October 5, 2017

BOR: Kellie Smith

Graffiti- and zebra-print upholstery matches the visual impact of a Pedro Friedeberg hand chair. Photography by Melanie Hönig.

This throwback charmer, a late midcentury-modern home, had fantastic bones but was in need of a major update. Moreover, with two kitchens and no less than six bathrooms, it was a big project. Luckily, the property belonged to Kellie Smith, founder of a namesake design studio and an old hand at remodeling tired abodes. “As both owner and designer, I was able to think of the house itself as my client,” Smith says. “The only constraint was honoring its unique personality.”

A bold malachite print upholsters two dining chairs. Photography by Melanie Hönig.

That meant keeping the home’s original early-1970s glamour while rehabbing every inch of
its 5,600-square-foot sprawl. Structurally, Smith removed just one wall, which allowed her to combine the kitchen, breakfast area, and den into a single flowing space. In the rest of the home, she refreshed rooms by installing new surfaces and fixtures, including Porcelanosa tile flooring, charcoal paint, up-to-date lighting, and custom brass-plated shelving, adding Pop Art (including a signed Warhol serigraph) and daring color along the way.

An original signed Andy Warhol serigraph greets visitors at the entry. Photography by Melanie Hönig.

Since the den’s original wood paneling—cut from a single tree—was a key feature in the original design, Smith felt strongly that it should be preserved. The timber’s dark knots create intriguing patterns, so she painted the surrounding trim black as a way to accentuate them. The adjoining kitchen’s walls and cabinets are also black, in a high-gloss finish, making for one very sexy space. Groovy.

The black and brass kitchen, its breakfast area outfitted with Warren Platner and Verner Panton chairs, flows into the original 1970s wood-paneled den. Photography by Melanie Hönig.

Design Principal: Kellie Smith

General Contractor: Jerome Hollis

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