once a dilapidated mansion, Lucinda and Javier’s home in Kentucky has been radically updated with a harmonious mix of sleek modern design and timeless vintage pieces
If the idea of an Italianate mansion in Kentucky may seem incongruous to many Europeans, the stunning interior of Lucinda Loya’s home in Louisville will leave them barely able to believe their eyes. ‘I love to blend the unexpected!’ says Lucinda, a shock-and-awe tactic that achieves its aim in spades. From the vast expanse of verre églomisé glass panels in the living room to the rich, contemporary colour schemes and offbeat collection of art and accessories, Lucinda’s vision of creating chic modern design within a grand period setting has been realised with effortless style and panache.
Not that there wasn’t a serious amount of work involved. Located in the Cherokee Triangle neighbourhood in the city, the property, which dates back to 1875, was divided into five derelict apartments when Lucinda and her husband Javier first came to view it. ‘The building’s character and history really drew our attention,’ says Lucinda, who had spent much of her childhood growing up in Louisville. ‘We were looking for an older home to remodel as a project and this house was in some disrepair, but much of the original architecture and fixtures were still intact, and a lot of the rest was salvageable.’
Lucinda, whose family moved to Houston, Texas, when she was 12, has always had an independent streak, not to mention a gritty sense of self-determination. So much so that she left home at the tender age of 17 in order to make her own way in the city. Having already been employed in a fabric store (where the discounted lines gave her the opportunity to make prom dresses, which she then sold to her friends), Lucinda was inevitably struck by the interiors bug. ‘I started off by rearranging furniture while babysitting as I supported myself,’ she says. ‘I took a hobby to the next level by getting business cards made and later enrolled at The Art Institute of Houston.’ Once she had met Javier, then a commodities broker, Lucinda embarked on revamping his bachelor pad, which, in turn, led to more commissions from his colleagues and friends.
Now, her expertise is such that she has a roster of top-end private and commercial clients, each eager to have the Loya magic sprinkled over their spaces. With her studio based in Houston, Lucinda and her husband were drawn back to Louisville not only because it was the place where she was raised, but also because the pair are keen fans of horse racing – the Kentucky Derby in particular, which they like to come and watch every year. The expansive mansion is the ideal place to host family and friends, and also provides a wonderful setting for philanthropic soirées. ‘It’s designed with entertaining in mind,’ says Lucinda, ‘and is a happy, nostalgic retreat, which we love to share.’
It’s also, of course, a fabulous showcase for her decorating ideas, which – Lucinda would have us believe – result from ‘organised chaos’. ‘I adore anyone who thinks outside of the box and is willing to take chances, such as Parisian fashion house Maison Margiela’s “classic-with-a-twist” approach,’ she says. She’s also a devotee of European interior design and spends much of her time visiting the annual fairs and furniture shows. ‘I find so much inspiration on my travels,’ Lucinda says. ‘I stay current by attending industry fairs such as Salone del Mobile in Milan and Maison&objet and Maison Paris Déco Off, as well as High Point Market here in North Carolina. I also frequent the art fairs in Miami during Art Basel and the Armory Shows in New York – I love both art and fashion!
‘Modern European is a huge influence on my designs, because I like using antiquities and art from all over the world,’ she continues. ‘My style is eclectic and can lean towards modern, contemporary and even transitional, along with anything in between. What matters most to me is that each project remains unique. Others may confuse modern and contemporary, but knowing the difference is key to creating a timeless aesthetic…’
But what of this ‘organised chaos’? Lucinda’s home looks anything but disorganised and random. What could she possibly mean? ‘If you don’t limit yourself, anything is possible,’ says Lucinda. ‘Like a symphony, everything will come together as long as you stay true to your ideals.’ Music for the soul, then, and a heavenly chorus that makes your heart soar. We think that describes Lucinda’s epic interiors pitch-perfectly.
For more information about Lucinda’s interior design work, visit lucindaloyainteriors.com