R5 5-Star Luxury: Barbara Fina's Sleepy Hollow Home

Photography by Scott Morris Photography

A Cook’s Kitchen: The huge prep area is a boon for Fina, a serious cook; the separate beverage counter behind it allows guests to stay close to the action without being in the way. Custom cabinets and octagon table were designed by Fina; cabinet maker was JBV Enterprises.

Inspired by vacations at luxury hotels, Barbara Fina of Fina Design in Sleepy Hollow decided to recreate that feeling at home when remodeling and redecorating her out-of-date suburban house. As a designer, she has long been used to using her home as a lab for testing how to live elegantly in coexistence with kids, dogs, and precious items (like a rotating collection of fine-art black-and-white photography). Along the way, she transformed a closed-in space with lots of little rooms into an open 4,000-square- foot oasis where space has been reallocated to better respond to how her family lives. “I believe each room should connect with the next,” Fina says. “Since each room has a different purpose and architecture, the continuity will never seem monotonous. And mixing modern pieces in with traditional selections give the rooms a wonderful energy.”

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Nowhere is that more evident than in the kitchen, where she mixes French and Mediterranean styles and personalizes the space with her collection of roosters (she adores all things French). The most popular place in the house turned out to be the large octangular table. “I have wonderful memories of built-in banquettes,” she says, “and my goal was to make it big enough for pizza parties and durable enough for science projects.” Little did she know that eventually she would have to have a lottery at Thanksgiving to determine who can sit in the kitchen and who gets “stuck” in the dining room. In warm weather, she opens all the windows: “It is as if we’re in the most luxurious screened-in porch.”’

The design impetus for the master suite was a massive, metal four-poster bed, found at ABC Carpet & Home in the Bronx. “We painted the metal to look like wood, and the medallions on the footboards are a motif I used throughout the house.” An inviting sitting room is just off the main room (who wouldn’t want to curl up with a book on the window seat?), and the bath is downright decadent. The entry is via a 45-degree angle allowing access to the water closet and Fina’s dressing room. “I wanted a space where my husband and I could be together, but stretch out for our own personal grooming.” The custom designed his and hers vanities take care of that, along with the generous-sized shower, the fabulous tub, and all the lovely little details that make one feel as if on a vacation—in the comfort of home.


Chandeliers are by Metropolitan; the flooring selected from a quarry in Jerusalem and laid in a traditional random French pattern.

Sumptuous Suite: It’s luxury all the way in this 400-square-foot spa bathroom. The custom-designed floor mosaic from Lebanon has a matching border tile that encircles the bathroom. Vessel sinks are from Linkasink; whirlpool and airjet spa tub by MAAX. Vanities are by Fina Design.

Fina designed the master bedroom to be a light-infused luxury treehouse. “With the windows open and a soft breeze blowing, you feel as if you are up in the trees,” she says. A changing gallery of black-and-white photography makes a striking focal point in this cozy sitting alcove; chaise is by Maurice Villency.

 Bedroom carpet is from Marc Phillips Decorative Carpets, chandeliers from Corbett Lighting, chairs are custom Kravet.

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Fine Dining: While the dining room is formal in the French tradition, Fina says she can easily transform the mood with her extensive collection of tabletop items; china and crystal shown here are Wedgewood; chandelier from Venice, Italy; and china cabinet, table, and chairs are a 1960s reproduction of a classic mid-18th century French style.

Light up the Night: The master suite, kitchen, and dining room all look out over the garden, an important criterion for Fina. “I like to walk in a room and be connected to the outdoors.” Fina Design created the custom railings, Juliet balcony, patio, and landscape.

Be My Guest: Fina describes the yellow, “gender neutral” guest room as modified mid-century modern. “I don’t like to recreate any period but use it as a starting point and design from there.” There is nothing frilly to make a male guest cringe, but many interesting touches that anyone would appreciate, like the 44-caliber brass bullets that accent the up-lit custom designed three-panel screen. The platform bed is from the 1960s, stool is antique, carpet is Thomas O’Brien for Safavieh, and end tables by Arteriors Home.


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