An Elegant Refuge, Reconfigured

Photography by Tim Lee

A busy couple with five boys (and two dogs that sleep in their bedroom) wanted to maximize the relaxing factor of the master in their Larchmont Victorian. Though the homeowner had her own design scheme and template and selected the majority of pieces in the space, she turned to designer Marlene Gold of Gold Staging & Redesign to help “polish its presentation” and rework layouts. Gold undertook a renovation of the 475-square-foot space to create a suite of two rooms, separated by pocket doors, to accommodate the different sleep/wake patterns of each spouse. “Our mission was to ensure that this luxurious master suite would showcase the well-thought-out room divide and layout,” says Gold, “while seamlessly blending the bedroom with the sitting room.” Pieces were rearranged, removed and brought in from elsewhere in the house under Gold’s direction. Featuring a soothing medley of grays, blues, whites, and soft brown accents, the new suite—an elegant and refined adult oasis with a touch of contemporary glamour—is also welcoming to the children and pets

Bringing It Home: Marlene Gold's Tips


Keep patterns and colors on the quiet side.
“But use a variety of tones and textures to give your room a layered feel.” 

Select a headboard that complements your habits.
A leather upholstered headboard—or a vegetarian alternative to it—is comfortable for leaning against while reading in bed and an easy care option for light colors. 

Focus on lighting.
Pair overhead lighting with bedside lighting, like lamps or sconces, that can be controlled individually. “And if you’re a reader, taller lamps with wider shades give off more useful light.”

Consider electrical outlets with built-in USB ports to eliminate bulky adapters.
“Attractive charging stations are available in many styles and can eliminate wires for e-readers, phones, laptops, etc.”

Create a personal dresser-top grouping. “Place fresh flowers or an orchid—which lasts longer—and a scented candle next to your favorite photo in a special frame.”

Include a sitting area. A reading chair or conversation grouping with an accent table and lamp does the trick.


Forget the walls.
“Your room’s vertical space creates the biggest impact. Go big for the best bang, like one oversize piece of art such as a blown-up photo of a memorable vacation spot.” Or frame a large piece of fabric to add dimension, color, and design, or hang smaller pieces in a grid. 

Select the wrong-size rug.
“Rugs warm up a room, providing cushioning and luxury underfoot, but if a rug is the wrong size for your room—too big or too small—it will just look awkward.” Another option? Wall-to-wall carpeting. 

Hot New Design Trends

Accent walls with organic wallpapers or textures in modern colors.

Organic accents and texture in pillows, throws, and decorative objects.


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