Design Oklahoma Fall 2015

Page 1





Exclusively at Where High Performance Products Meet High Style 7222 North Western Avenue, OKC, 405.418.4884

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Features 36

Kitchens to Covet

Four homeowners rework their dated kitchens to incorporate incredible function, pleasing aesthetics and a mix of high- and low-end materials that craft a true heart of the home for their families to inhabit.


A Study in Contrasts

A historic residence is relocated from its original Midtown lot and renovated from top to bottom with an eye toward an appreciation for the modern conveniences of life - resulting in a masterpiece of eclectic design.



A Family Affair

An outdoor oasis created by the whole clan is a welcoming place to entertain friends and family in this multi-functional backyard retreat.

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SQUARE ONE 12 From the Editors


16 Superb Style Our editors celebrate the turn of the season by incorporating touches of fall through the smallest of design details.



18 Utility Meets Creativity A functional room doesn’t have to be sterile or boring - in fact, infusing personality and charm into a work space makes doing chores a little less onerous. 20 Setting the Table Creating an inviting place to host family and friends for truly memorable dining.


53 From the Bookshelf Delve into the science behind the business of growing things with “Gardening for Geeks” by Christy Wilhelmi. 54 Green Under Glass Mini gardens are self-contained ecosystems that brighten the dreary days of winter. 64 Finishing Touch Reflecting upon adding a personal touch to home decor with family heirlooms.

54 16 8 DESIGNOKLAHOMA | Fall 2015

On the Cover The renovation of the Reel family’s kitchen packs high style into a small space. Photo by Carli Wentworth

Featured in Fallbrook near Western and Covell Homes Available Now Remodeling throughout the metro Design. Build. Renovate.




Editor-at-Large | Stylist Sara Gae Waters

Business Development Manager Heidi Turner

Associate Editor Steve Gill

Executive Director of Advertising Cynthia Whitaker-hill

Contributing Writers Jill Hardy, Greg Horton ART

Art Director Brian O’Daniel

Account Executives Jamie Hamilton Debbi Knoll

Associate Art Director Scotty O’Daniel

Account Manager Ronnie Morey

Production Assistant Tiffany McKnight


Contributing Photographers David Cobb, Simon Hurst, Carli Wentworth


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Rendering by Howard-Fairbairn Site Design, Inc.

Goodman Spec Home in Gaillardia For more information and to follow the progress visit

SQUARE ONE | Welcome

From the Editors

Fall 2015

AND SO WE MEET AGAIN … the last several months have been a blur of gorgeous interiors, breathtaking outdoor vistas and stylish endeavors. We’ve been looking forward to sharing our inspirations and are pleased to present the fall edition of Design Oklahoma. One of our favorite things about our state is its distinct seasons. There’s no namby-pamby “75-and-sunny year ’round” forecast to get bored with. Summers are hot, fall is golden, winter is crisply stark and spring is green. At the time of this writing, the summer days are waning and the golden afternoon light is taking on that quality that signals it will soon be fall. As the leaves begin to turn to brown, orange and yellow, we can’t help but be mindful of transitions. Outdoor living becomes a little more bearable as the weather cools. Al fresco entertaining and patio time is a must. And in that vein, we start with the backyard. To inspire a little open-air time, we visited the oasis at the Walton residence. With zones for dining, cooking, relaxing, playing and growing, this yard takes full advantage of every inch of the landscape, with purposeful choices in keeping with the owners’ philosophy of reusing and recycling. The Gikas house has been lovingly renovated top to bottom, including a move across several city blocks. Natural light spills through its bountiful windows, and the modern aesthetic paired with classic bones create a striking juxtaposition that flows beautifully. Also in this issue, we examine the heart of the home - four homes, actually - and see how re-envisioning your kitchen pays big dividends in the hardest working room in the house. Remodeling can be a challenge, but with results this amazing, it’s easy to see why kitchen renovations consistently top home buyers’ must-have lists. Rounding out the lineup are articles featuring a wonderfully creative utility room, table settings for holiday entertaining and our thoughts on all manner of topics from trendy terrariums to decorating with heirloom objects. There is plenty to read about, and as always, it’s our hope that these pages inspire you. SARA GAE WATERS



Editor-at-Large | Stylist



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Details Make the Difference

The stage is set for an elegant soiree ‌ crisp blue and white create a unique backdrop for a fall-themed get together. Page 20 Photographer CARLI WENTWORTH


ACCENTS | Editors’ Picks

1 2







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Nambe tray with silver rope handles from Columns in Norman



Pillow from Green accent ME Home in box from ME Oklahoma City Home



Jonathan Adler throws from Cayman’s in Norman


Gold stoneware bowls from Tulips in Norman


Capri Blue black jar candle from Tulips


Gold feather tray from Tulips


Campaign side table from Antique Garden in Norman


Weathered wood floor lanterns from Tulips

Wood Garden




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ACCENTS | Form & Function


Creativity Writer Jill Hardy Photographer Carli Wentworth

THE WORD “MUDROOM” DOESN’T USUALLY INSPIRE A LOT OF ENTHUSIASM, but one metro mudroom offers a glimpse into just how revolutionary a few great organizational ideas and stylish touches can be for a staging area like this, and might just inspire you to make over your own mudroom. (Or to install one if it doesn’t exist.) Maggie Humphreys’ mudroom was originally a covered porch that she and her husband repurposed as an office before deciding to give the area a new identity. “We realized it would just work better to make it a mudroom,” she says. “The laundry was in the basement, and we wanted to move that up. We have a dog, and the marble floor was great for dealing with her when she was muddy, and we had her food and things there … it just made sense. We can wash kids and the dog up in there easily.” Maggie stores gardening gloves, seeds and other implements in the desk, and almost a decade’s worth of cookbooks have a home in a built-in bookshelf nearby. Having three young sons makes the help a mudroom can provide with keeping a house clean well worth it to Maggie, but she extolls the virtues of an area like this for anyone, no matter what their situation. “It’s nice to be able to go from outside straight to a sink,” she says, “and then straight to the laundry.”


