The beautiful brick home of Steve and Julie Bing sits high atop a hill overlooking Slickway Branch and the Frankfort Country Club. The 3,500-square-foot two-story home was purchased in 2011 when the Bing’s returned to Steve’s hometown.
Built as a home for a developer, the house was originally finished in a traditional style. But, the Bing’s see the world from a contemporary point of view. During their 24 year marriage, Steve and Julie collected contemporary art through their travels to California, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. From the personally selected original art, to the large collection of art glass and the fairly large in scale sculptures, they needed to design their home in a truly contemporary aesthetic.
They carefully considered the placement of every collection and art piece. Niches were built for sculptures, lighting was updated to highlight the brilliance of each sparkling glass piece. The front door was retrofitted to include custom, contemporary stained glass. Each painting found an exclusive location to command full attention.
Surrounding the furniture pieces with space brought focus to the individual objects themselves. Walls became a bright neutral backdrop. Traditional cabinet hardware and plumbing fixtures were replaced with clean lined modern options. Each and every detail became proof that a contemporary theme can be both comfortable and engaging. The Bing home is a beautiful example of living in a contemporary world — by design.
- Art selection. Original art was personally and purposefully selected from the many travels to Santa Fe, Naples, Bar Harbor, Naples, Big Sur and Jackson Hole. Artists like metal sculptors Albert Paley and Bryan R. Holden (Louisville), and southwest based painter Phyllis Kapp, became favorites. They have purchased (and appreciate) work from local artist, Ellen Glasgow and Louisville based Beatrice Candioti. Every piece of art has a unique identity that maintains stunning presence in the home.
- Contemporary aesthetic. Set against a neutral background of a soft creamy white, the Bing’s expert use of color in furnishings and accessories comes from a natural eye for a contemporary aesthetic. A striking vibrant plum is the primary color of choice and found in solid chairs and pillows. The beautiful plum color is repeated in the rugs and in the various art pieces. Using an uncomplicated contemporary aesthetic, pattern is primarily limited to the floors. When it is used it contains vibrant color and strong graphic statements.
- Display. Numerous collections are found throughout the home, but not with overwhelming expression. Art and art glass collections are featured in like groupings and contained in purposefully designed display cabinets. Small art glass pieces are meticulously arranged as relatable elements of a whole story. Precisely selected and arranged lighting plays a role in highlighting the sparkling detail of each piece.
- Mix materials. A playful mix of materials adds to the contemporary theme. Mirrored tables, glass table tops and metallic accessories are all used as supporting features of the colorful art. Metal formed sculptures, including a 6-foot human like shape, a colorful wall size swoop and southwest themed iron candlesticks are added to the mix of materials to add structure — and a bit of whimsy. Neutral, tactile furnishings soften the impact of bright color and metal finishes.
- Theme. The contemporary theme is followed consistently through the home without waiver. Form, function, scale and portion are perfectly executed. The result is an honest reflection of their life and travels. It’s colorful and interesting, yet understated and calm. It’s open and uncluttered, with gallery like details. It’s contemporary by design.
Terri Bennett is the owner of Terri Bennett Interior Design & T Bennett Home.