For designer Juan Carretero, refreshing a historic house is all about rolling the dice. Whether it’s incorporating modern furniture or injecting sly decorative touches, he’s always game.
Carretero and his partner, journalist David Usborne, call their Victorian-style home Wildings, after the farm in Sussex, England, where Usborne was born. A flock of cast-concrete ewes playfully references the property's early days as a sheep farm.
In the circa-1790 dining room of his Catskill, New York, weekend home, designer Juan Carretero painted the low ceiling a high-gloss blush. “It gives your complexion a candlelit glow,” he says. Sconces, Visual Comfort. Portrait, Acroterion. Ceiling paint, Fine Paints of Europe’s WC-19.
The mudroom’s floor, in tiles from Cement Tile Shop, reminds Carretero of his grandmother’s home in Oaxaca, Mexico. Vintage iron dice stools can serve as seating at the secretary. Paint, Sherwin-Williams’s Country Squire. Landscape drawing, Frank Faulkner.
A portrait of a Dutch nobleman from the 1690s greets visitors in the foyer. Door in Sherwin-Williams’s Quilt Gold. Lamp, Alexa Hampton for Visual Comfort.
Just give in to size: The kitchen is where you spend all your time any way, so why not make it ginormous? This island, which stretches 17 feet, is the hub of the home. In the home's new kitchen addition, the island is topped with black soapstone, which contrasts with the white Carrara marble on the perimeter counters. Shaker-style MasterBrand cabinets in Ocean Floor by Martha Stewart Living for Home Depot. Pendant lights, Visual Comfort. Sink and fittings by Waterworks.
Framed by curtains in a Kravet striped cotton, the living room’s early Victorian windows “are perfectly proportioned and symmetrical,” the designer says. Painting the ceiling in “a beige that reads like a whisper of pink”— Sherwin-Williams’s Pediment — “brings out the crown moldings.” Hicks globe light, Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort. Walls, Silverpointe by Sherwin-Williams.
The round iron coffee tables, custom made in Mexico, balance the living room’s extra-long RH, Restoration Hardware sofa and are easier to maneuver around than one long table. Greek-key pillows in a Pierre Frey fabric.
The living room’s folding screen, with its Louise Nevelson–inspired collage of found wooden objects, was purchased online.
Jonathan Adler oak bed is set against Anthropologie’s woodsy wallpaper. Bedding, Boll & Branch. Lumbar pillows, Target. Curtains in a Kravet cotton. Valance trim, Scalamandré. Belgravia white lamp, J. Randall Powers.
In the master bedroom, a reed table purchased at auction is paired with vintage chrome-and-suede chairs to create a sitting area with a view of the river. After it was stripped of paint, the mantel was left as is to show off the raw wood’s grain. Sculpture, Oly. Lamp, Aerin for Visual Comfort.
A ceiling painted in sunny yellow stripes by decorative artist Mark Chamberlain makes the tiny guest bedroom seem bigger and brighter than it is. “It’s a dose of happy in a north-facing room that doesn’t get much light,” Carretero says. Rug, Madeline Weinrib. Sconces, West Elm. Roller shade with Lee Jofa trim.
Producer, Doretta Sperduto.
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This story originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Miescisko.