43 0 W. W i l s h i r e B l v d . | O k l a h o m a C i t y | 4 05 . 8 4 0 . 42 31 | d h b y f a y e . c o m


ACCENTS | Setting the Table




Juliska La Panier dinner and salad plates with berry and thread flatware | Blue Optic water glasses and small colored glasses by Lindean Mills | White and gold metallic trim napkins by Tina Chen Designs | Placemats by Holly Stuart Home | Gold and glass salt and pepper shakers by L’Objet | Small brass bamboo planter by Global Views | Napoleon Candelabra by Dunes and Duchess | All from Bebe’s in Oklahoma City



WHEN IT COMES TO ENTERTAINING AND SETTING YOUR TABLE, IT ALWAYS STARTS WITH THE FIRST SPARK OF INSPIRATION. Perhaps it’s the actual event, or a type of food, or maybe your favorite table top or flower. For fall this year, I was inspired by a friend’s dining room. Different tones of blue imbue the room and I was caught by the idea of sapphire and other jewel tones for fall. Blue glasses are chosen to go with classic white patterned plates. Gold highlights are added in with the placemats, the stitching on the napkins and a beautiful vessel to go in the center of the table for the flowers. Rich hues of orange, pink, yellow, purple and green make up the bouquet. A lighter shade of blue candelabra sits on a sideboard under a magnificent painting alongside a more simple arrangement of blooms. While the room is light and airy, the richness of the colors harkens to all things autumn.


ACCENTS | Setting the Table


SNUGGLE UP IN THE BANQUETTE, HAVE A LITTLE CANDY, ICE SOME SUGAR COOKIES AND SETTLE IN FOR A BRIGHT TAKE ON THE CHRISTMAS TABLE. While the standby red and green can seem like heavy colors, I was inspired to go traditional by the gorgeous kelly green drum chandelier. Paired with some Christmas china, glass pedestal candy dishes (complete with candy, of course) and a bowl full of flowers – the more unusual the better – you are set. The simplicity of sleek gold flatware and crisp, white napkins are the remaining pieces of the puzzle. Keeping it simple not only gives the traditional colors a more modern feel, it’s also sure to create a merry and bright atmosphere!


Simon Pierce glasses from Bebe’s in Oklahoma City | Juliska Country Estate Winter Frolic ruby dinner plates, centerpiece bowl and baking dish with Two’s Company globe covered glass jars from Tulips in Norman | Gold flatware from West Elm in Oklahoma City


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In 1996, after nearly nine decades in its original location, this American Foursquare was moved to a corner about a mile away. Ryan and Catherine Gikas bought the home in 2010, and with designer Ashley Whiteside and carpenter Jeremy Miller, the couple developed a comprehensive renovation plan that would take advantage of its best features: access to natural light and a shape that, once simplified, creates large open areas that connect rooms fluidly. The traditional Foursquare home is a minimum of two floors, both subdivided into box-shaped rooms, creating cubes within a cube. Removing walls or closets and widening doors opens the space, allowing for a more expansive feel. The central dormer is typically located in a half-attic and serves as a decoration that breaks up the “box-with-a-hat” look created by the hipped roof. One of the primary emphases of these post-Frank Lloyd Wright designs is the abundance of vertical lines. The extended eaves draw the lines out beyond the edges of the central box. The Gikas home has a classic variation of the Foursquare inasmuch as the front door is off center, which means the lantern sconce porch light is the point of focus at

night. Otherwise, the pediment above the small portico directs the gaze upward to the dormer in an unbroken design of geometric symmetry. On the west side, the front porch wraps slightly, creating a small, semiprivate space. As with the interior, neutral and natural tones on the exterior allow small accents of color, like the double knockout roses, to really pop. The black latticework beneath the porch creates another geometric variation of boxes. The original floor plan comprised only 1,800 square feet, and the entire area under the stairs was a “labyrinth of doors and closets,” according to Ryan. Choosing white as the predominant color allowed him to treat the house as a blank palette.

Opposite: The cross-shaped sidewalk serves as an appropriate entrance to the boxy Foursquare style. Rather than using stone like many Foursquare homes, the Gikas steps are brick, a choice that is in keeping with the neutral and natural tones theme, but still adds a splash of contrasting color to the exterior. Above: The staircase bisecting the first floor creates an arresting tableau as soon as you walk into the house. All the horizontal lines, right angles and nested boxes from front to back are slashed through by the staircase. Bright explosions of color from flowers, a desk lamp and original artwork set the tone for every area of the house.


