It sounds like a vacation brochure: “Commanding views of the Great South Bay, picturesque wetlands, countless varieties of birds and marine life – and access by boat to Fire Island and the Atlantic Ocean…” For a client of Marilyn Rose who recently purchased a home in a thriving community on the south shore of Long Island, however, such delights are now virtually available right in her own backyard. (Along with the opportunity to swim, fish and dock a boat.)
Photo: The original house was a contemporary design, the exterior of which featured siding in a subtle green with stonework embellishments.
When Marilyn’s client found a house in this lovely area on the same street where extended family lives, it was immediately apparent that it could be the home of her dreams – except for one important fact. The house did not look at all like the home of her dreams, inside or out.
The existing residence had been built and tended to with care, but was primarily a contemporary design. It would be an enormous project to transform the house into one that expressed the prospective owner’s vision of “Home,” but she felt it was more than worth the effort and decided to buy the property. Clearly she would need to find just the right person to help transform someone else’s dream home into her own.
Right: The transformed house is predominantly gray and white, with gambrel roof lines, simple columns and other elements of a classic Shingle-Style home. Once fully landscaped, the house will appear nestled into the setting, and from its copper weathervane and cupola to its stately front door, it will provide a welcoming presence, just as this architectural style has done since its inception in the 19th century.
The search proved an easy one because the new homeowner had long admired the work of Marilyn Rose in the pages of HOUSE magazine and other publications. Marilyn’s ability to translate and augment her clients’ vision, lifestyle and residential dreams has long been known by word of mouth from Manhattan to the Hamptons and beyond. With the capable staff at Marilyn H. Rose Interiors, her website and blog have also allowed Marilyn to share her work, ideas and knowledge through articles and photographs online.
Left: In the newly designed front hall, elegant cream-and-beige striped wallpaper sets a tranquil tone. A custom gold leaf console, with marble top and Greek key motif on its apron, is flanked by antique bronze sconces. Gold accented porcelain urns with a pastoral landscape design stand on each side of a tall gilt mirror. The staircase combines white paint with a dark walnut stain, which continues on the flooring. It also features a small, gently curved balcony that looks over the first floor. An area rug in black and gold with touches of red coordinates with the carpeting on the stairs.
In addition to the creativity and expertise Marilyn brings to a project, there is another great benefit of working with an established interior designer – the group of other capable, experienced professionals she can assemble. Together they can help bring to life a house that fulfills the homeowner’s dream – in this case, a traditional, elegant and above all, welcoming home that befits its coastal setting.
Right: Cabinetry with rich detail sets the tone. A backsplash of gray trellis tile picks up the gray veins on the white granite-topped island adorned with Corinthian pilasters. Comfortable black French stools and dark walnut floors, recalling those in the front hall, also contribute to the warm and luxurious feel of the functional space – and lend continuity to the open plan kitchen and dining room design. White porcelain artichokes sit in a silver trimmed bowl, while a porcelain rooster and hen hold court under matching crystal chandeliers.
Cold Spring Harbor architect Peter Nesfield did an artful job creating the plans used to transform the contemporary exterior into the Shingle-Style design which has long been a classic form of architecture in New England, the Hamptons and other seaside communities. Refinements Ltd, a talented and accomplished team of builder/remodelers known for the quality of their work and customer service, completed the exterior of the house and then moved on to execute Marilyn’s design for the interior.
With the before-and-after photos reflecting this ongoing project, it is easy to see what has been accomplished so far in bringing a homeowner’s dream to life. Once the next phase of work is finished, new photos will be forthcoming, but even they cannot show a lovely bonus – the genuine friendship that has developed between Marilyn and her client, which will flourish long after the last picture is hung and the project is complete.
Photo: The freshly imagined design of the new den features a fireplace with a French mantle and elegantly detailed flanking bookcases that replace the former windows. Above the mantle, on each side of the mirror, is a doré bronze antique sconce, while on the mantle sit two alabaster urns. A soft green textured plush sofa stands before a Louis XVI style walnut sofa table, accented with two hand-painted lamps bearing a vine and flower design. In front of the sofa is a walnut brown leather ottoman in a faux crocodile design with an inset tray. Comfortable soft taupe chairs complete the cozy seating arrangement, as does the discretely placed television.