When Trent Tucker, the owner of this 10-year-old home in a traditional south Tulsa neighborhood, was ready for a change, he brought in designer Chris Murphy, owner of Christopher Murphy Design, for some out-of-the-box creative advice. “He loved the location and didn’t want to move, but he wanted something different,” says Murphy.
The first project was a total renovation of the backyard, orchestrated with the help Carl Szafranski of Szafranksi-Pugh & Associates. As he contemplated the swimming pool design, Murphy opened up the back of the house by adding a 22-foot-wide and 11-foot-high NanaWall glass wall system that expands the living room into the backyard oasis.
“I wanted to create a work of art with water in it,” he adds. The end result is a Pop Art design utilizing black and white mosaics that are so intricate they took more than five months to complete. The pattern of the white tile runs along the length of the pool, while the black tile runs parallel with the angle of the design. To add a wisp of sparkle at the top, a row of 24-karat white gold-leafed tile was installed.
A swim jet system was added for aquatic exercise, and a waterfall offers soothing ambience. Murphy designed a bar accessible from the dry side as well as from the pool with a see-through section crafted from a commercial acrylic panel. He engineered underwater removable Lucite barstools that flash with color from an LED light system installed beneath the stools. On the dry side, the red barstools from Cappellini are intensified with red LED lights glowing individually from each base.
The deck is Brazilian walnut, and the other dry side flooring is the same tile used in the Apple retail stores, a gray-blue Pietra Serena sandstone from a quarry outside of Florence, Italy. Yellow glass glows from the fire pit, and balancing on the wall is a 400-pound dolomite ball Murphy brought back from Brazil.
Giving the visitor a glimpse of what to expect beyond the front walls, Murphy eliminated the classic brick street mailbox and substituted a round concrete pillar with a Ferrari yellow powder-coated floating top with stainless details and backlit address numbers. Leading to the front door are custom-made terrazzo tiles of gray and white marble inset with mother-of-pearl that sparkles from the sun or the strategically placed 360-degree runway lights.
Once inside the front door, the entry is lined with hand-painted rice paper panels from Porter Teleo. “I love the movement of the paper,” explains Murphy. “It sets the tone for the space and soars up 22 feet to the sky bridge.”
The flush floor lights already existed, but Murphy added stainless planters to bounce the light back and forth. The painting is a custom piece from an artist Murphy discovered in Buenos Aires.
Transitioning into the living room, Murphy chose to keep the black granite fireplace surround, then created a glistening reflection by installing antiqued mirror beveled brick tile from Ann Sacks on the interior. “My inspiration for the space was a ‘70s glamorous look,” says Murphy. “Sophisticated and playful.”
He blends touches of gold with a Holly Hunt cocktail table accented by a chair upholstered with Range Rover red leather.
An Edward Fields rug of cream wool and black silk plays off the nearby swimming pool design, while the fireplace wall is upholstered in elephant gray Spinneybeck leather panels, individually crafted and perfectly produced to hang off a rail system. In the nearby dining area, Hudson Furniture’s “Mother” chandelier created from six miles of polished nickel jewelry chain with a single strand of black dazzles over a custom dining table with a mauve metallic auto paint finish.
The dramatic intensity continues into the powder room that is lined with blue crocodile leather. Italian sconces from the 1970s flank a classic infinity mirror from the same era. The artwork is a combination of a 1994 original from an Argentinean artist along with celebrity photos taken at Andy Warhol’s 1987 funeral. The reflective ceiling is crafted from gold and silver leaf.
The sophisticated COUNTACH table by Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram provides an inspirational desk for the homeowner’s office. Computer-generated through algorithms, the forms are “visually reminiscent of plant germination.” The red and black finish is powder-painted on steel plate with a tempered glass top. Playing off the form is a series of art from Abersons Exhibits. The Jeff Keller pieces are Venetian plaster on aluminum panels. A Kyle Bunting pony hair rug of charcoal gray with a one-inch Ferrari yellow accent adorns the floor.
With the variety of bold colors and patterns throughout the house, Murphy suggested a soft monochromatic theme of beige and taupe for the large master bedroom. A custom leather wrapped headboard provides a shelf for a series of individually underlit crystals, while the nearby nightstand is solid Carrara marble. The custom stereo cabinet with lead crystal shelves provides the only hint color as the LED lights change intensity along with the music.