Gallery Style

His south Tulsa clients were looking for someone who would bring a fresh take to their home, explains designer Chris Murphy, owner of Christopher Murphy Designs.

“They wanted to create an oasis for their family and friends with a gallery-style feel,” says Murphy.

Working with the homeowners, whose children range from grade school to college age, Murphy did not make many changes to the home’s flooring, walls and cabinetry. “My goal was to create statement pieces of art and furniture,” he says.

Murphy’s goal is evident just inside the front door as the dramatic entry sets the tone for what to expect throughout the rest of this unique home. The key piece is the lipstick console that Murphy found in New York. The 1,250-pound console consists of thick layers of walnut, black lacquer, gray lacquer, Lucite, white bronze and natural bronze. The homeowners worked with art consultant Kim Fonder at Abersons Exhibits to provide the colorful piece above the console by artist Steve Joy.

The red and yellow plates to the left were existing, as was the large canvas to the right. Mirroring the artwork colors, Murphy recovered the bench in a bold gray and acidic yellow silk.

Using red tones from the entry plus two existing red sofas, Murphy highlighted the striking shade on the living room floor and ceiling. An existing traditional lantern light fixture was replaced with a stunning custom glass art piece. Murphy worked with California glass designer Alison Berger to create the hand-blown crystal pendants that hang over a custom silk and wool area rug. The whimsical, crisp white table is a John Dickerson reproduction.

“They wanted to create an oasis for their family and friends with a gallery-style feel.”

Between the two sofas, Murphy designed a custom console that was fabricated locally. Each of the custom lead crystal sculptures is lit below with a LED fixture, and the light level can be independently adjusted with a remote control.

Murphy worked with a Nebraska artist to acquire the series of paintings over the fireplace. “I wanted to contrast the petite pieces off the large wall,” says Murphy. Adjacent to the fireplace is a custom polished nickel and walnut console balanced with a black lacquer mirror.

The homeowners had recently purchased the dining room table and chairs, although Murphy added a custom touch by removing eight inches off the height of each chair and then using a taupe silk slipcover. A new linear-shaped polished nickel light fixture sparkles above the table and was chosen to play off of – but not compete with – the nearby red chandelier in the living room. Murphy also located the dramatic mineral boat centerpiece that is made from one piece of onyx.

The master bedroom previously had several rooms combined to create the space, but the layout seemed awkward. “I wanted to reorient the room and float the bed,” says Murphy. So he built a partial height walnut wall that the bed sits against. On the opposite side are two benches and a picture ledge. The pair of Cedric Hartman swing arm lamps provides lighting on either side of the wall.

Murphy added a patterned wood veneer wall covering and created a theatrical backdrop with draperies that are often opened just enough to access the pool outside the bedroom doors.

The bed is from Holly Hunt with green-gray Larson leather. And to soften the predominant angles throughout the space, Murphy custom designed a pair of circular white lacquer nightstands. Murphy then worked with Exhibit and combined fancifully shaped wood pieces from the same artist installed on the wall opposite the bed, extending the gallery feel even into the private spaces of the home.