For Jasmine Tookes and Juan David Borrero​, Home Is Where You Have the Most Fun

Tookes describes her own aesthetic as more classic while Borrero leans more modern, so the biggest challenge for Smith was blending their respective styles. He loves marble, she likes bouclé. Her fondness of nudes, creams, and neutral tones didn’t take away from his preference for darker tones—and even prompted them both to make bolder choices like a moody kitchen dominated by dark stone slabs with white veining and hints of camel. Despite their differences, Smith was able to find common ground. “It wasn’t too much of a box of concrete and I felt like I could blend my softer style into it,” Tookes insists.

Considering how the couple already managed to pull off a wedding in the wake of COVID, they anticipated a few minor setbacks and delays here and there; but nothing could have prepared either of them for record-setting storms that caused massive leaks in the house and fully derailed the progress that had been made. “We finished our primary bedroom—it was all beautiful, paint was done, furniture was in—and we got this huge leak,” Tookes recalls. “We had to shift and change things with the furniture and materials that were available. Everything was quadruple the price when it came to picking stones…. There were a bunch of pivots that we had to make, but I think everything came out so perfectly.”

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“Nowadays when people say they want a neutral house, it’s so easy to give them this one-note cream look,” says designer Kara Smith of KES Studio. “We wanted it to be calming, but not boring.” The sconce behind Tookes is by Rosie Li for Rosie Li Studio.

Photo: Michael Clifford

Given their passion for entertaining, it was extremely important to Tookes and Borrero that they have a variety of designated areas for hosting friends and family. Smith was determined to make these places pop from the lighting down to the glassware on the shelves. “We have a ton of game nights, that’s our thing—our friends come over and we do karaoke,” says Tookes. “We wanted to build a nice space for all of our friends.” The dining room is another standout space that warmly invites guests to unleash their playful side with the terracotta tinted walls before the groovy wallpapered ceiling stops them in their tracks. (The goal was to use rich, warm hues for a calming effect instead of anything that felt too loud or abrasive.) In order to maintain consistency so the interiors still felt contemporary, Smith combined ’70s influences with a blend of eras.

Some might find it surprising that when Tookes seeks a moment of serenity in the comfort of her home, she retires to the privacy of her sophisticated blush-toned office—not the primary bathroom with marble countertops and glam lighting. But the most satisfying room transformation of all came from tearing down the “horrible” lacquer cabinets that were originally in the couple’s primary bedroom and replacing them with a custom built-in shelving space. “My husband was, like, ‘These are great cabinets,’” Tookes laughs. “Kara and I were, like, ‘We need to get them out of here immediately.’”

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Tookes partnered with Crate & Barrel to design a nursery that would feel like a “princess bedroom” for her daughter, Mia Victoria. “Whenever I thought of having a baby, I knew that I wanted these really gorgeous blush limewash walls,” she says. “I also intended to paint the walls myself—that did not go very well, but I tried.”

Photo: Michael Clifford

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