Nothing is understated about the five-bedroom 12,000-square-foot French chateau-style residence that Asta Homes carefully designed with luxury and large-scale entertaining in mind.
“My clients—Bala Sundar, a prominent businessman, his wife Lakshmi Bala and their two sons—are all about family, friends, and colleagues,” says interior designer Paula Grace Halewski, who became involved in the project when construction began in 2014. “Overall, they wanted comfortable, livable grandeur to enjoy with guests, but they also wanted diverse entertainment spaces, with different moods.”
The designer worked with her clients to select furnishings and finishes that would reflect their aesthetic in every room of the house. The expansive, marble-tiled entry sets an elegant tone, starting with a pair of arched wood-and-glass doors featuring wrought-iron scrollwork. A circular custom carpet of Halewski’s design sits beneath a round foyer table with brass feet; the table’s rich, dark finish repeats in espresso-stained wood floors throughout the home. Large, arched openings on either side of the foyer lead into the formal living and dining rooms.
A pièce de résistance is the custom, double-pedestal dining table in high-gloss walnut with gold-leaf detailing. Made in Portugal and part of Halewski’s furniture collection, it comfortably seats 10 to 12 guests. “The dining room is all about shimmer and texture,” says the designer, who finished the space with a subtle metallic wall covering embellished with glistening sand crystals and a pearl-
escent sky-blue paint treatment on the ceiling. A pair of gold-leaf and crystal-beaded chandeliers, along with matching wall sconces, completes the picture.
“I use texture, pattern, and lighting to make neutral rooms come alive,” Halewski explains.
Sky-blue ceilings and floor-to-ceiling, champagne-hued silk curtains connect the living and dining rooms. The two formal spaces also share the same sophisticated, neutral palette of grays, creams, beiges, and taupes. The living room is furnished with a tufted-velvet sofa, clean-lined armchairs and side chairs upholstered in cut velvet.
“I wanted this intimate space, where people gather before a formal dinner, to have two seating arrangements,” Halewski explains. “A roundtable and a quartet of striped chairs also serve as spillover dining room seating when needed.”
By contrast, the family room is soaring and vast, with its double-height ceiling boasting a high-contrast trellis design by Halewski that echoes the diamond-patterned carpet beneath it. “The family room’s palette is deeper, with navy, red and yellow accents,” she says. “The colors are of the twilight and sunset they see in their backyard.” Espresso-hued custom cabinetry flanks the limestone fireplace; custom sofas and armchairs provide ample seating for large, casual gatherings.
Even the kitchen is a picture of elegance. A glass-topped dining table with a nickel-and-walnut base makes an unexpected statement. “It’s a modern, graphic piece that contrasts beautifully with the more traditional cabinetry,” says Halewski. The transitional-style chairs that surround it are upholstered in practical gray leather.
The designer went all out with kitchen lighting, installing John Richardson chandeliers embellished with silk shades over the dining area and island. “Lighting is a big feature for the homeowners,” she remarks. “The chandeliers bring a refined, sculptural element to space and aren’t what you’d typically expect in a kitchen.”
On the lower level, Halewski’s custom lighting design—comprised of illuminated ceiling cutouts that mirror the furniture layout below—also creates a sense of drama. This open space is set up as a stylish hotel lounge, complete with a built-in bar, a temperature-controlled wine tasting room and a pool table and gaming area.
“I designed the basement as a big gathering space with multiple conversation areas,” she says. “The walls are textured grass cloth, with vertical nail-head detail, drawing the eye up and adding interest to the room.”
Once the party is over and everyone has dispersed, the couple can relax and unwind in their serene master-bedroom retreat. With its spa-blue palette and luxurious materials, it’s all about calm and Zen. Still, even in this quiet space, Halewski adds intrigue with silver-finish sculptural lamp bases; mahogany-and-rosewood veneer bedside chests; and round cut-velvet ottoman that floats at the end of a bed paneled in buttery leather.
“This project was truly a team effort,” Halewski reflects on the collaborative process she and the homeowners enjoyed. “We went to High Point Market together. We went to New York together. My clients were really interested in the design process—and it shows.”
Interior Design: Paula Grace Halewski, Paula Grace Designs, Inc., Ashburn, Virginia. Builder: Asta Homes, Great Falls, Virginia.
FOYER Doors: clarkhalldoors.com. Sideboard & Mirror: hickorychair.com. Sconces: fineartlamps.com. Center Table: centuryfurniture.com. Round Rug: paulagracedesigns.com. Lounge Chairs: johnrichard.com. Accessories: studioa-home.com.
DINING ROOM Table: paulagracedesigns.com. Dining Chairs: kristindrohancollection.com. Chair Back Fabric: kravet.com. Chandeliers: fineartlamps.com. Wallcovering: yorkwall.com. Area Rug: stantoncarpet.com. Candle Holders: studioa-home.com.
LIVING ROOM Sofa: kravet.com. Lamp Tables: paulagracedesigns.com. Table Lamps: johnrichard.com. Polished-Stainless-Steel-and-Stone Tables: swaim-inc.com. Lounge Chairs & Side Chairs: kravet.com. Side Chair Fabric: fabricut.com. Center Table & Horn Side Table: centuryfurniture.com. Center Table Chairs: hickorychair.com. Chandelier & Sconces: curreycodealers.com. Area Rug: millikencarpet.com. Accessories: studioa-home.com. Wall Art: wendoverart.com. Drape Silk: libassilk.com. Drape Hardware: unitedsupplyco.com. Pillow Fabrics: leejofa.com; vervain.com; fabricut.com. Custom Wood & Glass Door: atrium-interiors.com.
KITCHEN / BREAKFAST ROOM Custom Cabinets: cabinetsinlancaster.com. Stove/Oven: subzero-wolf.com. Pedestal Table, Dining Chairs & Chandeliers: johnrichard.com. Custom Backsplash Tile: conestogatile.com. Counter Stools: frontgate.com. Area Rug: stantoncarpet.com. Candle Holders: studioa-home.com. Organic Gold Bowl: phillipscollection.com.
FAMILY ROOM Sofas & Swivel Chair Ottomans: swaim-inc.com. Ottoman / Coffee Tables & Swivel Chairs (next to fireplace): hickorychair.com. Lounge Chairs: kristindrohancollection.com. Clover Side Table: studioa-home.com. Glass Side Tables: swaim-inc.com. Table and Floor Lamps: visualcomfort.com. Chandelier & Sconces: fineartlamps.com. Mirror: centuryfurniture.com. Accessories: studioa-home.com; phillipscollection.com; arteriorshome.com. Pillow Fabrics: leejofa.com; kravet.com.
MASTER BEDROOM Bed & Glass-and-Steel Side Table: swaim-inc.com. Lamp Tables: centuryfurniture.com. Table Lamps: visualcomfort.com. Lounge Chairs: hickorychair.com. Ottoman, Pillow & Bolster Fabric: kravet.com. Drape Silk: libassilk.com. Drape Hardware: unitedsupplyco.com. Bedding: valerianne.com.
LOWER LEVEL Wall Covering: phillipjeffries.com. Sofas & Lounge Chairs: swaim-inc.com. Round Bench: paulagracedesigns.com. Cocktail Tables: centuryfurniture.com. Metal Side Tables & Clover Puzzle Table: studioa-home.com. Glass-and-Metal Table & Console: worlds-away.com. Console Lamps: visualcomfort.com. Wall Mirror: cyandesign.biz. Accessories: studioa-home.com; phillipscollection.com. Fountain and Fountain Table: phillipscollection.com. Pendant: corbettlighting.com. Pillow Fabric: kravet; robertallendesign.com; fabricut.com.