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Tampa Resident Reveals True Colors
In Newly Designed L.A. Townhouse
By Mary Lou Janson
Bright, bold and a bit unconventional. What describes a newly decorated, vibrantly designed, Los Angeles townhouse owned by a prominent Tampa family, applies to more than just the stylish space; it’s also an apt description of homeowner Candy DeBartolo, who collaborated with Tampa Bay design professional Enrique Crespo, to furnish and finish rooms to reflect her fashion sense, fearlessness and individuality.
Moving from a cozy L.A. condo that formerly served as Candy’s home-away-from-her-Tampa-home, to the larger, three-level townhouse, offered lots of opportunities to add her signature flair throughout the living and dining areas, outdoor patio, third floor bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms.
“I just wanted this to be different from my house in Tampa,” DeBartolo said. “I wanted a space to call my own. I have great friends out there and I want them to enjoy my surroundings. I love it in L.A. and so do my daughters. It’s such a different experience there. I love people watching. I love the fashions, the restaurants, the shopping, the weather and I love the people.”
That point-of-view, and some of the dwelling’s accompanying views, are apparently shared by her neighbors that include Candy Spelling, Paula Abdul and Ralph Lauren’s nephew.
Hoping to entertain guests at the new address by the first of this year, Candy knew just who to call to fast track making her home move-in ready. Crespo, principal at the Tampa-based Crespo Design Group, impressed Candy with the inspired ideas he introduced to the South Tampa homes of her daughters, Nikki DeBartolo and Lisa DeBartolo Miggs, as well as, areas of her own Tampa residence.
Another family-owned property, a new Carrollwood restaurant named Sacred Pepper, has also been entrusted to Crespo’s eye for design.
“Enrique is such a master of space”
— Candy said referring to her L.A. home
“We have some curved walls, but he found a wonderful curved couch. It all just works. I think we complement each other’s tastes. Enrique is so fun to work with. We had lots of laughs together. And we are both on the same page. That makes for a very fun time.”
What began with a flurry of fabric, color and wallpaper selections at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood last July, continued with monthly meetings and shopping trips in California and finally wound down when Crespo spent all of December getting everything placed, painted and papered.
“I absolutely want to entertain here,” said DeBartolo. “My friends and I just love chilling and talking. This space is a place to accomplish that and have fun.”
The open floor plan creates a light and airy environment on the main living level that flows to an outdoor area, accessed by floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors. Furniture is free of the confines and constrictions of walls. Vivid colors and various prints co-exist in harmony.
“This is how I dress. I never dress safe,” said DeBartolo about her non-traditional tastes. “I don’t follow all the rules. I have short platinum hair and love beautiful clothes. I don’t like looking like everyone else.”
A woven silk floor rug boasting whimsical swirls, colors similar to paint splatters, creates a welcome focal point on the wooden floor. A bright pink portrait of Marilyn Monroe coated in diamond dust sparkles and shimmers. The long, narrow upstairs hallway is buffered by a runner made from an Indian sari. Handblown mercury glass plates wall-mounted at the top of the stairs add depth, dimension and drama.
“I love wallpaper and try to always use it in my designs,” said Crespo. “People still think of wallpaper as the dated floral you might find at your grandmother’s house. Wall coverings have come a long way. I feel they add another layer of texture to the space you can not achieve with painting. The paper in the guest room is silk, the paper in Candy’s office (aqua colored room) is murano glass beads and the paper in her master bath portrays falling flowers (peonies).”
A mother of three and wife of commercial real estate developer, and former owner of the San Francisco 49ers NFL franchise, Edward DeBartolo Jr., Candy admits to an affinity for cosmopolitan destinations.
“My husband loves Montana and he’ll spend months there,” said DeBartolo. “It’s not enough for me. I am not very outdoorsy. I spend maybe a month per year in Montana. I need more stimulation!” M
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Designs created by Tampa-based
Enrique Crespo, Principal,
Crespo Design Group
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