagne gummy bears, $20 each from Occasions  “I love to give hostess gifts that I know will be used and loved! You can pair this double dip bowl with candies or dip mixes, adding a cute matching tea towel or a set of cocktail napkins. I would wrap it all in cellophane and add a cute big bow.” - Susan Austin

Cotton monogrammed handkerchiefs, $39 from Plenty Mercantile “Our set of two organic cotton monogrammed hankies makes a wonderful hostess gift. We love these because they are packaged in a lovely keepsake box (we add a touch of twine), and it makes an easy, yet very thoughtful gift. Used at weddings, funerals and blessed events, they become a treasured heirloom piece. A favorite with the Plenty staff.” - Traci Walton

Linen pinafore apron from Lithuania, $50 from Sara Kate Studios “Stonewashed linen in the most beautiful hues, handmade just for us! I just love the Japanese-style pinafore shape, and it makes being in the kitchen a little more fun.” - Sara Kate Little

Aspen Bay Cedar Rose candle, $26 from Tulips “I love nothing more than giving someone a delicious candle to make their house smell yummy!” - Paige Beal

Grace bowl in sky gray, $30 from Urbane “It’s a beautiful gift that anyone would appreciate. The bowl is small and stores easily, but I think most people display it because it is so interesting.” - Scott Wagoner

Gilded amethyst napkin rings, $35 each from 3B Home “What better way to say ‘thank you’ for dinner than with napkin rings? These napkin rings are a gold-leafed amethyst chunk on square acrylic, and are a beautiful display, whether sitting on a table or displayed on a counter.” - Rhonda Beck

THE FLOWER SHOP, 1440 N PORTER, NORMAN | URBANE, 1015 N BROADWAY, OKC | OCCASIONS, 2001 W MAIN, NORMAN | PLENTY MERCANTILE, 807 N BROADWAY, OKC | RECLAIMED WAREHOUSE, 3200 S SUNNYLANE, MOORE | TULIPS, 570 BUCHANAN, NORMAN | SARA KATE STUDIOS, 1100 N BROADWAY, OKC | 3B HOME, 15020 BRISTOL PARK, EDMOND | BEBE’S, 6480 AVONDALE, OKC | THE SOCIAL CLUB, 209 E MAIN, NORMAN

56 405 HOME SPRING 2018


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living letting go

SPRING CLEANING

The next magical art of tidying up BY LAUREN HAMMACK | ILLUSTRATION BY CHAD CROWE

ON VARIOUS SHELVES at my house, I have a full library of books about home organization. Their titles practically mock me: File, Don’t Pile!, Behind the Clutter, Feng Shui Your Life, Unstuff Your Life!, It’s All Too Much, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and one of my favorites, ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. As I’m writing this, I’ve taken a quick visual inventory of my surroundings, which defy the advice in all the books I mentioned above. Within my immediate reach are: the Christmas stocking that never made it back into the Christmas storage tub, a shoebox from this weekend’s purchases, a freshly emptied magazine basket, another basket of mail that dates back to October, a tray of paid bills, a bird-calling whistle of some kind, a tabletop wine bottle opener (in case I can only grab one thing in a fire) and a large box of misprinted office signs from work. Surrounded by the proof that I’ve barely bent the spines of my organizing books, I called in reinforcements for this article: Oklahoma City professional organizers Amy Holder from Simplicity Professional Organizing and Darlene Broderick from Clutter Buster. For the “organizationally challenged,” it can be overwhelming to decide where to begin, but the journey through a thousand Beanie Babies always starts with the first step. Amy: Being overwhelmed is very common. When clients tell me they want to organize their whole house, I recommend prioritizing by which three areas of the home give them the most stress, are non-functional or need to be repurposed. Darlene: I usually begin with a client interview and learn everything I need to know to create a customized system for that client. Different systems or organization [methods] work for different people, but as a general rule, it’s good to start by working on the area or areas you use every day. Then what? Amy: It’s estimated that we lose seven hours a week looking for stuff like keys, cell phones, pieces of paper. To minimize that, everything should have a home within your home. I like to help clients determine “zones” for their things (i.e., all cleaning supplies go under the kitchen sink). Once you’ve declared a zone and you’ve stuck to it, you should be able to take a quick inventory at any point and know what needs to be restocked. 58 405 HOME SPRING 2018

