TV executive Alix Jaffe, who has worked on shows such as
Survivor, How I Met Your Mother and Will Arnett’s hit sitcom The Millers, knows star quality when she sees it, and this house has it in spades. “I walked in and just knew it was my house,” she says. Bold, stylish and full of character, the home is a fabulous entertaining space, and Alix uses it to host everything from small kitchen parties for friends like celeb caterer Lulu Powers and food writer Heather John to glittering soirées for a hundred guests or more. But the quieter moments are just as rewarding. “I’m out a lot for my job, so it’s important to have a place I love, that’s comfortable but very specific to me,” she says. Click through to see inside the modern exotic abode with breathtaking Spanish-inspired details.
Taking its cues from Andalusian design, the home integrates many gardens. Here, greenery and dramatic Tuscan columns frame the side entrance.
In the open-air side entryway, intricate tilework sets the tone for the whole house. The statues on the window sill were picked up at an estate sale in Palm Springs by a friend who knows that Alix loves and collects monkeys.
With so many windows and doors in the living room, there’s little wall space for artwork. Instead, a patterned rug by Madeline Weinrib injects a hit of visual interest underfoot. Family heirlooms, like the grand piano and Le Corbusier armchairs, are paired with new pieces, like the custom George Smith sofa, for an eclectic mix that is entirely Alix’s own.
Statement architectural details, like the Moorish niche above the limestone fireplace, coffered ceiling and arched doorways, give the inviting living area a layer of exotic charm.
In the kitchen, schoolhouse lanterns hang from every coffer of the striking ceiling. Behind the stove, bold tilework amps up the drama. A zinc-topped island looks like it came out of an old French bistro; stains and marks just add a pleasing patina over time.
The unusual green color of the honed marble counter inspired the cabinetry’s paint job. Instead of uppers, white open shelving serves as a place to display Alix’s collection of ceramic serving pieces.
Moorish details and trellised cathedral-height windows give the dining room a formal air. A modern iron chandelier hangs from the dramatically high ceiling, a pleasing complement to the traditional dining set. Though it appears white in certain lights, the room is actually a very pale pink, grounded by a boldly patterned rug by Madeline Weinrib.
The walls in the den are saturated in a bold indigo blue. Alix added a sofa in the same hue and crisp white shutters, a scheme that reminds her of summers spent in Nantucket.
The Spanish influence is most obvious in the main staircase, which features tiled risers, detailed iron railings and wall recesses, where a series of orchids are displayed.
Tucked into a cozy alcove in the principal bedroom, this sitting area is feminine without being too floral. A rose-hued vintage rug, decorative fireplace and luxurious chaises set the tone for a relaxing space. A partial quatrefoil niche is an elegant alternative to artwork.
A curvaceous archway frames the tub, adding refinement to the principal bathroom; the same profile is repeated through the house for continuity. Watery blue tilework gives the space a relaxing, spa-like feel.
Alix often has family and friends to stay, so she wanted her two guest rooms to feel special. Lush carpeting and fine linens feel luxurious, while floral bedding pops against turmeric-hued silk drapes.
A pair of sculptural topiaries frame arched doors that open onto the charming outdoor lounge. Every room in the house has outdoor access. Each of the four bedrooms even has a small balcony to take advantage of the fragrant garden air, including the principal bedroom, which has a sweet Juliet balcony overlooking the patio.
Double doors off the living area lead to the backyard. Fresh green wicker chairs pick up on the window trim and plant life.
House & Home October 2014
Jackie Terrell of Jackie Terrell Interior Design; Architecture, Harrison Design.