Designers at Home

What happens when interior designers are their own clients: a look inside five very different, very beautiful homes.

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3. A Collector’s Well-Loved Hearth and Home


Kim Freeman
Kim Freeman Style & Design
New Castle
(914) 762-1657

The designer sits on a Swedish country chair beside an antique pine cupboard, which holds part of her French textile collection.


It could be downright intimidating to reinvigorate a home designed by your parents—the one where you spent your teenage years. One might be inclined to leave the challenge behind and just move on to a space with less psychic baggage. But for New Castle designer Kim Freeman, the modest home, built by her parents in 1964, has become both a sanctuary and showcase for her considerable design skills.

“I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, but I can decorate” says the designer. “I never, ever wanted to be an interior designer.” The curly-haired Freeman made her name as a magazine editor and stylist for multiple national publications but began receiving design commissions from readers.

Ten years spent in France, working as a creative consultant and editor for La Maison de Marie Claire, had sharpened her design senses and left her with an incurable addiction to French textiles and antiques. No need for rehab. She has channeled her design demons into a welcoming, unfussy space, replete with warm woods, snowy-white linens, well-edited collections, and dramatic stonework.


An antique pine cupboard features one of Freeman’s collection of vintage suitcases and an old-fashioned basket perfect for keeping clutter out of sight.
An Early American iron bed is dressed to perfection with the owner’s white bed linens, a turquoise bamboo blanket chest, and minimalist linen shades.
The master bedroom features a collection of family memorabilia. A flax linen headboard, antique bench, and a small bedside table from North Carolina, round out the simple furnishings. The semi-circular antique eyebrow wooden window is a replacement for the original chosen by the owner’s parents.
The owner’s venerable cat, Pumpkin Pie, surveys the scene from a sunny window seat beside the master bath. The cast-iron stove was made by prison craftsmen at Sing Sing in the '40s, and painted off-white by the owner.
Oak floors, which flow from the dining room into the great room, were made without nails, using only pegs. The English pine cupboard showcases the designer’s collection of French pitchers.
Freeman replaced the 1960s brick on the stone fireplace, which is her own design; she used Pocono Glacier stone from Bedford Stone. Freeman also broke through an old wall to build her office, in the area to the right of the staircase. The matelassé white chair fabric is from Brunschwig & Fils.
A small serving of the owner’s antique flatware collection.

Collected shells form a beguiling display in a French wooden baguette tray on the coffee table in the great room.

Theatrical family mementos face Freeman’s parents’ collection of books.




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