Darlene: It’s not uncommon for me to meet the movers when someone is relocating, unpack everything and put it away. Clients just keep the system in place. Otherwise, we work together to figure out in advance where things are going to go. I ask them to tell me their favorite charity, which often makes it easier to let things go. If Big Trash Day is coming up, we’ll schedule a clean-out in the days leading up to trash day, so the discarded items don’t have to sit around longer than necessary. I don’t have to look very far to recognize my own hoarding quirks. What are predictable trouble spots for most people, and how do you recommend tackling them? Amy: Paper management is a huge thing. Almost anything we’re tempted to keep can be found on the Internet. I also recommend keeping magazine articles, lists or notes on an app such as Evernote. Mail can be sorted between the mailbox and the front door, and most of it can be tossed before you come back into the house. Keep it if it’s something you have to pay or sign and return, or if you need to file it (e.g., a car title). Darlene: Family heirlooms should be kept, but saving things for “the kids” is a waste of time – odds are, the kids aren’t going to want to clutter up their own space with their old stuff. If you really want them to have something, give it to them now. Help your aging parents to get rid of things while they’re still living and able. When parents die and leave behind a ton of stuff, it’s a huge emotional burden on their loved ones to address the mess.


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living letting go

Amy: I also encourage clients to learn not to pile things up, because stacking is contagious! Kitchen countertops are a good example of a “no-drop zone” — it’s more difficult for someone to abandon their pile of stuff on a clean surface. Darlene: Likewise, when you become a “shover,” other people start shoving for you. For example, if you shove everything into the front hall closet, before long, everyone else will do the same. It’s organizing day. What tips do you give to the do-it-yourself organizer? Amy: Set a goal and start small — a junk drawer, for example – and focus ONLY on that zone. If the zone is a room, start from the door and work your way in. Stay in that zone from start to finish. While you’re working, don’t stop to take misplaced items to their zones — just set them aside for now. Then, use the last 30 minutes to take those items to the zones where they belong. Most of all, remember that organizing is a process that takes weeks or months to work through. Darlene: Stay in the area you’re sorting! Set a time limit, too. For example, let’s say you’re going to clean the garage for six hours one weekend. I recommend that you set your timer to go off at the halfway point. Sort items by “keep,” “donate” and “trash.” When the timer goes off, put away the items that don’t belong in that area. When you get to the final hour of your sorting, set your timer to go off at the halfway point again, and repeat those steps so that the last thing you’re doing is putting away what doesn’t belong. When you do it this way, you’ll see that you can quickly reclaim that space. My tombstone will probably read, “Here lies a girl who loved a Rubbermaid container.” Is that my inner hoarder coming out? Amy: I find that clients who have trouble making decisions to get rid of things have containers everywhere. My recommendation is that you wait until you see everything you have, and then decide whether or not you need storage containers. Darlene: Instead of storing it, let it go — it really is going to be okay. You don’t need to feel guilty about it, even if things still have price tags on them. Consign if you must, but never feel guilty about letting things go.

for More Information Call 405.202.8783 60 405 HOME SPRING 2018

How do you measure success for your clients? Amy: I think success is measured differently from one client to the next, but it can be found every day. Success is less daily stress, a system that’s maintainable and manageable and a home that looks and feels nicer. Darlene: If a client can keep up the new habits of organization through repetition for at least two weeks, they feel really liberated from the clutter that held them down. That’s success. It’s really all about a better quality of life.


