PaperCity Magazine

December 2019- Houston

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95 I n late September, Dallas and New York design worlds gathered at Michelle Nussbaumer's massive new warehouse hacienda for a peek at her kitchen. As House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Year, it drew a stylish crowd that included the magazine's editorial director, Joanna Saltz, who was looking very Manhattan sleek in a black-sequined floor-length skirt and black T-shirt. Gimlet-eye New Yorkers have seen it all, but even Nussbaumer's lavishly layered take on the essential cocina had the seasoned editor in awe. "Michelle has no fear — or design boundaries," Saltz says. "She mixes things that seemingly make no sense, but somehow it always works. It was frankly the exact element of magic that Kitchen of the Year needed." Magic, absolutely. Design voodoo, definitely. Nussbaumer didn't just create a single-room shiny kitchen; she orchestrated a crazy series of high-design culinary corners on every level of her three- story 20,000-square-foot warehouse home, which is slated for completion at the end of the year. In addition to the main kitchen with its Mayan- inspiration, there's a pink pantry that holds a boggling array of porcelain patterns, an Art Deco-inspired bar, and a hidden speakeasy. The walls, cabinets, and even the range hood in the kitchenette of Nussbaumer's upstairs office are wrapped in an ikat pattern from her textile collection. "It's all pure fantasy," says Nussbaumer, who fluttered through the evening in a diaphanous Balenciaga emerald silk sheath. "All the fantastical ideas I've ever had were incorporated here, sort of like how Tony Duquette created his follies. It's a huge warehouse, so it was the perfect place to experiment." Nussbaumer's design lab was a collaboration by a wide array of artists, artisans, and manufacturers. Ornare custom-made the blush-and- blue lacquered cabinetry in Brazil. Lili Cement Tile hand-poured and colored floor tiles in the centuries- old tradition. Addison Weeks created the speakeasy's golden hardware that references the Mayan serpent deity Kukulkan. In the cocktail b a r , V i r g i n i a - b a s e d a r t i s a n Paul Montgomery reproduced a Jungle Book-inspired mural that Nussbaumer had seen in Paris years ago. For the main kitchen, Dallas rising-star artist Francisco Moreno painted a spectacular backsplash of Mayan visages in Benjamin Moore paint. And Nussbaumer pulled out In Nussbaumer's office, a pendant by Troy lighting. Chairs upholstered in Thibaut fabric with Fabricut trim. Sofa upholstered in Fabricut textile. Draperies by Design Legacy. Above center: François et Co. hood, Ornare custom cabinets. Above: In the main kitchen, custom floor tile by Michelle Nussbaumer. Dekton by Cosintino countertop. Duncan Hughes for Dowell bar stools.

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