At one end of the family room, the fireplace is flanked by doorways leading to a pantry and home office. Doors found at Linda Horsley Antiques make a unique style statement and were, in fact, the springboard for the entire space. “We found the doors before we did another thing in that room,” says designer Beth Ervin.
If the table seems perfectly sized to the breakfast area, there“s good reason: One that the owners already had, it was cut down from a round to a square. It pulls up to a new L-shaped banquette with chairs from Holland & Company completing the seating.
Designed by architect Steve McClanahan, a scalloped cornice over a window in the pantry is the perfect counterpoint for the geometric pattern of the nearby antique doors.
Perfectly appointed in the same “warm, but not cluttered” style as the rest of the house, the newly added sunroom is consistent with the home“s color scheme with tints and shades of cream, blue and taupe.
This corner of the sunroom is all about comfort, but it“s also a study in textures; the tactile mix includes a slate floor, upholstered ottoman, wooden daybed, wrought iron lamp“even a brick wall, originally part of the home“s exterior.
The undisputed star of the dining room is a painted cupboard found at A. Tyner Antiques, its darker interior the perfect foil for a collection of creamware. A combination of slipcovered and velvet-upholstered chairs surround a table from MacRae, the setting illuminated by an ornate chandelier from Jane Marsden Antiques.
The juxtaposition of old and new is evident throughout the home, especially in the living room, where vintage oil paintings and French antiques mingle with a contemporary cocktail table.
What was once the formal living room is now a more casual study. “My clients wanted to make this space more livable,” says Ervin. She designed floor-to-ceiling bookcases, creating a niche between the two just big enough for a comfy sofa, then opened up the room by painting the dark paneled walls a paler hue“an eye-pleasing contrast to rich velvet draperies and a treasured secretary.
Most of the pieces in the master bedroom were found when Ervin and her client shopped together. “I try to take my time and look for individual pieces for a client, to acquire things one at a time,” says the designer. “I prefer that people not recognize my style, that the house reflects their tastes more than mine.”
A warm marigold wallcovering graces the powder room, beautifully complemented by bright white marble-topped cabinetry. Shedding light on the space is a pair of antique Venetian sconces from Edgar-Reeves.
If designer Beth Ervin could conjure up the perfect clients, the owners of this Brookhaven home would aptly describe them. Their warm and welcoming personalities were easy to infuse into the timeless interiors.
“They’re both so unpretentious, and she is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet,” says Ervin. “Everywhere we’d shop, she’d find the prettiest things. And she knows what she likes.”
That said, one of the things that impressed Ervin most was her client’s ability to go with the flow. “If a piece of furniture wasn’t available or a fabric was out of stock, she’d say, ‘Don’t worry; we’ll find something else.’ And, invariably, that ‘something else’ would evolve into something better than we’d originally planned. It all played right into my personal mantra: There’s no such thing as a decorating emergency.”
The project started in 2005, when Ervin worked with her clients on the main house. That, in turn, led to the sunroom addition and, later, a family room, complete with a pair of early 19th-century French doors still with their original paint. The rustic architectural elements are perfect examples of how—just when you think you have a handle on this home’s refined aesthetic—you can expect the unexpected.
The color scheme, on the other hand, is consistent. “My client likes color, but soft and subtle,” says Ervin. “I can’t imagine painting a room in her house red! Fabrics were, for the most part, Rose Tarlow, with soft and muted palettes—a vintage feel. And we used old Oushaks everywhere, the exception being the sunroom, where we used a wool-and-cotton woven rug to mix up the textures a little.”
“I feel like I could move right in, and I can’t say that very often. The home reflects their tastes as much as mine,” the designer reflects. “But they particularly love that it’s warm and inviting, and that’s the highest compliment anyone can give me.”
INTERIOR DESIGN Beth Ervin Interiors, [email protected]