PROFILE

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A LOOK INSIDE THE LEGACY OF FIBER-SEAL

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f you’ve ever found yourself asking someone who they recommend to care for your carpet or furniture, chances are the name Fiber-Seal has been mentioned, and for good reason. For the past 30 years, Fiber-Seal has been setting the standard in service, expertise and results in cleaning and caring for fine fabrics and floor coverings. It’s among the most respected names in the business, especially here in central Oklahoma, and much of that legacy is due to its management. Fiber-Seal has been an outstanding success story, one whose newest chapter is underway thanks to the passing of the torch. Michael Geatz and Craig Shaw have been the two names most associated with Fiber-Seal for over 30 years. Michael bought Fiber-Seal in 1992, and soon after was a household name in the Nichols Hills/OKC Area. His focus on delivering the absolute best results and service was quickly recognized by his clients, and his customer service kept them coming back. In 2000 he hired a young man named Craig, who possessed many of his same qualities. Michael shared his knowledge of the industry, and in just a few short years Craig, like Michael, became a household name among Fiber-Seal clients. Beginning in 2014, Michael realized his growing physical limitations and started assisting with the care of his aging parents, who live in another state. He knew he needed to focus on the future of Fiber-Seal, and knew Craig was the guy to carry on the legacy he had created. In October 2014, the transfer of ownership went seamlessly. “Leaving Fiber-Seal was a difficult decision, but I knew in my heart that it was being left in the right hands. Craig and I had been the backbone of Fiber-Seal, working side by side for over 15 years,” Michael says. Even though Michael misses the day-to-day involvement with clients, he still often runs into them around town. Craig says that while he was excited about the prospect of owning his own business, “It was more difficult than I expected, but Michael has been here to coach me along the way.” Now that the clients are slowly learning of Craig’s ownership, they are happy for Michael and excited for the future of the company in Craig’s hands. While being the most trusted name in the industry, Fiber-Seal works with many designers and homeowners. Their knowledge and expertise in working with fine items is essential. Long-time client and designer Bebe MacKellar said, “Michael, Craig and the Fiber Seal team are experts at protecting furnishings and floor coverings both inside your home and outdoors. My mom, Fanny Bolen, has been recommending Fiber Seal to her clients for years and now I am doing the same. We can always depend on them to keep the projects we design looking great and being there when life’s little messes happen.” The legacy of Fiber-Seal is one of exceptional customer service, and with the passing of the torch to Craig, that’s sure to continue. So if you’re looking for the best source of expertise to maintain your furnishings and floor coverings, call Fiber-Seal … Just ask your neighbors; they’ll tell you the same thing.

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ALFRESCO

ENHANCING YOUR CORNER OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS

POTTED PERFECTION

SHANNON CORNMAN

As weather warms and blooms blossom, we love nothing more than adding color and dimension to our yards, porches and any other place we can tuck a tub of cheer. For tips, tricks and uncontained inspiration for creating your own potted paradise, read on.

SPRING 2018 405 HOME 63


alfresco gardening

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” THOM AS JEFFERSON

64 405 HOME SPRING 2018


TRY TO CONTAINER YOURSELF

PLANT SPEAK — THRILLER, FILLER, SPILLER

Spring planting time is here!

BY GINA A. DABNEY | PHOTOS BY SHANNON CORNMAN

DURING JEFFERSON’S LIFE, a common Colonial garden would be contained and situated close to the kitchen for easy access. Herbs for healing, vegetables for meals and flowers for enjoyment would be planted all together. Heirloom flowers, which are still popular today, would include hollyhocks, foxgloves, daylilies, irises and peonies. In the 21st century, container gardens welcome visitors at the front door, provide texture to a smooth concrete deck and infuse color into an already established garden. They are the specialty of Adorn OKC, owned by Elizabeth Richardson, which has designed and maintained container gardens for residential and commercial properties since 2014. Many clients are seasonal and continue the services from year to year, while others are occasional clients who need the services for special events such as a wedding. “I’ve always loved container gardening and gardening in general,” Richardson says.

