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Ederra Design Studio: Showcase House Master Suite

Apr 24, 2016

007 20-523 Ederra PSH 20163004One of the many areas of this year’s Showcase House of Design that we enjoyed is the Master Suite, designed by Cynthia Lambakis and Samantha Williams of Ederra Design Studio.

Cynthia is a native of Eagle Rock and is currently “the proud owner of a 1926 Spanish home in the Pasadena area, which she is meticulously restoring.” She enjoys working with homeowners, restoring homes with historical accuracy while also designing them to accommodate a contemporary  lifestyle.

Samantha is a native Californian and grew up “constantly surrounded by building, remodeling, and decorating projects.” She has studied and traveled widely in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. While she studied in the UCLA interior design and architecture program, she was attracted to green and sustainable design. She is now a LEED AP, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Profession.

Cynthia and Samantha kindly responded to our numerous questions:

HP: Could we start at the very beginning? Ederra Design Studio “got” the Master Suite in this year’s Showcase House. How did that happen? Are designers assigned a room or location, or can you request a specific spot?

C&S: There is a competitive selection process and designers bid for the spaces they would like to design. During the day of the Designer Walk Through, designers are given a floor plan that show the boundaries of the design spaces and outline their use such as a little girl’s room or a music room. Designers submit a written proposal of their ranked choices and drawings of their concept for up to three spaces to a committee who makes the final decisions.

HP: What is the area that Ederra Design Studio was offered?

C&S: Our 1500 sq. ft. space includes a sitting room, bedroom, his and her bathrooms, and the master dressing room.

 

Master-Suite_before

Sitting room with “his” master bath on the back left; still shot from PSHA video

 

HP: So, how do you begin to design an empty space?

C&S: Our space required a fair amount of construction and we reconfigured the layout of the space. Our challenge was to combine two choppy master suites into one. The house did not have a well-defined master suite in the house. The rooms that could have been considered a master suite had very small bathrooms and closets that just didn’t meet today’s standards for such a house as this. We went through several iterations with the homeowners and came up with something that satisfied all parties involved. Typically, designers don’t interact with the homeowner, but when spaces are reconfigured in such a permanent way, the homeowner is more involved and needs to make approvals.

In terms of the design, we knew we wanted blues and soft neutral tones to play a starring role. When I walked into the Scalamandre showroom and saw the fabric that ended up being used in our space for the curtains, I immediately fell in love with it and it was the first creative decision that I made and everything else flowed out of that choice. The Damask crewel and embroidered linen is both formal and relaxed at the same time, striking a perfect balance for this elegant home and a suite that feels calming and comfortable.

 

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Photo by Peter Valli

Photo by Peter Valli

 

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Photo by Peter Valli

 

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Photo by Peter Valli

 

HP: You have to work with the year’s color palette, but how do you make your choices?

C&S: This was an easy decision for both of us. In the past showcase houses we have done, blue has not played a role in the palette. Our signature color is navy blue and shades of blue can appeal easily to and balance both a masculine and feminine aesthetic. It is also one of the most calming and soothing colors if done well. Blue can also feel cold, which is why we chose a soft and buttery cream color for the walls – it balances the cooler tones and brings a sense of warmth and brightness. The ivory and tan colors in the rugs and other fabrics also prevent the navy blue and white from feeling too coastal or nautical.

HP: Could you bluntly walk us through your design process? Is there a theme or an overarching idea? Is it vague then becomes clearer as you progress or is it a clear vision from the start that then has to be manifested?

C&S: The house this year is beautiful, classic, and elegant with so many rich original details that we didn’t have to go far for inspiration. I think that we both had a fairly clear vision of what it could be—a fresh traditional style composed of luxurious fabrics and linens, antique furniture and rugs, effortlessly chic lighting, and carefully selected artwork and accessories. We always try to work with the architecture of a house—when you fight it and try to make it something it just isn’t, then design is not going to be successful. It’s all about context. If that’s the guiding principle and you have a few items to inspire a design, which in our case were the fabrics and antiques, everything just falls into place.

 

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Bedside table; photo by Kat Ward

 

Photo by Kat Ward

Stool, bed frame, and linens; photo by Kat Ward

 

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In the master dressing room; photo by Kat Ward

 

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Master dressing room; photo by Peter Valli

 

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In “her” bathroom; photo by Peter Valli

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Photo by Peter Valli

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Photo by Peter Valli

 

HP: Were there architectural elements that had to be retained that worked with your overall vision for the spaces or ones that were a challenge to mesh and harmonize?

C&S: The fireplaces in the sitting room and dressing room have all of the original woodwork intact and both have unique, classical details that really set the tone for the space. We did replace the hearth and tile surround with marble herringbone and marble slab to freshen them up, but both fireplaces anchor the room and provide a sense of history and a strong presence in each room. We wanted to keep as much of the moldings as we could. As walls were removed, moldings were saved so they could be used in other places where doors had been closed up. There was no crown molding in the bedroom area, which is now opened to the sitting room.

We worked with Paramount Production Studios to find historical, hardwood moldings that would match and fortunately they had just what we needed. We have so many resources in the Los Angeles area, but access to the film studios can be a very big perk of working in this metropolitan area.

 

Still from PSHA video

Fireplace in master dressing room; still shot from PSHA video

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Photo by Peter Valli

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Final restoration, master dressing room; photo by Peter Valli

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Moldings around fireplace, sitting area; photo by Peter Valli

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Final restoration, sitting area; photo by Peter Valli

 

HP: Are there missteps, things that didn’t work and needed to be rethought? What about surprises, happy and difficult?

C&S: There are always things that need to be rethought, tweaked, and slightly modified as we go through the process of designing a space.

One change that occurred during construction was a whole bathroom that needed to be completely flipped because of existing plumbing and joist complications. There are always things that pop up in construction that can’t be foreseen. Fortunately, mirroring the floor plan worked in this instance.

 

"Her" bathroom; still from PSHA video

“Her” bathroom; still shot from PSHA video

 

"Her" bathroom, final; photo by Kat Ward

“Her” bathroom, final; photo by Kat Ward

 

I like to keep things just loose enough that a design can evolve along the way. Some decisions are better made on site and must be felt. This is often the case with artwork. Our art consultant will often bring a few options even after we’ve gone through a lengthy pre-selection process because every piece has to intuitively feel right when everything has come together.

In the PSHA video (watch here), Samantha shares a great anecdote:

“When our construction crews first started the demolition of the bathroom space, they opened up the walls and found business cards from the 1987 Showcase House. It was really nice to receive their greetings from 1987 here in 2016.”

 

Still from PSHA video

Still from PSHA video

 

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HP: Our gratitude to Cynthia and Samantha of Ederra Design Studio for giving us a taste of what is involved in taking a bare bones empty space and turning it into something lovely, inviting, casual, dreamy, romantic, and welcoming.

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Photo by Peter Valli

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Photo by Peter Valli

 

Ederra Design Studio, 1142 N. Allen Ave., #100, Pasadena 91104. Phone: 1.626.689.7866. EderraDesign.com.

The 2016 Showcase House is open through Sunday, May 15. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit PasadenaShowcase.org.

 

Photo by Kat Ward

Photo by Kat Ward

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Photo by Peter Valli

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Master dressing room; photo by Peter Valli

 

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Photo by Peter Valli

 

Photo by Peter Valli

Photo by Peter Valli

 

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Master dressing room; photo by Peter Valli

 

Hear from Cynthia and Samantha, as well as other designers, and learn the history of the 2016 Showcase House…

 




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