Designer Barrett Oswald transformed her Larchmont French Tudor into a home her whole family loves.
By Allison Garfield | Photography by Tim Lenz
Designer Barrett Oswald’s Larchmont home is a 1930s French Tudor designed by acclaimed architect C.W. Moody. After Oswald and her family moved in, they found his original drawings hidden in a cabinet. They are now framed and on display in the house as a special reminder of its history and significance.
The house has its original leaded-glass windows and a slate roof, and prior to a seven-month renovation completed in 2017, the interior was untouched. “While it was charming, we wanted to modernize the space to suit our family’s lifestyle,” Oswald says.
Oswald likes to mix styles, patterns, and textures in her designs for clients, and she was no different working in her own home. However, she says she was slightly overwhelmed by her own project. In her professional life, Oswald is guided by her clients’ ideas and desires. “When designing for myself, I was the client and design professional in one, so the freedom to do what I wanted could become overwhelming, as the ideas where limitless,” she says. “Of course, those were the moments that my husband would remind me of the budget.”
The designer chose a black-and-white palette with a little color now and then. She is keen on natural and organic textures and incorporated a lot of metal, leather, and wood into her home. “These textures add interest, warmth, and a sense that the space has been curated or collected and is less contrived,” she says.
After the colors were chosen, Oswald focused on lighting and art. She chose statement light fixtures and just the right spots for her large collection of paintings — many done by her dad. The rest of each room, she says, fell into place around those elements.
“When designing the first floor, I thought about the experience someone would have when visiting our home,” the designer says. “True to classic Tudors, we have a relatively tight entry, so as much as I wanted to make a good first impression, I also didn’t want to overwhelm.” To make a simple space feel inviting, she relied on a mix of shapes, tones, and textures.
Oswald followed that theme throughout the first floor, connecting the rooms through the use of a neutral palette but giving each space a new mix of materials and textures.
Upstairs, however, Oswald allowed the personality of each space to truly shine. She stayed consistent in tone but specifically wanted her kids to feel like their passions and personalities could come through in the designs of their bedrooms and playroom.
“We live in a very integrated home, so every room needs to be aesthetically pleasing while at the same time providing functionality for the family,” she says. Oswald and her business partner, who also has young children, used materials, particularly upholstery, that provided some level of durability in addition to looking and feeling nice.
“I don’t want my kids to feel that they can’t live in all rooms of our house, so I tried to be mindful of creating a beautiful space but do it in such a way that I could have peace of mind in the durability of the materials.”
As for the rest of the upstairs, she reinforced several architectural details, such as arched entries and door and window moldings. This is seen specifically in the master bathroom and bedroom. “I love the repetition and feel that although we tweaked the floor plan, we’re still keeping the integrity of the home,” Oswald says.
With all of this, Oswald’s top spot is a little unexpected. “I think my favorite space in the house is my husband’s office,” she says. “It’s the room in which I spend the least amount of time, but I love how the metals and natural woods pop off the dark gray walls.”