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Designer and homeowner create an ideal space for a single's lifestyle

SANTA ANA, Calif. When Carl Thon looked at cavernous spaces and white walls of his newly constructed Tuscan-style home, he realized he needed help finishing what he started.

SANTA ANA, Calif. When Carl Thon looked at cavernous spaces and white walls of his newly constructed Tuscan-style home, he realized he needed help finishing what he started.

He presented the challenge to designer Beverly Thompson: Meld the interiors with the architecture, but keep the effect masculine.

And Thon, 55, would take an active role in choosing the furnishings and decor.

Thompson had worked with bachelors before.

"Most of the guys just write a check, but Carl was very involved," Thompson said.


Thon was hesitant to hire a designer; he didn't want his home to appear "overdone."

"I didn't want my friends to come over and ask, 'Who did you turn loose in here?'" he said. "I wanted it to be elegant, but not cluttered; I didn't want every square inch of this place covered."

Yet, its cavernous spaces and white walls put him off. He knew he couldn't finish his newly constructed, Tuscan-style home alone.

"I told her, 'Just protect me, don't let me do anything foolish,'" Thon said.

Thompson started by interviewing her client, finding out about his lifestyle and how he planned to use the spaces in his home. She found out that although he doesn't cook, he wanted a chef-quality kitchen and space for fine dining. And because he loves to entertain, the furnishings had to look great, but withstand the rigors of watching games with the guys.

She found he also entertained a special female guest on occasion. During this time he wanted to show off the ocean view from the master suite on the second floor. He wanted a relaxing space where he could share a bottle of Champagne in front of the large picture window.

"I said, 'Beverly, this is going to be a challenge, because I don't want the bedroom to look like a bedroom,'" Thon said. "This needs to be packaged a little differently."

Through the spatial arrangement of the room, Thompson created a separate seating area with the view as the focal point, instead of the king-size bed.


"She made it non-threatening; the bed is a designer feature in the room," he said.

Throughout the house, Thompson chose masculine colors and fabrics and avoided over-accessorizing and any furnishings that could be considered froufrou. The spaces connect seamlessly through walnut floors, iron accents and a unifying Old World Tuscan theme. Light fixtures used throughout the home are from Westinghouse Lighting Corp., where Thon is employed as vice president of global operations.

Architect Robert Coyle designed the home, creating different elevations to maximize the space. An elevator serves the two main floors. The entertainment areas include a wine cellar, a media room that opens to a courtyard, an upstairs bonus room situated off the guest suite and a party room that connects to the rooftop patio, which will be decorated in the future as a New York-style penthouse.

"I told him, 'I'm going to make this home so you never want to leave it,'" Thompson said.

And that's just what happened. Thon started working from home on Fridays.

"That was unheard of," he said.

Instead of driving to the company in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., he makes coffee and walks upstairs to his private office. "I've never been like that, so she added another dimension to my life, which I think is important.

"She made the house very comfortable," Thon said. "When you think about it, I'll get to a point in my life when I'm going to spend a lot of time here."

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