We’ve been sharing the work of Tara Mangini and Percy Bright of Jersey Ice Cream Co. since 2010, and they are certainly one of my favorite designing couples. They have a casual, laid-back approach to decorating that emphasizes DIY and found objects so their projects never feel unattainable – in fact, I’m usually bookmarking ideas to try myself (Yes please, lion-head towel holder.). The owners purchased this late 18th century Catskills house to serve as a vacation retreat from their New York City life. They brought Tara and Percy in to design a big, creative retreat for everyone in their lives. To really appreciate the work that the couple did on the home, you have to see some of the before photos – so check out this Before & After.
When Tara and Percy redo a home, they move in and work on the project nonstop. Initially, they felt overwhelmed by the massive amount of furniture and the multicolor paint job in the house. Only when they got the furniture out of the house and primed everything with white, could they really get a sense of the direction of the project. The biggest challenge was doing the kitchen and master bathroom toward the end of the project rather than the beginning. And doing those projects at the same time meant that there was a period where they were doing dishes and showering in the same very tiny tub. They’ve resolved that next time, they’ll get the messy projects out of the way first! But the final result – a space that’s approachable, comfortable and has just a little sense of magic – is one that the family will appreciate for years to come. And Tara and Percy? They’re already on to the next thing. We can’t wait to see what it is. -Amy
Photography by Beth Kirby of Local Milk
If you want to see more from Jersey Ice Cream Co., check out:
Image above: “This is a detail from the front room. We wanted things to feel really rich right when you come in the door, so you walk through the leaf-and-key covered entryway into this room,” says Tara. “I love the different patterns in the rug and couch and how surprisingly well they work together. We knew we wanted to do some gallery style walls, so we had our eye out for great artwork all throughout the job. The woman in the portrait had kind of a scary face, so we covered it up with old love letters. That’s an old trick from my low-budget designing days. “
Image above: “This is a shot of the kitchen as you would see it if you walked into the room. I love that this kitchen looks good no matter what. We added that shelf with nails unexpectedly, and it makes things look beautifully cluttered at all times. You can throw any pot or pan up there and it just works. Effortless design is great in any space, but in a kitchen, it’s a dream. “
See more of this transformed vacation home after the jump!