Photos by Paul Johnson
A classic center hall Colonial abode built in the 1980s gets a fresh and modern remodel for a family of six in Westchester County.
Before purchasing, the homeowners of this center-hall Colonial fell in love with this gorgeous property, located in Scarsdale. Though the house, built in the 1980s, was outdated, the family of six, who loves to entertain, saw potential. They decided to remodel, as they wanted to reimagine the square footage, and enlisted Scarsdale-based architect Rosamund Young to tackle all three levels of the home. “They wanted a design that is clean, modern, and functional,” says Young. “The owners were very focused on achieving a comfortable and inviting [feeling] for every space.” Two small but high-impact additions were incorporated, including a new master bathroom above an existing porch, which was enclosed to create what is now the billiard room. A new staircase was added in the back of the home, to access all three levels while the front staircase was redone. The basement was also gutted and built out, along with a complete interior renovation by designer Jaqueline Touby, located in Pound Ridge.
The outdoor area was reimagined in a big way, to allow for entertaining, and included the addition of a new covered porch. The old freeform pool was removed and replaced with a new, modern 22′ × 50′ pool on an axis with the new rear porch, pool patios, and garden walls. The extended rear patio provided more square footage for outdoor living, including an outdoor kitchen, firepit, dining area, and covered porch.
“Our goal was to provide gracious flow for a modern lifestyle and to create a clean, functional, modern design reflecting the owners’ personal taste,” says Young. “Once the overall layout was defined, we could tackle each space, to create a unique interior resolution while holding firm to the consistency of all the architectural elements.”
The Design Details
For the interior, the team tried to avoid “trendy” solutions, opting instead for materials designed for longevity and functional wearability. “All of the fabrics on the upholstery are washable, whether they are outdoor fabrics, which allow for bleach cleaning, or washable interior fabrics,” says Touby. “Other materials we used are faux leathers for the ottomans, stools, chairs, and bench cushions. The dining table has a marine finish, and the game table in the family room and the side table were sprayed with a metallized lacquer used for cars to ensure durability. The living room coffee table is stone.” The exterior furnishings are also extremely durable and easy to clean. “This is a house for a large family, and it needs to live like one, in comfort, but still look beautiful and not worn in,” says Touby.
“We followed the architectural consistency throughout the home but provided unexpected surprises along the way,” adds Young. The architectural elements and materials were kept consistent for the millwork, flooring, hardware, windows, doors, and stairs. The surprises include the “overlay” of the interior finishes, including the cabinetry choices, decorative lighting, wall treatments and colors, and furnishings.
The owners love neutral colors, so shades were chosen within that range for the overall design. A combination of Benjamin Moore’s Super White and Decorator’s White were used throughout the hallways, for a fresh, clean look. The other main color used in the family room and kitchen is Benjamin Moore’s Graytint. “[This made] the white kitchen cabinetry pop and accented the stone we chose for the fireplace wall in the family room,” adds Touby.
Strategic splashes of color delivered accent elements throughout. “The client prefers a more tonal look, so we let the color come out in accents, like the artwork, the pillows, and an occasional chair,” says Touby. “In working with someone, you always have to determine what their comfort level is with colors. I think in this case, the sophistication of the client dictated the color, along with a desire for longevity in the tones and ease and comfort on the eye.”
The final remodel created spaces that are comfortable and inviting for family and friends while being “sophisticated, classic, and timeless contemporary, with a sculptural edge,” according to Touby.
The Family Room
Although the family room (pictured on opening page) is open to the kitchen, the custom, ribbon-etched glass pocket doors allow for the occasional separation and privacy.
This space can accommodate small and large gatherings, but there is plenty of seating for curling up to watch a movie, playing games at the table set for four, reading, or just everyday conversation around the fireplace.
“The focus of this and all the rooms was to be comfortable and inviting,” says Young. “The custom furnishings were selected for their luscious, tactile qualities and yet had to check the boxes for inviting, functional, tough-wearing, and comfortable.”
The fireplace, which is dressed in a marble slab, Palissandro Blue, set the color palette for the space.
The Kitchen and Breakfast Nook
The 400 sq. ft. kitchen features ample storage, a mix of materials and finishes, and plenty of space to prep, dine, and entertain, plus extra square footage in the butler’s pantry and breakfast nook.