“White allowed us to manipulate how each room feels by using small elements of color strategically.” – Ryan Gikas


“White allowed us to manipulate how each room feels by using small elements of color strategically,” Ryan said. “Many of our accent pieces or splashes of color would have simply faded into the background in a more colorful room.” As it is, fresh flowers, art prints and even a lamp show up as bursts of color, breaking up the room and preventing the white from registering as too modern or too stark. The white draperies allow the natural light to flow into all the rooms, even as they match the overall concept. Furniture and rugs – with the exception of the kids’ rooms – are crafted of natural materials in colors ranging from ecru to the dark grains of the black walnut woodwork. Bright colors thrive because they are not competing with each other, and an otherwise sterile environment becomes alive with color. Catherine Gikas said they also wanted to use metal and wood as accents to stick with the natural theme and to bring warmth to the rooms. “You can tell we love antique, brushed brass,” she said. “We spent a great deal of time finding the brass fixtures for the sinks.” Whiteside assisted in the process by helping the couple work through their selections. “We knew what we wanted,” Ryan said, “and so after we chose elements, Ashley told us what would and would not work based on the overall scheme, size of the room, lighting and factors like that.”

By removing closets and doors under the stairs and between the living area, kitchen and dining room, the breakfast bar sits directly at the transitional point between kitchen and dining area. Rather than small, boxy rooms, the entire area becomes common space with natural delineations in function.


One of the pleasant surprises in the Gikas home is the mixture of expensive and inexpensive elements. An original midcentury modern Brasilia: Broyhill Premiere credenza that functions as a dresser fits as neatly into the design scheme as a jute rug from Pottery Barn and a sock monkey from Learning Tree. The couple chose tasteful elements they liked and that worked irrespective of their provenance or price, including original art from Ryan’s uncle. The team made an early commitment to modernize the house without changing the architectural characteristics of the era in which it was built: 1908. By removing walls and closets, the space opened up, maximizing light and connectivity both in terms of spatial connections and personal connections; the rooms flow into each other, and much of the downstairs space is visible from all over the first floor.


Above: The master bedroom contains some of the finest features of the house, including the reading nook. Ryan said the couple wanted to make the nook functional in part because the view is beautiful. The window faces south, so the Devon Tower is in clear view as it dominates the metro’s cityscape. The space was converted from a half attic to a third floor, so the hipped roof’s angles create remarkable geometric variations in the room, including the small master bath cleverly tucked in a corner. The credenza functions as the couple’s dresser, and all the elements create a warm, soothing haven.

Near right: Classic old-house finishes like subway and hexagonal mosaic tiles paired with a pedestal sink and claw-foot tub complement the age of the home, but a modern color palette punches it up with today’s design cachet. Far right and below: Although they are the most colorful rooms in the house, the kids’ spaces still rely on splashes of color rather than a colorful paint theme. The white curtains are here, too, to maximize natural light, and bright colors from books, toys and rug add energy and vitality.



Using white in the bathrooms also contributed to the illusion of additional space. The white tile, shower curtains, fixtures and paint draw and magnify the available natural light, helping to overcome the closeness that results from the boxy, utilitarian design. Brass also reflects the light and adds a golden tone, helping mute the sterile, modern whiteness. A third floor was added during renovation, making the central dormer functional rather than merely decorative. It is now the reading nook in the master bedroom. The plumbing and wiring were updated when the house was moved in the ’90s, so most of the renovation focused on interior design and aesthetics. Jeremy Miller used black walnut for the wood features he created, including the sliding bathroom door, bookshelves and live edge mantel in the living room. Ryan said they ordered a “giant slab of black walnut” from a mill in West Virginia, which means Miller was able to create wooden features from the same source; the grains and tone of the wood are all complementary. As of press time, the house now has new owners who will move in sometime in September. The Gikas family has decided to relocate to acreage on the edge of the metro. “We didn’t renovate with plans to move,” Catherine said. “In fact, it was such a hard choice. We love the house, but with three small sons, we thought it would be good to give them outside space, so we bought land with tons of trees.”

Above: This room is clearly designed for comfort and conversation. No electronics dominate the room. Rather, a jute rug sets the rustic, homey feel. The bookshelves, made from the same black walnut slab as the mantelpiece and the bathroom door, are the house’s most modern touch, but only in terms of their minimalist design. They are sturdy and functional, and the use of real wood keeps the warm, natural feel even as their lines are clearly contemporary. Left: Miller’s sliding bathroom door requires minimal space when open. Because it slides over the adjoining wall, it frames the pedestal sink and the brass accents that the Gikases love, creating a showcase of the design strategy in microcosm. Opposite: The furniture here is arranged for conversation — reflecting the desire for connectivity that the couple was striving for throughout the home. Nearly every element of this room is natural, including the hide rug, the leather chairs and the plants on Miller’s live edge mantel.


Kitchens to


Writer JILL HARDY Photographer CARLI WENTWORTH HOMES ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS CASTLES, but renowned chef Mario Batali has been quoted as saying that he believes it’s actually the house’s kitchen that deserves that title. Our houses might provide shelter, but kitchens offer us nourishment. (Or at least a place to get a drink of water and microwave something, if you hate to cook). A well-laid-out kitchen is an enormous benefit when it comes to meal preparation, and for busy families with kids, the kitchen is often 36 DESIGNOKLAHOMA | Fall 2015

where a good portion of daily communication takes place. If your current kitchen layout or setup causes you angst, take inspiration from the four showcased here; all are products of renovations, and are prized by their owners for the resulting usability that their re-dos have afforded. Three common themes found in all these makeovers are worth mentioning up front: counter height bars, finding a reputable builder and using a mix of high- and

lower-end furnishings. Keeping all surfaces at one height allows for visibility (a plus when trying to make a kitchen interactionfriendly). Being willing to look at a number of places (including Home Depot, or garage sales) for your kitchen items means more opportunity for personalizing it. And engaging with a tried-and-true construction company or local contractor (with references) gives you the best chance for making your dream kitchen a reality without a financial nightmare at the end of the process.

