PaperCity Magazine

February 2020- Houston

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Page 80 of 103

79 HIGH AND MIGHTY BY REBECCA SHERMAN. INTERIOR DESIGN DAVID L. MERRYMAN. PHOTOGRAPHY PÄR BENGTSSON. ART DIRECTION BY MICHELLE AVIÑA. DESIGNER DAVID L. MERRYMAN LAYERS A SKY-HIGH PENTHOUSE WITH ANTIQUE BRONZE AND CINNABAR VESSELS, NEPALESE SHRINES, ANCIENT BUDDHA AND QUAN YIN FIGURES, AND A RAFT OF INDIAN PISHWA ALLEGORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS, ALL ENVELOPED IN BLACK GRASSCLOTH. B ob Kuperman spent several years living in Palm Springs, where he owned a retail design store. He's an avid collector of Asian antiques, and the store was a way for him to indulge in his favorite hobby, says longtime friend and interior designer David L. Merryman. Recently, Kuperman moved into a Galleria-area penthouse in The Willowick, a high- rise designed in 1963 by Neuhaus & Taylor architects for developer Gerald D. Hines, and hired Merryman to design it. The penthouse hadn't been touched since 1977, and Merryman spent more than a year renovating it. He layered the interiors with Kuperman's extensive collections, all carefully edited from warehouses filled with thousands of decorative objects and rarities his client had amassed over 45 years. Remarkably, enough inventory was left for Kuperman to launch his first Houston store, House 2106, a 3,500-square-foot Montrose-area emporium which opened last month. Merryman had designed other homes for Kuperman in the past, but this penthouse in particular drew on the designer's interests and background — he has a degree from The University of Texas at Austin in architecture and interior design, with an emphasis on art history. Born in Houston, Merryman grew up in Palm Beach in a house designed in the early 20th century by architect Addison Mizner. "The architecture of Palm Beach and the traditional, layered-interior style that came from so many New York expats who lived there, rubbed off on me," he says. The summer after graduation in 1992, he dialed up Mario Buatta's office in New York on a dare, looking for an internship. "Mario answered the phone and could not have been nicer," he says. "The next thing I knew, I was in New York as his intern." The work was unpaid, but Merryman "was a fly on the wall absorbing it all," he says. He was also put in charge of organizing and maintaining countless containers of tassels, trims, braids, and other passementerie. "The way Mario put patterns, prints, stripes, and layers together was something I loved," says Merryman, who has clearly mastered the art of layering furnishings and mixing patterns. In Kuperman's penthouse, plumbing and electrical had to be replaced, walls were removed, and clunky support Antique altar table in the dining room holds antique bronze vessels and Buddha heads from Tibet and China, including a rare red amber seated Buddha. Lamps from Allan Knight. (continued)

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