Merging Millwork Magic with Dynamic Design


Deborah Martin Designs combines flair with function

Photography by Timothy Williams

Custom millwork can be a home’s most defining feature enhancing its character and beauty and making it one’s own. Most clients have a good grasp of what they are after but don’t know how to pull the many details together to ensure a good result. Others simply don’t have the time. So it was with homeowners working with ZCI Woodworks, a Long Island based company specializing in custom cabinetry, furniture and millwork. 

    ZCI Woodworks was commissioned to complete the construction that would transform an ordinary and dated space into a room with library flair and family room sensibilities and to create custom storage and display cabinetry. Recognizing that ceilings make statements, ZCI suggested that the sloped asymmetrical ceiling, a stale throwback to the home’s original construction, should become a vaulted ceiling.

    Having approved the general construction and design plan, this busy dual-profession couple with small children and demanding schedules lacked the time to research and select the remaining elements that would complete the space. The project began to lag and to exceed the expected timeframe for completion. ZCI suggested involving a design professional and following an initial meeting, Deborah Martin Designs was engaged to complete the design and to manage the many steps that would take the space to completion.

    A clear understanding of a client’s needs is key to creating a beautifully functional interior. Creativity, technical knowledge and a passion for detail enable successful designers to see beyond the present and to visualize the potential for creating a dynamic space. Deborah Martin engaged these homeowners in a dialogue to better understand their lifestyle needs and to create a sense of well being and harmony in their Oyster Bay Cove residence. Shelter magazine clippings the client had collected were reviewed to establish the overall aesthetic and color palette. Thus began the process of spatial planning as well as furnishing and lighting selection.

    Assisting the homeowners to select a finish for the custom millwork, a source of frustration which had stymied the project, enabled ZCI to work toward completion. The color story was established with the selection of a 100% New Zealand wool area rug and continued with luxurious textiles for the custom Kravet sectional, contrasting pillows and silk drapery panels. A hexagonal stone top coffee table with a soft gold-finish metal base was chosen for its architectural interest. An elegant chandelier with silk shades highlights the transformed ceiling and along with a table lamp is the third lighting source in the room. Hardworking yet smart looking leather seating was chosen for the built in desk and as a cleverly disguised recliner adjacent to the marble clad fireplace fabricated by Elegante Granite and Marble.

    The contrasting finish and turned legs on a bespoke desk created by Deborah Martin Designs and expertly executed by ZCI Woodworks are especially beautiful features. This custom desk affords a second task area but manages to look like an heirloom or found piece.

    A clear understanding that the interior design of a personal living space comprises a set of elements that the client will be living with for quite some time and knowing the design process is at once exciting and daunting mandates us to ensure clients are fully engaged and supported at each point in the process. Creative collaboration among professionals enabled the completion of a dynamic interior which transmits tangible beauty and harmony in bringing balance to the lives of a lovely young ­family.