Photographs by John Neitzel
I lived in Scarsdale for 10 years, so this project was really special to me,” muses DLT Interiors designer Debbie Travin. She was enlisted by the Davises*, a young family who had just purchased an expansive six-bedroom house alongside a private brook in Scarsdale.
The 6,800 sq. ft. Hamptons-style structure was in pristine condition, but, as Travin says, it needed to be “warmed up.”
Ashley and Brian Davis had just welcomed their first child and were moving to Scarsdale to plant roots after years of living in Battery Park and furnishing apartments with inexpensive pieces.
Both working parents, they needed a space with room to grow (they now have two little girls) and a design that could stand the test of time without compromising their on-trend Manhattan style.
With such vast square footage, the home needed to be designed in stages, so Travin helped prioritize the most important rooms. First and foremost was the family room, which connects to the eat-in kitchen to form a great room on the lower level. “They wanted it to be family-friendly yet inviting and sophisticated for entertaining family and friends,” the designer explains.
To strike this balance, Travin created a luxe, airy color palette with extremely durable fabrics. “Everything needed to be high performance, easy to clean, and stain resistant,” she notes. “We used Schumacher, Romo Group, and Thibaut on all of the custom upholstery and furniture.”
Since the home has an open floor plan, the designer was careful to carry the family room’s pops of aqua blue into the dining area and kitchen. There, window treatments over the sink and by the French doors wear the blue hue. The space looks out to the home’s sprawling yard, which is unbuildable, so the family can be sure another home won’t pop up behind their property.
The kitchen was already equipped with a large, floating island, and Travin added contemporary Circa Lighting pendants to ground it in the space while lending a polished style. Between the family room and the kitchen, a roomy table houses everyday family meals. This high-traffic area was prioritized over a formal dining room for now.
Off of the entryway, a custom Stark Carpet runner leads up to the second floor. There, Travin enhanced the home’s architectural details. “I put vinyl grasscloth on top of the wainscoting to really help it pop,” she explains. “It’s a medium-gray grasscloth, which looks really gorgeous with the runner. It’s never going out of style, and vinyl is easy to wipe clean. They’ll have it forever.”
Upstairs, the large master bedroom needed to serve as Ashley’s retreat. “She loves lavender, and the lavender curtains brought a lot of warmth and color into the room,” Travin notes, bringing in accent hues of gray and teal. “She wanted a more glamorous master bedroom. It’s her sanctuary, where she closes the door and relaxes.”
An antique mirrored console and velvet upholstered chairs (in a subtle animal print) up the glamour factor. For artwork, Travin chose decorative pieces that would tie the room together and enlisted antique metal frames for a transitional effect. It was important to strike that balance throughout the home, she adds, to create an aesthetic that is warm and inviting, with a contemporary feel.
“It’s not too cold and modern, but it’s not heavy and traditional, with too many patterns and fabrics,” Travin adds. That lightness continues into the guest room, which features a soft, blue color palette and a mix of high and low furnishings. The homeowner’s artwork hangs in a trio above the bed, flanked by antique silver lamps on the bedside tables. Finally, custom pillows and window treatments complete the aesthetic and elevate the less-expensive items.
The guest bathroom features paneled walls, chic contemporary sconces, and a custom linen shade. “I always try to make a special powder room for guests,” the designer notes, adding that the Davises have a penchant for hosting.
Throughout, the goal was to deliver a versatile design that parents, children, and guests can all enjoy. “We designed a family-friendly home with stain-resistant, high-performance fabrics on the furniture and pillows which will last forever, and even applied stain-resistant treatment to the rugs,” Travin adds. “The parents can entertain and enjoy their beautiful home with family and friends and be completely worry free.”
Ann Loynd Burton is a freelance writer living in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and specializing in design and fashion.