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Often, a designer’s clients will come up with Pinterest images or magazine tear sheets at the beginning of a project to convey the look they envision for their space. Not so with Crystal Sinclair’s new clients, a young couple who enlisted the designer, who is based in Tuxedo Park, NY, to make some architectural upgrades and completely furnish three floors of their vintage row house.
“One of the first things they gave us was a nice, complex music playlist, peppy and upbeat, nothing I’d heard before, all new to me,” Sinclair said. “That helped steer the direction of the design. I knew they’d be open to something unique, not run-of-the-mill.”
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The house and its vintage detail, including stained glass windows, moldings, trim, and fancy plasterwork on the parlor floor ceiling, were in good shape. Sinclair’s interventions included creating the paint palette, designing an all-new kitchen distinguished by strikingly veined marble and a custom stove hood, modifying a bathroom, and designing a metal and glass partition.
All-new furnishings, most from such accessible sources as Crate & Barrel, Interior Define and Chairish, with lighting from Y Lighting and Rejuvenation, and accessories from West Elm and Wayfair, were less expensive than they seemed, the designer said. “We took the budget we had and really stretched it. We pride ourselves on making it look like the clients spent much more than they did.”
“I love a dramatic entry, dark and moody,” Sinclair said. Here she used Nightfall by Benjamin Moore, which has a green tint. “I like to make the entry hall darker, for contrast with other rooms.”
Unique three-dimensional paper art by Kenny Nguyen was installed on site. “The artist comes and installs it in a way that gives it texture and volume,” Sinclair said. “When sunlight hits it, it accentuates all the bumps and curves.”
Boldly shaped and colored furnishings in the living room include a curved white sofa from Crate & Barrel and a mustard velvet sofa from Interior Define. “We added circle pillows to elevate it, so it doesn’t look store bought,” Sinclair said.
The brass chandelier was found on Chairish and hung from the original plaster medallion.
The round metal artwork is a mass-produced piece from Natural Curiosities, which Sinclair chose to offset too many rectilinear lines. A vintage standing lamp, a round coffee table, an original painting by British abstractionist Liza Giles, and a new mirror added atop the original fireplace mantel (once black metal, now painted white) round the room’s furnishings.
Sinclair designed a very long vegan leather banquette for the dining area. The millwork in the dining room and kitchen is custom, designed by Appel Architecture, formerly of Brooklyn, now based in LA.
“We spec’d a marble that had movement” — lilac marble with heavy veining — to distinguish the redesigned kitchen, Sinclair said. The gracefully curved plaster stove hood is its own design.
Sinclair took five flush mount fixtures intended to be hung on the ceiling and used them as wall sculptures in the deep-green hallway, where they have a mirror-like effect. “We wanted a fun statement, something sculptural and unique,” she said.
Lush, organic colors, a custom headboard and a mossy green coverlet add up to a serene, inviting primary bedroom.
Sinclair redesigned the bathroom and clad it in new materials, including wall tiles from Clé. She found a way to keep the nicely detailed shape of the existing opening by designing a partition made of metal with panels of glass, some clear and some fluted. Louvered glass between the vanity and toilet creates both privacy and interesting shadows.
[Photos by Tim Lenz]
The Insiders is Brownstoner’s weekly in-depth look at a notable interior design/renovation project, by design journalist Greenberg’s way. Find it here every Thursday morning.