Midcentury NY Bungalow Boldly Combines Rural and Modern Styles
Sloane Klevin might not be an interior designer herself, but the transformation of an otherwise forgotten, 1940s bungalow, into a bold blend of polished rural details with bright modern industrial features, is most definitely her brainchild. It all started circa 2006 when – even though she owned a triplex in Harlem – she couldn’t seem to find an appropriate setting for her collection of midcentury, modern design pieces, which she has been collecting during her entire lifetime. She grew up in California, so it’s a small wonder she was reminiscent of those delightful – yet ephemeral – country sights.
Back in 2008, she fell in love with an 18th-century house located in Stanfordville, NY, owned by Douglas Larson – an architect who had renovated it to a fully modern setting. So, when she finally came to acquire her midcentury bungalow, in 2012, she asked Doug to completely renovate it.
He ripped and gutted his way through, eventually transforming the dark, 1400-square-foot setting into a generous and bright 2100-square-foot home. All original porches were removed and the new additions include a kitchen, a covered porch which serves as the main entry, the master bedroom upstairs, and finally, the living room downstairs, where three out of the four walls are made of glass, providing a generous view of the pond and rolling meadows.
Bright, modern, and simply beautiful. But somehow, Sloane didn’t feel quite at home, the bungalow felt cold and slightly uncomfortable. So, looking to add warmer colours and textures, she reached out to Selina van der Geest, a British interior designer. Her work would prove to be everything Sloane was looking for.
First, she toned down the modern palette of white, black, and brown which reigned over the design, for a more relaxed and colourful spectrum of Turkish kilims. Up next, a stylistic element which Selina likes to call as “Country-Industrial” takes over the bungalow. In the study – as well as in the master bathroom – you will find sliding barn doors. On all interior doors, unique and hand-forged iron hardware. In the downstairs powder room, a galvanised tin bucket neatly serves as a sink, while all of the other bathrooms are adorned with barn lights – essentially bulbs in metal cages.
Outdoors in one of the meadows, a set of slightly modified Harry Bertoia wire chairs embellish the surroundings of a large Indian metal cook pot, which serves as a firepit. Sloane admits to having them entirely bleached. Perhaps a sacrilege to some purists, but it simply felt like the right thing to do.