By Mike Welton
Dave Barry, the developer responsible for the W Hotel brand, runs Ironstate Development, a company that owns and manages more than 6000 residential units, with about $1 billion in the development pipeline.
He partners frequently with the husband and wife design team of Robert and Cortney Novogratz, television stars of “Home by Novogratz” on HGTV, and known for taking ordinary spaces from funk to fabulous.
“They designed a hotel for me, Bungalow, which turned out so well, and has been such a huge hit since it opened,” he said. “I love their aesthetic and trust their instincts.”
So when it came time to renovate Barry’s three-bedroom, beachfront condo in Long Branch, N.J., it’s no surprise that he turned to them. “We wanted to make our beach condo nicer to spend time at, and they seemed like the perfect people to make it stylish and comfortable,” he said.
Their challenge was to take an uncomfortable weekend home with very little character, and make it memorable. “Our intent was to infuse it with color and fun and great design, while making it a comfortable and chill place to hang out and to enjoy with the family,” Robert said.
The designers used color to freshen up the 3,000 square-foot white box crying for color and cool artwork. There were no architectural details, so they saturated it in bright pinks, yellows, greens and blues, all paired with black and white wallpaper and carpeting.
“The carpet is very linear in the living room, and we mixed it with a large-patterned wallpaper,” he said. “In the kids’ rooms we striped the beds. We used a mix of materials, from tape to carpet tiles, leather wood, and metal. It all works together harmoniously.”
The designers used color on some unexpected places too – like painting an ornate gold-leaf table in a bright teal and adding a marble top. “It’s all a matter of what pleases the eye, rather than any kind of rules about matching colors to materials,” he said.
In the end, though, it’s all about pleasing the client. And they did.
For more on Dave Barry and Ironstate Development, go to http://www.ironstate.net/. For more on “Home by Novogratz,” go to http://www.hgtv.com/home-by-novogratz/show/index.html
J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art and design for a number of national publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Dwell magazine. He also edits and publishes an online design magazine at www.architectsandartisans.com.