Inside a Rancho Mirage Home That Has Serious ’80s Dynasty Style

Inside a Rancho Mirage Home That Has Serious ’80s Dynasty Style داخل منزل رانشو ميراج الذي يتميز بطراز أسرة الثمانينيات الجاد

Inside a Rancho Mirage Home That Has Serious ’80s Dynasty Style

Designer Ryan Gordon Jackson recalls the caveat he issued when he first saw the home his clients were contemplating in Rancho Mirage, California. “If the design direction isn’t complete 1980s glamour, this might not be the right house for you,” he warned them. Fortunately Jackson’s clients—master haircutter Umberto Savone and his wife and business partner, Babette Beja-Savone—are no strangers to glamour. The couple’s beauty empire, built around the archetypal Umberto salon on Canon Drive in Los Angeles, has for decades been synonymous with unreconstructed Beverly Hills swank. It seems only fitting that their desert refuge should radiate the kind of sumptuous, unapologetic California luxury that was the bread and butter of Architectural Digest in past decades.

The house was originally designed in 1999 by the late Chicago interior maestro Richard Himmel, a frequent presence in the pages of AD, with Holden & Johnson serving as architects of record. “This was one of Himmel’s last projects, and it bears all of his hallmarks,” says Jackson. “The house is very quiet and protected from the street, almost disappearing behind the palm trees and hedges. But once you get inside, it’s truly over the top, with a sense of grandeur in its massing and materiality,” adds the designer, who is perhaps better known for sleek yet lush modernist interiors than high ’80s decorative drama.

Jackson approached the project as a restoration, honoring Himmel’s ambitious vision by returning the floor plans to their original configuration and reusing many of the furnishings that Himmel himself had either selected or custom-designed for the house. Within that framework. However, he added distinctly contemporary accents and flourishes that move the decor into the here and now. Closely aligned with the tastes of his clients.

“I like the tension of juxtaposing old-school glamour with things that are a little edgy and bold,” he explains. “I always find that balance intriguing.”

Jackson’s vision comes to life in vivid fashion in the house’s great room, a pyramidal structure outfitted with two original, monumental tansu chests that delineate the living, dining, and lounge spaces within the overall expanse, all set on herringbone tile floors, with walls and ceiling planes sheathed in white gold leaf. Like many of Himmel’s designs, Jackson retained the original entry table and the nearby Chinese console and chairs. But he refinished them entirely in silver leaf. “I wanted to respect Himmel’s selections while maintaining the silhouettes. And bringing the pieces in line with the new interior materiality,” the designer says. He similarly revitalized the outsized tansu chests by applying a new coat of gesso and adapting the interior detailing.

In the dining area, Jackson surrounded Himmel’s original copper table with a set of Studio Van den Akker chairs covered in python-patterned leather. He also restored the living room’s original freestanding fireplace, clad in flamed Brazilian granite. As well as its hanging bronze hood. But for an extra dose of glam, he filled the firepit with chunks of semiprecious stones. Alongside Himmel’s parchment-covered daybeds, Jackson added complementary furnishings of different periods that nevertheless share a similar aesthetic language. Including metallic throne chairs by Paul Mathieu for Stephanie Odegard. A floor lamp by Pierre Chareau, and a goatskin-clad cocktail table attributed to Karl Springer.


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