Beautiful, classic, and a teeny bit quirky is the perfect recipe for a country house. Celerie Kemble's creation of a country retreat on the North Shore of Long Island (ie: Gatsby-ville) for a childhood friend is a lovely example of a bucolic escape for a busy, city-based family. Light-hearted, and yet informed by the past, this charming weekend home is comfortable and stylish.
The expansive foyer of the home is an eye-catching mix of natural textures in neutral colors. The grasscloth walls, the rattan chair, the antique Latvian armoire (which is awesome, btw), the taupe and cream painted floor, the grey-brown millwork, are all subtle enough on their own (ok maybe the armoire isn't quite that subtle), but together they hum with nature-inspired appeal.
This shot provides a better look at the painted floors, and the whimsical rattan console adds even more natural texture to the space.
The family room is clad in horizontal clapboards, painted a fresh shade of pale green. The gentle vault of the ceiling is papered in an old school floral print with a contemporary navy-grounded color palette. Mixing burgundy and tan upholstery with the fresh green walls and papered ceiling brings a layer of richness to the space. And I'm never going to say no to a Brunschwig "Les Touches" upholstered settee.
I love that the fireplace surround was also painted the same color as the wall, all the way to the firebox.
The vaulted living room is cozy and chic in a marine blue grasscloth wallpaper. The red and blue color scheme of the space is basic and yet it reads as so sophisticated with shots of burgundy, aqua, and natural wood texture from the mantel, side table, and coffee table. Obviously I love those turquoise pagodas adorning the mantel, the slick red floor mirror, and, Holy Moly, that woven grass chandelier with tiny blue shades and swoops of red beads is killer.
A framed, vintage, skating sweater from a relative who competed in the Olympics adds a personal, Americana touch. And I stalked that red pagoda (from Meg Braff's shop, pretty close to this house in Locust Valley, NY) online forever - I'm glad to see it's found a good home. Me love you long time, red pagoda.
More pale green abounds in the bright and happy kitchen. The taupe and cream painted floor from the foyer as makes a cameo underneath a striped, woven rug. It's fun that Kemble and Co went with a colorful kitchen (plus dark soapstone countertops and metalic penny-round backsplash) as opposed to the more predictable white country kitchen. Love the coral seersucker lining in the upper cabinets as well! And while we're here, those built-in cabinets to either side of the arch are adorable.
Yes to the vintage style amazing wallpaper, yes to the coral seersucker built-in bench cushion, yes to the painted floors, BUT GUYS -- the turquoise and white Dutch door?!?! I die.
The floral wallpaper from the mudroom, with it's cheeky mid-century appeal, appears again here in the dining room. The bamboo chairs with their loopy detail, the plank-y wooden table, and the grass wrapped chandelier all give this space a relaxed, natural feel. And the coral seersucker present in both the kitchen and the mudroom bench makes for absolutely charming dining room curtains panels.
A baby boy's room is a classic space in blue and white. The quirky, printed wallpaper adds interest and its business contrasts wonderfully with the solid light blue eaves and ceiling. But, the triumph of this room is that roman shade with the oversized ric-rac trim. RIC-RAC TRIM, PEOPLE. I would put it on everything. Also, those gold pulls on the window are a perfect splash of metallic, campaign-inspired masculinity.
Big brother's bedroom is also classic and simple, but eschews little boy blue-and-white for vivid grass green and sunny yellow. Horizontal stripes add some off-beat fun, but many, many snaps for photographing this room with stickers on the bed. I totally put stickers on my bed as a little kid, and if you were born after 1980, I'm sure you did too. That's real.
Man, OH MAN, this master bedroom is straight of my monogrammed, pattern mixing, preppy , blue and green dreams! Leontine Linens with a sassy chartreuse trim coordinate with a gorgeous pair of Christopher Spitzmiller lamps. The scalloped heaboard clad in navy velvet also gets a citron splash with a contrasting welt. The mix of floral pillows and the b-e-a-u-tiful hydrangea blue and white wallpaper add the perfect amount of peppy contrast. Also, I see you little pleated shade swing-arm sconces.
The gorgeous striped paper continues on into a desk space between the bedroom and the bathroom. And anenomies and thistles (perfect for a Scot-ophile like me) in a julep cup are lovely.
I adore the petite and fuzzy (yes, its tiny fringe if you look closely) chartreuse trim on the otherwise simple, white drapes - such a charming touch. The clean-lined bedside chest in a bold oxblood color with with leather-wrapped handles and metallic legs adds a welcome, grounding presence, especially against the wonderful lightness of the painted white floors. A really masterful mix.
A lot of people who get country houses in this part of Long Island really insist on an aggressively elegant look (like, yeeesh, I get, you're fancy, leave poor Gwen at DeGournay alone for five minutes), but this house really nails a relaxed, comfortable, weekend environment that still nods to the genteel history of the area. It's so clear that this energetic home reflects the personalities of the owners. Who seem really cute and fun. Let's hang out.