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The Magic Trick
October, 2021 - Issue #204


The family room is the focal point of the house, marrying indoor and outdoor spaces together with a neutral Old World palette, natural-travertine fireplace and walnut-wood built in. The antique Rondel leaded window in the entryway competes for title of showstopper against the dramatic starburst lighting.

"I refer to this house as, 'The Magic Trick,' says interior designer Stephanie Laney.
But why compare such a luxuriously-appointed Spanish-style home to a parlor performance?


The dinette's hand-forged metal drum lighting fixture doesn't compete with the spectacular view, but enhances it. Mont Blanc quartzite countertops hit the perfect balance against the water-jetted marble mosaic tile.

"When you walk into a tract home, they usually feel the same. The decor is a little different, sure - but basically, they generally feel like the same house on repeat," explains the professional.
"But this house - we've made it feel like it's a model you've never walked into before. Even though it's a tract home in Westridge, it feels so much more custom," says Laney.


The wine cellar is accented with the same split-face travertine material found throughout the home, a nod to continuity. The handmade beamed ceiling in the formal dining room glows, thanks to the crystal-and-iron jeweled chandelier. Additional storage comes in the form of a repurposed vintage buffet, flanked by hacienda chairs.

That's in great thanks to the homeowner's willingness to embrace ideas and elements selected with intention.
"This is what a Spanish-style house looks like - dark woods, stone, very neutral Old World colors," explains the designer, who elevated the home with numerous nods to luxurious hotels - and lighting fixtures that glow like jewelry in the rooms they adorn.


Marbleized wallpaper in navy and gold draws guests into the most darling powder room they've ever seen, where lime-washed travertine wainscotting, a floating cement sink and graphic wall designs play well together.

Every corner of the expansive property brought a new opportunity for customization. Take the kitchen cooktop hood, for example.
"We had it hand plastered to give it an Old World feel. It was custom fabricated from wood, then plastered to look like an original old piece you might find in a Spanish cocina," says Laney.


In the homeowner's office, high-gloss light-lavender painted cabinets are accented by opulent modern wallpaper. In one of the guest rooms, a built-in cabinet keeps all the comforts of home within arm's reach.

Another case in point: the homeowner's beautiful antique buffet, which was repurposed in the formal dining room. "Taken with the other pieces and design, it reads perfectly in the Old World style, especially when it's paired with bookend chairs that look like they were pulled straight out of a Mexican hacienda."


"When you're designing for empty nesters, there's always the question: What do we do with all the bedrooms?" explains Designer Stephanie Laney. "Here, the homeowners have transitioned these spaces into refined guest rooms that could be mistaken for luxurious hotel suites."


The lathe-turned four-poster bed in the master is surrounded by a wall treatment featuring organic opalescent tree branches. Just steps away is a tiled medallion floor crafted with water-jetted marble, a material that makes a reappearance near the platform raised bathtub and marble-slab wall in the shower.


The upstairs game room feels like it's on top of the world, thanks to massive windows and a jaw-dropping view. "This space has its own personality," says Laney. "We joked that it's like a hall of fame - on each edge, there's a picture of every family member, every friend." The upstairs bar allows for guests to kick up their feet - and make their own drink. "It's really their own space," says the designer. "It's a really fun area to hang out in!"


The details add up and the conclusion is as clear as the view from the home's upstairs game room: there certainly is "magic" in this home.
Designed by Stephanie Laney of
Clear Images Home 818-216-5040
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