Warren Fluharty’s Living Room
Warren Fluharty Designs, Asheville
It’s a suite full of rare, luxury antiques — including a chicly distressed Italian chest, Blanc-de-Chine vases, and cunningly attained Lalique perfume bottles. And yet the living room in Warren Fluharty’s home near Weaverville looks bold, not breakable. The stone fireplace surround extends to that entire wall, anchored by a massive pair of Chinese vases.
The house was built in 1962 by well-known area architect J. Bertram King, and the angled boat ceiling still looks cutting-edge. A gilt sunburst mirror, its rays more saber-like than shining, maintains the mid-century-modern aesthetic while vouchsafing passage for the rest of the room’s eureka pieces.
Chief among these is an outsized, vaguely campy painting by former UNCA art director Tucker Cooke depicting fiery neo-classical angels. Smoldering in the entryway is a vintage ’70s album poster of Barbra Streisand; in the framed black-and-white photo, the singer sports flowing locks, a macramé peasant blouse and an assessing, diva-like stare.
It’s likely Babs approves of the living room’s travertine marble floor, three-legged Saladino table, buff-colored Billy Baldwin slipper chairs, and the ornate gilt desk that once sat in the lobby of a French hotel. All is elegant, overlaid with a patina of Old Hollywood, including a Maitland Smith chair Fluharty custom-upholstered in a zebra print.
The room is a drama that unfolds naturally, despite a wildly eclectic mix of key players. “Somehow,” says the designer, “it just works.”