When Tara Mangini and Percy Bright design a home, parts of their process might strike some as a little bit unorthodox. Rather than overseeing a project from afar, for example, the founders of Jersey Ice Cream Co. take up residence in the very homes they are creating, spending practically every waking hour inside of the project at hand. While some might view this as unnecessary or needlessly obsessive, I’m not sure if their work could be done any other way. Although in simplest terms, Tara and Percy are designing homes, what they create surpasses that definition on so many levels. They take to each project with the eyes and imaginations of Baroque painters; crafting tangible stories, three-dimensional portraits, and lived-in works of art. In many ways, they approach each project in the way that a stage designer might—collecting objects, colors and textures that, while oftentimes containing their own histories, come together to weave an entirely unique tale of their own. This was certainly the case with their most recent project, an old but haphazardly remodeled house that was transformed into a dazzling vacation retreat. We’re going to run the entire house tour next Monday, but we thought that we’d give you all a quick glimpse at some of the amazing Before & Afters today. Check out all of the photos, plus Tara and Percy’s design notes, after the jump! —Max
Our job was to turn this very confused house into a vacation home that would be the backdrop for years of memories to come. The place had some great bones and original details, but was painted in harsh purples and greens and oranges and yellows, filled with heavy furniture, and done wrong by a few bad additions and remodels. We wanted to peel things back closer to their original state, but of course update things and make them feel current at the same time.
The inspiration was a blend of the story of The Magic Egg, Wes Anderson, and our clients. They are the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, and after talking with them a few times, creating a home that they would love really became our driving force. We could tell they were the kind of people who host amazing dinner parties (we’ve since been to them, and yes, they are amazing), who have gobs of friends they love, who never hesitate to open their doors to a stranger. The home needed to be comforting and welcoming to everyone, filled with moments of magic, and, of course, needed to be able to sleep as many people as possible!
We live in the houses that we renovate, so we dug into the project and just didn’t stop until it was finished. We had a guiding vision for each room, but we were happy to let things organically grow and change to suit the space. It’s mentally overwhelming to try to renovate and furnish an entire house at the same time, but when we’re working on projects like this they really become our lives, so you manage to wrap your head around it somehow. Lists help. Lots of trips to Home Depot happen. And you just keep working until it’s done!
Everyone involved couldn’t be happier about the house. Revealing it to our clients was such a beautiful moment. We’re so proud that our hard work resulted in a house that will be loved for years and years to come.
Front Room – mostly vintage furnishings, trim is painted in Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore.
Living Room – Leather couch is vintage, tan couch is from West Elm. Rug from Anthropologie, fur rugs from Overland. Curtains from Pottery Barn.
Kitchen – Overhead table light is by lightexture. Other overhead lights by School House Electric. Trim color is Revere Pewter. Counters are butcher block by Lumber Liquidators. Cabinets are custom ordered. Dishes and jars are a mix of vintage and Crate + Barrel.
Bedroom – Trim color is hand mixed. Walls are plastered. Bed linens are from House of Baltic Linen on Etsy. Moroccan wall hanging is from NaativStudios on Etsy. Brass lights are School House Electric. Nest overhead light is from Wayfair.
Bath – shower curtain is Gaiam. Tiles are from Home Depot. Everything else is vintage or found.
Powder Room – Paint color is Seaworthy by Benjamin Moore. Most fixtures are existing or vintage. Faucet is from Wayfair.
Girls Room – Wallpaper is Apothecary’s Garden from Trustworth Studios. Bedding is a mix of target sheets, Restoration Hardware Duvet cover and West Elm Shams. Other furnishings are vintage or one of a kind.
Porch – Paint color is underwater by Berr. Most other things are vintage. Hanging lights are from Target. Pillows are a mix of Ikea and West Elm.