Cultured Gem

Create a cultured gem using your collections from around the world.

Mark and Amanda Werts’ home is a case of opposite attraction. Built in 1926, its architecture is California Mediterranean, but inside you will find a sophisticated mix of international pieces that live in harmony for a style that may best be described as “global chic.” To get the look of a cultured gem in your home, follow these tips:

outdoor table decor

Create a Cultured Gem

Color: For an eclectic look, contrast items and fabrics within the same color scheme to create a cohesive ambiance. In their home, Mark and Amanda display a dramatic black-lacquered teak dining table from Kenya that is surrounded by bubble-gum-pink painted walls. While the pastel hue may seem like an unconventional choice for a room that contains other ethnic elements such as a hand-carved, 6-foot-tall cabinet from Kenya; Udine (Italy) leather chairs; Egyptian photographs and a map, the soft color serves to enhance the treasured pieces and adds a whimsical touch to the setting. The rest of the walls are painted in the more neutral colors of beige or white. “I like to use color sparingly,” Mark says. That aesthetic holds true in the fabrics seen throughout the house, such as the off-white, imported Belgian linen draperies.

kitchen decor

Vintage Items: Mark is drawn to items with vintage appeal, especially from the 1940s era.

vintage items

High-Quality Fixtures: It was important to Mark and Amanda that the materials they used in their home’s renovation were of the highest quality. They combined authentic imported products with domestic ones to achieve the desired look. For instance, French limestone pillars on the front gate to their driveway were matched with California shale stones that had a similar look.

dining room decor

Fill Your Home With Things You Love: Among the pieces that Mark is most fond of in his home are a Polynesian painting and a Miro cubism painting from the 1920s that he bought for only $22. He is also very fond of the Hamam steambath that occupies an entire room. But it’s the handmade cabinet from Kenya in the dining room that is a particular favorite of Mark’s for its simplicity. “It is more than 100 years old, made by an unskilled artisan,” he explains. “I was attracted to its primitive beauty.”


By Meryl Schoenbaum
Photographed by Bret Gum
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

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