IF YOU’VE EVER WONDERED WHAT THE KITCHEN OF A FOOD WRITER LOOKS LIKE, WONDER NO MORE. Caryn Ross is a regular food contributor on News9, writes for several publications (including Slice) and has appeared on the Food Network, so it goes without saying that any kitchen of hers is going to get a workout. Caryn and husband Jack did the kitchen revamp themselves, installing what Caryn considers an essential feature for a good kitchen; an island. “I don’t like a bunch of levels,” Caryn says. “I like one big space, so that when you make cookies with the kids, you can spread out! I really encourage people to put in – if their budget will allow for it – a big island. And don’t fill it up with a bunch of junk.” Caryn also has strong opinions on the benefits of granite over marble as a countertop. “I don’t care how much you seal it,” Caryn says, “It stains. Granite is a great product – doesn’t stain, easy to clean, and it’s forgiving.”

Two different colors of granite provide countertops for Caryn’s white Ikea cabinetry, and pale blue glass subway tiles (from Home Depot) give a cool tone to the backsplash. Laminate flooring also lends itself to easy cleaning, and the two-drawer Fisher Paykel dishwasher allows for washing smaller loads of dishes as necessary. Even to the uninitiated eye, one glimpse of the deep red stove tells you that you’re looking at the Corvette-equivalent of cooking devices. The range/oven combo (a 60" professional set up from Viking) is the perfect illustration of another piece of advice from Caryn about kitchens; invest the most in things important to you. “We skimped on some things and went high-end on others,” Caryn says. “A lot of people believe that all their appliances have to be the same. I want a Fisher Paykel dishwasher, but I might buy a Whirlpool microwave. Find the appliances that will fit your needs.” Fall 2015 | DESIGNOKLAHOMA 37


TO SAY THAT EMILY AND GREG DINWIDDIE’S HOME IS A BUSY ONE IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. With four boys of their own, the activity level is high enough, but with friends added in, and considering that the family loves to cook and host guests, the need for space and functionality becomes a vital necessity. The undertaking of remodeling the kitchen was significant, but Emily believes it was well worth it to be able to customize certain features. She drew the plans herself on graph paper, and then contracted the work out. One such example, the French casement window overlooking the kitchen sink opens outward, allowing Emily to hand lunch through to dripping kids fresh out of the pool. “My husband loves to cook,” Emily says. “The five feet of floor space between sink and island might seem big, but it gives us the room we need to move around. The boys like to help us, and the island is right at their height, which makes it easy. I think it’s important to have children engaged with you. We haven’t had cable for six years now, and we don’t miss it. The kitchen is a warm and comfortable space where friends and family gather. You can usually find us here.” Caesarstone quartz countertops and backsplash provide a clean look, assisted by wall sockets and switches being mounted under the upper cabinets. Real brick floors, reclaimed from an old church, offer resiliency against heavy foot traffic. The dining table and chairs serve as a lesson in one of Emily’s principles of decorating: “Don’t be afraid of the mix.” “The table was my grandmother’s,” Emily says. “It was dark, but I refinished it and gilded it. The chairs look like kubu wicker, but they’re actually outdoor furniture from Target.” A veritable font of good design and décor ideas (check out her blog at 11gables.blogspot. com and her Instagram @elevengables), Emily is all about creating an inviting home for her family and for her clients by incorporating personal treasures into a fabulous new look. Her biggest encouragement to those dissatisfied with current kitchen conditions is simple: change them. “Love the home you have,” Emily says, “but make changes if necessary. Figure out what will work for you and then make it happen. Even making small adjustments with paint can make a world of difference.” Fall 2015 | DESIGNOKLAHOMA 39

KATIE AND JON DODSON BOUGHT THEIR HOME WHEN THE KITCHEN WAS MID-RESTORATION … and promptly started the whole process over again, to more specifically suit their needs. With four young children, one of those needs is accessibility to mom, which the Dodsons provided with a counter-height bar, making homework help during dinner prep much easier. A small RV sink – left over from one of the builder’s previous projects – helps make pre-dinner hand washing for four kids go much quicker, and although there’s no mudroom, bench window seats (with cushions made by Katie) help to cor40 DESIGNOKLAHOMA | Fall 2015

ral kids’ shoes as they come in from the backyard. Customized drawers around the Thermador range house a pull-out spice rack, plastic wrap and other leftoverpacking essentials. Quartzite countertops that were honed to remove gloss make for easier care than marble, and narrow drawers make storing things like flatware and kitchen towels more space efficient. Details like rounded edges on shelving assist with the kitchen’s great sense of flow, and make bumps less problematic. A shelf near the door holds happy kid essentials like a cookie jar – a treasure from Katie’s grandmother – and milk glasses (from Anthropologie). A drawer beneath

the Thermador oven holds baking implements, and a shelf for cookbooks – as well as a rack for wine – keep necessities corralled. A cast iron dinner bell is both decorative and practical, giving Katie a voicepreserving way to call kids down to dinner from the third floor playroom. While the kitchen’s size is still the same, Katie says that the adjustments they made make all the difference in the world for their young family’s intense use of the space. “It’s not a big kitchen,” Katie says, “But it’s open now, and has good flow.” “We use every inch of the space. It gets worked, hard.”



