A unique commercial property is restored into a home


Photo credit: Phil Mansfield

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When a private residence becomes a commercial property, it can often lose its character (think stripped window trim, paint buildup on hardware, and dodgy carpeting). For the fifth year Kingston Design Connection Model Home, the aim was to reverse this effect. “This is the first time we have worked to restore a house to its original use as a residence,” says Maryline Damour, partner to damour drake and founder of the Kingston Design Connection.

Located at 60 Maiden Lane in Kingston, New York, the Victorian-style home was built in 1901 for three bachelors. Decades later, it became home to various local businesses until recently purchased by a growing family. Over 180 designers, makers, artists and local businesses have helped transform the home to build and connect the community more through design.

As you approach the house, you encounter custom posts and railings by Unlimited metal work. A sculptural floral arrangement detail on the balustrade nods to the surrounding garden by the landscaper Christian Cruz. Once covered in grass, the front of the house now features a meadow of native plants that conserve water in recognition of The recently declared drought emergency in Kingston.

The home’s entryway features abstract wallpaper and unexpected accessories, like shoes on the wall, thanks to Brooke Cotter Design Co., recipient of the Kingston Design Connection Scholarship Program (which cuts exhibition costs and the costs of running the room). The showhouse focuses primarily on emerging talent, because, after all, Damour started the showhouse at the start of his own career. “I always reserve spots for junior designers,” says Damour.

Photo credit: Phil Mansfield

Photo credit: Phil Mansfield

The house required some major alterations, including the addition of a kitchen, fashioned from a living room space. Hendley and Co. designed the kitchen as an “ode to grandma” that merges the kitchens of yesterday with those of today, which can be instantly grasped from the avocado painted ceiling (in Forest Moss by Benjamin Moore) and walls covered in black and white Philip Jeffries grid wallpaper.

Photo credit: Phil Mansfield

Photo credit: Phil Mansfield

Also on the ground floor is the dining room designed by Creatures of the place. All about a natural experience, the space features a handmade wooden table, earth-dyed silk cushion fabric, and a bamboo ceiling installation dressed in floral art. Across the hall in the living room, BNR Interiors designed the ultimate lounge area. It comes with a vintage De Sede leather sofa in a soothing yellow and black marble frame. As you glide through the hallways and the stairwell Designed by Simone Eisoldincredible light fixtures, like a pendant made from boat wrap, and wall art guide the way.

On the second floor, a bedroom E. L’Alease & Co. Interior Design motioned. Painted in Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year 2022 October mist, the room exudes a warm, lived-in atmosphere through soft textiles and sculptural accessories. Nearby, Design by Michael Filbride transformed an old office kitchenette into an extra bathroom that, while small, packs a punch, from the Thermasol’s smart steam shower to the hand-painted sink. Another bedroom transports you to an “undergrowth boudoir” designed by Jennifer L. Salvemini of the Backcountry. Reminiscent of a witch’s escape to the woods, the moody room is adorned with collected treasure and mushroom motifs.

At the end of the floor is an office, where To leave and To conserve transformed a closet into a reading alcove, brought in a writing desk and hung wall art from the room’s picture rail. “We tried to capture the spirit of the original owners of the house,” says Kate Wood, director of full-service historic rehabilitation firm Worth Preserving.

Photo credit: Phil Mansfield

Photo credit: Phil Mansfield

While all easily movable items, like furniture and artwork, will be removed from the home before the owners move in, more permanent updates will remain, including brand new kitchen, wall treatments and the tiling. But before the house is returned, it is open to visitors who can revel in the creative designs during the weekends of October 7-22. All proceeds go to the nonprofit Ulster County Habitat for Humanitywho Kingston Design Connection plans to work with to build three local houses per year going forward.

Want to see it for yourself? Buy showhouse tickets here.

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