Sit by the hearth. The fireplace was updated with a mantel made from reclaimed wood and a cabinet above it, to hide the TV. This area now offers one of the best views in the house.
Make small vestibules feel important. The designer chose a Studio Four wallcovering and repainted the front door deep aubergine.
Accessories matter. The ceramic wall sculpture by artist Michele Quan picks up the patterns in the silk honeycomb fabric on the living room windows. A vintage pottery lamp tops a lacquered raffia console.
When designer Joan Enger first saw the walls in this client’s home – freshly painted with Benjamin Moore Classic Gray – she knew they were on the same page. “That is definitely our go-to color,” says Enger.
Though the paint coats were new, after 20 years in a larger home where they raised three children, the couple needed help with an old design scheme as they settled into a smaller 1920s Tudor in Pelham, New York. The new address gives them a more manageable work commute, but they wanted to step up their style while remaining child-friendly for grandchildren visits.
The house needed a serious update. Rooms were gutted, electrical outlets updated, the heating system replaced. Floors were restored and refinished and new doors and moldings were installed. Still, the style, scale, and color of the furnishings from the family’s previous home were all wrong here – and that’s where Enger stepped in. Over the 12 years she has owned her Hoboken firm, J. Patryce Design, she has come to see the last phase of any design project as the most important layer. Custom furnishings and accessories, created to add just the right nuances to a space, are a hallmark of her work.
Get cozy but look good. The husband requested a chaise, so he could read by the window. Enger’s asymmetrical design sports a single armrest.
Add intrigue to your dining room. When Enger couldn’t find the right mirror for the space, her favorite metalworker, name TBD, made her one. The mirror’s Art Deco touch pays homage to the 1920s home.
Bedrooms should be tranquil. Cerused white oak furniture, taupe and cream bedding, and upholstered pieces designed for ultimate comfort are surrounded by a textured grass wallcovering in soft aqua and gray tones.
“We test everything we make,” she says. “We sit on it, lie on it, touch it. We want it to feel good.” Enger was tasked with the living spaces on the ground floor and the master bedroom. She brought in built-in bookcases and storage units to create more architectural interest. All built-ins were hand-painted, so the brushwork would add texture and depth and not look too modern in a home built nearly 100 years ago.
While keeping the soft gray walls as a background, Enger introduced a warmer, more interesting palette. She and the client fell in love with Tibetan Sun fabric in Quartz from Jim Thompson. From the living room’s window treatments to the blush-colored walls in the dining room, the peach tones and warm browns in its honeycomb pattern inspired a visual thread throughout the rooms. Enger also chose wallcoverings to spice up the vestibule, dining room and bedroom walls. All items, from storage units to accent tables, from upholstered pieces to area rugs, were custom made and scaled to fit the space.
“The design process is a mixture of psychology, creativity, and budgetary concerns,” says Enger. “And when you and the client are friends at the end of the project, as happened here, you know it was a success.”
Photography Courtesy of Christian Harder Photography.
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