Innovative Design

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Photo by Nathan Harmon.
Photo by Nathan Harmon.

Refined Elegance

A home is revived with vibrant colors and decadent touches.

Photography by Nathan Harmon

George and Kathy Farmer built their spacious three-bedroom home in Muskogee. After 10 years, however, the couple was ready for a change, but didn’t want to leave the neighborhood they love. It was an easy decision to call Tulsa designer Chris Murphy, owner of Christopher Murphy Designs.

“I’ve worked with their son and daughter-in-law, and they loved the result,” says Murphy.

He began by modernizing the public spaces. Over several months, the powder room, living room, kitchen and office were transformed. The decade-old, darker colors and finishes disappeared to make way for lighter, sophisticated spaces.

Murphy blended neutral tones in the living room with a cream linen Holly Hunt sofa adorned with silk pillows. Two Art Deco bronze benches sparkle with red silk velvet. And George Farmer, an avid University of Oklahoma fan, is thrilled with the red lacquer table next to the sofa.

The layout of the original kitchen worked, and the cabinets were in good shape, but paint and new hardware gave them a different and updated look. However, it’s the new countertop – translucent rock crystal slabs with terra cotta veins, hand-picked by Murphy at Stone Collection in Denver – that creates the rustic, elegant ambiance. The natural quartz reflects against the stainless steel backsplash.

George Farmer loves to cook for family and friends and enjoys having them in the kitchen with him. He wanted the room to feel open, not crowded, so Murphy created three separate seating areas. A pair of Holly Hunt barstools is convenient at the peninsula, while nearby, a comfortable banquette is upholstered in solid leather on the seat with Italian-woven cream, white and metallic silver leather on the back. A splash of color is displayed in the Realism artwork.

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One, featuring a piece of broccoli and a cupcake stacked with icing, is simply titled Daily Dilemma.

Finally, flowing into the open dining area, Murphy chose a custom stainless steel table that is bar height – a perfect place to gather for appetizers and wine. The rug is woven leather, and the barstools are covered in cream Range Rover leather ordered from the luxury car manufacturer.

Murphy drew his design inspiration for the powder room from a silver and turquoise box he purchased in Argentina that now resides on the floating Calacatta marble vanity. Subtle mosaic tile runs behind the vanity, across the floor and up the other side of the room, while the other two walls and ceiling are wrapped in a handmade silver leaf and turquoise wall covering.

To achieve a cozy, club atmosphere in the couple’s office, Murphy started with a wall covering of handmade paper and bark fiber created by Phillip Jeffries. The stria-patterned carpet is wool. A pair of Donghia lounge chairs is upholstered in leather from renowned French designer Christian Liaigre. The dramatic painting is by artist Hal Holoun.

Utilizing colors from the painting, the designer chose a Baker round table with Peking glass accents. In homage to the Farmers’ support for President Barack Obama, Murphy worked with M.A. Doran Gallery to secure artist Otto Duecker’s hyperrealism portrait of the president that now hangs above George Farmer’s desk.