Designers at Home

1. Customized Craftsmanship and a Finely-Tuned Collaboration

 

Stephen and Gail Huberman
SGH Designs Inc.
Pound Ridge
(914) 764-8042

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Designers Stephen and Gail Huberman in their Pound Ridge ranch. Cream lacquered side table by Lorin Marsh.

 

Partners in life as well as in design, Stephen and Gail Huberman have been creating high-end residential projects together for more than 30 years. So, if any couple could take a nondescript 1970s ranch in Pound Ridge and turn it into a sophisticated home with superb finishes, soaring ceilings, and custom architectural elements, it would be this dynamic duo. They’re blessed with a Rolodex of master craftspeople with whom they have been working for decades, and every wall and surface in the Hubermans’ home showcases their personal creativity and love of fine craftsmanship. “It’s the furniture as well as the architectual elements that complete the statement of the home,” Stephen Huberman says.

Globetrotting travelers, the Hubermans allow their passion for diverse collections of original art, sculpture, wine labels, monkey memorabilia, and flea market treasures to infuse their house with character and a unique panache that reflects their life in design. “We couldn’t do this for a client because it’s taken us a lifetime to collect all of this,” Stephen admits. “In truth, we’re really ferrets.”

 

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A 1920s art deco chair in a wild tiger print in a sitting room off the master bedroom; the woven leather rug is by Stark. Painting of nude by French artist Jeanne Lorioz; sculpture by Damián Gironés. Taupe silk walls. Custom stainless-steel mesh fireplace surround.
Custom console near window features a new limestone top on an old iron gate fragment turned upside down and welded to an iron Parsons table. Floral arrangement was created by the Hubermans’ daughter, a florist. Antique lamps are from John Rosselli Antiques. The lacquered bench was created by the designers and covered in cowhide.

The homeowners designed the custom mantle and shelving. The iron chandelier was specially made for the room. The French Gothic-style trefoil mirror above the mantle may have begun life as a church window. Glass candlesticks are from Bungalow in Westport, CT; antique rock crystal spheres were flea market finds.

A sepia monkey-themed mural on canvas by artist Kaye Lowinger continues the outdoor theme of the sky-blue barrel ceiling with trellis effect in the breakfast room. French iron scrollwork chairs accompany a wooden trestle table for casual meals. Checkerboard pattern on floor showcases decorative paint, stain, and stenciling.
 
Dining room wallpaper is corrugated cardboard painted to match the living room, then lacquered. To create the tray ceiling, the designers broke through the original low ceiling into the home’s attic space and added molding and trim. Custom obelisk étagères were modified by the designers to sit atop a storage unit. The signed print is by California artist Garth Benton.
 

 

 

 

 

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2. Seamlessly Mixing Colors, Styles, and Centuries

 

Gregory ALLAN Cramer
Gregory Allan Cramer & Company Inc.
Scarsdale
(914) 713-3111

The designer relaxing in his Scarsdale living room

 

“It was a total disaster,” Gregory Allan Cramer, designer and general contractor, admits cheerfully, speaking of the 3,000-square-foot stucco home in Scarsdale he has spent the past five years lovingly restoring. Effervescent and charming, the boyish Cramer trained as a fine artist immersing himself in painting, sculpture, and color theory. An accomplished glassblower, Cramer studied with famed glass artist Dale Chihuly, and two of Cramer’s own pieces are in the permanent collection of the Corning Museum.

His artist’s eye, combined with his more than 25 years experience as a designer, allows Cramer to effortlessly mix items as diverse as 15th-century Italian icons and 1950s furniture. ”My house includes pieces from mid-century modern, to William & Mary, to Salvation Army finds,” notes Cramer in the masterpiece he calls home.

Serene blues and jaunty stripes combine with Danish modern chairs and a stainless-steel table in the sitting area of the master bedroom. Cramer designed the silk bed linens. The walnut-framed headboard has mohair insets in a grid pattern. Pillow fabric is by Donghia; settee fabric is by Jab.
Mixed chrome chairs, all covered in Donghia fabric, mesh perfectly with a contemporary wooden tabled topped with custom beveled glass in French blue in the dining room. The 19th-century iron chandelier was electrified but features beeswax candle sleeves hearkening back to its candle-bearing beginnings. The console is one section of a 19th-century piece from Tibet. Above it, a ‘70s-era-serigraph, chosen for its bright colors.
Painting Lifetime Companions is by Lisa Krouse. The end table, one of a pair, is French garden furniture topped with Carrera marble. The Egyptian rug is from A.T. Proudian in Greenwich, CT.
Both couches in the living room are covered with Christopher Hyland mohair; lacquered Baker coffee table with apothecary jar from Harrods, blue-green glass piece by Andre Thuret and an orange ’60s art glass bowl that was a 50th birthday present. The large graphic artwork, Three Graces, over the couch is by Nat Cole. The steel frame captain chairs, originally from Windows on the World, were purchased from the Bethlehem Steel offices.

 

 

3. A Collector’s Well-Loved Hearth and Home

 

Kim Freeman
Kim Freeman Style & Design
New Castle
(914) 762-1657

The designer sits on a Swedish country chair beside an antique pine cupboard, which holds part of her French textile collection.

 

It could be downright intimidating to reinvigorate a home designed by your parents—the one where you spent your teenage years. One might be inclined to leave the challenge behind and just move on to a space with less psychic baggage. But for New Castle designer Kim Freeman, the modest home, built by her parents in 1964, has become both a sanctuary and showcase for her considerable design skills.

“I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, but I can decorate” says the designer. “I never, ever wanted to be an interior designer.” The curly-haired Freeman made her name as a magazine editor and stylist for multiple national publications but began receiving design commissions from readers.

