When a doctor and his family moved into a new-construction Colonial in Scarsdale, they were looking for a home design that was beautiful yet family-friendly.
“The client wanted something that would hold up to kids and a busy family life but also be a space to host parties and entertain friends,” says designer Anelle Gandelman of NYC-based A-List Interiors. “A transitional design is a great fit because it mixes that classic, traditional look with a more elegant, modern one.”
The U-shaped staircase to the second floor did not lend itself to having a lot of furniture or rugs, so the designer focused on the architecture in the space. “I’m obsessed with architectural details,” Gandelman says, “so we added custom wall paneling to elevate the space and create visual interest.”
A large, contemporary mirror and complementary demilune console brighten the space while carefully tailored decorative objects add depth. To incorporate texture, Gandelman installed a geometric-patterned runner up the stairs.
Keeping the walls white and furnishings neutral allow eye-catching art to really shine. “Abstract images are easier for people to connect with when they are first starting to connect to art,” explains Gandelman, a former gallery owner. In this space, she included art of an enlarged palm frond to add interest.
“Clients are always a bit nervous about white-on-white because there’s the risk of a room looking sterile,” Gandelman explains. In this room, she used performance-fabrics, and added textiles and textures — like the clear-backed chairs, mirror-topped coffee table, and woven drapery — to break up the stark white-on-white of the walls and sofa. Soft purple hues in the wall art echo the plum-velvet throw pillows, and a green potted plant adds a bit of life to the room.
Gandelman’s favorite detail is the custom cabinetry. The units pull double duty as shelving for books and to display family photos, while offering space to tuck away clutter. A dry bar behind the glass doors is perfect for entertaining guests or winding down after a long day.
“Pairing the plush sofa with a more formal coffee table gives the room that transitional twist,” Gandelman says. A game table makes the sitting area more functional. “In a pinch, it could also become a workspace,” adds Gandelman.
“When we design a home, we always consider someone’s experience in each room, as well as when moving from room to room,” Gandelman says. Textured wallpaper in the vestibule allows for a more comfortable transition from the spacious foyer to the intimate powder room.
Inside, mix-and-match patterns, like the smooth marble countertop, geometric tile design, and textured wallcovering, add interest to the small space. Silver accents on the vanity, faucet, and large beveled mirror lend to the room’s luxurious vibe.
Gandelman is passionate about matching her clients’ spaces with original, eye-catching art. The purple in the striking artwork of this room (opposite the wall featuring the hexagonal mirror) appears in multiple elements around the home, giving the overall design a sense of cohesiveness. The gray paneling and silver accents round out the home’s gray-purple-blue color scheme.
“We used grasscloth treatments on the walls and tape-trimmed drapery to make the space seem luxurious,” Gandelman says. The bubble chandelier and hexagonal statement mirror offer a modern twist. The custom oversized dining table with a cerused finish and vinyl-lined chairs make this a perfect space for puzzle time with the family or a formal dinner with friends.
“A lot of people think it makes more sense to buy cheap furniture with the intention of upgrading once the children have moved out,” Gandelman explains. “It’s actually quite the opposite. Higher-quality items are more durable and can take a lot more wear over time yet still look beautiful.”
This open-concept kitchen is as much entertaining space as it is transitional kitchen. The classic design keeps the space looking crisp and clean, offsetting the bold colors and materials used in the other rooms.
“We put in a Caesarstone quartz tabletop for the custom breakfast table,” Gandelman says, which complements the herringbone backsplash. “Quartz is extremely durable while keeping that sleek, crisp look.” Statement lighting above the island elevates the design.
A banquette with a pedestal table and dining chairs “is perfect for a Sunday brunch or a quick breakfast, but it can also be a place to do homework or arts and crafts,” says Gandelman.
A large, off-focus landscape provides a beautiful focal point and adds a bit of drama to the cozy space. Stain-resistant and easy-to-clean pieces, like the vinyl ottoman, wool rug, and performance-fabric sofa, look great and can handle just about anything thrown at them.
Textured pillows and a throw blanket add to the comfy vibe, while playful pieces, like the oversized silver jacks piece, prominently displayed on the coffee table, draw the eye as you enter the room.
Gandelman recommends keeping furniture and walls in children’s rooms simple and neutral, putting the focus on accents like wall art, bedding, lighting, and knickknacks that can change and grow as the child does.
Though in this space, she did incorporate a hot pink bed frame, explaining “This space can easily grow [with] a young girl to a teenage girl. Everything that we selected that was more permanent, like the bed, had no theme to it.”
Gandelman kept the design clean and uncomplicated, creating a beautiful, inviting space that leaves its occupant plenty of opportunity to make her own mark. Colorful wallpaper on the ceiling brings together the pinks and purples throughout the room, lending cohesiveness to the space.
The homeowner’s fondness for navy blue served as the jumping-off point for the primary bedroom. A few coral pillows make the navy headboard pop. Muted grays and navies tie the sitting nook in with the rest of the main bedroom design and keep the room gender-neutral.
“We also layered textures, like the velvet throw pillows, the quilted comforter, and the studded headboard, and subtle patterns in the draperies, wall art, and accent pillows to keep things calm and serene,” Gandelman says. Nightstands with glass-front doors help keep the clutter at bay.
A loveseat at the foot of the bed turns the room into a family-friendly space where everyone can gather for a movie night or Saturday-morning cartoons.