Designed by Bradfield & Tobin

Photography by Sargent Architectural Photography

Geoffrey Bradfield and Roric Tobin



n an exclusive tree-lined suburb of Columbus, Ohio, Geoffrey Bradfield and Roric Tobin were called upon to design interiors for a family’s 20,000 sq. ft. home. The latest in a series of projects executed for three generations of this distinguished Midwestern family, Bradfield & Tobin teamed with their frequent collaborator architect Don Goldstein, and the results bear witness to the exceptional synergy between them. The design requirements were to incorporate the wife’s favorite color blue and to emphasize comfort foremost. Bradfield and Tobin responded with a color palette that celebrates blue in a range from celestial to moody hues. Ample attention to family comfort is evident, with plush custom-designed rugs and commodious lounging spaces for the children and the many guests that gather for convivial occasions. Fine finishes, homage to the elegant and exciting Art Deco period, a design plan that showcases an extensive contemporary art collection, and two spectacular personalized spaces created to indulge the husband and wife’s special individual passions combine to produce a home that envelopes the residents in luxury and ease. 

Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne’s fairy tale-esque sculpture Pomme de Ben, ca. 2007, with mischievous monkey perched on the apple’s stem, and Ross Bleckner’s painting Field of Poppies are a bold duet in the entrance hall. The grand sweep of the staircase with its stepped detail and the graphic pattern in the marble floor introduce the Art Deco and Art Moderne design influences that are reinterpreted in various forms throughout the residence. 

A composition of swirls and circles in the entry. The custom-commissioned console table is Sonate by Hubert Le Gall, designed to evoke the penny-farthing bicycle of the Victorian era. The bicycle was named for its resemblance to the ratio of the large front wheel–the penny, to the tiny rear wheel–the farthing. The mirror, circle-shaped and surrounded by beveled circles, is 19th century English. The graceful arc of a giraffe’s neck in a priceless bronze sculpture by Rembrandt Bugatti, circa 1910s  (son of Art Nouveau furniture designer Carlo Bugatti) and a crystal vase with swirling tendrils underscore the theme. 

Visible through a deeply molded arch, Jim Dine’s double Venus de Milo sculpture beckons into the living room. The sculpture of Venus de Milo, thought to be the goddess Aphrodite, relates to Les Lalanne’s Golden Apple in the entryway through the Greek myth The Judgement of Paris, in which a Golden Apple is the prize to be awarded to the fairest of three goddesses, one of which is Aphrodite, as judged by the mortal Paris.   

In the drawing room, the color palette of fawn, silvery gray and many shades of the client’s favorite blue is executed with subtlety and grace, supplemented by texture in the form of silk wallcovering and carved carpet. The overscale scroll pattern in the carpet takes inspiration from the tapestry fabric on the armchairs near the bay window. Classical design elements such as the columns in the antique marble fireplace and the cornice frieze are complements to Jim Dine’s modern interpretation of ancient Greek sculpture. An abstract painting by Sam Francis hangs above the mantel. The Ginkgo coffee table is by Claude Lalanne, coupled with a pair of Harvey Probber lounge chairs. 

The family room sports lively geometric motifs, with a bold zig-zag carpet designed by Bradfield & Tobin to echo the stepped ceiling panels, and marquise shapes in the chair upholstery and side tables. The room is soft and plush, with abundant and inviting seating options for this family with three young children. The single piece of artwork is by Sam Francis; the view into the entry hall and the graphic patterns of textiles and the rug provide plenty of impact. 


Francois-Xavier Lalanne’s Table aux Antilopes is encircled by custom chairs with art deco panache by Artistic Frame. A red lacquer credenza, above which hangs another work by Sam Francis, adds a jolt of bright color and unifies the furniture color palette with the artwork. A tableau of cool silvery sparkle is created by a vintage Venetian glass mirror flanked by a pair of Murano glass sconces from John Salibello, grouped over a French Art Moderne mirrored console from Newel.  Atop the console is François-Xavier Lalanne’s Rhinoceros Bleu, executed in 1981. Lalanne preferred the universal appeal of the animal world, saying, “Everyone can recognize animals throughout the world, you don’t have to explain what they are or mean.”


