Interior designer Mark Cravotta layered sophisticated textures, eclectic shapes and time periods with such effect that this second residence now feels more like home than home.
A bachelor Texan ranch owner purchased a Four Seasons residence in Austin for the occasional getaway from his home on the range. But when Mark Cravotta of Cravotta Interiors was done with the 4,200 square foot residence, it became his favorite place to stay.
“He needed a place that was sophisticated yet still very comfortable for entertaining,” said Cravotta. “He likes the place so much now that he only spent six days in the last eleven months at his ranch.” That’s no surprise. Cravotta transformed the space into a luxurious, laid-back setting.
Cravotta achieves his welcoming atmosphere by incorporating an extensive variety of textures and art as well as vintage and antique pieces into a polished environment. Art and antiques identify a period in time, age gracefully, and espouse comfort and ease.
The linen-covered main entrance wall showcases dynastic Chinese military-rank textiles that were already in the client’s possession. The wallcovering softens and warms the space while newly-applied bricks on the opposite wall give it a lived-in character.
“I really want the space to appear as if its furnishings are collected over time rather than assembled like a showroom. I don’t want a visitor to know that this was all produced inside of a year. I want it to appear as if it could have developed over a generation but was very well maintained.”
The open-plan living and dining room ceiling is finished with wallpaper textured with plaster, handmade by Studio E. Its deep tonality and granular shagreen texture evokes intimacy. Shapes and colors repeat throughout the apartment with such delicacy, providing continuity between the rooms for a restful atmosphere. A lacquered linen cocktail table plays into dining room ceiling textures and juxtaposes beautifully with a high-polish, high-gloss tomato red lacquered side table. The same unabashed red can be seen on the shelving in the nearby study.
In the media room, circular patterns in the drapes, a curvy table lamp, and other slender echoes direct the eyes around the room. Oranges and greens, when paired with the chandelier, add a whimsical and faintly retro touch.
Cravotta is inspired by his clients, spending significant time with them in conversation and sharing images.
“What I want, more than anything, is to feel like I understand who they are and how they want to be expressed in the world.
I’m a very deep listener. I listen to more than their words. I pay attention to their body language. I look for emotional cues, and then I’ll test my theories. I am looking for their eyes to light up and say, “That’s it!”
His wish is for his clients’ spaces to become the outward expression of their inner image of themselves.
Photography by Paul Bardagjy