When friends and TV stars Reshma Shetty and Noel Gatts came together to design Shetty’s new Westchester home during the pandemic, it was a match made for TV.
The two have known each other since college, but their careers went in different directions. Shetty became an actress, starring in such shows as Royal Pains, Monarch, and most recently the Hallmark Channel’s A Jolly Good Christmas, while Gatts launched an interior design company, beam&bloom, but also ended up in TV, cohosting the HGTV show Home Inspector Joe, with Joe Mazza.
The two kept in touch over the years, and when Shetty and her family (including her husband, young daughter, and two cats), who were living in Manhattan, decided they wanted more square footage and outdoor space during the pandemic, they purchased and moved into a builder-grade home in Westchester, enlisting Gatts to take on the design upgrades they wanted.
“I didn’t want the formality of interviewing and hiring someone, because it was crazy times; I wanted to pick up the phone and say, ‘What do you think of this?’” says Shetty. She automatically had that with Gatts.
“We are a nice, little support for each other in this crazy world of TV,” says Gatts. “[Designers] push people out of their comfort zones, but we gave each other more leniency, where I might push other clients more. We were a little forgiving of each other during the process, which is fun.”
The 7,000-square-foot house was built as a modern farmhouse, with a ton of windows and builder-grade finishes. The challenge, according to Gatts, was infusing the house with some glam, character, warmth, and color, but on a fair budget.
“I wanted it to feel as if I were in a really airy, not too formal, just comfortable home,” says Shetty of the original concept.
“Reshma loved NYC lounges and hotel lounges with a more high-end contemporary feel,” says Gatts. “She loves jewel tones, but more natural hues, and it was funny how much her cats came into play. She said, ‘I can’t have real plants or draperies,’ but [without these,] how can we add life and character?”
They agree that new builds give homeowners a chance to come in and inject their own styles, which is what they did here, but it was not without its own set of challenges.
Because of supply-chain issues and some convincing by Gatts, the furniture was ordered first, and the finishing touches were added afterward, like the colors on the walls and the wallpaper choices. “We furnished the house before she agreed to color,” says Gatts. “I would normally never recommend that; I would normally want to do everything together. But once she knew she really wanted to invest in the colors and the textures, we were then able to pull from the rugs, furniture, and art.”
Shetty’s husband loves blue, so they went with varying shades in the piano room and dining room, and while the den was his domain, the main bedroom was hers to design.
“My favorite color is dark green,” says Shetty of the main bedroom’s palette. “Noel found these two awesome green swivel chairs, and I put a dark-green-and-gold wallpaper behind them, and it just makes me very happy.”
In the breakfast nook, Shetty originally bought a rectangular table and ended up giving in to Gatts’ idea of a circular table. The rectangular one is now in storage and has been replaced by a circular marble table with which both are happier.
“The breakfast nook is my favorite spot. The circular table adds movement and flow. And with all the windows and the subtle Schumacher wallpaper, which adds character but doesn’t compete, and the light fixture, which is big but not overwhelming…,” says Gatts before Shetty injects: “It’s so much more social.”
What the project ultimately reveals is how much can be done with a simple base. “It is the power of decorating,” says Gatts. “You can really elevate something builder-grade with color and imagination.”
And the homeowners’ personalities really shine through. “When I walk into my home, I feel like I’m home,” says Shetty. “There are little corners in each space that I can sit in, and it feels like me.” What homeowner wouldn’t want that?
Related: Westchester Designers Share Easy Upgrades for Your Home