Soft & Serene

Marlaina Teich - beautifully family friendly

by Jessica Robb

This Manhasset home is the quintessential stunner for anyone considering a full home renovation. The Garvin family was searching for a designer experienced with large-scale renovations and they found the perfect match with interior designer Marlaina Teich.

Working closely with the architecture firm Hierarchy Architects as well as Bargail Construction was key. The village of Munsey Park can be a difficult village to build in with zoning footprints that are fairly tight. Maximizing every inch of space to its best function was the priority.  One area of the home was particularly tricky. The original living room was an extremely long rectangle, which made for an awkward furniture layout and truly hindered the use of the space. Hierarchy proposed a two-sided fireplace to divide the space, flanked by beautiful French doors. Now, there is a wonderful living room with four custom swivel chairs, set up “chat style” where the Garvin’s enjoy cocktails with their guests, while on the other side of the fireplace, the kids are happily hanging out in the great room playing and watching TV. Reducing the original large rectangular living room and making a smaller proportioned “clubroom” allowed for more space in the family room and kitchen as one connected contemporary space.

Considering the Garvin’s lifestyle when designing their home was the first step in Marlaina’s process. From furniture layouts and finish selections for everything from flooring to hardware, cabinetry, hard surfaces and soft, everything was selected taking the client’s needs and desires into account. The Garvin’s have two young children and an active lifestyle so choosing fabrics and finishes that were not only beautiful but extremely family friendly was important. The color palette of sandy neutrals and soft ocean blues was specified to create a serene, calming environment that provides a respite to the lively lifestyle the family enjoys.

One favorite touch is the expansive kitchen, designed with Showcase Kitchens of Manhasset, that pours out directly into the family room allowing for the flow of family and guests while entertaining. White cabinetry and countertops and touches of soft blue remind the family of vacations spent on the North Fork and encourages a fresh, open feel to the space. The large center island is perfect for prepping large meals and for an easy place for family and friends to gather.

Having long relationships with many quality manufacturers – both locally and throughout the country – in every realm of design including furniture, hardware, lighting, rugs and wallcoverings, make creating custom furnishings a breeze. Almost every piece of furniture in the Garvin’s newly renovated home was custom sized, designed and finished specifically for them. Marlaina loved working closely with the Garvin’s to create a home that is truly perfect for them from the ground up. The Garvin’s felt the same way, saying, “We absolutely loved working with Marlaina. She took all of our ideas and made them better. She is a complete professional and the process was smooth – and FUN! – from start to finish.”

Fits to a T

New Age captures family dynamic
Photography by Ken Hild

Moving into a home with an open floor plan necessitates a well thought out plan in order to create a balanced flow. When the Jarit family moved into their home on Eastern Long Island, they enlisted the expertise of Melissa Fenigstein and Linda Pravata-Fenigstein of New Age Interiors, Inc. to assist them in navigating this challenging undertaking.

This cozy music room encourages the musicians of the family to practice or gather with friends for an acoustic jam session.


Dramatic great room yet warm and inviting. Generous sofas from Hickory White and a chair and a half from John Richard offers ample seating for friends and family.

Together with Melissa and Linda, they collaborated to come up with a plan to create an environment that was comfortable, practical and good-looking for this family with two growing boys. Both boys enjoy playing instruments, so it was imperative for them to have a space for their lessons and practice time. In place of a formal living room, a custom library unit with cozy seating and space for the musicians to practice and company to gather was created.

The family loves to spend time together watching movies and sporting events. The great room must have plenty of seating to accommodate their family and friends. Even with its 20 foot ceiling, the room is cozy. The double story drapes accentuate the height but the soft, neutral colors bring the eye back down to the seating area which is warmed by the gas fireplace.   

Ultimate custom multi-media room lets family and friends enjoy their sporting events in luxury with a side game of shuffleboard.  


With the family’s allure for sports, Melissa and Linda couldn’t stop there. They crafted a multi-media room on the lower level. Here, friends and family gather to witness sporting events with ultimate viewing and can enjoy a game of shuffleboard as well.

For the more formal occasions, the dining room, furnished with a 70” table from Hickory White and adorned by a unique light fixture from Global Views, continues with warm wall colors and rich wood tones. A metallic leather on the chair seats was chosen for its beauty and practicality.

Elegant and welcoming dining room. Textured wallcovering coordinates with metallic leather chair seats; perfect for practical living with style.

Son, Hayden’s room reflects his love of music and guitars specifically.


Son, Austin, treasures the great outdoors with a serene waterfall and meandering brook.


The boys had total input on their room designs. Guitars are Hayden’s passion, so his room sports a larger than life guitar that lives on the wall by his bed. Austin prefers to venture into the woods near the meandering brook and calming waterfall. These rooms will grow with them as they do.

The Jarit family couldn’t be happier with their home. “It fits our lifestyle to a T,” exclaims Jennifer Jarit. Both parties agree that it was a pleasure to work together.

87 LEONARD - Bespoke residences designed by Taylor Spellman New York

This bold yet chic living space lends comfortability and access to anyone who enters. The Tribeca mom, the kids, the bachelor, the family friends and the new neighbors – there’s a sense of commonality to everyone when the use of neutral tones comes into play and everyone can find comfort on the beige couches next to a cozy

The custom artwork of this living space brings attention directly to the fireplace, which is extended in size and effect through the wallpaper detail and use of a mirror to extend the length of the room.

Too often, people save daring colors like red only for one accent wall. Here the entire room is a bold, warm red and it fits the space well – communicating a luxurious, alluring sensation to all who enter.

87 Leonard blends historic authenticity with contemporary luxury in the heart of Tribeca. Units range from 3,000 to 7,000 square feet… so there is a lot of room to play with. There is also a lot of space that can easily be misused, so it is crucial to make different focal points and different sitting places within the room. “My aim was to create a space that has something for everyone,” explains Taylor Spellman, designer, staging expert and owner of Taylor Spellman New York. “A little bit of everything, but cohesive.”

Not doing a lot of color can still be bold and chic and not look too staged. As an example, the goal in the great room was to let the eyes fall upon the industrial aspects, from the beautiful wooden beam to the tall columns, but still insert soft furniture and an elegant fireplace for a fully-rounded composition.

You always want a kitchen with the capacity to entertain. Here there are a variety of different seating options for all who enter, with an open path of conversation whether one is cooking or enjoying the food. Different elements of wood from cabinetry, to table and the accessory storage accentuate the bright hardwood flooring – producing a comfortable, appetizing tone in a modern space

“For me, New York is everything. I'll walk down the street for half a block and I'm immediately rejuvenated and inspired,” expressed Spellman. “The electric energy is my fuel!”

Layering a variety of textures throughout the bedscape elevates the use of natural, neutral tones; creating a calm vibe for the end of the day and a fresh start in the morning.

As much as she loves the energy of the city, Spellman gets a great deal of inspiration from the quiet. “It’s hard to find it, but I love to settle in late at night with a glass of wine and create.
During that uninterrupted time, I always come up with my best ideas.”

This room brings the outdoors inside for the NYC kid, harnessing different textures and bold colors to bring out the fun and adventure for the up-and-coming city dweller.

Spellman’s design philosophy: “Design for how you really live. People talk about one’s home like it’s a luxury good and it’s not; it is absolutely critical to one’s life,” she remarks. “This is the place you go to seek refuge from what can be a crazy world. Your home should build you up and be a place for living and loving.”