A High-rise Toast

Designer touches, great views and bold color make the Champagne Penthouse fizz.

Photography by Ralph Cole

Entering the penthouse in the prestigious Block 42 residential development in downtown Oklahoma City, it’s a challenge to know what to focus on first – the stunning interior design, the art or the expansive 360-degree view of the city skyline.

Rick Phillips, a licensed Tulsa designer, began working with the owner of the 5,500-square-foot penthouse just as the interior construction was beginning. Dan Skaggs, AIA and principal architect with HSE Architects, had mapped out a spacious living area, dining room, state-of-the-art kitchen, four bedrooms, a study, exercise room, spa, three bathrooms, a powder room and three expansive terraces. David Giasson of David Giasson Construction was an integral part of the design team.

Because Phillips wanted to unite the public spaces and create warmth with a sense of scale, he designed a series of pear wood panels in the living room, dining room and entry accented with brushed aluminum trim. The adjoining kitchen cabinets are high-gloss pear wood cabinets from Poggenpohl. The countertops are of Capolavoro granite from Brazil.

The floors throughout are cherry, and Phillips searched resources throughout the country for each of the hand-knotted area rugs adorning the various penthouse rooms. His goal was to ease the hard edges of the space by blending curved patterns in the area rugs with the softened flow of the furnishings. By choosing predominately leather upholstery and solid fabrics for the bedding, the art in each room becomes the focal point.

“The owner wanted it to feel like he was living in an art gallery in Barcelona or New York,” says Phillips.

In fact, Phillips often blended art and function. Three unique sculptures are utilized as table bases with custom glass tops. Another example is showcased in the dining room with a sculptural glass and stainless steel table created by Oklahoma City’s Gus Tietsort, owner of Tietsort Design.

“The owner was from a large family and grew up eating at a picnic table, so this was just perfect,” says Phillips.

One of the owner’s favorite images – Henri Matisse’s 1912 painting Goldfish and Sculpture – was reproduced in custom handmade glass tile by Italian art mosaic company Sicis and installed as a centerpiece above a custom stainless steel hot tub in the master bath. Textured stainless steel tile was used on all horizontal surfaces, and iridescent blue tiles wrap the colorful mosaic.

Each bathroom is defined by the stunning intricacy of the tile work.

“The tile installer had been a Mercedes mechanic, and he uses the same kind of precision as he did in his previous career,” says Phillips.

Shades of blue continue into the bar area with countertops of sodalite and the bar pedestal base with backlit blue glass tile. There’s even a custom mirror ball, also by Tietsort, hanging above the bar.

Various colors of LED lights accent the cove ceiling detail.

“And we even have the system programmed so when the Oklahoma City Thunder plays, one side of the exterior is orange and the other is blue,” adds Phillips.

Originally designed as a personal residence for a businessman who frequently stayed in Oklahoma City, the space has since been dubbed the Champagne Penthouse and is now a popular venue available to lease for private or corporate events.  

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