Peek inside this Mount Kisco Colonial. Photography by Paul Johnson
Cami Luppino and Alana Irwin of lulu HOME transformed a Mount Kisco Colonial into a family-friendly home with an eclectic yet balanced design.
When an older house endures many additions over the years, it can suffer an architectural identity crisis — losing the cohesive design that had made it feel like a home in the first place. That was one of the challenges facing the owners of this Colonial in Mount Kisco. The busy family of four turned to Cami Luppino and Alana Irwin of lulu HOME and Matthew Grant of Granoff Architects to help them transform a rambling, eclectic house into an expanded, well-balanced home suited for family relaxation and fun. Following a redesign and carefully planned addition, the house now boasts a sophisticated, modern style and new sense of personality that suits its owners (and their family and friends) to a T.
At the top of the homeowners’ wish list: a large family room/great room primed for indoor-outdoor living that can accommodate a crowd yet be equally comfortable for immediate family. “They really wanted a brand-new space for entertaining, with ample seating. They’re always gathering, so it’s a busy home, and they’re a big sports family,” says Luppino. “It’s an amazing room because it has light exposure on three sides and beautiful views of the landscape.” The architect’s plan called for a light-filled extension on the back of the house that is well connected to the existing structure, with banks of black-framed French doors that mimic those found elsewhere in the home. The family room is decked in neutrals, with finishing touches that add loads of character and ceiling beams that nod to the older part of the house. “Textures were really important here,” says Luppino remarking on the subtle, quieter, color palette. “We had to make sure there was visual interest with patterns.”
As for functionality, the room acts as a party haven, with flexible furnishings that can seat at least 15 comfortably. The Thayer Coggins sectional is finished in a luxe performance fabric that has a great hand to it but is very forgiving. Upholstered benches from Robert James can be moved easily to create more conversation zones. A leather-finished custom ottoman with rounded corners, from Lee Industries, doubles as a coffee table or extra seating. Custom, leather swivel chairs, with fringed trim on the arms, up the cool quotient in the room; they’re upholstered in a Holly Hunt leather. Anchoring the space from above is an expansive branch-like chandelier from Arteriors. “It takes up a lot of real estate, but it’s got this airy, ethereal feel,” explains Luppino.
The couple can prep drinks and food for guests in style in the luxe blue bar, which is spacious enough to host a buffet. “They’re always party-ready,” Luppino says, who adds that this space “acts as a back pantry and entertainment bar, a butler’s pantry — a jack-of-all-trades.” It’s finished in a vinyl shagreen wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries (easy to wipe away spills), with a shade in a bamboo-esque patterned fabric by Kelly Wearstler for Kravet. The bar connects directly to the dining room (which lulu HOME is currently refinishing) and to the kitchen, which only needed minor sprucing. “Just a little Botox,” she says.
The entertaining theme continued for the family’s two teenage boys, who love to play basketball and watch sports. Downstairs, the design team created a game room/hangout space for the boys that’s centered around a large TV. The green accent wall with custom millwork, though more of an olive shade, was inspired by the color of one of the boys’ favorite teams, the New York Jets. A playful camo pattern on the rug is also forgiving in this high-traffic area. The sliding barn-style door leads to a mudroom and laundry room.
Much thought and attention to detail were given to the boys’ bedrooms as well. The younger teen shared that gray and orange are his favorite colors, and the team took this simple design directive and ran with it. “In kids’ spaces, when they let us, we like to go bold,” says Luppino. “You can be more tongue-in-cheek and have more fun.” Rather than just paint the statement wall, the designers opted for a slate-gray wallpaper, plus a sports-themed photograph with a graffiti feel to it, giving the whole room an edgier, urban vibe. The graphic pattern in the rug, from Redi-Cut Carpets & Rugs in Westport, is echoed in the drapes and accent pillows by Scion.
The older of the boys preferred a quieter look, with a wood bed and gray-blue as the hue of choice. To meet his request, the team sourced the bed from Universal’s #myroom collection and the subtle geometric wallpaper from Thibaut in a pattern that brings to mind men’s suiting. One corner of the bedroom is enlivened by a “teddy bear” chair, which provides a cozy spot for reading.
In the primary bedroom, the homeowners already had a bed they loved, with a gray, tufted-velvet headboard, so the designers built around that, layering in accents and furnishings to elevate the room. The bedside tables are custom shagreen-wrapped, with metal-wrapped mirrors from Made Goods hanging on the wall behind them.
Even the smallest corners and spaces in the house were viewed as an opportunity for artful design, as in the powder room, which is incredibly tiny. “When you’re working in a really small space, you have to have a bold moment,” declares Luppino. The designers used a geometric-patterned floor tile turned vertical to act as the backsplash behind the vanity, with an offset mirror in front of it and a black basin sink. This dramatic, eye-catching treatment makes the room feel larger than it is.
Throughout the project, the designers were grateful to the homeowners for giving them artistic license, leading to the best result. “The most rewarding part of the project was working with these really great clients-turned-friends,” says Luppino. “They placed such a level of trust in us to bring their wants and wishes to reality, which let us be more edgy and creative.”