In the beginning, Richardson, who has four children, was looking for a way to make a good living while keeping a flexible schedule. Not an easy find. She enjoyed gardening and began researching her options, and found that there were no businesses that catered to creating and maintaining container gardens. She believed she had found her ideal job. “Nobody just did container gardening,” Richardson laughs. “It is a niche market.” Since 2014, Richardson has built up her client list — “I have clients all over,” she says, “but mostly in Quail Creek” — and she has found that many people do not have (or don’t want to spend) the time to decorate and change their garden pots. Clients love the results and tell her how it “perks them up.” For the seasonal client, Richardson will change their garden pot – on the front porch, for instance – in early May. In June, flowers will be added for the summer, which Richardson says is the longest growing season. The flowers will bloom

Pictured throughout are creations by Adorn OKC

Elizabeth Richardson of Adorn OKC gives advice for creating a garden container through combinations: Thriller: One big plant in the container that gives height, such as a small evergreen. Filler: Plants that fill in the gaps, such as impatiens or a similar annual. Spiller: Plants that cascade over and soften the edge of the container. For example, sweet potato vine. Color: Use a combination of at least two leaf colors, along the lines of dusty miller’s silver leaves paired with the chartreuse of moneywort. Texture: Try using a combination of different textures, too — grasses, which have skinny leaves, pair well visually with plants such as moneywort, which has tiny leaves. SPRING 2018 405 HOME 65


alfresco gardening

and bloom until fall. In September, Richardson will plant fall flowers to replace summer’s fading beauties. After Thanksgiving, the container will be changed to holiday décor with plants, such as evergreens and ivy, to last the winter. Richardson said she loves how each container garden is a completely custom design. Sometimes a client may want a certain color or theme incorporated in the design, and she enjoys the creative process. “It is not boring,” she says. “Every situation is different. It is like a blank canvas.” No project is too small for Precure Nursery and Garden Center, which opened in 1959 and is still family owned, with two locations in Oklahoma City. Landscape Designer Veronica Mills focuses on residential clients and spends her time between consulting, design and managing projects. “Defi66 405 HOME SPRING 2018

nitely, design is my favorite,” Mills says. “That’s what I went to school for. I’m more of a creative mind.” Mills earned a master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to working at Precure, she has taught at OSU-OKC for four years – sharing and also absorbing information about the gardening industry. “With this business,” she says, “you are constantly learning.” Container gardening’s popularity, according to Mills, is due in part to it being easier for people than a ground-level garden, as many cannot physically get down to the ground. Also, it gives people another outlet to be creative. Mills enjoys working on container gardens because of the assortment of choices. “I love the pots,” Mills says. “Pots come in a variety of colors and glazes.”

When choosing a pot, Mills pointed out, elements to consider include size, color and form, as well as the style of the home. “You want to keep in mind the architecture of the home,” she says. Next is picking out the plants, which is also fun. Color combinations are key GARDEN GROWTH

In 1891, the first garden club in America was founded by The Ladies Garden Club of Athens, Georgia. In 1929, 13 federated states became charter members at a meeting in Washington, D.C. In 1935, National Garden Clubs authorized headquarters at Rockefeller Center in New York City, and a permanent headquarters building was established in St. Louis in 1958. Today, National Garden Clubs Inc. is a nonprofit educational organization made up of 5,000 garden clubs and 175,000 members – including Oklahoma Garden Clubs Inc., organized in 1929 and located at the Rubye Atkinson Garden Center at 1441 N. Key in Midwest City.


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alfresco gardening

to the mood of the container garden. “A lot of work is based on the color wheel,” Mills says. “Complementary colors are nice.” For example, purple and yellow work well together. Planting is the next step. Mills suggests planting a boxwood or small juniper in the center of the container, then adding verbena, which is a naturally trailing plant, around the base. Next, fill in the pot with rose moss or petunias, both of which are heat tolerant. “We’ve got a large inventory of plant material,” Mills says. “I’m always checking to see what we have to get, the pick of the tree, so to speak.” Mills, who works all over the metro including Nichols Hills, Choctaw and Harrah, talked about how each project has its own design challenges, owner requests and last-minute plans, but that is what she was trained to do. “There is individuality in every design,” Mills says. 68 405 HOME SPRING 2018


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alfresco cabana

A VISIT TO FAIRYLAND Outdoors at the Samis home

The charming Tudor-style house had always been a point of interest for Karen Samis. Even as a child, she and her friends would sneak into the garden and explore the grounds. “All of the neighborhood kids called it ‘fairyland,’” Samis recalls with a smile. “But we were terrified of being caught, because rumor had it the woman who lived there was really scary!” BY MARK BEUTLER | PHOTOS BY DON RISI 70 405 HOME SPRING 2018


