ELEANOR CUMMINGS: That's the aesthetic — rustic Italian. But it's a brand-new house.
That almost defies belief.
That's because just about everything in here — the wood, the stone, the furniture — is old, old, old.
Pretty unusual in a city that's all about the bold and the new.
Very. A couple in their 30s live here with their three children, and what's even more unusual is that he was the one who drove the design.
Was this his dream house?
It was his obsession. His parents took him to Italy when he was a boy, and it made a big impression on him. He always knew he was going to build an Italian house and he had the wherewithal to do it in a realistic way, as it would have been done in Italy. Otherwise, it could have veered off into the oh-so-bad.
I guess that powder room mirror is a tip-off that a man might have driven the design.
He saw that window grille and had to have it, and he got the idea of retrofitting it into a mirror. I told him no woman wants to put on her lipstick looking through a grille, but I didn't win the argument. I do love the way it looks, but you'd better have a compact with you.
Did you have to import all this wood and stone from Italy?
No. We have a great resource here, Chateau Domingue, a huge warehouse and gardens full of reclaimed architectural materials. We couldn't have done it otherwise.