Garden Vibes Imbue This Historic And Whimsical Bronxville Home


Delano & Aldrich conceived this grand red-brick home in Bronxville in 1930. When designer Melissa Lindsay and architect Michael Baushke arrived for its latest incarnation, restoring it accurately—but with a view to modern living—was the brief.

The residence’s oval-shaped formal entry has a timeless feel. The design team preserved the original curved staircase, updating it with a decorative iron handrail. Custom wall paneling and a Murano glass chandelier from L’Antiquaire add to the old-world grandeur.

Designer Melissa Lindsay used Benjamin Moore’s Dakota Woods Green in the library to underscore the botanical mood of this Bronxville home. The Ferrell Mittman sofa, upholstered in Great Outdoors by Holly Hunt, holds court opposite Rose Tarlow armchairs upholstered in a Katie Ridder fabric. The vintage coffee table ties to the Frank Allart cremone bolts on the door.

A black-and-gilt chest from Greenwich Living Antiques and Design steals the show in a corner of the dining room. Botanical de Gournay wallpaper, a custom rug by J.D. Staron, petal-shaped Dennis & Leen chairs and several sets of French doors lend to the garden ambience.

green pantry in benjamin moore...

Tucked off the dining room, the petite pantry houses entertaining essentials in style. The cabinetry, painted Benjamin Moore’s River Rock, and walnut counter, both fabricated by Fairfield Woodworks, complement the traditional ethos of the antiqued mirror backsplash.

In the sunlit breakfast nook, the design team exposed the residence’s original brick and white-washed it. A custom table and banquette of Lindsay’s design gather with Gregorius Pineo iron chairs with cushions of a Rogers & Goffigon fabric. The watercolor is by Idoline Duke.

A mix of metal details—including Made Goods stools, custom shelving fabricated by Brooklyn Artistic Ironworks, antique pendants and unlacquered brass Merit Metal hardware distinguish the kitchen. Taupe paint and honed Calacatta countertops from Everest Marble lighten the mood.

A medley of small, vintage artworks sourced from Avery & Dash Collections and The Antique & Artisan Gallery spunk up a powdery Cole and Son wallpaper in the client’s bedroom suite. The nightstands and bench (upholstered in a Nina Campbell through Osborne & Little fabric) are from Hickory Chair. A custom mirrored wall partition differentiates the dressing area from the sleeping space.

Trim painted glossy Black Knight by Benjamin Moore makes a high-contrast pop against Schumacher’s Feathers wallpaper in a powder room. A vintage gilt Greek key mirror and an Urban Electric Co. antiqued brass sconce with a custom painted shade add sparkle.

In a guest bedroom, Lindsay sought to evoke the feel of a chic boutique inn, pairing the new Chesneys mantel with Schumacher’s whimsical Birds and Butterflies wallpaper, a vintage Murano glass chandelier and Matouk bedding from The Linen Shop.

pool house with stone fire...

“We inserted contemporary elements into the garden for an updated feel, such as the monolithic stone fire pit and pared-down garden walls and steps,” says landscape architect Renée Byers. The pool and pool house (designed to emulate the main property with modern notes) were carefully sited for utmost privacy.

Signs from the universe can take many forms. For instance, two bronze turkeys flanking the front door of a grand red-brick home in Bronxville, New York, were all it took for the new owner to know it was the one. “The first time I visited the house, I saw the turkeys and thought, ‘If this house is great on the inside, that’s it,’ ” she recalls.

Fortunately, it was beyond great. The historic 1930 dwelling was the work of renowned architectural firm Delano & Aldrich, whose more famous buildings include Manhattan’s Knickerbocker and Colony clubs and Oheka Castle on Long Island. The client, who lived in a duplex in Central Park West, along with her California-based son, had been hunting for a spacious residence that could also act as East Coast headquarters for their family. The picturesque plot, nestled in the embrace of Sarah Lawrence College, felt like it was meant to be.

The original architects’ penchant for symmetry and whimsy—seen in the home’s unique V-shaped layout, antique brick and ironwork, and elegant curved staircase—sealed the deal. But while beautiful, the almost-centenarian house needed some love. “The floors were out of level and much of the period detailing had been bastardized over the years. Our instruction was to make things right again, in terms of what was original, then add contemporary touches and modernizations,” says architect Michael Baushke, whom the son confidently enlisted after collaborating on his own San Francisco residence.

That brief kicked off a sprawling renovation laudable for its historical accuracy. Since existing hero features, like the oak flooring and slate roof, were past salvageable, Baushke sought out replicas. And throughout the abode, all doors and windows were replaced with new iterations replete with panes of restoration glass. “We tried to emulate the profile and the functionality of what was there to begin with—the detailing, the size, the way the windows and doors work, and in some cases, even the hardware,” he explains. General contractor Ian Hobbs admits that such consideration for the existing framework was no small feat. “The restoration glass truly gives it an authentic feel,” he says. “But, at some point, there had been a big shift in the building and the window openings were no longer plumb and square, so we had to work to patch them in without appearing crooked.”

“All of those elements were significant and really helped create that shell of, ‘Could this have been original?’ It set the stage for the decorating piece,” adds designer Melissa Lindsay, who teamed up with Baushke across finishes and architectural flourishes before implementing her fresh take on traditional. “I love the tension that’s created in a room when you have one style meeting another, unexpected style,” she says of the mix. “In her makeup area, for example, there’s a Biedermeier-style chair with an Art Deco-style vanity and modern sconces. It was all about creating the right balance of traditional and modern elements, and never having it feel fussy.”

Combined with streams of sunlight and verdant views, botanical motifs imbue the home with a tranquil, garden-like ambience—a theme the designer continued through materials. “There’s a real sense of bringing in that garden element with all the French doors and metal touches, like the bar stools and kitchen chairs in the breakfast area. It has an almost café-like or outdoor patio feel—that charm of not feeling too formal.”

Of course, the actual garden is also spectacular. Landscape architect Renée Byers preserved three majestic, heritage London plane trees, bringing them to life at night with lighting. Around the property, she used arborvitae and American hollies to create privacy and a painterly backdrop for a variety of perennials and flowering shrubs, while dashes of burgundy foliage, such as a Japanese maple and red-leaved perennials, harmonize with the exterior’s mellow brick.

When her son visits, the duo make the most of it. “We just love just hanging out in the library, sipping a glass of wine and having very long, deep discussions,” she says. “But we always get back onto the subject of how much we love this house.”