A vintage Art Deco chandelier from John Salibello. The walls are covered in gray saddle-stitched faux leather.

The media room takes inspiration from the Art Deco period, and in particular, the work of designer Donald Deskey, with whom Geoffrey Bradfield was personally acquainted. Deskey designed the interiors for Radio City Music Hall, and the influence of his iconic furniture profiles is much in evidence. The dramatic deep blue monochromatic color palette is enlivened by the the Deco-style pattern of the carpet, which was designed by Bradfield and Tobin, and by the sumptuous gauffrage mohair velvet upholstery from Brunschwig & Fils, and lacquer finish ceiling and moldings. The cartoon paintings are by Colombian artist Álvaro Barrios. The works depict well-known comic strip figures such as Clark Kent having an imaginary and surreal obsession with Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 sculpture Fountain. A commercial porcelain urinal which Duchamp signed "R. Mutt 1917," the piece was submitted for exhibition in the 1917 Society of Independent Artists show in New York City, and was rejected on the grounds that it was not art. Arguably the first piece of conceptual art and an icon of the Dada movement, Barrios chose its inclusion in these paintings to underscore his departure from conventional and conservative positions regarding the nature of art and life.  


Much like the movie palaces of the 1930s, the screen (albeit television, not cinema) is covered by curtains when not in use, and frames the screen when the “feature” is running. 


An expansive channel-tufted banquette runs the length of the room, with a mirrored wall behind it. The Deco-style occasional tables were plated in a white gold finish, a look favored by Bradfield, and one exceptionally  appropriate for the Streamline Moderne style table in the foreground. 

The second floor hallway features a trio of watercolor studies for chandeliers by Dale Chihuly. The jewel-within-a-jewel faceted glass and paktong pendant light fixture is by Matali Crasset, commissioned through Mallett Antiques. Paktong is a rare Chinese metal alloy, which translates as "white copper."  

The master bedroom is a serene and luxurious oasis, with soft colors and patterns derived from nature — leaves, branches, fruit and vines. Lavish hand-embroidered silk curtains in White Hall, by Geoffrey Bradfield for Stark, frame the wall of French doors. The bed covering is of the same fabric. The gilded branch side table is vintage 1950s from John SalibelloA balcony spans the length of one entire wall, overlooking the verdant landscape.


The stylized pineapple motif from the curtain fabric was repeated in the custom carpet designed by Bradfield & Tobin, produced by Stark.

The gilded, carved wood vanity is a custom design by Bradfield & Tobin, and takes inspiration from the designs of Armand-Albert Rateau, a French Art Deco designer who created interiors and furnishings for many illustrious clients, including couturière Jeanne Lanvin, Cole and Linda Porter and the Duke and Duchess of Alba. Rateau’s design for the Duchess of Alba’s dressing table featured slender ribbing and an undulating apron, the influence of which can be seen here. The contours of the vanity are traced by a decorative border within the floor tiles, and by a round mirror-and-glass perfume cabinet at left. The glamorous center mirror has an inset of frosted glass forming a picture frame. The clawfoot vanity stool is custom from Victoria & Son.

The powder room walls are a custom-commissioned mosaic executed in white cement with hundreds of tiny mirror leaves, by Pierre Mesguich Mosaic. The effect is that of a frosty forest of leaves glittering in the reflected light of the Fontana Arte sconces, and changing with the movement of the occupant in the space.

The smoking terrace was constructed especially with the husband’s love for fine cigars in mind. It is comfortable even in the coldest months, compliments of the concealed heating elements that keep the terrace warm in Ohio’s snowy winters. The finishes and color palette are reflective of the outdoor surroundings, with upholstery in shades of green, limestone floors and rustic brick columns.

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