The 2021 Kingston Design Showhouse proved yet again that the Hudson Valley is all about creativity. For the fourth year in a row, a multi-talented team of contractors, interior designers, artists, and makers led by Maryline Damour, founder of Kingston Design Connection and co-owner of interior design/construction firm Damour Drake, transformed a rundown 1300-sq-ft Victorian side-hall into a fully upgraded family-ready home. And thanks to an innovative partnership with the Kingston City Land Bank (KCLB), a local nonprofit that rescues and renovates distressed properties for its affordable housing initiative, the house was able to be overhauled in a faster than normal timeframe. Best of all, the home will be sold below market value to help maintain affordable housing in an area where long-term residents are starting to be priced out. Talk about a scenario in which everyone wins.
Maryline Damour and Melvin Jones Jr, Damour Drake
This second floor space vibes exactly as the design team intended when they dubbed it “Anywhere But Here.” It’s their answer to lockdown fatigue—a place of physical and emotional escape. All furnishings and art were chosen to evoke wanderlust, but not for any one specific place, says Maryline. “Think Caribbean, India, wherever you like.”
The sitting room has a high ceiling and looks out on the garden, so there was already an airy, outdoorsy thing happening. That feel paved the way for the wallpaper, Enfumé Acid by Flavor Paper. “I’ve never been a fan of pink or purple, let alone the two together until I saw this,” Maryline says. “It’s a good lesson in being open-minded when it comes to design.”
As for the rest of the room, the hand-forged Fleur Chandelier from Kings Haven comes in a variety of metals and a smooth or hammered finish echoes the lush flowers and greenery on the walls. To invite lounging, the pair pile pillows on a daybed they borrowed from their own office. The curtains are from Anthropologie a few years back. “I originally bought them for my house, but they were definitely meant for here,” says Maryline. Warm gray paint (Benjamin Moore 1534 Rodeo) on the ceiling, baseboards, and trim is a lovely, livable way to tie everything together.
Audrey Sterk, Audrey Sterk Design
Wonderful architectural details, especially the original punched tin ceiling, instantly drew Audrey to the main hall. Wanting it to feel like a seamless transition from outside and offer “something unexpected for an entry,” Audrey installed the Coastal Grass mural from her eponymous Audrey Home Collection. “The grasses go from floor to ceiling, which is dramatic and realistic, as if you were walking on a boardwalk through the reeds,” says Audrey. “It also includes indigenous birds found in the Hudson Valley.” Rounding out the design details: Warm white paint (Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17) and a standout lantern fixture from KingsHaven.
Jesika Farkas, Jesika Farkas Design
Knowing from the get-go that the house was ultimately destined to be lived in by a family, Jesika concepted a completely custom kitchen buildout. In a space this size, every square inch needed to be considered and functional on some level, she says. Jesika quickly committed to carving out an area for a table that could serve both as a dining surface and ad hoc desk, nodding to the work-from-home trend that’s seemingly not going anywhere. Plus, in choosing a table instead of a counter height island, she created open sight lines to blur the boundaries between the kitchen, dining, and living areas. The result: a warm, friendly vibe.
The cabinets—inspired by the work of deVOL, a high-end British kitchen manufacturer—were created by Jack Decker of Vernacular Design in Kingston. Jesika wanted a clean flush inset design for the drawers and doors, drenched in a rich, dark green (Benjamin Moore HC-124 Caldwell Green). Local hardware designer Alison Zavracky of AUZ Design Studio provided the gorgeous copper hardware, which echo the (naturally antimicrobial) copper counters. Adding some exposed copper pipes in the room created a net effect of a pinkish glow when sunshine floods in. An impressive clear halophane fixture, Sphere No. 3 from Hudson Valley Lighting, sheds additional light throughout the space.
Aude Bronson Howard, ABH Home Design
Deeming herself fortunate to get a corner room with beautiful diffuse light, Aude curated a picture-perfect dining room by drawing from years of experience as a fashion, costume, film, and interior designer. She says the tin ceiling, tall windows, and distinctive mantel reminded her of the work of late 19th and early 20th century European artists. That was her jumping off point in expertly layering furniture, fixtures, and finishes.
Moody neutral gray walls (Benjamin Moore Tweed Coat CSP-85) make the mirrored mylar wallcovering above the mantel shine—a closer look reveals charming star detailing, and a mottled texture that mimics antique glass (from Schumacher/Miles Redd Collection). And that handsome mantel shelf from Old Parrot Designworks in Woodstock? Reclaimed mahogany. Tucked to the side, a faux bois table by artist Michael Fogg provides just-right rustic contrast to the Tole chandelier.