An Artist’s Touch: Pierre and Anne de Villeméjane’s Scardale Home
Sculptor and painter Anne de Villeméjane’s vision for her family’s home leaned towards a contemporary vibe, executed flawlessly with a serene aesthetic and the couple’s collection of various objets d’art.
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Built in the mid 1960s, the home of Pierre and Anne de Villeméjane has the single-level layout of a Japanese pavilion. It sits on one and a half acres, much of it wooded, and, from the street, the brown shingle structure all but blends into the landscape. Large stands of mature bamboo—a surprise in Scarsdale—are situated along tall ash and tulip trees. The home had only two owners prior. The French couple, who moved here in 2009 from Boston with their three children, proceeded to give the house a sleek, contemporary re-do from stem to stern, adding a master suite, opening rooms, and re-staining some of the wood floors a metro-chic gray.
The spine of the home, so to speak, is a long, vaulted corridor that runs the length of the main house. It is paved with bricks recycled from a building at Yale University, giving it the feel of an outdoor courtyard. At one end of the corridor is a room that Anne, a painter and sculptor, has made her home studio. At the opposite end, through an arched doorway, is a glass door that opens onto a patio.
This central, unifying space sold them on the house. “It was all about the corridor and the outside views, so that you live in your garden,” Anne says over croissants and strong coffee in her sleek white kitchen. She installed a mirror on the studio door, to reflect the hallway when closed, “so that it would not really end.”
The de Villeméjanes traffic in objets d’art. Pierre is CEO of WWRD Holdings Limited, which owns Royal Albert, Waterford, Wedgwood, and Royal Doulton, iconic china and crystal brands that his firm bought out of bankruptcy. He is in the process of “dusting them off” with a 21st-century twist, and they now turn a profit. Their taste is—how do you say?—incroyable. The white walls of their serene home provide a neutral gallery for art, hers and that of others, and objects collected in their travels. It has the look of a finely curated gallery, minimal yet warm, with family pieces and contemporary furniture from places like BoConcept and B&B Italia, as well as pieces designed to her specifications. Color is confined to accents: the rust-red glass top of a custom-made dining table, the orange cushions on two low Moroccan chairs, the vibrant hues in one of Anne’s photographs, a time-lapse image of dancers. A crystal-studded console table from the new Waterford Interiors collection sits in the corridor, near her studio. Anne, who has a passion for lighting (especially Italian), delights in turning it on, especially at night, when it makes the space shimmer.
Did she use a decorator?
“Oh, no, no,” the lovely blonde murmurs in her velvety accent. “The French, we always do it ourselves.”
But when it came to re-imagining their rather traditional garden, she needed help: “It’s not my thing, the outside. I have no clue about planting.”