Perhaps the biggest obstacle interior designers face is designing a home for themselves. By nature, we’re quick to make decisions for other people; however, when it comes to choosing things for ourselves, that’s usually the hardest part. For interior designer Vanessa Deleon, whose 4,500-square-foot Edgewater townhome has recently undergone a drastic redesign, this sentiment rings true. “With my clients, I’m very quick to pull the trigger but when it came to my house, I found myself almost at a standstill. I always have a clear vision of what I want to do with a space but when it’s for myself it just becomes harder to execute. There are so many different factors, it’s quite challenging.”
Deleon is known for her pops of pattern, bold accents and her featured work on HGTV, and most recently, NBC’s “American Dream Builders.” VUE recently had the chance to take a look inside Deleon’s newly redesigned home which captures her signature “glamilistic” style and was inspired by her time spent abroad.
“My husband Bobby and I went to the South of France about two and a half years ago and I just started taking photos of anything that caught my eye,” Deleon explained. “After we got back, I put all the photos together and that’s how I got the inspiration for the design. Bobby is into a very minimal aesthetic whereas I like more of a Parisian style and that’s what’s so interesting about this house, it’s a marriage between the two. I wanted it to feel like a hotel on the streets of Paris or a home you’d find on the Upper East Side.”
The townhome layout was designed with an open floor plan, connecting each room by way of cohesive materials and complimentary design elements. Deleon explained that while each room is separate, vacant of leading french doors or partitions, they each have a “wow” factor and work with one another to create a harmonious home. “When you put together all these different things that you love, it doesn’t always work. I wanted to curate a space where every design element made sense. For example, the living room, dining room and kitchen area are all one space so it was important that it all flowed into each other. There’s a chandelier in the living room but not in the dining room, and in the kitchen, you don’t see any pendant lights above the island because they would be a distraction to your line of sight and take the focus off the rest of the space.”
Deleon took an unconventional approach when it came to designing her kitchen and pulled her dramatic color inspiration from a True Residential refrigerator. “I love black so for me, having a black kitchen made sense. And when I found out that [True Manufacturing] could make a refrigerator in black, that really shaped the look for the entire space.” Deleon used a gray marble for the island to offset the cabinets, a material also used for constructing the home’s fireplaces. She also incorporated metal into the space, something to provide contrast to the darker hues and to emulate an element of luxury. “I used copper in the detailing because I wanted to use a metal that was between gold and silver. I also think copper and black go really well together and make a statement.” Rather than going the traditional route of a bright kitchen with darker accents, Deleon inverted the design by using a lighter backsplash, flooring, and allowing for tons of natural light while keeping the main design true to her personal aesthetic.
For the family room, Deleon’s mirrored wall serves as the standout piece, featuring rows of gold, rosette-embellished mirrors that give a 3D effect. “I wanted to create something that was going to be very striking and would have a nice reflection towards the outside patio,” she explained. Aside from the wall adornments being architecturally pleasing, the mirrors also make the space seem deeper, considering that townhomes are typically more narrow than wide. Matching gold pendant lighting adds personality and helps to liven the room, while the gray-toned sectional, area rug and marble end table rule the space’s color scheme.
For the bedroom, Deleon explained that it was important for the space to have a sense of romance, reminiscent of a Parisian hotel. A key factor in achieving that was including a bathtub inside the bedroom, which acts almost as an art piece rather than a bathing unit. Propped in the alcove of the bay window, the tub sits on a marble platform which puts it front and center and provides security against any leaks. Deleon also incorporated a studio-style light fixture to add dramatic flair and a chandelier which is composed of pearls and crystals. Playing with texture, Deleon chose butterfly leather chairs and cowhide rugs for décor and a mica wallpaper behind the headboard for added shimmer and an extra element of intrigue. And while a lot can be said about a designer’s aesthetic through their work, nothing speaks quite as loudly as the personal style of their own home.