Designer Kelly Sutton mixes modern, traditional and vintage to create a home fit for a king
Originally published in Modern Luxury | Interiors California.
Los Angeles-based designer Kelly Sutton approached this “bachelor pad” project the same way she approaches all of her projects: she got to know her client, learned about his interests, and figured out a style unique to him. Working on this second-home design was especially creative. “It’s not necessarily something I would do for myself," says Sutton. "A home should be a reflection of the person living there." Collaborating with her assistant designer, Stephanie Covert, the two created a space that is at once masculine and glamorous.
The Mediterranean-modern home was an entirely white when they began—a blank slate, so most of the changes they made were cosmetic. They did redesign the fireplace, however, with striking book-matched marble slabs. The homeowner was hesitant at first, but Sutton felt strongly that the existing low-profile fireplace was too modern for the look they were going for and asked him to trust her. Upon completion of the project, it was clear that they had made the right choice. “No one could imagine the fireplace any other way,” adds the designer.
In addition to reworking the fireplace, Sutton searched for a one-of-kind light fixture for the living room. She found the antler chandelier at Restoration Hardware and gave it a custom ombre finish with black paint. The sofa, from The New Traditionalists, is designed with contrast stitching for a high-end sports car look that adds a subtle but masculine touch. To infuse a little glamour, the sofa is paired with two gold chairs by Phase that the designer found at Twentieth.
As a finishing touch to the room, Sutton created a bespoke rug to perfectly accommodate the layout. (Turns out, that custom project has since turned into a brand new forthcoming collection by the designer.) The pattern is loosely based on an animal hide, albeit one in the abstract with splashes of color. The rug makes such a statement in the room that it is a piece of art in and of itself.
The overall theme of masculine glamour is reinforced in the sitting room, with its Timothy Oulton coffee table, made of petrified wood cast in resin, and the sofa Sutton and her team had custom made to fit the space. The room leads out to the backyard pool and hot tub, which makes it a spectacular area for entertaining.
The James Perse table in the dining room, which can transform into a pool table or pingpong table, matches Sutton’s desire to keep the design balanced: It's a game room and a formal dining room in one. Vintage chairs create a visual contrast to the modern lines of the table. This is something of a Sutton signature—she loves traditional design but she also loves mixing everything up, adding modern touches in unexpected places. Sutton credits this to growing up in Louisiana, which has “that old school, traditional style” and the traveling she has done over the years.
Although some of the artwork came from her client’s existing collection, the homeowner specifically selected a few new contemporary pieces from L.A. gallery Guy Hepner. It’s an eclectic mix, and Sutton enjoyed incorporating them into the décor, using the pieces to add color.
Sutton playfully calls the home's style “masculine safari.” This is especially evident in the master bedroom, where the animal print of the Andrew Martin drapery fabric contrasts nicely with the Farrow & Ball herringbone wood patterned wallpaper. The four-poster bed adds to the decadent feeling. “Nothing makes you feel more like a king or queen at home quite like [a four-poster bed],” says the designer. It’s the perfect finishing note to the strong yet luxurious vibe found throughout the home.