Designer Danielle Monteverdi Delivers an Eclectic, Curated Home Makeover in White Plains
A home in White Plains gets a makeover perfect for a young family for now and later.
Homeowners John and Katherine purchased this 1924 Tudor located in White Plains as a forever home for themselves and their three young children. The couple grew up in White Plains and reconnected when they both lived in Boston after graduating from college.
When Katherine got a work opportunity in New York City, the couple wanted to find something with an easy commute, a house with a yard, and a diverse school system. They fell in love with this home in the neighborhood where Katherine grew up.
The couple hired designer Danielle Monteverdi to design spaces that were modern and functional but also stayed true to the original character of the house. The renovation started in 2015, when Monteverdi decorated the formal living room, and began again in 2017, when Monteverdi designed the rest of the house and oversaw a kitchen expansion and large extension that added a family room, master suite, laundry room, mudroom, mudroom bathroom, and basement playroom. The guiding notion was to “honor the history of the architecture [and] classic design elements from the home, while infusing contemporary elements in the form of cabinetry, furniture, and accessories,” says Monteverdi.
“They didn’t want a house that looked like everyone else’s,” she says. “They wanted the style to reflect them. I interpreted that to be classic, clean, refined in some areas, but relaxed in others. I believe a home should reflect the people who live within it. Everyone has a past, present, and future that they aspire to. I try to get to know my clients so that my recommendations support that.”
Overall the style is eclectic, curated, and modern. “I borrowed from both traditional and modern design to facilitate a look that’s not ‘too much,’ in terms of one style or another,” says Monteverdi. “There’s a sense of balance that’s appealing and unexpected.”
The wall color was updated in this space; the trim was painted gray and carried throughout the first floor when the rest of the home was redesigned. A formal sofa and love seat are upholstered in a gray fabric that is outdoor rated but soft to the touch. Tufted chairs are covered in green wool sourced from Italy.
The master suite is part of the new addition. “The client wanted a light and airy feel, so we used a soft, neutral wall color that best paired with the rug and then layered in texture for interest,” says Monteverdi. The designer used the homeowners’ existing furniture and added small, modern touches, like the blue Kate Spade lamps, which gave new life to the original arrangement. The clients favor a New England style that doesn’t work for the rest of the house but worked beautifully here. “We used a beautiful, earthy, handmade green tile for the shower and vanity backsplash, a beach glass–inspired color for the walls, weathered-oak vanity, natural bleached grass for the shades, and mixed metals for further interest,” she says.
Because you can see the breakfast room from the foyer, it needs to be stylish. Because the foyer staircase and the tile are original to the house, they look and feel old, and Monteverdi wanted to balance that with something more modern. “I wanted to accent [the antique look of the foyer] with modern furniture, so that you know you are walking into a cool, young family’s home,” she says. “The furniture [also] had to be practical for young, messy eaters, so a walnut table and easy-clean leather chairs will support them well.”
What Monteverdi calls “the heart of the home,” the family room needed to have practical finishes for wear and tear, but the designer also wanted the architecture to sing. She let the beams in the original living room and a carved fireplace inform her decisions. “We injected those elements into the brand-new family room, but I made sure it felt different and fresh,” she says. She designed the fireplace and had the carved panels made in Oregon. She chose a large, oversize sectional sofa upholstered in navy velvet and calls it “the most comfortable seat in the house.” The white chairs that flank the fireplace were love at first sight for Monteverdi. “I think they perfectly complement the ceiling in a modern way,” she says.
The team spent a lot of time homing in on the perfect backsplash. “[We] finally landed on a beautiful handmade terra cotta tile,” says Monteverdi. “The edges show some of the terra cotta that nods to the adjacent mudroom brick floor.” The cabinets are a crisp custom white, the trim is painted with a soft gray, and the island is a blue that ranges in depth for the perfect backdrop. To top it all off a custom pewter range hood helps “round out the newness of all the cabinetry. … It was important that the room wasn’t too fussy but not sterile either,” says Monteverdi.
Mudroom and Bath
Monteverdi took a cue from the house’s exterior brick chimney for the design of the mudroom. “[I] framed the floor in a brick joint and filled the center with a herringbone pattern, [which] amped up the style factor,” she says. She added green cabinetry accented with rubbed-brass hardware, which added a layer of sophistication. “The wood bench top looks great and will wear well through the years.”
Monteverdi says she wanted this room to look and feel special. “[The family] has another half-bath in the mudroom that is durable and holds necessities for a family on the go,” says Monteverdi, “so the powder room could be a pretty jewel box for the homeowners and guests.” The designer chose a graphic cubist marble floor, as well as a dramatic, custom floating vanity. Monteverdi used Benjamin Moore’s Yorktowne Green HC-133 for the walls. “[It] is a beautiful color that changes depending on the daylight,” she says. “You may think it’s green, but when you put something green next to it, it looks blue. I love this color, it felt like the perfect choice for a client who loves green and blue.”