Alexandra Denburg, principal owner of M&P Design Group, helped transform one woman’s Mount Kisco home into a fully functional, bespoke adult haven, complete with kid-friendly touches. The client was downsizing from her family home, where she’d lived with her now-grown children and late husband. Her new home required a renovation to transform it into a space that solely represented her.
“The design was going to be something that, for the very first time in her life, was just hers,” explains Denburg. The client wanted a modern and contemporary feel, also telling Denburg that it would be the last very big design project she would do. “I really wanted to produce not only the best design that I could give her; I wanted to give her something on an emotional level that felt really important, as well,” shares Denburg.
Denburg explains her style is editorial living: “An editorial space utilizes the look for beauty, becoming something that you want to shoot and put into a magazine, but it’s not necessarily functional to live in.” In this home, she created a magazine-worthy design but with plenty of functionality, incorporating purposeful, often custom-made pieces, to create a contemporary, bespoke design.
The client sought a space that had a cool, contemporary vibe while offering the feel of a relaxing retreat. Denburg offered a seven-swatch color story that included soft hues and brought in pops of chrome and black to the space for a more modern feel. The home’s second story is open to the first, so Denburg wanted to keep the color palette consistent.
Farrow & Ball paint colors Cromarty and Charleston Gray were used for the dining and formal living room and the office, respectively. The first-floor hallway, entry, and stairwell were painted Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace, and the kitchen and family room were done in neutral taupe. Benjamin Moore’s A La Mode was used in the master bedroom.
The first piece of furniture purchased was the black-plaid sofa for the living room. Knowing her client liked plaid, Denburg asked, “I know this is going to sound crazy, but how do you feel about a plaid sofa?” Her client was unsure, and asked, “Will it work in the space?” When Denburg affirmed it would, the client agreed. “It was that moment in the project that we kind of looked at each other, and without saying anything, that [her client indicated] ‘I trust you and your vision.’” Denburg continues, “By her trusting me, I was able to present things that I think are outside of the box.”
From oversized pillows in the bedroom — Denburg quips one is taller than her — to a massive shower in the master bathroom, to artwork scaled specifically for the space, many of the details in the home are oversized. “Getting to play a lot with proportion and scale makes the design unique. When you are in a space that is so over-scaled, it doesn’t feel like the things that you are putting in it are too small,” says Denburg.
Pocket doors in the master bath open up to the toilet and washer and dryer. The walls for these rooms are adorned with small hex Cole & Son wallpaper — “an awesome pop of pattern, texture, and fun,” that is separate from the “organic, spa-like bathroom, that’s very soft,” says Denburg.
“We went custom with pretty much everything,” from the bedding to the cabinetry, says Denburg. In the bedroom, a leopard printed quilt was designed to be a two-part duvet to make it easier for the client to make the bed, not having to lift up the mattress.
“We worked with bespoke furniture companies that had pieces that were custom upholstered or stained [specifically] for the space,” says Denburg, adding: “Custom artwork was curated, so it very much became a space that was, to look at, editorial, but to live in, very functional and comfortable.” Although the footprint of the kitchen stayed nearly the same, the cabinetry was custom. Because a soffit couldn’t be removed, incredibly tall upper cabinets were installed. “While it looks normal in the space, you need a ladder to reach the top, which was great,” says Denburg, both for storage and to bring scale to an 11-foot ceiling.
Shelving and storage were built uniquely for the office; the formal living room coffee table and dining room table are bespoke. “We utilized a lot of custom furniture that allows us to upholster and create our custom colorways.” The chairs in the formal living room were Palecek; Denburg and her client went into the showroom and said they wanted the wood to be stained a particular color, getting fabric to match the paint, so the fabric is also the same color. The dining-room chairs were custom — the furniture company had a chair in their showroom, in a different color. “We loved the chair but [wanted] the frame to be in ebony wood and velvet to go on the front, and we ended up doing this custom back panel on all of the dining chairs that is eggshell and silver.”
Denburg and the homeowner brought in a lot of natural textures and materials in the family room — a sheepskin ottoman with a lacquered tray top, so the client’s grandkids could have food in front of the TV, kick their feet up, and not ruin the furniture. “We wanted everything to be family-friendly while looking like it was intended for adults only.”