YEARS PASSED AND SAMIS GREW UP, but she never quite forgot the magical “fairyland” house in Nichols Hills. She and her husband were living in Dallas in the late ’70s when the house came on the market. “We loved the property,” she says, “and it had a lot of special details. I was especially attracted to the copper downspouts; they have crescent moons and stars on them. There is also a beautiful brick side garden with a frog fountain that Tommy Roberts did in the late 1950s. He was a great landscape designer and architect, and left his mark on our property.” The house was built in 1927, and sits on a little more than an acre of land. According to Samis and the history she has learned, it was built to help promote the new area of Oklahoma City called Nichols Hills. “Chester Davis and G.A. Nichols built the house, and Mr. Davis lived there for a while,” Samis says. “Later, it was sold to the proprietors of the old Meadow Gold Milk, and I have been told the dairy farm was in the lot behind us. That couple who owned the house must have been really fun, because there are wooden posts in the basement where their friends carved their names and dates of great parties that took place in the house. “There are OU-Texas football scores for several years,” she adds. “And references to several friends who fought in World War II. It is so fun to look at these columns that were signed by my parents’ friends, who were in their early 20s at the time.” As the cold, gray winter days fade, the Samis home and garden come alive with the bright pastel colors of spring. “There is a lot of trial and error in our yard,” she says. “Spring bulbs simply do not happen. We planted 300 crocuses one year – and got to enjoy two of them. The squirrels really had a feast. And they love tulip bulbs, also. The only summer planting we really do is in the front; we also plant about 600 caladiums throughout the yard, and fortunately the squirrels are not interested in them.” Just to the east of the house, a couple of stone bridges lead to the lower garden that Samis and her friends used to call the “fairyland,” which maintains a natural feel. SPRING 2018 405 HOME 71


alfresco cabana

Our garden is a lot of work, but there is not a more beautiful place to entertain on a warm spring evening. K A R EN SA MIS

72 405 HOME SPRING 2018

“We have added trees and maintained a lot of the stonework,” Samis says. “It is basically the same as when I was a child. It is not formal by any means, but still requires a lot of maintenance. Although our yard is obviously private, there have been two weddings in the lower garden that we just happened to notice taking place from our kitchen window.” The home has undergone several renovations necessitating changes to the landscape through the years, most recently relocating the pool and building an outdoor living space. “We love the outdoor room, and with the fireplace and heaters, we can use it most of the year,” she says. “We also included a wood oven, which is great for pizzas and roasting chickens. It is a great entertainment space for family and friends.” The Samis home and garden have an elegant look and feel, and the occupants make sure their guests always feel welcome. The mature elm trees and bald cypress offer welcoming shade, while tinkling fountains provide a soothing ambiance. “Our lower garden is cooler in the summer, and so quiet — it is a beautiful place in our yard that feels like a real getaway,” Samis says. “There is a wishing well that is great fun for our grandchildren, and of course, the Easter bunny always visits in the spring. Our garden is a lot of work, but there is not a more beautiful place to entertain on a warm spring evening.”


alfresco soirees

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DRINK High style in the hot, hot heat BY GREG HORTON | PHOTOS BY DON RISI

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, Richard Bruner and Michael Koenig realized they were not seeing many of their friends as often as they liked. Life happened – post-college jobs, marriage, family responsibilities and relocations. “Most people get together between Halloween and Christmas, maybe New Year’s Eve,” Bruner says. “But holiday travel is usually about family, and we were going too long between seeing 74 405 HOME SPRING 2018

friends we knew from college or previous jobs. We thought something in the middle of the year would be ideal for a get-together.” Their 105-year-old home, which is the original Barnes Homestead at NW 19th and Barnes, is a beautiful setting for an alfresco gathering. Bruner readily admits that July in Oklahoma is not the best time for an outdoor party; still, he and Koenig wanted an


indoor-outdoor Bruner and Koenig affair at their home that incorporated the stately wrap-around porch in front, the beautiful dining room and the spacious back yard and deck. The original list contained 20-25 names, and over the years, the guest list has expanded to the point that the 2017 Midsummer’s Night Drink Party — as they named it — had nearly 80 guests. Elemental Coffee owner Laura Massenat was a guest for the first time at the 2017 event, and she remembered being very comfortable, even outside. “Maybe we just had a good day, but it was very pleasant,” she says. “There was plenty of shade, iced drinks and these beautiful umbrellas hanging upside down.”

