Urbanite Couple Incorporates Their Witty Style in Their Home’s Modern Makeover

Muted colors and on-trend designs transformed this lust-worthy Hudson Valley home.

By Mary Jo Bowling, Houzz


This weekend house in upstate New York was the opposite of its new owners. Jessica Musumeci and David Curcurito are witty urbanites who work at magazines — they are creative directors — and often dress in hipster black and white. The house was boxy and nondescript in its architecture, yet its walls were painted in the brightest colors of the rainbow inside and out. Leanne Ford of Acre Goods + Services, the couple’s friend and interior designer, worked with them to makeover the home to match their style and personality.


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Houzz at a Glance

Who lives here: This is a weekend home for Jessica Musumeci and David Curcurito.
Location: Upstate New York
Size: About 1,800 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

Photography by Reid Rolls


Before Photo, original photo on Houzz


“Before the remodel the house just wasn’t their style,” says Ford. “But they could look at it and see the potential.”

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Reid Rolls, original photo on Houzz


AFTER: Ford started her career as a wardrobe stylist; she worked with the couple for years on high-fashion photo shoots. Even though she lives 2,800 miles from the site in Venice Beach, California, she was the natural choice for the project. “We’ve known each other for a long time, and I get their style,” she says. “I flew out, and we made all of the design decisions in a weekend.”


Reid Rolls, original photo on Houzz


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“We had to give the house personality,” she says. “We did it by mixing old and new, modern and rustic — and bringing in a healthy dose of flea market finds.”

One of the keys to Ford’s approach is celebrating the quirky in every home. “I am a champion of using the imperfect as an opportunity,” she says.

For example, a dead space beside the corner fireplace became a place to store firewood and display a print of Abraham Lincoln picked up at a flea market. “We have electric candles at the base of the photo, and when they are on at night, the print looks amazing,” says Ford.

The designer likes to display art on different levels. “If you hang some of the artwork low, you can enjoy it while sitting down,” she says.

A pair of Bauhaus chairs the couple owned had seen better days, but rather than reupholster, Ford took the unconventional repainting route. “The canvas seats and back were worn and dirty,” Ford says. “A couple of coats of white canvas paint not only cleaned them up; it created a much more interesting texture.”


Reid Rolls, original photo on Houzz


Ottomans between the sofa and the chairs serve as a coffee table. An atmosphere-building collection of vintage pipes (another flea market find) makes an unusual accessory.


Reid Rolls, original photo on Houzz


Ford arranged the couple’s book collection in strong horizontal lines for a more modern look.

“One of the things they really wanted was a bar, but there was no room for one,” says Ford. “We ended up using two shelves in the bookshelf as a built-in bar.”

Ford prefers having a home bar visible, as opposed to hiding it behind cabinet doors. “The bottles and glassware are beautiful, and they can be treated like accessories,” she says.


Reid Rolls, original photo on Houzz


One of Ford’s go-to decorating items is a weathered leather club chair. “They have so much character,” she says.


Reid Rolls, original photo on Houzz


“One of the owners went to Rhode Island School of Design, and as a class project, she made long paper rolls of enlarged fonts,” says Ford. “When I saw them, I said, ‘We have to use these!’” They act as an accent behind a headboard.

The scroll-like rolls of paper are thumbtacked to the wall elsewhere in the room too. “We affixed them at the top and just let them be loose at the bottom,” says Ford. “They overlap and create an amazing texture.”

The guest bedroom is outfitted with a rehabbed flea market mirror atop a nightstand scored at a nearby garage sale. “It’s never wrong to add a mirror in a room,” Ford says. “They always add a touch of bling.

Once again, the designer looked to paper for art inspiration here. The pages of a vintage atlas decorate the wall above the headboard.

“I simply cut out the pages and tacked them on the walls in the room,” Ford says. “I liked the map imagery; it seemed right for visitors.”

The fashion stylist–turned–interior designer credits her unconventional career path for her fresh ideas. “I think it’s helped me,” she says. “I don’t know the rules, so I don’t care if I break them.”

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