August 01, 2019
Chic Retreat ~ Kendall Wilkinson
CAREFULLY FASHIONED (above) The living/dining area is accessorized with Mountfacon double sconces by Jonathan Browning (De Sousa Hughes) and pillows in a cool black fabric by Zinc (De Sousa Hughes).
Kendall Wilkinson creates a stylish getaway | By LINDA O’KEEFFE
“I LIKE TO WALK INTO A ROOM and take it in as one piece before I savor the details,” says interior designer Kendall Wilkinson. “It’s much the same as admiring a person’s overall style before you appreciate the finer points of their outfit, like a gorgeous pair of shoes.” In her initial client meetings, Wilkinson says, she often finds herself extolling the virtues of finishes and materials—elements that set the stage for the look of a home. But when she was commissioned to transform a developer-built getaway in Northern California, her clients were already ahead of the game. “They understood the level of craft, workmanship, and upgrading required to successfully infuse a home with soul,” she says.
Renovated by architect Jonathan Feldman, the home merges urban and rustic style. To tailor the grand living room, with its board-formed concrete and walnut wall panels, Wilkinson chose a palette of gray and chocolate tones. Silvery Donghia fabric wraps a channeled Bright sofa, while gray Pindler faux leather dresses a set of shapely midcentury chairs. Wilkinson added a graphic touch by wrapping additional seating in Clarence House’s Santa Fe textile, a contemporary take on mud cloth. A carved-wool Nala rug by Stark echoes the geometric motif and adds an additional layer of texture. “It all feels graceful and comfortable,” says Wilkinson. As a finishing touch, she suspended two articulated light fixtures in brass and black enamel from the 15-foot ceiling.
“I think of lighting as jewelry,” says Wilkinson. “In fashion, an accessory can make or break an outfit, and a central pendent or chandelier can do likewise for a room.”
In the bedroom, Wilkinson created a serene, ethereal space in a palette of blush and cream that unfolds through sumptuous fabrics like velvet and alpaca. “We wanted this to be a room where one could forget the outside world and dream,” says Wilkinson. “It’s a quiet moment where you feel enfolded in warmth and elegance.”
In the custom walk-in wardrobe, where the ceiling is lined with copper-colored wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries, Wilkinson gave shoes and handbags pride of place. The space’s clean-lined, orderly vibe is offset by the playfully large door and drawer knobs and a beautifully faded vintage runner. “What a client wears clues me in to their personality and lifestyle,” the designer notes.
Now Wilkinson’s flawless space supplies a dramatic backdrop for sophisticated entertaining and restorative weekends. “It hits its mark in service of an overall mood, which strikes me as a calm clarity,” says Wilkinson. “Every single object here, whether it’s a piece of furniture or art, is resolved and purposeful.”
AT FIRST BLUSH (below) Coral and flesh tones in two photographs by Mona Kuhn are echoed in the armchair’s linen velvet upholstery (Stroheim through Fabricut) and in drapes in a Kravet cotton (Kravet) that trouserbreak as they reach the floor.
BEAUTY SLEEP (right) Incoming light plays off the textured wall covering by Nobilis (Kneedler | Fauchère), and a Sandra Jordan throw (Shears & Window) adds a luxe layer.
BUILT TO FILL (far right) The cubbies, shelves, and racks inside the wood-fronted cabinetry are easily accessed by a Lucite stepladder
“WHAT A CLIENT WEARS CLUES ME IN TO THEIR PERSONALITY AND LIFESTYLE”