Many of us ventured from the city to Westchester seeking space to spread out and a patch of earth to call our own. But one lucky young family of four found both in a Tribeca townhouse on a cobblestone-lined lane “so charming you do not feel as if you are in Manhattan,” says interior designer Sara Gilbane.
The 1,000-square-foot backyard may be small by Westchester standards, but, thanks to the creative design, it’s functional and feels larger than it is. And though the house was spacious—5,000 square feet, with 11 rooms on three floors—and had terrific potential, it “was a contemporary box with sad, flat walls and zero charm,” Gilbane says. “We could see the promise, but the ’70s grasscloth and dark, dingy interiors had to go.”
Tasked with brightening up the bland contractor’s design, making it more youthful, and infusing it with character, the designer selected a vivid, blue-and-persimmon palette and a clean style inside and out, with lots of texture and colorful furnishings. Though not gutted, the whole house was redesigned, including a new electrical plan, moldings, doors, and bathrooms, and the removal of a wall or two. The project took about a year and a half to complete and offers several great tips and lessons for any homeowner tackling a renovation.
The home’s pièce de résistance—the terrace, formerly a “boring yellow brick box”—was transformed into an inviting outdoor living area. Highlights include built-in seating, a wooden trellis, and lots of greenery.
Altogether, the new look is a breath of fresh air. Organic, natural design elements bring an outdoor feeling to the home’s interior, and indoor-like furnishings bring an inside vibe to the terrace, combining to create a true oasis.
Formerly a “boring yellow brick box,” the 20-feet-wide-by-50-feet-long terrace now features lots of greenery and seating, including a built-in wraparound banquette. A wooden trellis adds shade, character, and a place from which to hang lighting.
Custom sofa by Sara Gilbane Interiors in royal blue velvet from Cowtan & Tout
Custom blue-and-white armchairs by J. Edlin with fabric by Bermingham & Company through Brunschwig & Fils
Orange velvet chairs through Studio Four NYC
Ottoman from BeeLine Home by Bunny Williams with tan ostrich fabric from Zoffany
Custom wool dhurrie rug by Shyam Ahuja in custom light blue, orange, and ivory colors
Empire chandelier by Marjorie Skouras through Dennis Miller Associates
James Verbicky lacquered collage (behind sofa) through Cheryl Hazan Gallery
Built-ins designed by Sara Gilbane Interiors
Noir chairs in black finish with navy mohair fabric on the front by F Schumacher and orange patterned linen on the back by Tulu Textile through Studio Four NYC
Glass light fixtures through Vaughan Lighting (New York City)
Custom rug by Sara Gilbane Interiors; Dhurrie by Vanderhurd (New York City)
Unfinished table by Hickory Chair custom-painted in a bone finish by Alpha Workshops (New York City)
Custom designed bed and canopy by Sara Gilbane Interiors featuring velvet by Studio Four NYC
Idarrica Gazzioni sheers through Studio Four NYC
Antique chaise from Judy Frankel Antiques featuring C&C Milano fabric in Pienza Carciofino (white-natural) through Holland and Sherry (New York City)
Noir Redhill side tables in hand-rubbed black
Vintage purple Murano lamps through Swank Lighting
Bedside sconces from Vaughan Lighting (New York City)
Viscose carpeting in Glacier Grey by Beauvaise Carpets (New York City)
Designed by Sara Gilbane Interiors and Lauren Loscialo
Pillows with blue embroidery from Antony Todd (New York City)
Table and dining chairs from Restoration Hardware
White ceramic garden stools by Emissary