Interior Designers' Favorite Design Projects: Victoria Klein

a labor of love

Designer: Victoria Klein
Victoria Klein
New Rochelle (914) 738-7502
victoriaklein.com

 

What happens when an interior designer is her own client? Victoria Klein has been renovating and decorating her own home for the past two years, filling it with family heirlooms, curiosities from travels around the world, and flea-market finds.

The library has two swinging book cases, one opening to additional bedrooms, the other to the hall. When both are closed, you are surrounded by wall-to-wall books—a bibliophile’s dream.
The breakfast room wallpaper is a French hand woodblock print from the 1920s by Mauny.
Klein bought the marble bathroom vanity first from Ellen Scarborough, a dealer in Stamford, Connecticut, then had to hunt to find the matching Arrabascato marble for the open shower; the light fixtures are made of curved glass tubes.
The dining-room table and chairs (circa 18th or 19th century) came from her husband’s parents; the chairs in the corner were her grandmother’s. The mirror belonged to a friend who moved and couldn’t find a place for it in her new home. It fits perfectly over the fireplace, one of five in the house.
An intricately carved canopy bed from India takes center stage in the second-floor master bedroom.

What was the most daunting challenge?
“Words cannot describe the condition of this house when we bought it. I just gritted my teeth and kept the vision going throughout the process and made it happen.”

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Your home is filled with very unusual pieces —where did you find them?
“The cabinets in my entryway and kitchen were salvaged from an old apothecary and the kitchen faucet was made with vintage plumbing supplies. I found the 1920s Quality stove at the Federation Thrift Shop, now gone, in New Rochelle. And I have a cabinet filled with taxidermy birds that I found at an auction at Chatsworth house, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, in England. They were selling off items that had been rescued from the demolition of Devonshire House in London in the ’20s and stored in the attics at Chatsworth. It was quite a scene! No one else bid on the birds, so I got them.”

You seem to have an affinity for the 1920s.
“I actually love items from the Edwardian period through the twenties. These items tended to be purely decorative: sweet, dear, and often simply pretty. They were probably a bit nostalgic for their time, although not cool, and with no edge. In this age of ironic décor, I find this kind of design refreshing and direct.”

Photography by Richard Warren


 

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