text by Amy Prince
so we really got to play,”
Lucy says of the house.
Drop by the Wrubels’ Dallas home and Lucy Reeves is likely to greet you in a Granny Smith–green tunic and gold Yves Saint Laurent heels or some equally bold getup. Her husband, Steve, probably dressed in a Popsicle-bright Loro Piana pullover, jeans and beat-up Gucci loafers (with fuchsia socks peeking out!), will no doubt whip up a cheese plate and juice glasses of Prosecco to herald your arrival.
For this creative couple—he a travel photographer, she a DJ—color is a natural Prozac, and their flamboyant fashion sense is matched by their vibrant decor. Like a cartoon come to life, the three-story house they moved into in 2003 radiates with good-humored hues. “Beige never occurred to us,” Lucy says, adding, “Living in a comic book gets me going.”
The Wrubels credit their dolce vita m.o. to a three-year stint in Rome: “Every Italian man owns a pair of red pants. They’re like khakis there,” Lucy enthuses. Spending nearly two decades in Los Angeles—“the most liberating place”—was also a major boost to their style confidence. But while this pop decorating is cocktail-party energetic, it never gets out of hand. The couple limits its Technicolor vision mostly to furniture and accessories (mid-century-modern buys, flea-market finds and treasured inheritances) in a well-curated palette of green, blue and pink, situating everything against a calm white backdrop. This setup allows them to move pieces, Rubik’s cube–style. During ad-lib happy hours, Steve might dash off to fetch the office’s graffiti-print chair for extra living-room seating as Lucy grabs her closet’s purple-blue stool as an extra perch at the kitchen table. The configurations are endless.
A trio of Andy Warhol lithographs in the kitchen inspired the house’s madcap color scheme, which is most elaborated in the living room. A green Dunbar sofa as big as a Cadillac holds court, but the rest of the furniture is hardly subservient. Lucy reupholstered vintage Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen chairs in partyproof Ultrasuede, opting for brazen cobalt and turquoise, respectively. The chaise, re-covered in hot-pink damask, was a “graceful but tattered” rescue from a Roman bazaar. “We call her ‘Gwen Stefani,’” Lucy says with a laugh.
At one time Lucy was an actress and comedian in Los Angeles, and she still thrives on having her own dressing room. “We made it from an extra closet. It has a makeup mirror like in a theater,” she says. Even this tiny nook has big drama: A wall of pink rectangles, hand-painted by a local graffiti artist, is set off by Saarinen’s curvaceous stool with violet seat. The witty cat sculpture was a gift from Lucy’s grandmother.
no doubt about it,”
Lucy says of the
bed she designed.
Blues, from peacock to aquamarine, pervade the house and connect private and party spaces. In the bedroom, a custom satin headboard strikes a decadent note. The fiberglass fish, affectionately called “Bob Marlin,” and the wall of paint-by-number ship art, mostly unearthed at L.A.’s Rose Bowl flea market, prove that, even with elements of kitsch, rooms feel elegant when organized around one main hue.
The powder room gets the award for the most “Oh my god!” reactions from guests. In this self-contained space, the couple felt free to ditch the white backdrop and let loose with a pattern kaleidoscope—traditional blue-and-white dishes displayed on trippy paisley wallpaper. They designed the red Murano chandelier in Venice, then draped it with beaded necklaces picked up in Kenya. Because why hold back?