MICHAEL AND LEAH REEL’S RENOVATION HAS INCLUDED BOTH FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES AND ACCEPTANCE OF CERTAIN QUIRKS. The unusual location of the kitchen sink is one of the more colorful differences that they chose to keep. “We really almost completely remodeled everything about the kitchen,” Leah says, “But that’s the original location of the sink.” Another keeper: the hardwood floors, restored to their former glory with a little TLC. The significant overhaul included knocking out walls and relocating the back door – a move that revolutionized the kitchen’s traffic flow – as well as putting in a half bath. “There was no bathroom on the first floor,” Leah says. “With young kids, that’s just not reasonable.” Color uniformity between the white cabinets, subway tile backsplash and marble countertops gives height to the room. A mix of glass and solid doors give covered storage

for some items, and a chance to display others, like Leah’s MacKenzie-Childs dinner and serving ware. More than just a way to keep engaged with kids, the counter-level bar is also more comfortable for adults. “We eat most of our meals here,” Leah says. The gold handles and hardware for the cabinets gave Leah a way to put her own unique touch on the kitchen, without making it difficult for future owners to modify. “It’s an easy enough thing to change,” Leah says. Brass fixtures echo the tone of the gold hardware and give direct lighting to the bar area. The Reels encourage anyone looking to seriously modify an older home that they love to push ahead … but not without a reputable builder who can handle the job. “We’re so happy with the job that Joe Dodrill (with L&D Construction) did,” Leah says. “He’s the one who made most of the suggestions that have worked so well, and he’s experienced with older homes – not everyone wants to get into renovating an old house.” Fall 2015 | DESIGNOKLAHOMA 43



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hether you need direction about decorating a space, choices to browse for a new addition to your home or advice about what to do with that quirky piece you loved in the antique store that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere…Interior Gilt can help. Located in The Rise, in the Uptown district, Interior Gilt offers furniture and accessories that cross a spectrum of styles. Furnishings for bedrooms, dining areas, living rooms and kitchens offer functional and creative options for a variety of tastes and needs. Far from being relegated to last minute add-ons, accessories are taken seriously at Interior Gilt. Quality items meant to help individualize your space and create an enjoyable atmosphere are plentiful, ranging from antique to ultra-modern. Their unique and varied collection can help you quietly complement other furnishings, or make a bold statement. Shopping is just the beginning at Interior Gilt. Design consultations and home staging help are available, and make the experience you get through Interior Gilt truly transformative for your home. Guidance can be as simple as advice about incorporating


a much beloved heirloom or flea market find into existing décor (either with adjustments to the piece itself or a tweak or two for an area), or a full service vision overhaul and strategy mapping plan for a room or home. Visit Interior Gilt if you’re in the market for a new item, are searching for professional guidance in decorating an area, or even if you just want to find out if there’s any hope for that ugly lamp that you can’t let go. You just might find your home’s new best friend.

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t’s about timelessness. The enduring strength and character of iron, combined with the benefit of modern fabrication techniques, results in craftsmanship that adds lasting value to your home or project. But most of all, according to owner Todd Miller, Old World Iron is about relationships. Customers receive the exceptional benefit of the decades of experience Miller and his team bring to channeling ideas and practical inspiration into expert design work and detailed renderings – at no extra charge. And with the personal rapport that arises from producing custom work to exacting specifications and the company’s focus on impeccable results, Old World Iron is ready and happy to provide prospective clients with hundreds of glowing references from builders, designers, decorators and homeowners. While the name sounds traditional, Old World Iron is also an excellent source for more modern looks like stainless and brushed steel finishes or geometric patterns. Whatever your stylistic tastes, for fabricating staircases and railings, specialty doors, gates, balconies, fixtures and furniture, mailboxes, fireplace doors and screens, corbels and dozens of other custom items, the professionals at Old World Iron will combine expert design with the highest quality materials to create a solid, enduring investment in your home’s aesthetic appeal.


8405 Mantle Ave, OKC | 405.722.0008 |



Theo’s Marketplace


or over 40 years, Theo’s Marketplace has been Norman’s best source for beautiful, quality home furnishings. Family owned and operated, Theo’s Marketplace takes pride in providing customers with furniture, bedding, gifts and accessories, sure to complement a variety of styles. Theo’s offers a number of premier brand names in furniture, including Vanguard, Hekman, Paul Robert and Paladin, and they are the exclusive authorized dealer of Stickley furniture in Oklahoma. Home accessories abound that will suit an assortment of styles, ranging from Dale Tiffany art glass to Michael Aram picture frames and serveware. Luxurious bedding, candles and wall art are available as well, making it easy to coordinate your own home’s décor or find unique gifts. With an amply stocked 15,000-square-foot showroom, Theo’s supplies quantity as well as quality to its clients, through both name brand furniture and high quality pieces at competitive prices. The location at Brookhaven Village contains a collection of picture frames, decorative pillows and rugs, wooden lanterns, artwork, pottery and much more. For one-of-a-kind gift ideas or to find something to add a special touch to your own home, visit Theodora’s Gift Boutique and browse the exquisite collection of decorative items that include designer candles, custom made florals and other delightful pieces. A wide array of quality merchandise is only part of the package at Theo’s Marketplace; the owners’ and staff’s commitment to excellent service rounds out the experience for the customer. If you’re looking for special, high quality items from people who know home furnishings, plan your visit to Theo’s Marketplace today.

