Room for All ............................................ 58
An Upstate New York house proves that when the best-laid design plans go awry, things can turn out best.
this photo: One step inside Deb and husband Jef Pollock’s home and you know it’s all smiles ahead as you’re greeted with a vivid glossy blue door and a vintage rug that seems to suggest the home’s entire palette in one graphic punch.
remembers hearing during the frantic call from her dear friend and client Deb Brown. Just weeks after Deb and her husband, Jef Pollock, purchased their Dutchess County, New York, home, they returned to a nightmare—the pipes had burst and the interior of their long-searched-for country house was in shambles. “It was about as bad as you can imagine,” Deb says. “The floors were ruined, the walls were falling down— the kitchen ceiling literally fell on our heads.”
Damage assessed, it was quickly evident that what they had originally planned as only a cosmetic decorating project was now upgraded to a full-fledged renovation. Luckily, the 2007-built home’s charming stone exterior and barnlike addition survived unscathed, so they could focus on the inside, finding a way to turn their heartbreak into opportunity. “Even though it was unexpected, it was nice to be able to address some space challenges of the original floor plan, such as its small rooms and a flow that wasn’t right,” Berman says. Exit unneeded walls and cramped spaces, and enter an extra-large dining room, abundant built-in bunks to maximize sleeping options, and big and small seating spots throughout the house. “We’re always hosting friends and family, and we never want to turn anyone down because we don’t have room,” Deb says.
To complement its sophisticated farmhouse exterior, Berman approached the furnishings with the same modern-meets-country aesthetic. Against crisp, light backgrounds, she artfully layered traditional shapes and patterns with clean-lined lighting, different materials, and happy punches of bold, vivid colors—primarily vibrant blues—to give each room a decidedly modern twist. “I love that it doesn’t take much to create that intersection between modern and country,” she says.
“It’s raining in our house,” designer Mona Ross Berman
this photo: Piled with pillows, the breakfast nook’s comfy banquette is the family of four’s unplugged zone, hosting casual meals and afternoon reading sessions. Homeowner Deb Brown loves the way the untreated tabletop records daily life. “A pitcher of...