by Lidia Ryan
No, you didn’t go through the looking glass; you are looking at a home in Newport Beach, California. But the surreal mansion at 2 Narbonne really is a wonderland for design enthusiasts. This English manor already looks like a fairy tale from the outside, but the real magic happens when you step inside. There, you will find some of the most eccentric and whimsical design elements we’ve seen. It’s the work of owner and designer Elvira Kud of Style Life Décor, and it could all be yours– if you have $6,750,000 to spare. While you break open the piggy bank, here are some lessons in BOLD, fearless design we learned from this eclectic home.
Invite the animal kingdom in
From the moment you arrive at this house, you know your senses are in for a wild experience; a small menagerie of African animals greets visitors at the door.
Inside, one of the most striking rooms in the house is the formal dining room. Covered, floor to ceiling, in Kelly green and gold, having a meal here must make you feel like Cleopatra dining at the banks of the Nile River. A zebra and two cranes look over you from the fireplace, and a golden crocodile head sits on the table like a prize. Plush, Mid-century modern chairs sit around a candy-coated table, and match the style of the mod light fixtures. Lush green leaves cover the walls and blend into the live trees outside making you question whether you are inside or outside.
In the backyard, you will find another animal friend–a lone cow that has found it’s way to the pool.
Be eclectic, yet uniform
Each room in this surreal mansion is completely unique. But don’t be fooled into thinking the design is a free-for-all. Kud expertly ties the house together with repeated elements. For example, you will notice a theme of starburst, industrial light fixtures throughout the whole house.
Subway tiles in contrasting color create an even flow throughout the kitchen and breakfast nook and reappear in the bathroom. You will also notice wooden beams, rich velvet fabrics, bold colors (no pastels here) and lots of gold. All of these recurring design elements help keep some semblance of logic in what could have become a hodgepodge of colors and animal heads in the hands of someone less capable.
Be BOLD with colors
The modern, loft-style living room begs the question: Why pick a color scheme when you can just use them all? By pinning bold Crayola hues against a white backdrop, Kud creates a rainbow that doesn’t overwhelm the senses. Whimsical elements like hanging lights that look like bunches of helium balloons and multi-colored mounted deer heads make this a playful sitting room, while rich fabrics on the couches and a sleek coffee table add sophistication that keep it looking like an adult space, and not a children’s playroom.
The causal dining room is the living room’s sister space. It, too, features crayon colors and fanciful, mounted animal heads. The fireplace exudes a Dali-like surrealism, as gold seems to ooze off the façade and onto the wood floor.
Surrealism also finds its way into the bathroom where, instead of a chair, you can sit on a giant gold hand. The neon-colored spots on the hand add pops of warm color to the cool-toned bathroom.
The urban jungle is chic
Graffiti was once considered a product of urban blight, but in this sleek breakfast nook, a neon graffiti dining set is the picture of polished chicness. Kud plays up the urban feel with black subway tiles and an industrial light fixture. Black and white Fornasetti plates on the wall bring in the surrealism we see throughout.
The urban jungle theme really takes on life in the master bedroom where cascading weeping willows blend seamlessly with exposed brick walls. The result is a soft, yet masculine space of serenity in an otherwise loud house.
The exposed brick makes other appearances around the house, but nowhere is it more perfect than lining the walls of the modern spiral staircase.
Luxury crystal chandeliers, modern and traditional paintings, loft-style windows and the brick blend to create a unique foyer that could double as an art gallery. Nothing matches, yet somehow, it makes perfect sense.
Blend the new world with the old
This house is nothing if not modern, but some old-world flare in the form of French doors and Italian parquet floors is thrown about, adding an element of European drama and grandeur.
The kitchen is the room that started the whole project. Kud told real estate site, Zillow, that she designed the kitchen first before “envisioning everything around it.”
The bathroom hardware mirrors this style; the tub and sink feature exposed gold plumbing and dramatic turquoise curtains hang from a gold pipe instead of a curtain rod.
One of the most intriguing things about the kitchen and bathroom is the use of antique hardware like a gilded faucet inspired by industrial steam pipes.
Don’t be afraid to be quirky
The biggest lesson we can learn from Kud’s dream home is to take risks. You might have never thought that a house full of animals, contrasting patterns and a whole room wall-papered in comic books could work, but here’s proof that even your wildest design dreams can turn oout beautifully if you know how to execute them.