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Drama & Design Meet at the Summit
June, 2009 - Issue #56
Cheryl Henson describes her family as "bicoastal." And while the family does have homes both here and in New York, the term is still markedly inadequate - at least when one takes the worldly decor found in their nearly-5,000-square-foot Valencia house into consideration.



The master retreat is, quite literally, a place where the Hensons can switch gears. The relaxing step-down space can also lower stress levels.
The master retreat is, quite literally, a place where the Hensons can switch gears. The relaxing step-down space can also lower stress levels.
The brief stroll to their front door is the first chapter in the Hensons' multi-continent tale.

Lush European garden design is the story line; precisely-shaped topiaries serve as dramatic exclamation points.

The home's gourmet kitchen, two bedrooms, five bathrooms, formal dining room, family room, study and media room are filled with an eclectic collection of pieces that transcend time and space.

A strong French influence is tangible, but if these rooms could speak, you'd detect a hint of an English accent, too.

The master bedroom is warm and inviting. "It
The master bedroom is warm and inviting. "It's my husband's space, too," says Henson, "so there aren't a lot of flowers."
Animal prints that could only originate from Africa can be found throughout, a reminder that the unexpected is a welcome guest at this Summit home.

Choose any vignette and it will read like a well-worn passport. The kitchen's garden window, for example, is filled with more than dainty plants clamoring for their share of sunlight. Bejeweled Jay Strongwater frames purchased during a stay at Martha's Vineyard glimmer in the same rays as a copper sink imported from Italy and an antique scale selected in the beach town of Carmel.

The perfect paint finish found on the home
The perfect paint finish found on the home's laundry-room cabinetry and moulding was achieved by John Green of Mint Condition Painting & Moulding.
Even the most traditionally mundane of spaces - the family laundry room - is given an international feel with the addition of French toile wallpaper.

Throughout the home, fine faux finishes, reminiscent of Italian villas, cover interior walls; sparkling leaded glass recalls centuries-old cathedrals and the rich color palate dates back to the high point of European nobility.

"I do like drama when I decorate," shares Henson, who claims an exquisite French crystal vase collection as one of her most coveted possessions.

An antique guilded mirror is flanked by lamps circa the 1920s. The sentimental light fixtures were previously on display in Cheryl
An antique guilded mirror is flanked by lamps circa the 1920s. The sentimental light fixtures were previously on display in Cheryl's mother's dining room. Faux finishing by Cindi Rowley Designs adds to the drama.
There is no shortage of the dramatic within these walls. Gold-finished mirrors, guilded candlesticks, cherry wood, marble, crystal chandeliers and more can be found not only in common areas but in bathrooms, made even more spectacular with the addition of claw-footed porcelain tubs.

Even the home's media/pool room can lay claim to details that would more often be reserved for less-playful settings. Faux-leopard furniture sits atop deep black carpeting, but the star of the show is the animal-print-rimmed billard table. Look closer and you'll find that the numbered balls even boast a wild member among them.

"Animal prints are fun and timeless," says Henson. "They make a room look alive."

And who can negate the drama in that?
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