Joining the Present with the Past

A long-married couple redo a wooded home in midtown Tulsa with centerpieces they’ve collected over the years.

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A beamed pyramid ceiling is a dramatic feature in the living room. Photo by Scott Johnson, Hawks Photography

J. Claudette Williams and her husband take pride in the furnishings they carefully chose early in their 45-year marriage. Many of these are centerpieces in the midtown Tulsa home they bought a year ago.

The home also reflects Claudette’s 20-year career as a designer who shuns trendy themes, favoring instead looks that make a dwelling comfortable. As an abstract and figurative artist for the past 10 years, she also enjoys featuring her art in her home and the homes of her clients in Dallas, Chicago and San Diego.

Photo by Scott Johnson, Hawks Photography

Williams had ambitious ideas in mind for the 10,000-square-foot home, even though the vintage 1970s house was renovated four years ago. She and her husband are drawn to its wooded setting, accented by mature sycamore, oak, redbud and dogwood, she says.

An impressive foyer introduces the gold-and-cream color palette featured throughout the home. Since the couple has a large family, including six grandchildren, the ample, dramatic living room comfortably seats 22.

A vaulted ceiling, accented by oak beams, twin iron chandeliers and an arched window overlooking the home’s front lawn, adds visual and architectural interest. Williams designed four custom sofas for two seating areas near a 24-foot-tall stone fireplace. Two high-backed chairs and a pair of 6-foot-tall wall sconces are other enticing visual elements in the living area, where the couple often entertains family, friends and business associates.

“This is our favorite room,” Williams says. “I love large, interesting accents. That’s one of the joys of being a designer. When I’m on the hunt for clients’ homes, I often find things for my home, too.”

In the large dining room, guests might be surprised to learn that the table, which has a parquet design wood top, was purchased early in the couple’s marriage. (Another dining table, of Duncan Phyfe vintage, is in the entry foyer.) While the couple prefer furnishings that they have acquired, the glass-and-gold chandelier in the dining room is a spectacular, custom-made original that Claudette commissioned from the Murano factory near Venice, Italy, two years ago.

Adjacent to the kitchen, wood floors anchor the 35- by 22-foot kitchen, which is two stories high. A fireplace, another gathering place, is flanked by white leather contemporary chairs. Williams says this room reflects her love for “the art of the mix,” blending new and old in style. In the kitchen’s informal dining area, she has arranged the chairs from the original dining room suite with a taupe contemporary glass-and-acrylic table.

Renovation of the wet bar allows guests to move around freely.

“The wet bar was really a traffic trap,” she says. “It was cave-like and did not function well for entertaining.”

By removing a wall and reconfiguring space, they have a wet bar easily accessed from the living area, kitchen, pool and patio.

The master suite is a vision of elegance. A period antique poster bed, dressed in luxurious fabrics, and a Patagonia marble fireplace are the starring attractions. The master bath is equally as elegant. The view of the pool from the master suite is especially pleasing.

In this U-shaped home with many windows, all eyes turn to the pool, a waterfall and a spacious outdoor living area. The outdoor setting, nestled among native trees, is a focal point. From almost every room, nature’s ever-changing charm adds warmth and beauty to this elegant residence.

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