Design Scene: A Contemporary Palo Alto Residence by S. Russell Groves

W takes a tour with S. Russell Groves through a contemporary Palo Alto residence he designed.



“I love the entry. I love the idea that we put this unusual bench, typically you’ll see a center table. This was a much more fun, much more relaxed approach. It’s become a great space for people to come sit down and take off their shoes or the kids to sit when they’re getting ready for school.”



“We refinished the stairs and painted it a bright white and then added the sculptural light fixture from Lindsey Adelman to kind of tumble down the stairs.”

Art: Clayton Brothers, “Happy Above Ground”


Living Room

“It’s really a mix. All of our work is some combination of some custom pieces, some vintage pieces, some new pieces. We used people all over the US: the Midwest, California, and of course New York City as well.”

Behind sofa: Candida Hoffer “Biblioteca de Palacio” Above cabinet: Robert Morris “Blind Time XXIX” Fireplace: Richard Artschwager “Untitled (Cubes Centered)”


Dining Room

“The dining table is a piece I love that we did. Painted bronze legs and an oak top and it has a very simple shape, but it has this great juxtaposition of materials, which is something I think we do very well. The chandelier is from Holly Hunt, but we customized it with a whip stitched shade.”

Jenny Holzer “Sir, My Brother’s Son” Ryan McGuiness “Red Painting”


Reading Room

“A lot of these pieces the client already had, so it was really trying to find the right location for the right piece within the house. I think it worked out really well.”

James Busby works Presidio light fixture by Boyd Lighting Fred Sandback “Untitled”



“We thought about where the larger pieces might go and as we were designing the layout and the palette things had to be shifted. It was definitely a work in progress and will continue to be as they collect more pieces.”

Ryan McGuiness: “Skate-Deck Sculpture” Donald Judd: “White Rectangle” and “Orange Rectangle” Marais A chair and stools from Design Within Reach


Second Floor Hallway

“The house as we found it was very stuffy, very ornate and very heavy, so we wanted to come back in and freshen it up and lighten it up. We didn’t to much architectural work. It was all through the color palette and choice of materials and finishes.”

Ryan McGuinness, “Golden Girl Painting” Fred Sandback “Untitled”



What is Grove’s dream acquisition for his own space? “A larger bathroom! In the constricted island we call Manhattan, the bathroom always seems to be the room that suffers the most.” In Palo Alto, space is clearly not an issue.