3720 W. Robinson Ave., Norman 405.364.0728 |




Salazar Roofing and Construction


hink of the significant investment you’ve made in your home. Protecting that investment requires quality materials and workmanship – especially when it comes to your roof, a prime target when Oklahoma’s severe weather unleashes itself at a moment’s notice. Every homeowner should have a friend in the roofing business. Since 1978, Salazar Roofing and Construction has built its reputation as a leader in the roofing industry through an unwavering commitment to customers and a pledge to meet or exceed their expectations. As a family-operated, Oklahoma-based business, Salazar stands by its work and carries out each project with a quality control inspector to ensure the highest standard of work. From contract to completion, Salazar Roofing and Construction brings highly specialized product knowledge to every project, residential or commercial, using the latest materials and methods. Salazar provides the same expertise for additional construction projects, including kitchen remodel and room additions, with a full line of products and a wide range of options to meet any look and budget.


209 E. Main St., Yukon 405.350.6558 17450 S. Sooner Rd., Norman 405.366.7900



Urban Farmhouse Designs


roviding one-of-a-kind, quality pieces of furniture made with repurposed materials is the primary function of Urban Farmhouse Designs, but the means by which those unique items are made – and their manufacturers – are what truly sets the company apart. “We like to say, ‘Reclaimed Items Made by Reclaimed People,’” says Cherami Thomas, who owns Urban Farmhouse Designs with her husband Jason. The Thomases make a practice of hiring individuals who may not be able to find work elsewhere. “We’ve had to start over in life,” Cherami says. “We lost our building company during the financial crash, and had to start from scratch in a garage, with a pile of wood. We understand the power of a fresh start.” A 28,000-square-foot showroom has replaced the garage, and instead of constructing homes, the Thomases oversee the manufacturing of a vast assortment of commercial and residential furnishings and accessories, created from reclaimed metal, beams, mantels, doors, barn wood and even railcar flooring. Materials are sourced from all over the U.S., including Oklahoma, if you want furnishings that have a story close to home. More than simply supplying a distressed look, one-of-a-kind pieces from Urban Farmhouse Designs have a history that imbues every creation with its own personal charm. Customized design is possible, and with manufacturing taking place on site, you can watch the process of furniture and accessories being made by hand. A trip to Urban Farmhouse is a shopping experience like no other, one that offers proof that giving items – and people – second chances in life can result in the creation of something beautiful.

400 S. Western Ave., OKC | 405.305.6353




Beau Blankenship, Realtor


sually the term “investment” invokes a sigh and thoughts of money socked away, not able to be used for years. Davis Properties realtor Beau Blankenship wants to help you find out just how enjoyable an investment can be in the present. Recently ranked in the Emerald Coast Association Board of Realtors’ top 1 percent, Beau specializes in helping fellow Oklahomans find their slice of heaven on 30A, the 20 miles of scenic shore between Destin and Panama City Beach, Florida. A luxury vacation home on 30A – situated on some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world, surrounded by coastal dune lakes and protected habitats, yet within reach of world-class restaurants and trendy beach bars – not only provides a comfortable and private getaway for a buyer, but also an unrivaled investment opportunity. While most traditional investments can take decades to produce a significant income, the rental possibilities on 30A mean that a home owner can make huge payments on their mortgages by renting to vacationers during the time they’re not using the home themselves. And when it’s time for an extended vacation, you’re not running up a hotel tab while trying to relax … you’re going to your other home. Originally from Norman, and a former football player (Ohio University and then the Jaguars), Beau spent years vacationing on 30A before finally relocating. His familiarity with both locales ensures that Beau can help interested Oklahoma buyers fully investigate all the possibilities of purchasing a vacation home, from potential houses to connecting with renters. Don’t make an investment you can’t enjoy right now … call Beau and find out how to get returns on your money that go beyond financial benefits. Beau Blankenship, Realtor 405.623.5227 |


Garage Door Services


he garage door of your house shouldn’t simply be an afterthought. Garage Door Services specializes in helping you make the most of your home’s biggest entry point, both aesthetically and security-wise. Garage Door Services provides a wide range of options for the look of your garage door with glass, carriage trim and wood overlay doors among their many style options. Doors made in Oklahoma or from recyclable material are also available, and there are numerous ways to customize your door to your specific preferences and price range. A complete line of LiftMaster products is also available through Garage Door Services, offering the option of smart home integration through MyQ technology. The MyQ app allows for control and monitoring with a smartphone, tablet or other internet-enabled device, allowing you to operate the garage door remotely and also receive notification when the door is opened unexpectedly. The professionals at Garage Door Services have over two decades of experience and a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee on their products. With their expert guidance and vast array of product choices and features, Garage Door Services can help you craft a crowning touch worthy of your home.

3501-A Melcat Dr., OKC | 405.942.1101 |



The World Beyond Our Walls

A backyard oasis invites family and friends to enjoy the great outdoors. Page 56 Photographer SIMON HURST Fall 2015 | DESIGNOKLAHOMA 51








From the

BOOKSHELF THE POET JOYCE KILMER WASN’T NECESSARILY WRONG WHEN HE WROTE THAT “ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A TREE,” insofar as there truly is an element beyond our direct personal control in getting things to grow. Gardening – shepherding a tiny dollop of plant life into being – is not an exact science. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t improve the odds of success by utilizing all the science you can.

