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Vintage Industrial Chic
Elm Grove condo displays unique design

Photos by Doug Edmunds

July 2013

The warm earth tones introduce color into the space yet blend nicely with the industrial details. "I needed to close off my office from the main living area. I did not want it to look normal," says homeowner Mary Ann Matter. "So we thought if we had to have a door we might as well make it a piece of art," adds interior designer Theresa Vaughan. Sean P. Wiler of Scathaian Collective came up with the idea.



Walking into Mary Ann Matterís Elm Grove condo is a little like walking into a homey Iron Horse Hotel. "I absolutely love the hotel," says Matter. "When we came here we wanted to capture that vibe." To fulfill her dream, Matter hired Theresa Vaughan of Forte Design, John McWilliam, owner of Scathain Collective, and Jennifer Espenscheid of Soma Gallery.

The team started the project in 2008 and it took nearly two years to complete. "It was a white box, so everything in here, Jennifer, John, Theresa and myself created," explains Matter.

Instead of traditional shelves for the hallway nook, Vaughan opted for a set of three forged metal sculptures by Global Views.

Itís all in the details and perfection takes time. After consulting with Matter regarding her vision, Vaughan found Scathain and the rest is history. "I kept him busy for a whole year, all he did was this project," says Matter. Scathainís touches are everywhere including the steel moulding around the windows, the majority of the case goods, antique mirrors, light fixtures and details added to the furniture. Some of the furniture pieces were also designed and constructed by Scathain craftsmen.

"Itís a designerís dream when you not only have a client, but an artisan that can create exactly what you want," says Vaughan.

"Take the country out of these baskets," was the instruction Matter gave McWilliam when she handed him the baskets that she wanted to hang adjacent to her kitchen. Chris Leslie of Scathain Collective designed the iron rods which the baskets hang on.


The refined space she now calls home is a definitive step in Matterís personal expression, but she also incorporates vintage finds in every room. "I love that mix of old and new. I love anything vintage," says Matter. She already had an array of antique cameras and a typewriter, but they rounded out her collection with a trip to Antiques on Second. She adds that the personal items remind her of her grandparentís bungalow on 60th Street.

The result is a palate of unique design, warm muted tones and the perfect place for Matter and her English Bulldog Tula to live.

Jennifer Espenscheid of Soma Gallery created five original pieces for the condo including the painting in the dining room. Flux Design made the frames for the painting. "Every piece tells a story," says Matter. The flooring throughout the main living area is Anderson Virginia Vintage Stout Red Oak flooring from Georgia that was hand scraped by inmates at a prison. "They get paid and part of the money goes to the victim of the crime they committed and the other part goes into a bank account for when they are released from prison. They get to learn a skill and earn some money," says Matter.


A half wall in the kitchen was removed to make way for a large island with seating. Most people think of adding storage space to a kitchen, but Matter chose to redesign the space by removing the pantry and adding a cupboard on the side. Juparana Persia granite and mushroom-colored cabinets blend nicely with the stainless steel appliances and 9.5-inch brushed stainless pulls. McWilliam applied antique silvering to the mirror above the sink. The fixture is from Restoration Hardware.

The settee was custom built by McWilliam and Vaughan had it upholstered to achieve the vintage look they were going for. "We pulled the colors from the antique rug," Vaughan says. "We designed the coffee table so it would have a shelf. I wanted it sleek and modern," says Vaughan. The underlying shelf is completely open so paperwork and magazines can be tucked away.

Scathain Collective constructed a wall display for Matterís antiques. Steve Sheer built custom frames for the vintage photos he found to match the wood piece. "I love lines and architectural detail. This vignette captures all of that in a beautifully vintage way," Matter says. 



This story ran in the July 2013 issue of: