The space really is the best of both worlds.
For interior designer Tamara Magel, opening a second office in the Hamptons changed everything. Having spent the better part of a decade outfitting some of the most prestigious residences in New York City and D.C., the transition to the country required a shift not just in her aesthetic, but her entire approach. “When I design in New York, it’s all about utilizing the space and making everything multifunctional,” says Magel. “It’s the complete opposite with a house. It’s all about expanding, instead of bringing in.”
This was the guiding philosophy with her latest project, a family home in Scarsdale, New York. The clients, a young couple with two children, approached Magel with a seemingly conflicting task: To design a home that was fashionable, yet kid-friendly. Over the course of a year, and thanks to the clever and edited use of textures and contrasts, she crafted a space that achieves the perfect balance of both.
When you leave the city, you want to be comfortable, and let your home nurture you.
Since she was brought on to the project in the early stages, Magel was able to rework the interior walls, build a custom kitchen, and select all the hardware, finishes and paint, laying the foundation for her design. She skipped window treatments, opting instead to paint all the windows black for an unfussy yet polished look. A palette of charcoals and cream was used throughout to create a sense of drama and sophistication, while providing a very livable environment for the family.
Magel added brass accents for a dose of glamour, and layered in texture in the form of luxe furs, chunky knits, bleached woods and cozy shearling. “I look at my interiors more in terms of fashion,” muses the designer. But the use of plush textures goes beyond its fashionable appeal to something simpler: comfort. “Coming to the Hamptons changed that for me,” she says. “When you leave the city, you want to be comfortable, and let your home nurture you.”
In the great room, a charcoal sectional from Restoration Hardware accommodates the wear and tear of family life. A custom tufted ottoman was upholstered in a faux leather from Holly Hunt to provide easy cleanup for spills.
Magel designed a custom built-in to display the family’s entertaining ware. Chicken wire adds a rustic element, balanced by the sleek brass and leather Apparatus chandelier and leather banquette in the breakfast nook.
For the designer, flat surfaces in dining rooms provide the perfect opportunity to introduce texture- in this case: shearling dining chairs, grasscloth wallpaper and a plaster painting by Peter Buchman. “When you walk in the room, the texture makes it immediately interesting.”
A white linen sofa was appropriate for the more subdued, grownup living room at the front of the house.
A photograph by Bert Stern adds a pop of color and a feminine touch to the master bedroom. “Upstairs, you can be more playful,” says Magel. “Clients are more open to doing things they typically don’t do.”
The master bath, Magel’s favorite room in the house, features a sexy combination of marble and brass.