Halftime Facelift - Design Bureau

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Halftime Facelift

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Featured Company: Taylor Borsari, Inc. - Location: West Las Vegas, Nevada - Project Type: Residence - Project Name: Soaring Bird

Photos by Karyn R. Millet, karynmillet.com

By Brendan Dabkowski

Picking up a project where someone else has left off can be scary. Say you’re forced to complete the signature dish of a chef who cuts his finger, or tasked with stepping in at mid-season to replace a baseball team’s gravely ill manager—or, in the case of Taylor Borsari, asked to help rescue a half-finished, foreclosed home in the Nevada desert. It takes poise. Borsari worked with contractors to soften the interior of a West Las Vegas residence, taking care to honor the architectural “vibe of the house.” She calls it the “Soaring Bird” project.

How did you approach taking over the project?

The original design intent seemed vastly different from where we decided to take the project. It had been designed to be a streamlined, very contemporary structure with big windows and pretty severe exteriors. Though we were somewhat limited with the exterior structure, we worked with the clients to make practical modifications to the floor plan to suit their needs. We set out to make a family-friendly house with a contemporary edge that made sense with the overall design of the structure but didn’t feel stark and off-putting. We opted for plaster walls, Brazilian cherry floors, and oiled walnut cabinets to help give the house an elemental feel and warm up the large volumes of interior space.

What elements would you say were the most successful overall?

For me, it’s the successful fusion of the different elements of this project that make it exemplary. It’s the severe, boxy structure with enormous windows that gives you these beautiful, open, well-lit rooms against the dramatic softness of simple curtain panels, warm, earthy elemental finishes, and clean-lined furnishings. The structure itself gave such wonderful spaces to furnish and a wonderful connection to the outdoors. I think you can sense that connection specifically when you step into the great room and everything just seems to coexist perfectly.

What room came together in the most pleasing way for you?

I love the kitchen. It exemplifies the aesthetic of the whole house to me. The oiled walnut plank cabinets are at the heart of the house and were the first of a few decisions that really set the tone for the interiors. The walnut, as a species, has a nice, traditional edge and warmth to it, but once horizontally planked and oiled with white bronze hardware, it feels perfectly fresh for the space. It’s dressy enough to hold its own in the great room, but fresh enough that it doesn’t feel dated even though it is wood-toned.

Mixed Media In Tandem

One of the elements that Taylor Borsari incorporated into her eclectic design program at the Soaring Bird residence was metalwork from Martin Metal Designs. Of the pieces she requested, the steel vanity was a first-time commission for owner Matthew Martin.

“We take pride in approaching each project with the creativity of an artist and the functionality of an engineer,” he says. To construct the “monolithic” vanity, they welded and sanded metal from steel plate with oil-rubbed bronze patina and silicone bronze details. “We applied an extremely protective clear coat designed to protect metals from outdoor/moist environments.”

Because the overall design features elements from mid-century French shop lighting to walnut plank cabinetry, making the vanity fit the rest of the features was a two-person job, Miller says.

“Taylor made sure that all the metal work was cohesive with the surroundings, and I made sure that all the metals were cohesive with each other.”

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