One extra door can turn a room into a de facto hallway that you walk through rather than being used. But for this space that opens into the media room and office of our 2021 Whole Home, Dallas-based designer Jean Liu of Jean Liu Design knew the perfect solution: an elevated sipping room with a fully wet bar. operational. “Many of my clients have requested entertainment spaces where they can display their wine – or their mezcal and tequila collections – separately from their dining room or living room. “ she says. Up front, take a virtual peek inside the chic sipping area, then see the hard-working sink bar, and end up outside in the walkway for (imaginary) drinks in outdoors.
The sip area
Carpet: The Carpet Company. Bench fabric: S. Harris. Lighting: Circa Lighting. Wine fridge: Signature kitchen suite. Ceiling painting: Farrow & Ball. Table: Jiun Ho. Saddles: made to measure, Jean Liu Design. Masterpieces: Celia Rogge Photography (in the wet bar); José Lerma (above the bench). Leather wine rack: Fabricut.
Inspired by heart-shaped origami (something she and her daughter often do together), she designed an inviting bench seat with room for friends, perfect for perching under a window with a glass of something delicious. A bespoke wine rack made from brass pegs and burgundy leather features 20 bottles and disguises a handy linen closet.
The Wet Bar
Right next to the tasting room, a cocktail station is equipped with a dishwasher, three-zone wine refrigerator (not shown), and two refrigerator drawers (each can be independently set for five temperatures. , 50 ° F for frozen pantry products). A quartz backsplash and counter create a hassle-free workspace for slicing lemons and limes and opening red wine.
Appliances: Signature kitchen suite. Counter and backsplash: Caesarstone. Arrangements: Elkay. Tile: Exquisite surfaces.
A covered walkway connecting the three-car garage, main house and secondary wing could have been an afterthought. But by reimagining it as an outdoor dining room, Liu capitalized on the view. Motorized retractable screens let in the breeze and keep critters out.
Lighting: Circa Lighting. Carpet: Fibers. Art: framed wallcovering, Phillip Jeffries. Fabric: Perennials. Furniture: Sutherland. Exterior painting: Farrow & Ball. Top of the table: Carol Hicks Bolton Antiques and Blackchalk Home and Laundry.
Questions and answers
Beautiful house : If you had to describe the look or style of your design studio, what would it be?
Jean Liu: We would describe ourselves as an interior design studio that focuses on modern interiors. We definitely prefer warm and edited spaces. We don’t really want our spaces to look like you’re sitting in an art gallery, but it is still very meaningful and useful.
HB: What was your room in this house?
JL: Our room assignment was originally the loft and before we had a chance to decide how we were going to finish the space Carisha called me, professed her love for mezcal and persuaded us to take this room and turn it into a tasting room since we’re in Fredericksburg after all.
HB: How did the installation process go?
JL: It was quite difficult. We’ve done show houses before, so we feel like we have some experience of some of the pitfalls and the day of the issues that we’re going to run into. But this one just seemed like the odds were stacked against us. Brass, we ran out of it. We had a very tight schedule to do all of this because our schedules are just crazy right now. We had the cabinets that weren’t made to our specs so we reworked the cabinets at the last minute and were looking for some important accessories and artwork for our space that we couldn’t find at DHL which means desperately lost documents, in case you were wondering. So it was a challenge. Definitely glad we did, but there were times when I was ready to pull my hair out.
HB: Tell us more about your design goals.
JL: So for the walkway, when we saw the space, I considered maybe an upper dining table, maybe a bench on one side, or instead of chairs and a bench. And I thought, “Oh, this wall is so long, we’ve got to deal with it somehow, maybe with a piece of bard or maybe a living wall.” And then definitely the space must have a rug because we are convinced that all spaces are anchored with a rug that suits the scale and size of the furniture.
As you move from the entertaining kitchenette to the tasting room, we really wanted to amplify the feeling of arrival. And in such a small place, we were really thinking about the best way to do it. We decided that trying to place the brass opening as you walk from space to space would be a pretty subtle moment, but you’re still registering it in your brain because I’m in a different space now. And brass is a little material that you see working all over the room.
So for the tasting room, we really think it might be good to preserve the views outside. This could be a fun place to really play, wanting to incorporate all of the Asian American designers who are doing a great job in our community. I thought it would be fun to make an origami heart that I’ve been playing with a lot lately. Not just because of what’s going on in the news, but because my daughter loves folding origami with me and the padding looks like the corners of the heart shape, this could be really fun. Maybe it’s modular … Maybe rooms can move around depending on the seating arrangement and take an unconventional approach to the floor plan …
HB: How did you choose this rug?
JL: So when we started designing the piece, I knew I really wanted to use this brand new design called Michael Chan’s Modern Dragon. I loved the lines that ran through the entire rug and wanted it to be wool and silk. So when we started to assess this, the cost became quite prohibitive. And to integrate it into our room, we had to reduce the size so as not to break the bank. That way he could still have this rug that was really essentially like a work of art on the floor, still be an important part of my space.
HB: What are the peculiarities of the room?
JL: One of the peculiarities of this room is an additional wine cellar that we were able to design and build off site. It served a multitude of purposes for our team. It covered a washer and dryer hookup and a closet that we certainly hadn’t planned to use. So we’ve also decided that you can never have too much wine storage, especially here in Fredericksburg. So that would actually contain 20 more weird bottles for us. And then the third thing was, we designed it in a way that really elevated the aesthetic of the entire room. We decided to use brass dowels with burgundy leather from Fabric Cut.
This is something that could have been done in many different materials. The pegs could have been something like wood. The racks themselves could have been made from a strong fabric. But the leather for us and the brass seemed to go really well with our color palette and our materials. And then the last thing we liked about this wine cabinet is that if you decide to start doing your laundry again while you drink, the cabinet is not permanently fixed in the space. You can simply pull it out like a piece of furniture and put a washer and dryer back in place.
HB: We would like to know more about the materials you used for the walls.
JL: For the covered walkway we were lucky enough to use a Phillip Jeffries wall covering called Deletion Fields. And it’s a mural wallpaper and it comes in 12 panels. So that made it a great option for us, as we wanted to treat this outdoor space the same way you would treat an indoor space where every square inch is taken into account, and with an expanse of wall like this, it took some large scale thing to hold and provide a point of interest as well. So 12 panels, we picked four of them and decided to do something different and mount them almost on a foam core and then take a very modern frame shape and basically install them like almost a collage on the Wall. And that not only had to do with our overall color scheme, but it gave this wall some interest. And to be honest it was a really cost effective way to deal with such a large space because it was really wallpaper panels that we mounted and framed.
HB: What do you think of the final space?
JL: Seeing the space all finished is pretty amazing. Despite all the challenges we faced before and during installation, I think it forced us to be better designers. We had to resolve issues on the fly. We had to think of creative solutions. We really had to look at the important elements that we were going to fight to keep in our room. So I think it made us better, although it could have been painful earlier. And I think for us to be able to see all these AAPI designers in one space is really encouraging for me personally. It proves to me that they do important work, a big part of our community, and should be celebrated in the way that I hope I have done here.
For more information on buying coins for this room and the rest of Whole Home 2021, click here.
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