When asked if there is a certain look she wants to evoke in the interiors of the Medford home she shares with her husband and their 5-year-old son, Lizzie Stark simply replies, “art monster,” as though the statement stands on its own. Prompted, the author of a soon-to-be released book, Egg: A Dozen Ovatures, elaborates. “It means being bold and not being afraid to make a statement,” she explains. “Like [Japanese artist] Yayoi Kusama prancing around in a really amazing muumuu.”
Unlike Kusama’s artwork, polka dots don’t punctuate rooms, but each is still a standout. With a book deadline looming, Stark and her husband, George Locke, a scientist and artist, hired designer Kiki Perez to bring the vision to life. Perez, founder of Feróz Creatif Designs, felt perfectly in sync with the couple, whose offbeat, artsy vibes she immediately appreciated. “Lizzie and George understood that I’m a different kind of designer,” Perez says. “They gave me the freedom to explore color and be artistic.” Stark concurs: “It was important to us that Kiki’s personality be reflected, too.”
That’s not to say there were no constraints. Save for the battered staircase, the couple insisted that Perez preserve the original gumwood details in the 1928 brick home. “The wood has survived almost 100 years; I’m not going to be the one to paint over it,” Stark says. Perez worked with a jewel-toned palette (plus a healthy dose of black) to counteract the orange undertones of the ever-present woodwork. Wanting dark hues that are family-friendly, bold, and cozy played into the decision, too.
Perez also had to straddle the clients’ disparate tastes. “All furniture would be square if it were up to my husband,” Stark says with a laugh. So, Perez masterfully combined sharp lines with the wavy ones preferred by Stark in a design scheme tinged with Art Deco flavor, which, not coincidentally, aligns with the era of the home.
Running with the “villa in the French Riviera” theme inspired by the black and white basket-weave tile floor, wood wainscoting, and tall windows, Perez used a terra-cotta-colored limewash paint for the walls and ceiling in the entry hall. She also hung two of Locke’s nude paintings that capture the essence of the space.
A few feet ahead, Perez switches to a geometric wallpaper with an Art Deco design that helps show off the Missoni flame stitch stair runner. All these angles juxtapose an original Victorian-style chandelier that Perez urged the couple to refurbish. The light, small in scale compared with the exuberant statement fixtures that anchor the other rooms, hangs quietly in the hub of the first floor.
To the left, a three-tiered, star-shaped chandelier made from perforated wrought-iron sheets with an antiqued gold-leaf finish hangs from the coffered ceiling in the center of the music room. Beyond that, a sputnik chandelier overhangs rough-hewn wooden hand chairs set against 1970s geometric wallpaper in the playroom. “There are clear sightlines across all the rooms,” Perez says. “Every direction you look offers an artistic viewpoint that highlights their personality.”
In addition to being a focal point across the house, the star chandelier nods to an Old World design. “It’s a modern version of a candelabra chandelier you’d find in a European music room,” Perez says. The fixture also bridges the two sides of the large room. On one end, a curved teal-velvet sofa sits across from the piano. On the other, Perez arranged a pair of nubby topaz-colored chairs in front of the fireplace to mimic a Victorian tête-à-tête, much to Stark’s delight.
Sapphire metallic paint on the walls and recessed ceiling panels temper the wood and bring down the scale of the space to make it feel cozy. Like the chandelier, they also nod to Perez’s inspiration. “At night, when the light hits the paint, there’s a romantic sparkle,” she says.
In the dining room at the right of the entry hall, Perez sticks to black and white, save for the rich Persian-style rug that warms up the space. Curves mingle with straight lines in balance, bringing together the couple’s tastes. A spider chandelier with softly rounded geometric shapes hangs above a crisp table by Aronson Woodworks. White wallpaper with meandering black lines brightens the wall above the wainscoting, while an arched storage cabinet with charcoal stain breaks up the expanse of wood.
“Kiki nailed our style,” Stark says. “We have a house that is itself a work of art.”
Interior design: Feróz Creatif Designs, ferozcreatifdesigns.com
Contractor: IMF Strategic Developments, imfstrategicdevelopments.com
Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to email@example.com.