Old World, New Attitude
Subtle tones and layers of texture create an inviting oasis.
Photography by Nathan Harmon
For Carson See, interior design is a family affair. His firm, Sees Design, has been a fixture in Oklahoma City for more than 30 years; in the past decade, his sons, Ross and Corbin, plus Corbin’s wife, Sara, have joined the firm.
When See was hired to assist the second owner of a midtown Tulsa home, it was, as usual, a team effort. The 8,000-square-foot, one-bedroom home, built 12 years ago, contains stunning architectural detail, but the décor was not in sync with the new owner’s goals. During the six-month renovation, yards of floral chintz were removed and replaced with design that embraces a less-is-more philosophy.
See noticed his client’s penchant for subtle colors and the quality wools and cashmere of Loro Piana, the exclusive Italian clothing line.
“That provided a platform for the style we created in the home,” says See.
Since virtually nothing was brought to the new residence from the previous home, the designers customized nearly every detail of the renovated interior.
The initial impact upon entering the octagonal, oversized entry is the soft layering of materials and finishes with the existing limestone floor, fireplace and soaring, beamed ceiling. A cozy fireplace sitting area is created utilizing a pair of
Rose Tarlow chairs that flank a bronze Dennis & Leen table centered on a cowhide rug. The mirrored table from French designer Jean de Merry reflects the sisal and leather area rug.
“The bone chandelier is like a wind chime when air blows through the room,” See adds.
The expansive living room has matching carved limestone fireplaces at either end accented by iron chandeliers from Formations. A five-foot custom antler chandelier was created from red and fallow deer and elk by Colorado’s Crystal Farm. The subtle shades of the Turkish Oushak rug blends with the hand-hewn oak floor harvested in Europe.
One side of the room features various seating areas utilizing pieces from the Sees’ 1818 furniture line. And because the ceiling is so high, the cocktail table is taller than normal and features an ottoman that slides underneath.
The dining table by the other fireplace is comprised of a concrete top on a traditional trestle table base.
“It took five or six guys to get that concrete top in place,” says See.
Suede Rose Tarlow armchairs are featured at each end. The four fully upholstered side chairs were fabricated through Sees Design.
The den is elegantly casual on a smaller scale than other areas of the house, largely because of the lowered ceiling height. Additional furnishings from 1818 are covered in linen velvet. A petrified rock table blends with other traditional pieces.
In the master bedroom, the previous owners had oak floors painted white with an ivy design around the perimeter that remains unchanged. Shutters were added to block out the morning light.
The bed is covered in silk mohair with acrylic feet and was custom made to accommodate a specific mattress and the homeowner’s desired height for the bed. The bronze thorn leg bench is upholstered with a luxurious horsehair fabric. In the corner is a comfortable lounge chair sheathed in a blue slipcover from B&B Italia, perfect to curl up in with a book.
Describing the overall look, See says thoughtfully, “It’s an Old World style with a new attitude.”