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Oscar Winner/Interior Designer Takes Star Turn on Belvedere

The woman behind Spotlight creates homes as well as movies

There aren't many (if any) interior designers whose websites include a link to the trailer of a major motion picture they've produced, but Blye Faust of ByBlye Interiors isn't your typical designer. The Belvedere resident holds three jobs: mother, designer, and film producer. Last night, Faust and her team won the Oscar for best picture. After the festivities, Faust will return to the ranch house that she designed for her family (husband Aaron and two boys, ages four and six months). For anyone else, this role convergence might be jarring, but for Faust they jive seamlessly. "It's all about storytelling," she says.



↑ The story of Spotlight started years ago when Faust and her producing partner, Nicole Rocklin, heard about the team of investigative reporters at The Boston Globe who brought to light a large-scale sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The 2002 coverage resulted in five priests being sent to prison and a Pulitzer Prize for the reporters. Faust and Rocklin, who specialize in films based on real events, decided to bring the tale to the big screen. "For some stories, you have to change details to make them work for movies," Faust says. "But the way this incident played out, it was like a three-act play. We didn't have to alter the details at all." The movie stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Live Schreiber, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci.

↑ Although her current home is miles away from the Oscar red carpet, Faust decided to channel the glam elements of her former life in Southern California and a more understated, indoor-outdoor Marin County vibe to furnish the ranch house she and her husband rent in Belvedere. The result is another true story, but this one is the account of a marriage. Photos of their travels (they've been to every continent save for Antarctica) mingle with oil paintings by her great-grandmother. Gold-hued accents and kid-friendly finishes live together in harmony. And the living room (seen here) is composed in colors that Faust would use to put together a favorite clothing ensemble.

"The living room is done in black, blue, and pink with gold-brass accents," Faust says. "These are the colors I would put together when choosing an outfit."


↑ Like many ranch houses, the place is long and narrow. Faust designed a black leather sofa to anchor the space (the upholstery is great for kids, as it can take what they have to dish out), but chose armchairs that are easy to move around. "Our dining room table seats eight people, and I believe in having as many chairs for people to gather after the meal," the designer says. Here, the side chairs can easily move around to fit the space whether it's party time or not.

When Faust says pink, she means the color in its palest form (seen here on a pair of armchairs). The key colors are also found in the painting by Faust's great-grandmother, the well-known Impressionist Katharine Dunn-Pagon of Philadelphia.


↑ Two other abstract paintings were commissioned by the couple to remind them of their travels. The large works by Cindy Robinson represent the London Bridge and the Roman Forum.


↑ The couple's love of travel is also reflected in the gallery wall that leads into the space. The photos show them in places around the world, and although the frames are different, the images are all printed in black and white for a uniting element.


↑ Journeys are also a theme in their oldest son's room, where skateboards are painted with maps of cities the child has visited: New York, London, and Paris.


↑ For this room, Faust wanted to keep it from being too cluttered or kid-like in order to have a space that would age well as her son grew. She chose a bamboo bed from Kalon Studios and, since this room doubles as a playroom, a metal work table that's a big-box hack. "I needed an almost see-through craft table," she says. "I bought this table from Restoration Hardware and had a metal worker cut the legs down to child-size."


↑ "It was important to me to decorate the room with elements he loves," Faust says. Given that the little boy is obsessed with the Golden Gate Bridge, including this photograph of the bridge being engulfed by fog was the natural thing to do.


↑ For the younger child's nursery, Faust wanted to find a vintage dresser to use as a changing table. When she spotted this changing table with classic lines from Restoration Hardware, she abandoned the idea and married the old-looking piece with a mod crib from Dwell Studios. The artwork of the sleeping cheetah was picked up at a local estate sale.


↑ Both rooms have open shelves (Ikea) and large seagrass baskets (Cost Plus). "I love baskets for child rooms," Faust says. "When it's time to pick up, it makes things really easy."


↑ Downstairs is where Faust runs her interior design business. And she applies the same flexibility rules here. The acrylic desks can be cleared easily and placed on either side of a fold-out sofa to serve as end tables when guests visit.


The flexible pieces will come in handy when the Faust family stages their next production in a nearby home they recently purchased. "We love this house so much, we have stayed much longer than we thought we would," she says. "But now that we have two children, we are starting to burst at the seams. Although it's time to move on, I'll really miss this place."

The family fell for Belvedere, in the words of the designer, "hook, line, and sinker." So their next home is mere blocks from this one. Faust says that the new house is great, but needs updating—and so begins another story.