Trading Spaces

A downsized TV exec and his wife now help others downsize their homes.



Last year, Jonathan and Lynelle Leess of Briarcliff helped their friends downsize from a mansion to a townhouse. So impressed with the Leesses’ assistance, friends suggested they go into business helping people downsize.

A year later, Jonathan lost his job as president of Digital Media at CBS—and the couple founded Abode Designs (914-762-2267) to help people “downsize with design.”

“Whatever you need to move from one home to another—except the move itself—that’s pretty much what we offer,” Lynelle says. “We can shop for you or with you. If your new place needs renovating, we can refer and supervise the trades, like painters and carpenters. We’ll hang your art, assist with organization of your ‘stuff’ and ‘space,’ like closets and kitchen drawers. We can arrange for the utilities to be ready for your move-in. And Jonathan is our ‘techie.’ He’s put together a team who will help you choose a provider for your phone, cable, TV, and Internet, help you select the right new flat-screen, and wire your new place.”

Abode offers a complimentary consultation. Fees vary depending upon the scope of the project, with an average of $3,000 to $7,000 and a minimum of $500.

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