artfully refined spaces
Lafayette interior designer Monique Breaux describes her 18-year-old home as an ongoing work-in-progress that changes monthly. The contagious passion she has for reinventing sophisticated settings has earned the attention of prominent New Yorkers and international power brokers who frequently desire turn-key service. Just as soon as Breaux steps into a new space, the walls become a canvas and the artistry begins.
The award-winning designer recently caught the attention of Architectural Digest and the Wall Street Journal for one of her latest Manhattan masterpieces for Trump International Realty.
The 4,200-square-foot residence, in Trump Park Avenue, sold for a cool $14 million just two weeks after her design completion. Other recent projects for the Trump organization have included a stunning 8,000-square-foot apartment with a price tag of $35 million.
The president of Posh Exclusive Interiors, Breaux also fashioned a chic abode in Manhattan for President Donald Trump’s daughter, Tiffany.
“It’s her first apartment in the city, and it has amazing views,” she says. “It was in the renovation stage. We worked directly with Tiffany, and decorated it with our custom furniture, while utilizing a cleansed, light color palette.”
Working on various projects for the Trump organization for the past four years, Breaux ’s affiliation with the first family began well before the presidential election. Her husband, Tim, who is president and CEO of Ironhorse Development/Construction Company, serves as the Deputy Chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana.
“I typically work under Ivanka’s direction,” Breaux says. “Since the Trump corporate headquarters are housed in Trump Tower, going to meetings there isn’t new to us, although now, there is increased security and media in the lobby.”
Breaux ’s ongoing projects for the immense Trump organization have included working with “clients from all over the world with many different personalities and ethnicities.”
Her portfolio ranges from posh penthouses to luxury yachts and planes, sprawling country estates, urban condos and beachfront dream homes. The designer also has a furniture line that she manufactures.
Breaux and Tim’s four-bedroom house, which was designed to afford multiple views of their poolscape with fountains and fire features, is constantly evolving.
“Our home has had many different phases,” she says. “Styles change. That’s what makes us interesting as human beings, that we are constantly changing. That’s part of the evolution of design. When you’re not duplicating design, everything becomes a test about how flexible you are to take it in a new direction.”
Among the couple’s many upgrades was an expansion of the kitchen/keeping room that now wraps around a sunroom overlooking the pool.
“A few Christmases ago, we realized that there wasn’t enough room in the kitchen to hold 40 family members. When I returned home from one of my jobs, Tim had already removed the entire kitchen wall to extend the space. The project was finished in a couple of days. That’s how we live.”
Breaux explains that the kitchen is “classic modern,” her favorite design style that is incorporated throughout the residence.
“Classic modern has that new, fresh feel to it, but it’s not trendy, it’s not happening at the moment,” she says. “Two hours later, trendy is over. Trendy is the last stage before tacky. But if you keep your core element classic, or modern classic, then you can throw in an edgy coffee table, for instance. It’s sort of how you dress, like wearing a Chanel suit [jacket] with a great pair of jeans. It’s knowing how to layer things.
“We don’t want to be a pedestrian design firm that produces trendy furniture such as pedestrian midcentury modern, which is out. We try to create everything from furniture to wall finishes that can stand the test of time.”
While the kitchen’s stone countertops have changed three times, Breaux has kept her original cabinets that are nearly as old as the house. A sleek custom island that’s shaped like a baby grand piano was designed to convey a sense of movement.
Her passion for creating unique colors and wall textures is evident throughout the home.
“We have great artistic capabilities for wall surface finishes,” she says. “The living room walls have a suede finish with crystal elements that give a little glimmer, which is similar to the master bedroom. We have an entire wall of glass tiles in the kitchen, and we built up depth with the Venetian plaster in the hallways. We’re not just buying Benjamin Moore paints. We’re taking elements to create different wall finishes per room. I want something that has texture and added dimensions.”
Breaux ’s dining table was custom designed with an 80-inch round glass top imprinted with etched water patterns underneath, so that fingerprints and other imperfections that often result from serving beverages wouldn’t be noticeable.
“We worked with a company that used an etching material designed to resemble splattered water marks beneath the glass. It’s fun trickery that does a good job of masquerading anything else on the table.”
Adding drama to the space is a considerable iron chandelier that’s almost as large as the dining table below.
“It’s held up by an 18-wheeler chain in the attic. I wanted something just over the top,” Breaux says.
The elegant living room, which has a view of the pool, is appointed with an ottoman on casters that doubles as a coffee table. It adheres to Breaux ’s philosophy that “good design is about multi-purposed pieces that can travel.”
“The reason creative designers are good at what they do is because they don’t let the space define them,” she says. “Taking hold of a challenging space makes me think about how we can push it to another level. Ultimately, my objective is to create a unique, refined space that makes the client feel good.”
Designed for multiple uses, the living room’s tufted ottoman, with its muted leopard pattern and acrylic tray, doubles as a coffee table with casters. A large, commissioned painting titled “Stella” by a Brazilian artist provides the sole vibrant colors in the room. The concave shapes of the sofas play into the soft shape of the woman’s hat and the round ottoman.
The dining chairs, with their hourglass Christopher Guy silhouette, are covered in Italian silk woven specifically for Breaux. Timeless custom ruche silk window treatments and a towering 60-inch chandelier add touches of elegance.
The tailored, monochromatic kitchen, with its textured wall of glass tiles, extends to the sunroom. The sofa is among Breaux’s custom manufactured bespoke pieces.
Eldest son Jacques’ bedroom was designed to handle mounts from hunting excursions. His bed of coconut-inspired wood with leather and brass insets is from Posh Interiors’ couture line.
The master bedroom has a neutral, soothing palate with ivory and creams. The look is classic modern, with a pearlized leather headboard, vintage Chanel lamps, custom linen and velvet bedding.