“The more we learn about gardening, the more we realize there is to learn. It’s a wonderfully addictive passion to have.” – CHRISTY WILHELMI


The book’s efforts to converse with multiple levels of expertise are easily appreciated, and while it does have a tendency to provide more information than is really necessary (you probably don’t, strictly speaking, need to know the Latin name for tomatoes or some suspected causes of Colony Collapse Disorder), amassing extra knowledge that might not be immediately useful is one of the best parts about geekiness. If you’re ready to start a garden or improve the patch you have, pick up a copy and get ready to drop some science.

That’s more or less the mission of the website Gardenerd (“the ultimate organic resource for gardening nerds”) and its founder Christy Wilhelmi, whose book “Gardening for Geeks” – and for the record, those plural nouns are both terms of endearment – bears the subtitle “DIY tests, gadgets and techniques that utilize microbiology, mathematics and ecology to exponentially maximize the yield of your garden.” If your mind hasn’t wandered yet, that’s a good sign – Wilhelmi isn’t shy about her enthusiasm for the cellular mechanics and arithmetic aspects of her passion project. On the other hand, that zest is contagious, her writing style is cheerful and patiently informative, and for every time she casually name-drops the awardwinning chemists of the Haber-Bosch process or provides a formula for calculating the precipitation rate (in inches per hour, naturally) of drip irrigation emitters, she also gives practical and straightforward tips on which crops grow well in what seasons, how deep to plant seeds, the difference between heading and thinning cuts in pruning – even topographical suggestions for sketching out the layout of your garden in advance so the result will work with your space and aesthetic preferences. After all, geeks tend to excel at planning. Prospective planters should bear in mind that this tome deals much more comprehensively with vegetables than decorative flowers. Some of the principles apply equally, but don’t be surprised if the only specific mention of nasturtiums is their potential use as a decoy for aphids. GARDENING FOR GEEKS By Christy Wilhelmi (Adams Media, $15.95)


Green Under Glass ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS TO BRING THE OUTSIDE INTO YOUR HOME IS THROUGH A MINI GARDEN CALLED A TERRARIUM. These popular containers are officially made with a sealed transparent globe or similar container with live plants to create a small ecosystem, but the definition can be relaxed to include open containers or even “aeriums,” as Tiffany Mahan from The Garden Gnome Bonsai affectionately calls some of her creations. From air plants and crystals to mini ferns and overflowing ivy, there are lots of whimsical combinations to keep fresh green plants alive and well even throughout the lowering of temperatures that accompanies the change of seasons.



OUTDOORS | Taking Root

Left page: (front) Geode and air plant from The Garden Gnome Bonsai in Okla-

homa City | Hanging terrarium from Wright’s Floral Market in Norman | (back) Aerium with air plant and tiny mushrooms from The Garden Gnome Bonsai | Large open terrarium from Wright’s Floral Market | Right page: Aerium from The Garden Gnome Bonsai | Wooden base terrarium from The Garden Gnome Bonsai | Open terrarium with ivy from Wright’s Floral Market


A Family Affair Writer GREG HORTON | Photographer SIMON HURST

Backyard retreats are interesting reflections of their owners, especially when they are designed from the ground up by the inhabitants. In 2008, Traci Walton and her family decided they wanted to add a cabana, pool and casual retreat for lounging and entertaining to their home.


A sliding, barn-style door and large windows allow in tons of natural light and fresh air. A chandelier — handmade in Texas — is a twin to the one above the patio, and they add warm, amber light after the sun sets. Rattan chairs and boat-wood couches are part of the overall eco-conscious scheme, and natural stone ties the cabana to the main house.


AS WITH MANY OF THE HOMES IN THEIR EDMOND NEIGHBORHOOD, KENT CARTER IS THE BUILDER AND BRENT GIBSON THE DESIGNER. This area was intentionally built as an homage to Old World durability and elegance. Natural stone is used liberally throughout the neighborhood, which is itself reflective of the forests, walking trails, lakes and slower-paced feel of the Old World. The neighborhood attracts those with young children and teenagers, and as is often the case in family-oriented neighborhoods, social occasions in back yards, on patios and around pools are common. Traci wanted a backyard retreat that would be a pleasant space with room for gatherings of friends and kids playing in the pool. She worked with Gibson to “establish the footprint” of the cabana, and the freeform pool was installed by Aquascape. The family opted for a saltwater system to lessen required maintenance, and as the water is already pre-softened, people tend to be less sensitive to it than a traditionally chlorinated pool. Traci, who owns Plenty Mercantile in Automobile Alley, is a fantastic designer in her own right. A brief walk through the store will make that obvious. She is also committed to sustainability and has raised ecologically aware kids. “We desire to make eco-conscious choices to the extent we can,” she said. “We have rattan chairs, salvaged boat-wood tables and couches, and many found objects. We like to extend the life of products by finding new or multi-uses for them.” Indeed, the overall design theme in the backyard retreat and cabana relies heavily on found and repurposed items. Beyond that, though, Traci was designing with two other elements in mind: to integrate the cabana into the design theme of the house and neighborhood and to create a space that is deeply personal even as it is incredibly comfortable. 58 DESIGNOKLAHOMA | Fall 2015

