When you think of a laundry room, what do you imagine? A dark, oversized closet, maybe – with a waste sink, if you’re lucky? The husband and wife designer duo Cara and Tom Fox, founders of The Renard Group, will not tolerate such a boring space. You will never find a part that is not both functional and beautiful in all the houses they touched.
So, in a recent project for a family in Salt Lake City, Cara Fox designed a laundry room that was both stylish and practical. “The client isn’t afraid to be girly and who she is,” says Fox. To that end, the room features Schumacher floral wallpaper, pink and white striped tiled floors, and a bespoke giant pink table with a marble top. Christopher Scott Cabinetmaking. As for function: there’s an oversized farmhouse sink with a Carrara marble backsplash, as well as plenty of cabinetry.
Thanks to Fox’s impeccable attention to detail, it’s not just the sunny laundry room that has received special favor. In the kitchen, for example, Fox wanted to showcase the unique floor-to-ceiling slabs of Calacatta Gold marble that adorned the walls. Rather than covering them with cupboards, she moved most of the storage into a sleek butler’s pantry tucked away in a hallway behind the main cooking area. To boot, she created a large, bespoke room to hide the fridge and other kitchen appliances like the toaster and stand mixer. “I call it the home appliance center,” she said. “It’s super functional, but very cleverly hidden.”
The family, who love to host events big and small, turned to Fox to revamp several entertainment spaces in the 8,000 square foot sprawl. This includes the formal dining room, which has custom built-in storage space on either side of the fireplace and houses the client’s substantial porcelain and silverware collection. Thoughtful touches make cabinets more than just a grouping of shelves and drawers. Fox chose a revolutionary design to make the rooms more consistent with the classic Dutch colonial exterior of the mansion, and also added details like sculpted flowers that match the golden handles. An ethereal mural by local artist Tyler Huntzinger brings more nature with images of native sycamores, oaks and junipers.
As sophisticated as the residence is, it is home to four children. Fox therefore made sure that its interior would also appeal to the little ones. Good to know: One of the girls’ bedrooms, straight out of an English garden with Schumacher floral-print wallpaper and white lattice details, features a bespoke alcove bed and wardrobes and creative shelves that have room for everything from toys to shoes. “The room looks like a cohesive space,” says Fox. “You don’t really realize, ‘Oh, that’s the closet right there, and there’s the shoe storage.'”
If there’s one space in the house that perfectly combines adults’ appreciation for high-end design with children’s high energy, it’s the underground basketball court. “We thought, ‘let’s make this ground beautiful,’” says Fox. The result: a herringbone white oak courtyard. Unique? Certainly. But more importantly: the kids approve.
“We took our inspiration from the English office cabinets and made it a specific size for everyday dishes and cups,” Fox says of the cabinets on either side of the range. Vary: Workshop with a custom walnut hood designed by The Fox Group. Wall lights: Julie Neill Lighting. Walls: Calacatta Gold marble. Brass pendant lights: Ralph Lauren with a custom shade of Schumacher Fabric. Tap: Water stone. Sink: Shaws.
“I think the stars of this room are the fitted wardrobes. They have a real barrel arch inside the shelves, ”says Fox. The piano is a heirloom from the client’s grandmother. Fireplace tiles: Delftiles. Integrated: Christopher Scott Cabinetmaking. Couch: Customer’s own, re-upholstered in Schumacher Fabric. Slipper chairs: Phew. Low table: Phew. Chandelier: Périgold. Lattice wall: Made from custom hand cut diamond shaped boxes.
The mural here, painted by Tyler Huntzinger, features Utah landscapes that guests love, from seas of trees to mountain scenes. The local artist also painted details in 24k gold on the floor and ceiling. Built-in and dining table: Customized by Christopher Scott Cabinetmaking. Chairs: Customer’s own, covered with Schumacher Fabric.
The living room
“We knew we wanted this room to have a ‘wow’ factor with the two story windows facing the pool,” says Fox. “But we softened the look with the curtains.” Curtains: Schumacher Fabric. Plants: Source by EBW design. Chandelier: Ralph Lauren. Fireplace: Made of bluish limestone. TV: Samsung, with a personalized gold frame. Couch: Customer’s own, covered with Schumacher Fabric. The couches: Customer’s own, covered with Sister parish Fabric.
For the master bedroom, “we wanted to bring that garden feel,” says Fox. “The flowers, the butterflies, the birds and all the open light.” Wallpaper: Schumacher. Curtains: Schumacher. Chairs: Customer’s own, re-upholstered in Schumacher Fabric. Bed: Custom made by The Fox Group. Sheets: Matouk. Wicker vase: Mainly baskets. Ground: White oak herringbone.
Although guests live in Salt Lake City, they love the East Coast. For the office powder room, Fox used a preppy nautical print to evoke this region of the United States. Vanity: Aqueduct. Mirror: The Fox Shop. Wall lights: Visual comfort. Wallpaper: Schumacher.
The two girls share this bathroom, which they nicknamed “Jill and Jill”. Bathtub: Vintage Tub & Tub, with a custom color. Tile: Carrara marble. Paintings: Vintage.
The sleek basketball court reinforces the home design game with a cool herringbone pattern. Ground: White oak.
The dollhouse is huge – five feet tall! – and an exact replica of the real house, having been built from the same materials.
The Butler’s Pantry features the same fabric that Jackie Kennedy used when she remodeled the White House. Curtain fabric: Schumacher. Tiles: Carrara and Bardiglio marble. Drawers: Personalized in 24 karat gold. Sink: Shaws.
“We wanted this room to look like a secret garden,” says Fox. Bed and built-in wardrobes: Custom designed by The Fox Group. Wallpaper: Schumacher. Pouf: Made to measure by Lee Industries. Sheets: Matouk.
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