call it the Cookie Monster sofa,” says Deborah Lloyd, “as it’s got this long turquoise fluffy fur.” She is describing the Flexsteel Thunderbird couch—an original 1960s piece—that stands smack-dab in the middle of the living room of the country house she recently built in Sullivan County, New York, with her entrepreneur husband, Simon Arscott. “Actually, it was Simon who picked out the sofa,” she adds. “I would’ve thought it was far too crazy-flashy for me, but in the size and feeling of that room it looks spectacular, like an exclamation point.” Indeed, its current vibe is less Cookie Monster and more like a chic, elegant Muppet cousin, one who hasn’t touched gluten since fleeing Sesame Street for the calm sophistication of the couple’s lakeside home.
Lloyd has long been a master of the unexpected twist. Nine years into her tenure as chief creative officer at Kate Spade, she has cemented the brand’s identity as elegant, feminine, and full of surprises—the popping champagne cork of women’s labels. Whether it’s a polka-dot lining tucked inside a handbag or a glitter pump heel, the Kate Spade collections always strive to delight. Lloyd, who previously oversaw design at Banana Republic, and, before that, was vice president of women’s design at Burberry, approaches her own life with the same attitude. Or, as she puts it, “There’s always some whimsy, but a little bit of whimsy goes a long way.”
Conveniently, the brand has just expanded into home wares, which means Lloyd was envisioning her first-ever furniture collection at the same time that she and Arscott were constructing their dream house. Early Kate Spade prototypes are sprinkled throughout the rooms: The library’s palette revolves around an emerald-green Worthington chair, the bedroom is anchored by a wide, onyxtopped credenza, and the living room’s aforementioned blue sofa is softened by a blonde-wood-grain-print rug, all of Lloyd’s design. “We wanted to bring furniture to life for our girl,” says Lloyd, pulling out photographs of Kate Spade’s plush fuchsia ottoman, a lacquered coffee table in black and gold, and a tufted couch in aqua linen, then lining them up on her desk like a proud parent. “There’s a nice classicism to it all, and a midcentury spirit in its elegance. We used beautiful, noble materials—ebonies, painted glass, brightly coloured velvet. And obviously,” she adds, her eyes twinkling, “a lot of it looks great in our new home.”
A delicate arrangement of glass and steel perched on a tree-filled hillside, the couple’s weekend escape was finished in September. However, they’ve owned a place in the same town—a more rustic, New England-style property just across the lake—for more than a decade. “Twelve years ago, after we moved to New York, Simon and I knew we wanted to have a bolthole,” Lloyd explains. “So we got in the car and drove north. I had a very
The bedroom’s glass balcony overlooks the water
The lake views, framed by windowpanes of Lloyd’s own design
The minimalist white kitchen is accented with pops of colour