A Comfortable Mix of Vintage, Provincial, Country, and Contemporary
A Chappaqua Home’s Design Magic
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You’d expect the owner of a modern furniture store to have a house full of stark colors and straight-line furnishings, but the home of Michael Kalesti, the owner of Kent Home in Chappaqua, is full of vintage lamps, antique-y dressers, and old estate-sale finds. In fact, his 1927 three-bedroom Tudor-Colonial in Chappaqua looks like a hodgepodge of hip, country, and comfort. But it effortlessly showcases Kalesti’s design magic: making vintage pieces and accents look organic in contemporary rooms.
Of course, he can’t take credit for all of it. Kalesti’s wife, Kathy, a fashion consultant who helps up-and-coming designers build their businesses, does a lot of the picking and choosing at home. “But it’s always based on my approval,” laughs Kalesti.
The put-togetherness that you’ll see today certainly didn’t exist in 1998 when the Kalesti family first stumbled upon the house. “It was in pretty bad shape,” says Kalesti. “Everything was overgrown. The paint was coming off the walls. Inside was bad, there were no updates, things were falling apart, the roof needed to be replaced.”
In terms of location, though, the house was a find: It’s close to the train, a short walk to town, and part of a renowned school district. Plus, structurally, everything was intact. “It had really good bones, interesting lines inside and out,” says Kalesti. “It was a sound house; it just needed some TLC.”
So the Kalestis bought it and began renovating. They started with the outside, redoing three layers of old roofing, installing new flashers and gutters, and restoring the windows. “Twenty or 30 panes needed to be replaced,” says Kalesti. They painted and redid the pavers and the pool. “We had to cut back tons of shrubbery and bushes. There were vines growing on the house.” The outdoor sprucing took a year, and then, they were finally able to start on the inside.