Deco Inspired Villa by Joan Behnke
Our design inspiration for today is a grand residence in Beverly Hills designed by renowned architect Richard Landry of Landry Design Group, with interiors by interior designer Joan Behnke. This award-winning luxury home, a 22,000 square-foot Italian style villa with Art Deco inspired interiors, certainly deserves our attention. The facade is carved from limestone sourced in Dijon, France, and includes classical Italian features such as Doric columns, hand carved outriggers under the eaves, and a roof covered in reclaimed clay tiles sourced in Italy. There are numerous recessed balconies, highlighted with stone tracery, and large open windows framed in Bronze. The homeowners, an entrepreneur and a philanthropist, had expressed their desire for a home that was classically Italian in style- plus the neighborhood’s style guidelines dictated an approved Italianate look- but they also wanted interiors that were more French Art Deco inspired as well, which is exactly what they got. A seamless fusion of classic Italian, Art Deco, and Contemporary design.
Achieving this was no small task of course, but success was sure with the collaborative efforts of two of the top pros in their industries. Landry has been described by The New York Times as “one of the most sought after high-end architects” and dubbed him “King of the Mega-Mansions”, indeed he is favored by the uber rich and famous seeking statement homes. Behnke’s work adorns the homes of some of the world’s wealthiest people. Forbes Magazine has dubbed her “The Billionaire Whisperer”, due to her client roster that reads like a Forbes list. Her pure pursuit of the finest, the rarest, and the most fitting are unquestioned. Also, her worldwide network of sources is every designers dream. Her firm, Joan Behnke & Associates, Inc., is rooted in the deep belief that interior design is both a fine art and a profound opportunity for self expression, and she thrives on the collaborative aspect of design. She and Landry have collaborated on multiple projects, before and since this one, that have been awarded for their excellence, just as this one, which was named Robb Reports Ultimate Home.
The moment you first enter the home, the Art Deco notes are clear. There was no strict style adherence inside or out, but clear design inspiration is very evident. For the double-height entry foyer, Behnke envisioned custom hand scalloped plaster wall treatments, which were actualized by Foster Reeve. The designs of the iron entry doors, as well as those repeated on the balustrade and windows are based on a beautiful Deco design discovered in Paris on one of the many research and buying trips the designer and the couple took together while the house was being completed. These trips are always part of Behnke’s design process with her clients. They are designed to allow the clients a full experience and a better appreciation of what they are paying for. Next to the sweeping staircase, Dale Chihuly’s green glass reeds rise high, while a 7-foot-tall, 400 pound bronze chandelier by Herve van der Straeten is suspended above.
For the living room, Behnke selected contemporary design furnishings of her own creation, which are gathered on a Tai Ping silk rug. An oil painting by Hans Hoffman hangs above the marble Art Deco fireplace surround, flanked by two pendent lamps by Herve van der Straeten. Along the rooms back wall, accordion doors open wide to the loggia. Here, and throughout, the draperies were custom designed by Behnke.
The home’s spacious Library’s walls are lined with lacewood paneling and shelves, which are filled with the owners extensive collections. Hanging above the marble fireplace is a 1960’s oil on Canvas by Mordecai Ardon, while hanging in the nearby recess is Mark Chagall’s circa-1980 Mouis et le Veau d’Or. The ceilings are adorned with beams and hand painted canvas murals.
The family room is rich with Art Deco details and fine finishes. To relax the mood and make the space more inviting, Behnke used comfortable, casual furniture pieces from her collection, and included a bar in the corner. This room also features a 1,000 gallon saltwater aquarium filled with colorful coral which has been set into the room’s dark stained white-oak wall sections.
The glamorous formal dining room looks out onto the front lawn and is designed for entertaining. From the stepped Art Deco ceiling hangs a bronze and lacquered wood chandelier by Herve van der Straetan. The walls are fabric upholstered with lacewood-paneled corners, from which Moise Kisling’s 1942 Grand Bouquet de Mimosas hangs between a pair of large antique wall sconces from Craig Van Den Brulle. The racetrack table and two host’s chairs are of bespoke design especially for the couple by Behnke, while the Jerry Pair leather upholstered dining chairs are Therien.
The commercial style, chef’s kitchen is any cooks dream. This room includes a Landry designed stainless-steel, barrel-vaulted ceiling. The cabinetry is mahogany with kosher granite counter-tops sourced in Italy. The spacious layout provides for multiple preparation areas, and the abundant stainless designer appliances make this kitchen perfectly able to serve a feast for a crowd.. perfect for entertaining.
