In the Know

Homeowners trust their “go-to” design team to bring the glam to a Clayton house they already knew well.

By Kim Hill    

Photography by Bob Greenspan


We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s who you know” when looking for a job or a putting together a business deal. The owners of this posh home in Clayton can lay claim to the slogan as well. The young family purchased the home from friends who were being transferred out of town. The new homeowners then turned to their go-to designers, Joy Tribout Interior Design, to transform the two-story house with great bones into a home that would fit their lifestyle.

Tribout and her team, which includes daughter Tammy Tribout-Caruso and daughter-in-law Anna, were already well known to the homeowners. The Clayton house would be the third project the Tribout team would undertake for them. “I think they completely trust us and know our look and what we do,” says Tammy. The homeowners had included nearly all their furniture with the sale of their previous home, “so we really started from scratch in the new home in Clayton,” Tammy says.

Anna recalls the only direction the homeowner gave this time around was to utilize a black and white color scheme. Working with existing sleek white kitchen cabinets and beautiful dark hardwood floors, the design team was off and running to give the homeowners a design style Joy calls “metropolitan” — classic, yet comfortable, with glamorous touches throughout.

In several rooms, the glam is brought via walls hand-painted by Tribout’s full-time artist. In the round front entry, for example, the artist painted a thin black stripe accented with a diamond shape. “Everything in this house that looks like wallpaper is hand-painted,” says Joy. The designers asked their artist to interpret a carpet’s geometric shape for the first-floor powder room’s black and gold walls. “You never know where we might see a design pattern,” says Tammy. “It might be a jacket or a rug.” Or it might be piece of jewelry or a dress that inspires the team to utilize the design on a wall or in a pillow, Joy adds.

The same gold paint—a custom blend applied in a multi-step process—was used for wide stripes in a long hallway leading from a round entry to the open-concept kitchen and family room. Crystal ball chandeliers add another level of drama and sophistication.

The kitchen is anchored by a large, 12-foot-long island painted in black. “It’s enormous,” Joy says of the island. “It seats four. There is no kitchen table in the room.” Black leather barstools with nailhead trim pull up to the island for casual seating. Selecting a quality barstool is very important, according to Joy. “To me, a barstool is like a good pair of shoes,” she says. “They have to be comfortable, they get a lot of wear and tear, and a lot of people want an inexpensive barstool, like they do shoes.” Investing in quality merchandise that’s heavily used pays off in the long run, she says. Opposite the island, French doors lead to a large patio featuring an outdoor kitchen, fireplace and a TV for all-seasons entertaining.

A chandelier with a rich history takes center stage in the dining room. Joy says the chandelier came from an old farmhouse in Belleville, where her warehouse and showroom are also located. “It didn’t have many crystals left when we got it, so we had to buy a lot of antique crystals for refurbishing and have it all rewired,” Joy explains. “But the workmanship on it is beautiful. You don’t get that look on a new fixture.”

Upping the glam even more in the dining room, the designers paired winged chairs in Schumacher quilted black leather with side chairs by Oscar de la Renta covered in a black and white Brunschwig & Fils silk and cotton blend. Crown molding and windows were painted black. The Century Furniture mirror is well-traveled; it debuted in the first home the Tribout team did for the family.

The young daughter proved to be most discriminating member of the family in making final decisions for the design in her bedroom, according to Joy. “She was definitely opinionated about what she wanted, much more than her mother, actually,” Joy laughs. “It was really cute.” To add the lavender color the daughter desired, the Tribout team brought touches of the hue to the bedroom with great attention to detail. For example, their artist painted small lavender bows strategically placed atop thin stripes of black paint. A black cornice above the window seat is trimmed in stripes of varying shades of purple. Lavender pillows—both solid and in the Tribout-signature “X” shape – are piled on the bed and the window seat.

In the master bedroom—a room so large the sitting area holds a full-size sofa—the designers brought even more sophistication with special touches. A black velvet bench at the foot of the bed adds glamour; the headboard is black leather. The designers added black and white trim in a Chippendale-inspired design to the white sailcloth duvet. Gleaming chrome lamps by Jan Barboglio shimmer at night.

The wood chair from Century’s Oscar de la Renta line at the entrance of the room is another “who you know” example. “We’ve had a partnership with Century Furniture for probably 35 years,” says Joy. “When de la Renta died, Century called and asked if I wanted to buy all of the rest of the chairs like this one. And I did, because they wouldn’t be able to make them anymore because Century no longer had the rights to his name. I loved these chairs so much I wanted them all, and we try to give one to someone we like a lot. This client we love.”

Developing such a warm client-designer relationship must be built on trust, according to the three women. “I’d say 90 percent of our clients are referrals,” says Tammy. “Good clients we love refer us to someone else. We add new clients, but we always keep our old ones.”

Yes, it’s good to know the Joy Tribout Interior Design team.     



Interior Designer: Joy Tribout Interior Design