sneak peek: nina gotlieb


when designing this take- your-breath-away clinton corners, ny country house nina gotlieb strove to create a relationship between the house and its forest setting. a residential and hospitality designer, nina finds that she works best when she thinks about telling a story in a space rather than sticking closely to a particular style. the house was built from the ground up, and nina used the simple barn structures in the area for inspiration. she wanted the home to be open, airy and simple with modern, crisp detailing. but so that everything didn’t look too new, nina choose her materials carefully. Everything needed to have character and soul. for example, the siding is a knotty western red cedar, which was stained rather than painted so that the knots and grain showed through. and inside – it’s all about objects with history – industrial antiques and warm leathers and wood.  {thanks nina! and many thanks to miha matei for the lovely photographs!} -amy a

[photo above: the dining room table was made by my millworker – jay brennan, who i wish had a website, but is too much of a luddite.  he did all the millwork in the house, including the fireplace cabinetry (you can see a peek of it behind the couch), and did such an amazing job.  i had found a similar antique farm table that was insanely expensive, so i asked jay if he could build something similar but cheaper.  he had a pile of reclaimed oak in his shop that i think had just been sitting around since the 70’s, which he burnished and fumed and “aged” to the point where he had made almost an exact replica of the antique table.  there’s even spots of old red overspray from other projects on the legs that he just left there, and i love.  the sheepskin is from ikea, and i have it all over the house.  i had just returned from visiting friends in copenhagen, and loved how they just threw sheepskin all over everything as instant coziness.]


[photo above: the strategy for the layout of the house was pretty simple – we spend most of the time entertaining on the main floor, and bedrooms are just for sleeping, so they were all upstairs, and relatively small.  the kitchen / dining room / living room is one large space.  oddly enough, we still hardly ever hung out in the living room – always around the kitchen!  it ended up just being a place to read when you need some alone time by the fireplace.  the awesome rose pillow is from a détacher on mott street.]


[photo above: this is one of the two guest rooms.  the composition on the wall is actually woodblock prints of plants from an old french botanical dictionary that i found on ebay.  the smaller frames are shadow boxes that i filled with moss, sticks and stones i gathered from the property.  the beds are actually children’s beds from notNeutral. the metal cart is from a company in ohio called american furnishings.  and of course, more sheepskin.]


[photo above: this is the same guest room.  i just like the idea of using crates here as shelves.  and i was obsessed with the idea of suitcase racks in a guest room.  the books are all about dutchess county, the hudson valley, or barn architecture.  i scoured ebay and other bookstores for these, but ran out of steam before all the crates were filled, which had been the original goal.]

CLICK HERE for the rest of Nina’s post! (and all 19 images on one page!)


[photo above: this is the other proper guest room.  there is also a den downstairs that could be closed off from the rest of the main floor and used as an extra room if need be.  this is the more zen of the two guestrooms – decor-wise.  all of the bedrooms have exposed collar ties and a cathedral ceiling clad in painted pine planks.  the ceiling fan is the artemis from minka aire.  this might be the only ceiling fan i have ever found that even comes close to good-looking, in my opinion – they’re mostly so awkward, but i do love this one.]


[photo above: same zen guestroom, with eames rocker and cowskin rug.  the rocker is from modernica, so i’m not sure it’s a licensed reproduction, but we liked the fiberglass shell so much better than the plastic ones they’re making now on the licensed rockers.  the photo in the room was a gift from my brilliant friend chris, who lives in copenhagen and is an amazing photographer.  i think that photo was from a trip to the fjords in norway.]


[photo above: this is the master bedroom.  the bed was custom made by my millworker (jay brennan) to go on that wall, behind which is the walk-in closet.  the wall was a bit narrow, so instead of side tables, we just made the bed into one giant platform where we could keep books and water and whatever else one might need to put on a bedside table.  the face pillows are from k studio, and the installation above the bed was just something we made out of hanging glass bud vases on clearance from cb2, filled with copper bb’s.]


[photo above: this is the stair up to the second floor, with a view from the mudroom down the hall into the main living space.  the wallpaper is a pattern from florence broadhurst that i’m so in love with.  i actually used it in a sushi bar that i completed around the same time down in miami, but used a different colorway.]


[photo above: looking back down the same stairway.  the frames you see on the wall downstairs are part of a series i printed out from the construction of the house. each week i took a photo of the house from the same location.  it was built from the ground-up, on a raw plot of land, so the photo series starts right after we cleared trees from the homesite, goes through foundation forms, framing, and ends as a house with a yard and pool! (the process was long, but i had an amazing general contractor – walter heitmann of heitmann + heitmann. he doesn’t have a website, but he does such amazing work and was an absolute pleasure to work with.]


[photo above: this is the guest bathroom.  the tile is a really rough-cut tile that had this beautiful handmade quality about it.  i am not a huge fan of grout, so i like to keep it as minimal as possible, but the tile was (according to the installer) so uneven and rough that the only way to keep even courses was to have 3/8″ spaces between the tiles!  i freaked out when i first saw it, but it eventually grew on me.  i think it has a funny comic-book quality to it.  or maybe that’s just how i justified not having the time or money to rip it out and redo it.]


the kitchen is henrybuilt with cesarstone countertops, and the backsplash is one of the murals from ann sacks

  1. KMBrooklyn says:

    Unfortunately, Velocity Art & Design no longer has the jute rugs. Anyone else know who might carry them? They are made by Roost.

  2. jackie says:

    this is one of the lovliest, most peaceful homes i have ever seen.
    would you mind telling me where you got the crates for the crate wall shelf?

  3. jessica says:

    So much sourcing! Does anyone know where the grey living room couch is from?

  4. maren says:

    Love how light and sunny and fresh everything feels. Adorable face throw pillows.

  5. nikki moore says:

    I’m usually all about color, BRIGHT color, but this is truly wonderful. A perfect blend of warmth and clean-ness. There are so many wonderful textures in this home, which I think really balances out the somewhat-minimalist quality of the rest of it. Really well done.

  6. Syndi says:

    Another BEAUTIFUL home!
    …sigh….

  7. Anna says:

    never commented on a sneak peak but this house is so amazing. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Melody says:

    This might have already been mentioned, but I didn’t see it. Where are the crates hung on the wall from? I love them!

  9. I’m actually loving that bathroom tile and the ruffle shower curtain. A mix of fun masculine tiles and a simple and clean feminine curtain.

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