The breakfast room is located on the garden side of the kitchen and looks out on the back lawn, pool, and water features. A chandelier from Jean de Merry hangs above another Behnke designed dining table which is surrounded with Michael Berman dining chairs. The draperies are Pierre Frey, with motorized shades from Conrad.
Upstairs, the second floor hall has been designed with a very early Italian style groin-vaulted ceiling and has been built around an inner courtyard which brings natural light and air into the galleries. The detailing of the steel doors and windows echo the groin vault. The style of the exterior of course is seamlessly blended into the interior architecture as well. Behnke selected wool-and-silk runners in gray and silver by Martin Patrick Evan to place on the floors to balance the space with a bit of modern design.
The second floor courtyard provides an inner open air sanctuary. The Art Deco architectural details were engineered and custom created by Foster Reeve. A water feature has been included which adds to the relaxing ambiance.
The master bedroom sitting room, as well as the master bedroom, both have barrel-vaulted ceilings with the same scallop finish found on the walls of the foyer. The marble fireplace has been faced in mirrored panels, and its iron firescreen was designed by Behnke. The rosewood desk and it’s lamp are attributed to Jacques Adnet. The level of detail used in this home is so impressive!
The master bedroom and its sitting room can be joined or separated via large pocket doors as desired. Both rooms include two sets of French doors that open onto a trellised terrace overlooking the back-lawn. The headboard is upholstered in Rose Tarlow leather, and was designed by Behnke, as were the lounge chairs, bedside chest, and pop-up television cabinet at the end of the bed.
Her bathroom is a harmony of luminous tones and mirrors. The Art Deco style continues in this room with the scallop finish repeated around the tub and vanity. The style is also embraced in the stone-and-Italian-glass mosaic designs on the floor and in the shower.
His bathroom is enveloped in mahogany with inlaid lacewood diamond accents. The gray marble used on the floor and counter-tops was sourced in Italy. The room includes custom bronze fixtures from Compas, and an antique Lalique chandelier.
Down on the basement level, the home includes a theater with a 170-inch-wide, curved Stewart screen, and a custom shallow speaker system. The technical equipment- speakers, acoustic panels, and such, are concealed behind the Donghia fabric paneled walls. The round patterns on the fabric are mirrored in the ceilings mahogany design. The cabinets behind the leather seats are of bespoke design Macassar ebony and mahogany, fronted with ultra-suede panels with nailhead trim, by Behnke.
Biometrically controlled glass doors open to the home’s spa, which includes an Endless exercise pool and a hot tub with a waterfall. The barrel-vaulted ceiling is covered in Ann Sacks tile, and the floors are travertine. Beyond the doors adorned with the convex mirrors, there is a salon, a massage room, and a steam room.
The stone paved loggia, located off of the living room, is a perfect example of the homes indoor/outdoor living design. The limestone mantelpiece is from Paris, and the furniture, here and all outdoors, is from Janus et Cie.
The rear view of the home really highlights the architectural details. You can see the crescent curve of the breakfast room on the right, and the loggia on the left. You can also see the pergola on the path between the house and pool, which includes a partial kitchen and grill for outdoor entertaining.
The guest pavilion was designed to have a different character from the main house which is intended to create a visual story. The design is to imply that it has always been there. To achieve the effect, rough hewn craggy stone with a mottled appearance was used.
A final touch to complete this property is the guest pavilion’s open fire-pit. Two years of planning, construction, and European buying trips went into the completion of this luxury home, all of which was worth it, for the owner now views it as a masterpiece…and we agree!!
That concludes out design inspiration for today my friends. I hope you all enjoyed this really wonderful home and its lavish layers of exquisite custom detailing. Thank you so much for reading along. Let me hear from you all in the comments! What do you all think of this residence?
You can see pieces from the designer’s home collection on her website here.
Interior Design: Joan Behnke & Associates @ www.joanbehnke.com
Architecture: Landry Design Group @ www.landrydesigngroup.com
Builder: Finton Construction @ www.finton.com
Landscape Design: Christine London Ltd. @ www.christinelondonltd.com
Photography: Erhard Pfeiffer @ www.erhardpfeiffer.com
Architectural finishes: Foster Reeve & Associates @ www.fraplaster.com
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