custom doors inspired by traditional Mexican designs open to the courtyard. The addition (below) has barn-like proportions and is oriented to the brick terrace bordered by stone walls.
Lebanon, New Hampshire, to do engineering drawings. “It was rash,” he
says, “but I decided to go all out.”
With his joie de vivre permeating every room, his home is an art expe-
rience, brimming with color, warmth, exuberance, and originality, but
the new space truly embodies all his influences and pleasures. One of its
most beautiful features is the rounded, vaulted ceiling inspired by a tiny
chapel painted by Giotto in Padua, Italy, that dePaola saw on his first trip
to Europe in 1956. In homage to the famed Henri Matisse stained-glass
chapel windows in Vence, Provence, he designed a round stained-glass
graphic “rose” window in Matisselike colors, fabricated by Jamie Morgan
of Wilmot, New Hampshire, to nestle high in the end wall.
“A modest collector” of Mexican, Latin, and American folk art,
dePaola specified an entire wall of nichos (niches) to display his pieces,
much as the statuary is shown in small old Mexican churches. He also
encircled the room with bancos (Spanish for ledges). Then, in a contemporary leap, he incorporated the ambience of the lobby of the Mercer Hotel
in Manhattan’s SoHo district, emulating its dark tiled floor and using two
different shades of white and pinkish-white tiles that look liked painted
brick, lit from below, for the wall by the window bay.
As for furnishings, he says, “my personal style is mixing, matching, and repurposing.” Since his Pratt days, he’d
admired the modernist Le Corbusier sofa and chairs made
of chrome and black leather, designed in the 1930s. They
coexist harmoniously with mid-20th-century tables, an
antique American painted chest, and his pet Airedale’s bed and cradle
filled with dog toys.
Daily, when he finishes working in the studio, he heads to the incomparable space that he laughingly calls “The Mercer Room.” From a Bose
sound system, music — movie sound tracks, classical, holiday — floods the
space. “I feel as though I’ve got it all here,” he says. “It’s my Santa Fe, and
personal cocktail lounge, too.”