The Stories and Memories Behind Editor and Designer Nancy Lindemeyer’s Home Furnishings in Ardsley-on-Hudson, NY

A lifetime of accumulation transforms editor/designer Nancy Lindemeyer’s home into a veritable memory box.

Walking into Nancy Lindemeyer’s Ardsley-on-Hudson apartment is like walking into a gigantic memory box. Everything tells a story: the framed needlepoints lining the calamine lotion-pink entry wall, for instance, are reminders of Lindemeyer’s stepmother, who joined her family when she was 7 years old. The stately French Grange armoire, just off the entrance, reflects an extremely successful publishing career—she took the piece from her New York City corner office. Even the two gorgeously simple, wood-fired pots by Judith Duff, innocuously displayed on the living room coffee table, double as souvenirs from a full-of-pleasure business trip to North Carolina.

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Of course, having a home made up of flashbacks doesn’t happen by accident, and, if Lindemeyer follows one rule in terms of interior design, it’s this: your home should reflect your life. The founding editor of the original Victoria magazine, the upscale shelter monthly that Hearst launched in 1987, Lindemeyer knows that a home is more than a place to stow furniture—it’s an oasis, a place that “has the intimacy of your life,” declares Lindemeyer, now a design consultant and blogger, who launched a line of casual furnishings for Hooker Furniture, in 2006, appropriately dubbed Intimate Home.

“I have fun changing everything around,” says Nancy Lindemeyer.

photo by Wendi Schneider

The campaign desk takes center stage in the solarium, which doubles as an office and, sometimes, a guestroo

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photo by Luciana Pampalone

Vintage books on the mantel add texture and depth to her living room.

photo by Wendi Schneider

An ever-evolving display of cups and saucers.

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photo by Wendi Schneider

Lindemeyer’s monogrammed stationery: “I have so many things with my initials,” she says.

Though this 1,100-square-foot Hudson House apartment is only Lindemeyer’s part-time home—she spends most of the year at her full-time residence, a 1937 Bauhaus home in Ames, Iowa—it still strikes a sentimental chord. For years, she lived here and commuted to New York City, where she lead the editorial team at Victoria, while her husband split his time between New York and his responsibilities at Iowa State University. Though she left Victoria in 2000, she kept her apartment. Today, the cozy space is a reflection of her childhood, her married life, her career, her son, her friends, her love of books and the arts, and, basically, all that’s precious to her.

photo by Luciana Pampalone

An Italian wool carpet runs throughout the living room. “I know it shows lint, but I love it,” she says.

“I believe in a concept: the accumulated home,” she tells me, sinking into her perfectly slip-covered white Bernhardt sofa in the living room. “It starts with things from your family that you loved.” She points to a French Provincial table that houses a lamp near the marble fireplace. “A legacy from a friend,” she says.

As in many apartments, the living room is the focal point. But don’t expect anything too fussy. “Design style comes from the home you grew up in,” Lindemeyer says. “I grew up in such a comfortable home. It was very beautiful and welcoming. Who wants to live in a house that’s not comfortable?”

To that end, she’s placed a Cisco sofa from ABC Carpet & Home opposite the Bernhardt, and covered them both in the same crisp, white slipcovers, so only a well-trained eye would notice the pair is not a genuine match. The coffee table, an off-white piece from Ethan Allen, sits between them and cleverly stores her books—another of Lindemeyer’s great loves—underneath the surface. “I wanted a library coffee table to store books. I use stuff. I let it get scarred up.”

The sofas sit in front of a white marble fireplace, home to even more accessories. “I’m a big believer in baskets,” says Lindemeyer, pointing to the one filled with quilts made by her husband’s great-grandmother, just in front of the fireplace. “They give a lot of texture to a home and give you a great place to store things.”

photo by Luciana Pampalone

Lindemeyer designed this elegant sideboard for her Hooker Furniture “Intimate Home” line, which debuted in 2006.

photo by Luciana Pampalone

Amy Interiors, of Eastchester, covered Lindemeyer’s individual sofas in matching slipcovers and made them look like a pair.

photo by Wendi Schneider

This bust of Mignon, from the French opera of the same name, is one of Lindemeyer’s most prized possessions. “My mother-in-law purchased it on her grand tour of Europe in 1929.”

photo by Luciana Pampalone

Restoration Hardware chairs near the bay window double as head chairs at the dining-room table.

In any home, but especially in an apartment, it’s important to keep things flexible, and Lindemeyer gives multiple purposes to her furnishings and rooms. She turned her dining area, off the newly redone kitchen, into a den. It’s home to a big leather chair and a huge Ethan Allen hutch. “I took Bonnie Williams’s idea: don’t put small furniture in small spaces. Put big furniture in small spaces. It has more effect.”

Don’t be afraid to mix things up, she says, pointing to the den’s Pottery Barn chandelier, to which she added ABC Carpet shades and crystal teardrops given to her by a friend. Even the artwork in this room is close to her heart—the painting of the woman watching her children play in the snow reminded Lindemeyer of watching her son years ago.

photo by Luciana Pampalone

A painting of Lindemeyer’s son hangs over her bed—and the quilt on the bed is her mother-in-law’s wedding quilt.

photo by Luciana Pampalone

Lindemeyer rotates displays like this one along the bay window throughout the year.

Since Lindemeyer turned her dining room into a den, she needed somewhere to put her real dining table. Given that the living room was so big, it seemed the perfect place. She put a Hooker Furniture French Provincial table in between the sofas and the far wall, and has four white painted-wood chairs placed around it. The head and foot chairs, brown Ultrasuedes from Restoration Hardware, double as reading chairs near the bay window. “I have an aversion to a dining-room table with all the chairs around it. Why not take two and do something with them?” Speaking of flexibility, Lindemeyer uses her table for much more than dining. “The dining table is also a work table, a library table, and a writing table.” She grabs two of the chairs flanking it and turns them around. Presto! They’re gathered around the sofas—perfect for parties when she needs extra seating in the living room. “A home doesn’t have to be static,” she says. “When I wake up here, I think what a nice place I live in and how lucky I am. But it’s a two-edged sword because you’re always looking for ways to change it up.”

When it comes to Mary Lynn Mitcham Strom’s own Northern Westchester home, she has lots of great ideas, but has yet to execute a single one.

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