July 8, 2016
Like telling an artist to paint whatever he wishes, a designer freely renovates her own home with her own style, background and instincts. Elvira Kud, the owner of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Style Life Décor, did just this with a complete redesign of her own home in Newport Beach, Calif.
“We liked the community, the property location and the beautiful lot, but the house – an English cottage-style home originally done in 1981 – was not functional and was in need of updating,” said Kud. “For the design, I wanted to bring in different aesthetics and innovative materials to reflect my personality and give the home its own new and improved personality.”
Glam Meets Cozy
After taking the home down to its studs, Kud was left with a 7,550-sq.-ft. space that could be rearranged into an open, functional floorplan. Her first step was turning the kitchen – formerly a conglomeration of three separate rooms – into an open, family-friendly space that was both cozy and vibrant.
“I wanted to have an impressive, large kitchen because it is the heart of the home – my family spends so much of our time together in the kitchen and we love to entertain,” she said. “We wanted it to be impressive and fabulous but also comfortable, friendly and usable.”
Her first family-friendly choice, black steel cabinetry, was also modern. Sustainable, durable and hypo-allergenic, the cabinetry gives the kitchen a vivid palette from the start. Kud’s only problem was designing coverings for the three refrigerator doors. Whereas a typical wood cabinet could be stained, steel had to be custom created.
“From there, I worked as I went along to pull the elements together,” said Kud, explaining that the dark marble countertops complement the black cabinetry and the wood islands are the warm touch. “The tile flooring – Italian gray and white tiles with four different patterns that I mixed together – is very rustic and pulls all the elements together. It’s glam meets cozy.”
Since the family entertains frequently, they wanted to have plenty of surface space available. One island serves as a bar area and has a view of the main bar in the adjacent room, and the other island houses the sink and faces the bright yellow stove.
“Yellow is so lively but is also harmonious with the grays and blacks used throughout the kitchen,” said Kud, adding that the range was a custom order from Lacanche in France. “I chose every detail on it and it took four months to arrive – it was well worth the wait!”
Entertaining in Style
Adjacent to the kitchen is the main bar. Kud designed it to work in conjunction with the kitchen; from the main bar, the functional parts of the kitchen are hidden but the kitchen bar is visible. This way the bartender can have a conversation with people at both bar areas.
“We wanted to create a harmonious transition between the two spaces, but the bar is its own room with its own story and look,” said Kud.
That story involves taking the same dark marble material used in the kitchen countertops and instead applying it to the walls for a natural black-and-white look. The countertops contrast this dark color with light onyx, which is also featured in four open shelves along the wall. A wine cooler, the steel cabinetry and unique hardware complete the fun entertaining area.
“This room is meant to feel more masculine – the stone surfaces and steel cabinetry give it an edge and the revolver-shaped hardware adds whimsy,” said Kud. “This is a space for entertaining.”
Just for Me
While much of the home is for entertaining, Kud’s master bath – one of the his-and-hers pair – was designed to be her sanctuary. Hoping for a feminine, old Hollywood vibe with a modern twist, Kud started with a vibrant black-and-white tile floor.
“All of the tiled rooms in the home are some variation of black and white,” she said. “This tile in particular had a beautiful art deco vibe that fit in with glamorous old Hollywood feel I wanted to achieve in this room.”
She designed a vanity with the same black steel cabinetry from the kitchen both because of the number of design options available and the health benefits. According to Kud, steel in the bathroom is particularly desirable because of its sterility and resistance to moisture, so there is no warping or places for mold to grow.
At the vanity, a quirky chair gives the room that chic, modern and personalized feel Kud was looking for. Custom made by Mod Shop, the chair features a design created by Kud and painted by an artist.
“A home needs to feel personal and comfortable,” she said. “In this case, I was able to put my and my family’s personalities into the design. Every room has its own character, yet there is congruency and harmony from room to room. This is a home you can never get bored in!”