“Luxury is when it seems flawless - when you reach the right balance between all elements. Understated theatricality – that is what my luxury is all about.” - Jean-Louis Deniot, French Interior Designer
Janet Longe and her daughter Jamie Davies are co-owners of the local luxury residential interior design business, 23rd [and Fourth], on Excelsior Avenue.
“I’ve been involved in design – in one form or another – for a very long time,” Janet says. “My daughter comes from the business world. We’re both creative. It made sense for us to join forces and offer the community something we felt was lacking.”
Their current showroom allows 23rd [and Fourth] to display several substantial pieces of furniture, décor, fabric, custom-designed, even one-of-a-kind treasures.
“We wanted people to be able to come in, sit on the furniture, browse through our samples, make personal selections to help decorate their homes,” Janet states.
The condo renovation on Broadway began in the kitchen. The owners wanted a different, more contemporary style. The project was going to include new flooring, appliances, and lighting.
Other areas of the home were of a traditional flare. Janet and Jamie had several conversations with the couple, asking questions that would give them an idea of what their clients wanted to change and what they wanted to keep the same.
During their walk-throughs, things began to evolve. “You know how it is,” says Jamie. “One idea leads to another. And another. Before long, we were talking about walls coming down to the studs so we could start with a clean slate. We had a list of things we wanted to run by the owners, a plan, so-to-speak. They were open to all of our ideas.
In the kitchen, they used back-painted glass for the backsplash instead of the usual tiles others might choose. It wasn’t possible to see a sample of what it would look like finished, but Janet and Jamie didn’t doubt that it would be beautiful. It was a soft, light color that tied other things together in the room.
“Now, when they stand in the kitchen they can see the reflection of the sun, the sky, the trees and the changing seasons.
It’s incredible.” The condo overlooks historic Congress Park, so the reflection of anything is beautiful. The room is sleek, from floor to counters, to appliances and lighting fixtures.
Chantilly Lace was the color of paint choice for most of the rooms in the condominium. Bright pops of color were pulled in, adding an element of surprise here and there.
Splashes of bright orange and black art hanging on walls in the dining room greet people ready to sit for a shared meal and conversation.
Janet and Jamie designed a gorgeous walnut bookcase for one of the spaces, hiring a local contractor to build it. Soft, supple leather became an integral part of each shelf.
The home had a fireplace, but not a three sided show stopper like this. This focal point is totally custom with a concrete base and steel clad walls. Converted to an ethanol-burning unit – the perfect choice for those who can’t access a true-vent or chimney.
The pair have worked on several different types of renovations. They can take a country farmhouse and create something ultra-modern if that is what the client wants. Contemporary, traditional, minimalist, urban, transitional, rustic-country, this duo is up for the challenge.
“We take our client’s general idea and add pops of color and surprise,” Jamie states. “People don’t always know – exactly – how they want their home to look. They have a picture in their head. It’s our job to take that and build on it.”
Adding transom windows to different rooms in the condo allowed there to be glass, which lets light through. While keeping the air of privacy for their clients, the windows let in more natural light, a look the owners were partial to.
The designers found areas in the 3,000-foot home that worked well with cork wallpaper, zebrawood, floating cabinets, rift white oak flooring throughout – each well-thought-out touch, unique and welcoming.
The powder room is impressive. With walls painted dark grey and a lacy-texture wallcovering applied on the surface, stunning fixtures and flooring to match, it’s a conversation piece for sure.
The living room is large and open, with modern yet substantial furniture that makes a bold statement of luxury and comfort. The outdoor patio is an inviting space for peace and quiet, watching the hub-bub of downtown from a distance.
Janet comments on how happy they are with the contractors they work with. “They listen to what we want and they make sure it happens. In addition to purchasing one-of-a-kind pieces from vendors all over the country, we have many items custom made for our clients – that relationship is everything.”
The whole idea is to make the house a home – to make the home everything an owner might envision.
The property on Broadway took about a year, from start to finish. I can only imagine how beautiful it is year-round.
23rd [and Fourth] is busy working on their website and hope to have an online store available soon for clients to shop from as well.
“We feel incredibly blessed and honored to be the ones creating these living spaces for our clients,” Jamie tells me with a smile.
Her mother seconds the sentiment. “ It’s very satisfying to begin a project and take it to the end – watching it evolve from a simple idea to a reality – a space our clients love coming home to.”
I have a feeling their clients would agree, wholeheartedly.