A yearning for fresh air and the tranquility and laid-back lifestyle of charming Oyster Bay brought newlywed city dwellers looking for a home where they could entertain family and friends to Glen Head/Old Brookville.
But unlike most locals, Aline and Kevin have been splitting their time between their newly purchased and recently updated 8,000-square-foot abode and their Williamsburg, Brooklyn digs, where they spend weekends enjoying big city activities.
Most homeowners would feel overwhelmed taking on a multiroom renovation in a house that size – especially with 35-foot-high ceilings and massive expanses in the main living areas – but the couple dove right in with the help of talented design pro Robyn Baumgarten, owner of Interiors by Just Design. She worked closely with her clients to turn their individual ideas into a reality by transforming an older mismatched eclectic house (with huge rooms) into the modern dream home they longed for.
“This is your home,” goes Baumgarten’s mantra. “I want it to be all about you and what you love!”
At first glance the house appeared to be move-in ready, purchased with the previous homeowner’s traditional furnishings as part of the package. But Aline didn’t share the same design aesthetic. For starters, the Persian rugs didn’t jibe with that modern, classic look she and her designer wanted.
“My clients had differing opinions on how they wanted their home to look,” says Baumgarten, whose design focus was on the grand living room, family room and first-floor master bedroom. “Together, we took Kevin’s desire to turn the existing fireplaces into focal walls, and his passion for art then combined that with Aline’s desire for this house to feel like a home.”
Since phase one of design is always conceptual, Baumgarten first presented her vision for the focal walls then brought her millworker into the project. They decided to go with separate plans for each wall that were similar in their modern simplicity but different in their varying materials and execution.
“While construction was taking place, Aline and I hit the ground running with our design ideas,” says Baumgarten, who always works on a room from the floor up and usually sources and shops for a rug with her clients as one of their initial meetings. “This way, they pick out a rug style that defines their personality and then I continue to build the room around it.”
Their hunt for new rugs took them to Stark Carpet, where they chose two that had unique tone-on-tone geometric patterns that would surely spruce up both the living and family spaces.
After completing those common areas, Baumgarten and her team moved their design focus to the first-floor master bedroom.
“Like all good husbands, Kevin let his wife take direction on the design here,” says Baumgarten. “Being from Brazil, Aline loves color and lilac is her favorite.”
So, they ran with it.
For the perfect finishing touch in the boudoir, the designer chose a beautiful piece by local artist Anahi DeCanio.
“I am a big believer in details, artwork being a large focus in all my projects,” says Baumgarten, whose inspiration for the space echoed Kevin’s passion for collecting and customizing great pieces of art. “As it turned out, this reno went smoothly and was a win-win for everyone. And most importantly, we had a lot of fun together.”