Designer Jamie Herzlinger brings her brand of elegance to an Arizona home
If you ask Rick and Peggy Federico, designer Jamie Herzlinger is nothing short of a miracle worker. Having just purchased a house in Scottsdale, Arizona, that appealed to them more for its location and sweeping views than for its dark and fragmented interiors, the couple called on Herzlinger to help them create the light, bright, and airy free-flowing home they craved.
“I wanted polar opposites for the interiors,” laughs Peggy. “I wanted modern and sophisticated yet warm and inviting, elegant and polished yet relaxed and informal. I basically asked the impossible.” Always up to a challenge, the designer began by walking the Federicos through images of interiors and asking them to respond to each.
“It’s like a design Rorschach test: ‘Look at this and tell me what you see,’ ” Herzlinger explains. “Peggy said she wanted modern, but she didn’t respond well to the modern spaces I showed her. What she liked was the airy, open feel of those interiors but with traditional elements and millwork reminiscent of beautiful old European hotels.”
What Peggy and Rick got was just that—an open, loft-like space with an atmosphere that Herzlinger describes as “relaxed elegance.”
Opposing forces mingle happily here. Shots of pretty—Murano glass chandeliers and tufted club chairs with dressmaker skirts—balance more masculine elements. Delicate Madonnas in gilt frames cheerfully share wall space with overscaled modern art. Traditional architectural details—fluted pilasters and intricate moldings—temper the home’s more informal, modern pieces.
“We infused modern elements into classical architecture,” says Herzlinger. “It’s like when Sharon Stone wore a Gap T-shirt with a formal Armani skirt to the Academy Awards. This house is equal parts black tie and blue jeans.”
It’s the perfect fit for a family needing a home that is well-suited to both entertaining and family time. (The Federicos have three grown sons and two daughters at home—Maddie, 17, and Shea, 16.)
As the first impression, the living room—it acts as both salon and foyer—sets an ethereal tone for the house. Inspired by the impactful 9x12-foot oil painting by artist Brian Kershisnik, Herzlinger created a polished space that’s enthusiastically welcoming. A dramatically overscaled Murano glass chandelier draws the eye upward toward moldings inspired by those in the Petit Trianon at Versailles. “I tend to refer to moldings as eyeliner,” says Herzlinger. “They highlight where you want the eye to go. It’s such an important detail.”
Tufted club chairs with moss fringe gather around a mirrored coffee table, beckoning to guests—an ever-so-elegant version of a conversation pit.
“I love salon-style seating,” says Herzlinger. “It’s somewhat old-fashioned but still so functional and relevant.” And with the Federicos’ penchant for entertaining, the small-scale, portable pieces—club chairs and the mix of ancillary tables—offer the ability to move items throughout the house depending on the family’s needs.
Eschewing a large-scale breakfront or buffet in the dining room, Herzlinger instead used the limited wall space to showcase a reverse-glass painting that Rick and Peggy espied on an outing to a Los Angeles showroom. “The light hits it perfectly,” says the designer.
Offering contrast to the dark, dramatic artwork, the kitchen is the home’s visual touchstone. With its central location that connects to the family, living, and dining rooms, it not only needed to flow visually with the rest of the house, but utility was also key.
To ensure that she created a space that fit her clients’ needs, Herzlinger asked the couple to guide her through their daily routine—from morning coffee to evening meal prep—in their previous kitchen. “They were walking laps around the kitchen to do every task,” she says. “The arrangement was totally inefficient. Function is primary. You can make anything look pretty, but if it doesn’t work well, what’s the point?”
Their new kitchen is not only easy on the eyes but very livable. The cabinets offer a wealth of storage and act as a brilliant backdrop for the room’s mix of glam elements like the modern light fixtures over the island and a sleek glass-and-stainless-steel hood. Dark upholstered stools with nailhead detailing offset the stark white palette and live comfortably in either the kitchen or the adjoining family room—a space that juxtaposes comfort with a rock ’n’ roll air.
Herzlinger continued the home’s neutral palette into the family room and incorporated an Oriental rug woven from vintage wool in muted shades similar to those used in the other rooms. It provides a consistency that effortlessly pulls together the disparate spaces.
“The house really flows,” says Peggy. “It’s what Jamie does so well. She created a home in which we really enjoy every space.”
Photography: Werner Segarra
Interior Design: Jamie Herzlinger, Jamie Herzlinger Interiors, 954 Lexington Ave., Suite 530, New York, NY 10021, and 4400 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251; 800/983-0031, jamieherzlinger.com.
A large painting by artist Brian Kershisnik serves as a focal point in the living room. A salon-style seating arrangement with tufted and skirted club chairs from George Smith offers a cozy conversation spot.
A Christian Liaigre mohair sectional from John Brooks offers abundant seating and delineates the space. “When you have an open floor plan, the furniture arrangement has to designate the space,” explains designer Jamie Herzlinger. The coffee table is from Jean De Merry.
Details on the following slides.
Family Room Details
A vintage metallic antelope skull sits on the red lacquered console by Christian Liaigre, a striking statement of traditional design with a contemporary edge.
Dining Room Details
Just off the family room, the dining area prominently features a large reverse-glass painting by Jean de Merry. “The light hits it perfectly,” says Herzlinger. A Murano glass chandelier hangs above the dining table.
Homeowners Rick and Peggy Federico relax in the living room.
Dark upholstered stools from Madeline Stuart temper the centrally located kitchen’s bright white scheme. Reflective elements-—the glass-and-stainless-steel hood and custom pendant lights—add a modern air.
See more of this kitchen on the following slide.
Multiple sinks at the marble-topped island adds to the kitchen’s functionality, which was key in its design.
To create a little space with big impact, the designer laid a tile floor in a herringbone pattern and installed a vanity with elegant silver legs.
A handsome wall covering of panels upholstered in slate suede creates the perfect backdrop for this “man cave.” A long and low sofa designed by Christian Liaigre is also upholstered in suede to complete the look. An oriental rug adds a traditional touch.
The Scottsdale, Arizona home offers sweeping views of the desert landscape surrounding it.
Jamie Herzlinger specializes in high-end design—intercontinental in scope, sophisticated in form, and exuberantly polished. With offices in Arizona and New York, she doesn’t confine herself to any single style but is inspired by various periods, cultures, and elements. The results: elegant, luxurious, and irresistibly comfortable. We recognized her in 2011 as one of our 20 top “New Traditionals.”
A chandelier from Helene Aumont features lovely passementerie detailing. Vibrant paintings add beautiful pops of color throughout the bedroom. Wall covering is from Phillip Jeffries.
Details on the following slide.
Master Bedroom Details
Glossy walnut bedside tables by Nancy Corzine are topped with glass for added sparkle. The gilt mirrors above add texture, complementing the nailhead trim of the headboard.
The master bath is drenched in luxurious details, from the custom marble floors and mirrored walls to the soaking tub and subtle dentil molding around the ceiling.
Details on the following slides.
Master Bath Details
To up the room’s “pretty” factor, Herzlinger used faucets with cloisonné detailing.
Master Bath Details
Mirror-bedecked walls and Ruhlmann-style sconces from Urban Archaeology add a glamorous edge to the all-white space.
Herzlinger incorporated a generous helping of ikat, using the same pattern for the pillows, the love seat, and the draperies.