Lucky Number 13
photos by david cobb
There are certain occupational hazards that accompany particular lines of work. For someone who is passionate about interior design, owning a fine home décor and furniture store is dangerously akin to being the carb addict who owns the cinnamon roll shop.
During the 10 years that Rose Clark has owned Red Chateau in Oklahoma City’s Casady Square, she’s acquired an admirably steely discipline about bringing home the inventory. “I used to bring things home in the very beginning, but I don’t do that anymore because I need to sell the inventory. If it’s in my house, that means I’m not selling it,” Clark explains.
In the same breath, however, as we chat (and sigh) about countless pieces of eye-candy throughout the Clark home, she does casually reveal one of the more prevalent hazards that comes with her line of work. “This is the 13th house we’ve owned in our 33 years of marriage,” she says, quite matter-of-factly.
In the same conversation, Clark’s husband, Richard, emerges as an apparent enabler to his enthusiastic, designing wife. “We were living just around the corner,” Clark says, referring to the couple’s northwest Oklahoma City neighborhood, “and this house came up for sale. We had just finished so much work on the house we were in, but my husband suggested we look inside this one.”
Convincing his wife to tour the home wasn’t easy. “I hesitated because there wasn’t a single window on the front of the house!” Clark recalls. Once inside, however, the Clarks expressed the same delight as the many subsequent visitors to their home have shown at the sight of floor-to-ceiling windows along the entire length of the rear of the home, all of which offer spectacular views of the home’s impeccable backyard.
At that point, there was nothing more to do but start packing. Number 13 is a lucky one for the Clarks.
Four years ago, Clark moved in with visions of what the house had to offer in terms of possibilities. One of the first projects involved the creation of a spacious porch, along with the addition of front doors with – wait for it – windows facing the front.
Even the simplest kitchen remodel is nothing for the faint of heart. The Clarks’ kitchen was an undertaking on a grand scale that involved raising the ceiling and removing walls, which allowed the kitchen to adjoin the family room, creating a more contemporary floor plan that lends itself to easy traffic flow for guests.
“The kitchen remodel, by far, has been the most dramatic change we’ve made in the four years we’ve lived here. I couldn’t have done it without Kathy,” she adds, referring to her fellow designer, Kathy Templeton, with whom she collaborated throughout the remodel. “She’s one of the best designers I’ve ever worked with,” Clark notes.
Other details in the new kitchen include an apron farm sink in nickel-plated copper, custom pantry cabinetry that stands alone as lovely furniture in its own right (see “Clark’s Signatures” on page 69 for details) and a commercial stove that has become the envy of Clark’s more culinary friends. “My friends have seen the stove and they say, ‘It’s so unfair!’” she laughs.
Another of the home’s original features that has (so far) survived the peripheral renovations is a sunken bar that, Clark jokes, looks more like a “hotel lobby reception desk” than a bar. Its location central to the living and outdoor areas makes it a convenient station for entertaining.
A spacious “master guest suite” opens to an expansive balcony that overlooks the lush, nearly one-acre property, which extends well beyond the manicured backyard and includes a creek that runs through the forested lot. “One of our friends who stays with us occasionally says that, when she’s here, she feels like she’s home,” Clark says.
Given the thoughtful attention to details at every turn, that lucky feeling of coming home is surely the same thing every guest experiences at the Clarks’ Number 13.
Where to Begin
Rose Clark offers these suggestions for homeowners who are ready to make some changes to their home’s appearance (or structure):
1. Get some good advice! Talk to someone who has done it or to experts.
2. Meet with a designer – better yet, several designers – and see if any of them share your taste and really understand what you’re hoping to achieve.
3. Recycle your belongings that will no longer work with the new look. Clark recommends The Green Attic in Casady Square.
• Update your home’s look every 7-10 years, but update your drapes or window treatments more often.
• Use big pieces to make a statement.
• Update your lamps for a quick makeover.
• Always keep a little touch of Asian somewhere in your home.
• Don’t feel you have to start from scratch to change your décor. Keep the pieces you really love and don’t be afraid to mix them together.
• Don’t get hung up on having a bunch of knickknacks. Rely on statement pieces.
• Don’t be afraid to mix patterns; just keep similar color tones.
Many features of her home bear Clark’s unmistakable signatures as a design enthusiast:
• Touches of animal prints. “Animal IS a neutral!” Clark exclaims.
• Layers. “I like to layer, layer, layer,” she explains. “It creates texture and adds visual interest.”
• Mirrors on mirrors. “This comes back to layering. If you have a huge wall that’s covered with a mirror, just layer a smaller mirror in front of it to keep things interesting,” she suggests.
• Touches of whimsy. “Even in more formal areas of the house, you’ll still find whimsical pieces. I never want anything about my house to feel fussy,” Clark says, adding, “I want people to feel comfortable when they’re here.”
• Details. The interior of the custom pantry cabinet doors, created by Joel Amos, have been painted gold by professional painter Darren Manek. “I love those details,” Clark says with a smile.
New at Red Chateau
Located at 9205 N. Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City’s Casady Square, Red Chateau has recently expanded its space by 1,000 square feet to showcase a new bedding and fine linens addition inside the home décor and accessories shop. Red Chateau is open Monday through Saturday from 10am-5:30pm, 405.842.2262, redchateau.net.
About The Green Attic
Clark recommends The Green Attic at 9313 N. Pennsylvania in Casady Square, as a consignment destination for high-end furniture and accessories that have outlived their role in a home’s décor but still have a lot to offer another residence. The Green Attic (405.607.ATIC) is open Monday through Friday from 10am-6pm and Saturdays from 10am-3pm. Prepare to swoon at the photos on Facebook at facebook.com/thegreenatticokc.