Ten years spent in France, working as a creative consultant and editor for La Maison de Marie Claire, had sharpened her design senses and left her with an incurable addiction to French textiles and antiques. No need for rehab. She has channeled her design demons into a welcoming, unfussy space, replete with warm woods, snowy-white linens, well-edited collections, and dramatic stonework.

 

An antique pine cupboard features one of Freeman’s collection of vintage suitcases and an old-fashioned basket perfect for keeping clutter out of sight.
An Early American iron bed is dressed to perfection with the owner’s white bed linens, a turquoise bamboo blanket chest, and minimalist linen shades.
The master bedroom features a collection of family memorabilia. A flax linen headboard, antique bench, and a small bedside table from North Carolina, round out the simple furnishings. The semi-circular antique eyebrow wooden window is a replacement for the original chosen by the owner’s parents.
The owner’s venerable cat, Pumpkin Pie, surveys the scene from a sunny window seat beside the master bath. The cast-iron stove was made by prison craftsmen at Sing Sing in the ’40s, and painted off-white by the owner.
Oak floors, which flow from the dining room into the great room, were made without nails, using only pegs. The English pine cupboard showcases the designer’s collection of French pitchers.
Freeman replaced the 1960s brick on the stone fireplace, which is her own design; she used Pocono Glacier stone from Bedford Stone. Freeman also broke through an old wall to build her office, in the area to the right of the staircase. The matelassé white chair fabric is from Brunschwig & Fils.
A small serving of the owner’s antique flatware collection.

Collected shells form a beguiling display in a French wooden baguette tray on the coffee table in the great room.

Theatrical family mementos face Freeman’s parents’ collection of books.

 

 

 

4. Subdued Colors Take Center-Stage

 

Michele Rudoph
Riverside Design
Pound Ridge
(914) 764-1096

Michele Rudolph—wife, mother, architect, interior designer, and artist—at her Pound Ridge home.

 

 

Perched high on a hillside in Pound Ridge, the home designed by architect and designer Michele Rudolph takes full advantage of the light and views over a magnificent, landscaped property complete with pool. “We found the site fifteen years ago, when you could still find great property,” she says. Like the other homes in their hillside enclave, it was built by her husband, builder Marc VandenHoeck. The couple shares the space with their teenage sons, Dylan and Ross.
“Every room is focused on a view,” says Rudolph, who is also a painter. “I like clean surfaces, crisp moldings, and economy of form.” And her husband? “He loves quiet neutrals.”

 

The dining room table is from Christie’s and paired with leather Breuer-style seating; the chandelier once hung in Rudolph’s family home in Pittsburgh. Rudolph designed the mantle and glass mosaic fireplace surround; red vases are Chinese reproductions from Middle Kingdom.

 

A bedside chest in the master bedroom is a Chinese reproduction found in TriBeCa; lamp is from dform Lighting, Brooklyn.

The daybed in the master bedroom, from Crate & Barrel, is covered with Donghia fabric; the ceiling paper is also from Donghia. Rudolph designed the red lacquered furniture; the Chinese garden stool is from Sylvester & Company.

The living room features a moody painting by the owner’s son, Dylan. The portrait of Rudolph’s husband Marc as a boy was painted by his grandmother. End tables and coffee table were inherited from Rudolph’s parents. Pillow fabric is from Bergamo Fabrics.

The watercolor is by Rudolph’s uncle, painter Michael Strueber.

Striking floral arrangements are displayed in Victorian funerary vases in the living room.

Soaring ceilings and walls of glass provide a dramatic backdrop for the stone fireplace designed by Rudolph using stone found on the property. The caribou head was a gift from the designer’s sisters. Sofa fabric is Lee Jofa; Osborne & Little fabric is on the purple chairs.


 

 

5. European Style Enhances a Cozy Retreat

 

Susan Thorn
Susan Thorn Interiors, Inc.
Cross River
(914) 763-5265

Designer Susan Thorn is known for her traditional European style.

 

When designer Susan Thorn and her husband, Bill, found their present Cross River home in the late ’60s, it was “an abandoned cinder-block structure on a nice piece of land.” More than 30 years later, after several additions, the peaked-roof French main house is joined by two sister outbuildings, identical in style, one of which is used to manage her successful interior design business.

Classically trained with a degree in interior design and more than 30 years of experience, the youthful and energetic Thorn is known for her warm, sophisticated interiors using continental and American antiques, rich floral fabrics, and exquisite lighting. What is the secret to achieving her signature traditional look? “Go outside a room and look in for a different perspective. Take pictures. Stand back from your creation to get the overall effect,” advises Thorn. It certainly worked here.

An inlaid French antique desk topped by framed watercolors, stands ready for correspondence in the guest room.
French iron bed in the guest room under a cloud of creamy canopy; Pratesi bed linens, Cowtan & Tout bedskirt. An antique caned chair sits at foot of the bed.
The dining table was purchased in Cross River (store now closed). The crystal and iron chandelier was purchased in Buenos Aires and reassembled for the home. Aubusson pillows on matching neutral sofas covered in Cowtan & Tout fabric. The red lacquered coffee table was purchased in Chappaqua (store now closed). Red tole vases are from Italy; sisal rug, Stark.
Matched skirted armchairs provide a comfortable spot to unwind and sip tea by the fire in Thorn’s cozy master bedroom. Pillow and chair fabric, Jim Thompson. Hudson River School oil painting above the mantle is by artist Andrew Richardson. French vases and framed 18th-century bird silhouettes complete the relaxing symmetry.
Boxes, one of Thorn’s many collecting passions, are displayed under an inlaid French marquetry table in the dining room. Candleholders are family pieces.

 

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