Working with Gibson helped further the goal of creating a cabana that flowed easily from house to hangout. All the design elements, though, were a joint effort of Traci and her family. “All of the design, finishes, details and styling elements were done by our family,” she said. “In fact, our four kids helped further distress every piece of wood used in the cabana. We wanted a casual space to entertain and just hang out in. We designed it to flow easily and allow for easy gatherings.” The family also added elements to personalize the area, not just for them, but as an homage to family members who have passed away. Roses were planted to remember Greg Walton’s father, who loved roses, and Greg’s mother loved Chinese Pistache trees, so the family planted one to “remind us of our beloved Gigi.” When deciding what elements to add to the retreat, the family focused on decorative items that are also useful. For example, sheep troughs have been repurposed as containers for soft drinks and beer. Even in the cabana, the commitment to repurposing dominates the design choices, including an old stainless steel table that now functions as a vanity of sorts for a remnant stone sink. The cabana contains a full bathroom, an intentional decision on Traci’s part. She wanted a place to clean up after working in the garden if they don’t just jump in the pool. There is also an outside shower, but Traci said it’s mainly used to wash Spec, the family’s Great Dane. The garden contains seasonal vegetables and herbs that the family grows year round, as well as the rose bushes mentioned earlier. Plants are chosen that are indigenous to this zone of the country, thereby lessening the need for additional watering, maintenance and pesticides.

Objects collected over the course of the Walton family’s explorations grace the outdoor kitchen and dining area, creating a deeply personal and authentic space. | A cleverly designed bathroom includes floor-to-ceiling tile, and a worn wooden hutch acts as a functional divider between the facilities and the sink area.



Speaking of pests, because of their ecoconscious orientation, Traci also used nonchemical solutions as often as possible. One of those is what she describes as one of her best choices: a SWAT anti-mosquito system that runs around the perimeter of the yard and courtyard. “The SWAT system releases chrysanthemum oil throughout the cabana and yard to keep the mosquitoes at bay, and it really works!” Traci said. “It certainly allows us to remain outside and enjoy what we have built, including eating most of our meals al fresco.” The comfort of the outdoor atmosphere is enhanced by piñon wood burning in Colonialera cressets. The effect is practical in that it deters bugs, but it also releases the wood’s wonderful aroma throughout the retreat. Most of the color in the backyard retreat comes from nature, but Walton has thrown in bright orange fabric on the chaise chairs, a mottled, red fabric on the seat cushions at the al fresco table, decorative pillows and subdued tones on the umbrella above the garden table. Nature dominates the retreat, even as the cabana is equipped with topnotch appliances and modern conveniences. The reality of using found and repurposed items is that the color has usually faded over time and through wear, but the family seems content that the personal connection to the items they have based on their stories is more important than a comprehensive color plan. Every element of the Waltons’ retreat has been thought out, and every member of the family has contributed to the overall design, making a truly personal, familyowned retreat. The spontaneous gatherings of which the family is fond take place in an environment that is a collection of plants, furniture, objects and choices that combine to tell Walton-family stories.

Above: Shallow harvest tubs are repurposed as serving trays to ferry food from the cabana’s kitchen to the al fresco dining area. Left: The casual seating area adjacent to the garden is ideally located to grab a bite and enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of the family’s labors. Opposite: The wrought iron gate and fencing is forged locally. The rooster watches over a garden of seasonal herbs, vegetables, potatoes and flowers. Many of the plants are grown in repurposed crucibles (ca. 1900).


Above: Traci Walton and Antonio Aparicio, owner of Aquascape Pools, used cans of spray paint to lay out the freeform pool. Walton wanted it to sit just right in the space so that it would blend with the natural topography. In terms of the design, it made landscaping easier, as she did not have to add dirt or flatten higher ground. The pool seems to flow with the space, which is exactly what she wanted. Left: Hard work and good planning is evident in all the small details, from a breakfast buffet to fresh herbs ready to harvest.




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In Your Dreams... 2109 W. MAIN ST. | NORMAN, OKLAHOMA 405.329.3390 | MON-SAT: 10AM TO 6PM WWW.INYOURDREAMSOK.COM |

"OKC’s Premier Kitchen & Bath Remodeler."

Problem: Ugly Concrete?

30, 000 Square Feet of Indoor and Outdoor Showrooms • Ideas • Training Classes • Examples • Products • Contractor Recommendations 121 NE 40th Street | OKC, OK 405.525.2426 | 888.848.0059

Open Monday-Friday 7:30 to 5:00 and Saturday from 8:00 to noon


Solution: The Stamp Store Fall 2015 | DESIGNOKLAHOMA 63

Finishing Touch Decorating with Heirlooms Writer Mia Blake Photographer Carli Wentworth WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL, I LOVED TO STAY THE WEEKEND AT MY GRANDPARENTS’ HOUSE. Presiding over the dining table was a shelf filled with my grandma’s collection of demitasses, teacups and saucers. I would stare at them, fascinated by their delicate beauty. At some point (probably when I had proven myself capable of impulse control and mastered some fine motor skills), she allowed me to carefully play with the small works of art under her watchful gaze. Family heirlooms connect us to our past and provide a link to those that came before. When I stopped by her house to select a few pieces to photograph, my grandma revealed that her mother was actually the collector, often acquiring the cups on trips to Canada. An interesting mark on the bottom of one of them read “Made in Occupied Japan,” indicating it was made between 1945-1952. It emerged that that particular cup was probably purchased over 60 years ago, and has been perched on the shelf in the dining room for at least 30 of those years. The thread of history tying the generations together is fun to contemplate. Maybe my granddaughter will dream of sipping tea with the Queen while she plays with these teacups 30 years in the future, too. Perhaps it stems from that experience, but I am a big believer in using the items in my home. I have very few things that are too precious. Even if their utility comes from gracing walls or surfaces, things are meant to be enjoyed, not locked away in dusty boxes for safekeeping. If you have a passion for collecting, decorate with your treasures and appreciate them, and those who came before you, every day.