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Drop Dead Red
January, 2010 - Issue #63
Red. It's the quintessential color of romance. And, in the home of Billie and Don Hubbard, it whispers sweet nothings in both bold and shy forms.

The cranberry-shaded velveteen fabric that envelops classically-styled chairs in the formal dining room is touched with an Old World addition of handpainted scrolls. An upstairs bar sparks with a bright burst of fire engine paint, a dramatic contrast to the cool black granite that defines the space. A mulberry shade covers two library walls, not to be outdone by the deep black cherry silk and faux fur accessories that can be found atop a leopard settee.

n entertainment epicenter, the formal dining room
n entertainment epicenter, the formal dining room's golden hurricanes cast a romantic glow on the faux-finished walls. Local artist Cindi Rowley, of Cindi Rowley Designs (259-8792) meticulously layered bronze-shaded paints and added embellishments ac
Be it with leather or satin, woven wool or natural flora, paint chip or finish, there are few rooms in this four bedroom Woodlands home that go untouched by the most coveted of colors.

And yet the home, with neutral palates a plenty, still conveys a sense of warmth and comfort within its walls.

The bar, nestled upstairs, shines with black granite and a sparkling collection of handmade wine and champagne glasses from La Via Bella.
The bar, nestled upstairs, shines with black granite and a sparkling collection of handmade wine and champagne glasses from La Via Bella.
This is not the house of a diva. The dramatic red elements are more accessible than overwhelming. The result is one of time-tested compromise; red, like romance, lasts longest when it burns just below the surface.

The home's interior design, inspired by the couple's recent excursion to Italy, fits neatly into the Old World box eagerly embraced by many a Santa Claritan. Fine touches set this space apart from its contemporaries, however.

Exquisite preserved florals, muted in color but not in impact, are commonplace in the Hubbard home. So, too, are unconventional sprays of feathers - peacock and otherwise - that add interest and dimension. And there's no lack of leopard here; the print is tastefully incorporated as a nod to Billie, who identifies with her "wild side."

"Fabulous artwork can make any room come alive," reflects Hubbard. Her favorite pieces, pictured here, were selected from Fine Art & Soul (877-278-2968) in Valencia.
"Fabulous artwork can make any room come alive," reflects Hubbard. Her favorite pieces, pictured here, were selected from Fine Art & Soul (877-278-2968) in Valencia.
Her fondness for animal prints extends beyond the confines of the home. Billie is the owner of La Via Bella, a home furnishing and accessory boutique in Stevenson Ranch. There, you'll find many quality Mediterranean and Old World choices - with a remarkable collection of flirty must-haves and plenty of animal prints, too.

The wide selection ready to be discovered at La Via Bella exemplifies her belief that the most lovely and unique items can be found almost exclusively at mom and pop stores. "One of the best things about running a small business is that you work with other small businesses. I am blessed to work with such great artists, craftsmen and designers. Their level of quality and attention to detail cannot be mass produced. You can buy a disposable piece of furniture, or, for not that much more, you can invest in something that is beautifully made that will last until, someday, your children will use it in their own homes."

The couple
The couple's bed, topped with a luxe Sweet Dreams duvet set available at La Via Bella, is actually a refurbished iron gate.
The shop local/shop mom and pop movement that's strengthening within and outside Santa Clarita's borders can be summarized simply: "Friends don't let friends shop at chain stores!," says Billie.
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