There comes a time in the design process where a project shouts out for the unique. And if you are looking for an inspirations, we suggest you pay close attention to this recent project, the interior designers that stand behind it and the Country Floors details that transformed the idea to a tangible result.
The house is a Tudor style, stone castle built in 1907 and in need of a complete restoration. Along with the client’s architect, Doug Wilk – Mitchell Wilk Architecture – the goal was to incorporate all the original elements of architecture and design reflecting the true character of the house. The interior of the house was completely gutted and numerous additions were made.
Working close with the client’s architect, the interior designers Peter Balsam and Jayne Goldstein helped formulate the structural and aesthetic changes by designing the interiors of every room in the house.
In your mission statement “Interior design is not simply about decorating, but the idea of creating an environment and a lifestyle.” When you have a consultation with a new client, what are the most important aspects to complete this mission?
When consulting with a new client, our goal is to accumulate as much information about the job in relation to the client’s lifestyle. We explore the function of the space, as well as the client’s vision for what they hope we will achieve. We want them to trust us and completely respect the collaboration which we have now formed with them. We are now a “team” working together to fulfill their dreams.
What drew you to this particular project? What were some of your main inspirations when designing this amazing home?
This house was such a spectacular challenge – who wouldn’t have wanted this project! However, lucky for us, the client sought us out because we had successfully worked with them previously on multiple projects. Our main inspiration was to respect the architectural integrity of the house. Because of prior renovations, the inside of the house was devoid of any of the charm and character that we knew a house such as this was meant to have.
Is there a particular experience you want people to have when they enter into this home?
In terms of experience upon entering this home – we want people to immediately feel the great warmth and welcoming personalities that our client’s possess. Comfortable furniture, beautiful fabrics, luscious window treatments, interesting lighting, beautiful floors and walls, unique antiques and personal accessories are all important components in expressing who the client’s are. Everywhere you look, there is something to delight the eye. However, no matter how unique and special everything is, you never lose sight of the fact that this is a family’s home and not a museum.
What’s your favorite part of the house?
Our favorite part of the house is it’s “heart”, the kitchen. The beautiful eat in kitchen ( by St. Charles of New York ) is not just a cook’s kitchen with professional grade appliances. The kitchen area also encompasses a comfortable and inviting family room that has a large TV, fireplace and bookcases. As well there is an additional dining area called the breakfast / garden room. The wonderful floral fabric on the large banquette and settee in the breakfast / garden room is one of our favorite fabrics.
The flooring throughout these rooms are large square cream colored terra cotta tiles from Country Floors. In the breakfast / garden room we changed the square tiles to smaller rectangular ones forming a brick chevron pattern. The most eye catching detail in the kitchen is the outrageously beautiful tile “rug” underneath the twin walnut islands. It’s always a “wow” factor when ever people see it. When we were planning the “rug”, Country Floors was extremely helpful in guiding us how to work out the scale and pattern configuration. Our client’s and their family spend a lot of time working in, and just “hanging out” in these three warm, comfortable and inviting rooms.
What where the key aspects for considering Country Floors collections for this project?
We knew that certain rooms in the house called for a truly unique old world look. In our opinion, no one offers an old world look better than Country Floors!
Can you tell us a little bit more about the features of the wine cellar and how your tile chose impacted such a rich dramatic ambiance?
The wine cellar was our little “jewel box”. It is located in the billiard room, which is off the kitchen area. The billiard room is very masculine and traditional. It has stone walls, wide plank wood floors and a heavy wood beamed ceiling. We found a marvelous carved oak antique pool table that truly sets the mood. That coupled with a pair of antique leather wing chairs and a very spectacular chandelier over the pool table complete the picture. In designing the wine cellar, we knew it needed to convey the strength of the billiard room, yet have it’s own distinctive spirit. That is achieved starting with a pair of lavish black wrought iron doors at the entrance to the wine cellar.
However, it wasn’t until we chose the striking, patterned floor tiles and brick ceiling tiles from Country Floors, that we truly knew our design for the wine cellar would be a success.
How would you describe the experience working with Country Floors material and the end result of this project?
A year after the house was completed, plans were underway to add a pool house. Wanting to continue the mood set by the main house, the design for the pool house presented a challenge. The goal for the architect, Doug Wilk, was to make it appear as if the pool house had always been there. Our goal, as interior designers was to “marry” the inside of the pool house with it’s unique and lovely exterior.
It was clear to us that the main floor in the pool house truly needed to be special. Unlike some of the more elaborate floors we had used in the house, this one needed to be elegant and somewhat simple. There was no doubt in our minds that we would find what we were looking for at Country Floors. The floor we chose was perfect. It is Casablanca Arabesque with a wide border of Sliverdrop. Our salespeople at Country Floors were invaluable to us in figuring out the complicated transition between the pool deck and the pool house floor. They also assisted us in determining the scale of the graceful shaped Arabesque tiles and border.
We chose a wonderful old world pattern for the pool house bathroom floor – so unexpected when you open the door! We especially like the playful mini checkerboard ceramic tiles we used in the cabana bathroom.
Country Floors also fabricated all our countertops and even made a custom designed marble sink. We think it’s pretty obvious that we love working with Country Floors. We always know the end result will be perfect.
Is there a design trend that really stood out to you in 2014 and what is the next trend you see as far as interior design and decor?
We are not big believers in following design trends. Furnishing a home that you will love living in for many years should have a timeless quality. That’s not to say that we aren’t aware that the world of interior design is constantly changing. We diligently keep abreast of everything going on in the design showrooms. Always looking at new fabrics, furniture, lighting, carpeting, etc. We keep up with the latest design magazines and websites as well. All this to be incorporated when designing the perfect surroundings for our clients. Surroundings that are current ( but not trendy ), beautiful and timeless.
Looking back on your 25 years of experience concentrating in contemporary and traditional residential projects, what was your initial inspiration in becoming an interior designer?
My formal education was in sociology and psychology. After pursuing both for a number of years, I decided to take my creative energy and apply it to the world of interior design. I never looked back! Peter Balsam Associates / peterbalsamassociates.com
My original design background was in the fashion industry; I was a children’s clothing designer. Over time I realized my true passion was not designing clothing, but rather designing interiors. After graduating from the N.Y. School of Interior Design, my dream became a reality. Jayne Goldstein / jaynegoldsteindesign.com