“We tried to introduce a limited mix of materials: wood veneer for organic warmth, glossy white for clean functionality, polished nickel and glass for glamour, and engineered slab for maintenance-free cleanup,” says Young.
The extra-wide island provides an ample gathering spot for meals and conversation and features two counter heights, which eliminates a seam in the countertop and helps with cleanup.
The butler’s pantry provides dual function, “as a staging area for a large catered dinner or chic bar for everyday entertaining, and is in full view from the formal dining room,” explains Young. The finishes are different, yet complementary, to those used in the kitchen. The team used polished stainless-steel upper cabinetry with smoked glass for “sparkle,” says Touby. Glossy wood veneer was used for the base cabinets, with exotic white-quartzite slab for the countertops.
The wallpaper in the butler’s pantry is an added design touch and adds texture to the space. “We chose a vinyl wallpaper with texture that also covers the barn doors,” in the butler’s pantry, says Touby. “The thought was to make this area look seamless, so the large, moving wall of doors would disappear. In addition, the vinyl is extremely practical for fingerprints and scuff marks, and it cleans easily.”
Off the butler’s pantry is a secret walk-in pantry, concealed by the sliding barn door. It helps keep the main kitchen area pristine; it holds everything a cook or host needs but can be hidden away in a moment’s notice.
The kitchen also includes a large breakfast room, which is tucked into the bay window with a custom banquette and commanding light fixture. This space has its own breakfast bar, to easily access beverages and snacks, and is another way to keep the kitchen proper for food prep and devoid of unsightly messes on the countertops. The breakfast bar boasts a TV, as well as floating, open shelves.
“It was important for the owners to have everyday seating for 12, for frequent and large family gatherings,” says Young. This is accomplished with the large island and breakfast nook.
The rear patio and backyard were reimagined to make way for a variety of outdoor living and entertaining spaces, which included moving and creating a new, more modern swimming pool. “The new, relocated pool really set the stage for the outdoors,” says Young.
With a heated, covered porch, the outdoors became a space the family could use all year long. “In rain or shine, summer or winter, there is an outdoor kitchen/bar, barbecue, firepit, heated covered porch, shaded dining, lounging, pool patios, golf tee, and fireplace,” says Young. “We tried to create vignettes/settings for both intimate and large gatherings.”
Thermal Bluestone was used for the paving stones, while rustic, dry-stacked, local granite was used for the garden walls. Dressed linear granite was used for the barbecue wall and fireplace. The light fixtures used outside are bronze and set against crisp, white siding. And the plantings were kept simple, with just a few varieties repeating throughout, including boxwood, grasses, and hydrangeas. Ornamental maple trees were strategically placed to accent both the house and property. “The owners wanted a modern, simple, architectural, and low-maintenance landscape,” adds Young. “This continues the design theme from the interior.”
“The goal was to provide for many activities, provide settings for different gatherings, and provide four-season, 12-month occupation!” says Young.
The Billiard Room
What was once a covered porch is now the billiard room, which opens to the family room, new covered porch, and library/office. It features dramatic, dark windows on two sides, which look onto the beautiful outdoor living spaces.
As a nod to the original outdoor porch, the floors are tiled with radiant heat for easy maintenance and comfort, as this is a high-traffic area in the home. It serves as a great space for the whole family to come together.
The mudroom, which runs from the front to the back of the house, welcomes family and visitors from the front driveway into the stair hall covered in crisp, white, paneled walls. Some of the “walls” open to reveal ample storage for coats and shoes. The space also provides flow from the garage, kitchen, and rear-patio areas.
The team used large-format porcelain with radiant heat for the floors in this space, while the new staircase connects all three levels of the home. Tucked away in the back of the mudroom behind one of the “walls” is a small powder room, perfect for use from the patio and pool but also serving this informal section of the home.
Scarsdale; 8,000 sq. ft. 6 Bedrooms; 6 En Suite Bathrooms
General Contractor for House & Interior
Contracter for Exterior & Porch
Al Silva of Almi Construction
Joe Cardillo of Regal Blu Pool & Spa
AV & Lighting Control
Paul Bain of Telstar
Randy Smith of Inner Motives and John Johnston of Modern Classics
Brenda McCleish of California Closets
Tile & Stone
Nicole Sirchia of Marble America