Designers Carla Zinman and Anna Sarly have always been in sync — even before they knew each other. They first crossed paths at a mommy-and-me swim class in TriBeCa but really connected when they found themselves living in the same building on the Upper West Side a few years later. They had a lot in common: same address, daughters the same age, dogs the same breed, and matching degrees from Parsons School of Design. “We had all these funny similarities,” says Sarly. “We just hit it off.” Though they had no plans to work together at that point, “we were always talking about design on the side.” Years later, both women had left the City; Sarly for Westport, and Zinman for Westchester, where her soon-to-be clients spotted Zinman’s new house while touring the area with their real estate agent and loved the look of it. They tracked down the designer through her builder and hired Round Hill Design, Zinman’s newly launched firm, to transform their stately English manor home in Westchester into a warm and cozy space for their family of four, with lots of room for formal entertaining too.
With a project this size, Zinman thought she could use a partner. “The first person I thought of collaborating with was Anna,” she says, and since Anna Sarly Design was just getting up and running, their timing was once again aligned. Sarly’s incredible sense of color and textiles complements Zinman’s fearless, meticulous approach to millwork and construction, and with their combined firsthand knowledge of designing beautiful spaces that also function for family life, they were the perfect pair for the project.
The entry is a preview for the rest of the house, with a rich and unexpected palette of color and texture, incredible attention to detail, and a curated mix of furniture and accessories that make it both an elegant formal guest entrance, and a hardworking mudroom for a young family of four. A new built-in closet has enough space for visitors’ coats and hats, plus lots of room for little pairs of shoes, mittens, and more. The colorful closet doors, painted in Benjamin Moore’s Newburg Green, were inspired by the existing cerulean inlay tile on the floors, and the designers used a clever mix of finishes to mirror the brick arch behind them. The arch design is done in a matte paint, and the same hue is used in a semigloss on the door trim. Set against the lime-washed brick walls and leather accessories, the room is a warm welcome into a grand home.
Zinman and Sarly opened up the layout in the more casual spaces by making the former dining room into the family room and connecting it to the kitchen with a new curved doorway inspired by the arched architecture in the entry. A custom shelving piece by Round Hill Design gives the family all the storage space they need for coloring books, puzzles, and games, and the Frame TV can remain a work of art or become the centerpiece of family movie nights. Comfortable pieces, like a deep-blue Restoration Hardware sofa, cushy ottomans, and custom rug, encourage lounging.
The kitchen got a refresh with new paint and updated solid brass hardware on the cabinets and a total lighting overhaul. Modern sconces illuminate the farmhouse sink and under cabinet lighting makes it a little easier to sneak a midnight snack. Every pot, pan, and knife now has its own dedicated spot in a custom-built island with thoughtful storage spaces for cooking and dining essentials, and a lowered ceiling covers up formerly exposed beams to give the space a cleaner, fresher look.
Nestled into a corner of the kitchen, the breakfast nook is the perfect place for everyday meals. The designers created the space by treating an exterior door as a floor-to-ceiling window, and custom-designing a bench and table to fit. The bench’s tapered legs allow more light to filter into the room, and its leather straps secure cushions covered in durable outdoor fabric that can be wiped down after snacks and spills. The custom white-oak dining table is a sturdy and playful piece with a curved detail on the tabletop and fun popsicle-shaped legs. Lightened floors throughout the house give the spaces a brighter, more youthful feel.
Just off the family room is the grand dining space, which visitors can glimpse through an arched window in the home’s entry. The designers filled out the room’s dramatic architecture with just the right pieces and thoughtful space planning. A generous dining table and chairs look just as lovely from afar as they do at dinner, and floor-to-ceiling linen drapes frame the French doors and emphasize the room’s height while bringing softness and warmth to a large-scale space. A curated vignette atop the antique cabinet, which serves as the bar, pulls the colors of the home together with vivid oxidized copper candlesticks in red, coral, and green.
After dinner, the homeowners and their guests might move to the formal sitting area off the dining room to sit back and relax. A curvy sofa and sculptural chairs give the space a modern feel, and decorative side tables serve as perfect perches for cocktails or after-dinner coffees. For warmer weather parties, sets of French doors all along the side of the home lead out onto a patio that runs the length of the entire house.
A dark, gray, teenage boy’s room was transformed into a bright and whimsical space for the homeowners’ 4-year-old daughter. The happy hideout’s boho bed is centered on a mural wallpaper by French company Bien Fait, and the walls are painted in a pretty shade of peach. “It’s hard to get the right pink,” says Sarly, but Whispering Peach by Benjamin Moore hits just the right note. Fun bedding from Roller Rabbit sheets and a John Robshaw throw complete the look.
The primary bedroom has a bit of an English feel, with Farrow & Ball’s Cromarty Green on the walls, and textured, earthy pieces, like the leather-and-walnut wood bench and tobacco-leather nightstands.
The playroom “was a game of inches,” says Zinman. With only 150 square feet and ceilings that slant down to 36 inches, the designers took advantage of the room’s depth with low and comfortable seating, built-in custom storage, and a twin-size bed covered in cozy fabric. Large FLOR tiles in peach and red, plus a wallpaper with an oversize geometric print play with scale, and a carved-down door leads to a laundry room.
The gentleman of the house can work from home very happily in his light-filled office off the side of the house. Zinman and Sarly transformed the room, previously used as a gym, into this handsome workspace with a leather-topped desk by Croft House, and a sideboard storage piece covered in bright, teal leather.
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