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The Ultimate Home Tour: Her Study & His Library

Samantha Brooks

HER STUDY
For Patricia Bauman, being married to a jewelry designer has its advantages. John Landrum Bryant’s work accessorizes not only his wife’s fingers, wrists, and neck, but her study as well. “In addition to designing jewelry, I also design elements for the home,” Bryant says. “The home items are made with the same attention to detail and techniques. The only differences are in the materials.” Indeed, walking into Bauman’s study is akin to opening a jewelry box and discovering one-of-a-kind treasures.

The room is located on the top floor of the couple’s Washington, D.C., townhouse, which was built in 1900 and renovated in 1930 by an owner who spent three years installing such decorative details as plaster moldings and parquet floors. The home’s setting grants an exceptional view of a neighboring park from Bauman’s study. 

For the 300-square-foot space, which Juan Pablo Molyneux helped design, Bryant crafted a glass chandelier adorned with depictions of sea creatures, a glass desk lamp with a bronze base that features images of shore grass and a turtle, a bronze side table with a concave leg that incorporates a piece of coral, and a large table with legs bearing a shore grass motif. Bryant also designed the desk. “Most of my work is defined by curves, but the desk is one of the few things I’ve done with a straight line,” he says. “The tension between the modern top and the organic leg really sets it off.” Complementing the desk is an early-19th-century chair from the Russian Imperial Pavlovsk Palace.

Animals and nature are prominent themes in Bryant’s work, and they also appear in the smaller items Bauman has collected during her travels. Placed throughout the room are a small elephant statue from China, a Japanese box with an iguana on top, a bronze mouse by the contemporary French sculptor Daniel Daviau, two lacquered Japanese vases from the Meiji period that depict monkeys playing, and an otherwise nondescript trash can with an elephant pattern. “My husband and I have always loved creatures,” says Bauman, whose eponymous foundation contributes to several environmental agencies. “We’ve been to Africa a few times, we snorkel a lot, and one of the things our foundation supports is an elephant sanctuary.” 

Bauman also has an art collection that includes several old masters. Among these paintings is Abraham Bloemaert’s The Baptism of Christ (1602), which hangs over the mantel. “We have a close relationship with the National Gallery [of Art in Washington], which has given us their advice on collecting and restoration,” explains Bauman, who studied art history at Radcliffe College and worked at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art soon after she graduated. “It’s allowed us to collect with more confidence and expertise.” 

The study has been divided into two areas, each with a distinct purpose. On the sofa, Bauman catches up on her reading, and at the desk, she writes in her journal. “It’s a very happy space,” she says. “When you look outside the windows, you’re up above the trees. It’s like a small home within a home.”

John Landrum Bryant, 212.935.0999, www.johnlandrumbryant.com
Juan Pablo Molyneux, 212.628.0097

HIS LIBRARY
The books that fill the shelves of the library in this Santa Barbara, Calif., house are not decorations: They actually have been or will be read. “Nothing bugs me more than when you walk into a library and it’s a show library—the kind where no one has ever actually opened any of the books,” says the husband, a retired real estate executive and extensive reader. “I wanted a room where I could walk in and be surrounded by the things that I love: books.” To that end, architect Richard Landry designed a space large enough to accommodate the homeowners’ collection of novels and U.S. history books, but not so large that the room would be overwhelming.

“Its location adjacent to the bedroom means that they walk by it every day on their way to the kitchen and the great room. It’s not banished to the back of the house; it’s not isolating,” says Landry, who also positioned the room so that it offers views as compelling as the contents of its books. “Through one window you look out to a little stream and a bridge near the front of the house, and through the other you can look toward the backyard and see out to the Pacific.”  

Interior designer Sue Firestone furnished the 375-square-foot, mahogany-paneled space with bookcases that extend to the ceiling, a desk from Baker, and a pair of leather chairs, one of which the husband occupies every evening. “It’s like a cozy nest,” says Firestone. “This is for the kind of couple who reads at night instead of watching TV.” 

“This is not the biggest or most elaborate library my firm has done,” says Landry. “But what makes it ultimate is its context and the way it’s positioned. A lot of times, a library is just an afterthought in a home, but this is really part of their life.” 
 
Landry Design Group, 310.444.1404, www.landrydesigngroup.com
SFA Design, 805.692.1948, www.sfadesign.com

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