Koenig explains the umbrellas as both practical and aesthetic complements: “As one entered the party, they walked through a canopy of Chinese umbrellas, hanging upside down on the front porch. This immediately gave the guest a pop of color and welcomed them to the party.” For more immediate cooling, guests also received a hand fan. This is traditional at all the midsummer parties, not just a touch for last year, and the fans are typically matched to the color palette. According to Bruner, the theme always remains “midsummer cocktail party,” but the colors, décor and even a signature cocktail change every year.

Rita Pitts and Ernesto Sanchez

SPRING 2018 405 HOME 75


alfresco soirees

76 405 HOME SPRING 2018


“We did a vodka cocktail last year, made with fresh orange juice,” he says. “We also provide iced cucumber water, frozen grapes and a variety of chilled foods to help keep people cool.” Guests are free to congregate in any of the three locations — front porch, dining room and back yard — but most of the food is inside, at a table typically filled with sweets and pastries from La Baguette and chilled finger foods that Bruner and Koenig prepare, to “keep the personal touch,” Koenig says. Last year, Koenig smiles, “The back yard was alive with greenery and lit chandeliers hanging from the trees.” There are slight modifications to the yard, which is already equipped with a spa and palm trees in an homage of sorts to Houston, a city that both men love. Most of the furniture is repurposed, collected from local antique shops and estate sales, and Koenig said they mix the décor inside and out to “keep the Bohemian feel.” And in the midst of it all, their guests — their friends — are happy to raise their glasses in a toast to summertime get-togethers.

The hand fans were displayed in an antique silver compote dish, purchased at a local vintage shop and repurposed for the party. The nine-foot mahogany table was purchased at Dillard’s. Koenig says they opted not to buy the coordinating chairs to avoid “too much of a matching, traditional look.” The beautiful aqua table runner is handmade from rough silk purchased at The Fabric Factory. The fabric was originally used for drapes for the master bedroom, but there was enough remaining to fashion the runner. SPRING 2018 405 HOME 77


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looking ahead

FALL MEANS FIKA BY SARA GAE WATERS | PHOTO BY SCOTTY O’DANIEL

Custom ceramics by Taylor Dickerson with Craig Proper are just one detail given full attention for “The Kitchen at Commonplace”.

ALL GOOD THINGS must come to an end, like beautiful spring and glorious summer, but that only means that something new is knocking at the door. As we contemplate the coming fall season and our October issue, we’ve decided to embrace the idea of being intentional. It’s a buzzword these days for sure, but not without merit. Enter Fika. Have you heard of it? Last fall we explored the Danish concept of coziness, hygge. This fall, we’ve set our sights on this uniquely Swedish way of slowing down and taking time to enjoy a cup of coffee and pastry or small meal, but with intention. The Kitchen at 80 405 HOME SPRING 2018

Commonplace opens this spring, so by autumn, it will be in full swing — and we can’t wait to show you how owners Ben Nockels’ and Chris Castro’s intentional perspective on the importance of community has brought to fruition the perfect spot to grab a shared meal with friends ... and maybe a book or two while you are at it. We’ll carry the spirit of Fika into our homes, as well. Fireside relaxing is more enjoyable with a well-appointed mantel, and who can resist the perfectly curated wallpaper to change the look and feel of a room? Let’s meet up this fall!


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405 Home Spring 2018  

405 Home is a source of inspiration for stylish spaces. It’s filled with ideas for buying, building, renovating, repurposing and redecoratin...

405 Home Spring 2018  

405 Home is a source of inspiration for stylish spaces. It’s filled with ideas for buying, building, renovating, repurposing and redecoratin...

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