When an energetic city-dwelling family needed to cement a permanent country retreat, they sought the help of Brittany Bromley Interiors to make their new place feel like home away from home. With a blend of classic and modern style and an eye towards functionality, Brittany Bromley gave this architecturally charming home an elegant and energetic design. We caught up with Brittany to see what makes her tick and to take a closer look at this beautiful Upstate New York project.
Where do you draw inspiration from to start your design process?
From the beginning, I take classical and traditional design ideas and try to infuse them with modern functionality that reflects my clients’ personalities. In my own design ethos I am extremely drawn to symmetry, but I am also aware that too many pairs begins to feel a bit like Noah’s Ark. So I try to offset each of those pairs with an occasional chair, stool or something that throws off the balance of the room and gives it interest.
I love the idea of taking the eye on a journey around the room. Having things at high and low levels is important for that to be a satisfying journey. Last but not least I never forget to include some “life” in every room that I design. I am a huge believer in greenery and plants—mother nature is the world’s finest Designer and I adore including her work in anything that I design.
How did the architecture and character of the house help inform your design choices?
This is a home with lots of natural light and that is the greatest gift of all. We can do lots of things with our magic bag of tricks as designers, but one thing we cannot change is the architecture. Having that as a starting platform on which to build is always ideal.
My clients have three young children and the architecture of the house plays well to having breezy rooms suffused with a casual elegance. The high ceiling height allowed us to really play up wall and window treatments, and use both as punctuation for the furniture in the rooms. Also, many of the rooms on the first floor open with high and wide doorways so the color palette needed to make sense from one room to the next.
What role did our rugs play in your design process?
Merida is where I turn to first for floor coverings on any project. Their selection of both natural fiber and wool rugs is unparalleled and rugs are the foundation for any room. I am also a big believer in supporting the artisanal craftsmanship Merida is known for, and I love their idea of merging technology with traditional forms of weaving to create designs that are exceptional but that still put quality and integrity first.
In this instance we knew we were going to have a lot of textural and graphic wall treatments on the first floor and so the rugs in those rooms needed to be bold enough texture-wise to stand up to the wall treatments, but not so bold that they would begin to take away from some of the pattern play.
As there’s no separation between the dining room and the front parlor we needed to have something that would visually work with the design in both of those rooms. We settled on the very graphic textural nature of the sisal because it is sophisticated enough to work with our silk covered French chairs, but rustic enough that it doesn’t put our 18th century Swedish Gustavian dining table to shame!
Perhaps the most important and agonizing decision we made in the house design as a whole was that of the staircase and hallway runner. After much deliberation we eventually settled on a custom colorway of Merida’s Catalyst rug.
This rug allowed us to unite the color scheme of the public areas in the first and second floors and also served as the graphic punch that one sees upon entering the home. It’s youthful, fun and sophisticated, which happen to be exactly the words that I would use to describe this young family. And of all of the many design choices that we made in this beautiful home, it is the one that is most remarked upon and continues to be what everyone compliments.
What was your favorite room or vignette to design?
Honestly the entire house was really a joy, but if I had to pick one room in particular it would be the master bedroom. My clients live primarily in the city and, as all of us former city-dwellers do, they spent very little time in their bedroom due to its size.
Country living brings a much slower pace of life, so I was very focused on creating a beautiful sitting area in the master bedroom where this couple could retire to read the paper or do other leisurely activities. The restful colors of pale celadon, pale coral and cream suffuse this room with a calming energy, and the ample sitting area makes the room feel well appointed.
My clients adore the end result, and so do I, it’s a tranquil retreat from the hectic life of a young family—which is truly the ultimate gift!
Who or what has been your greatest influence as a designer?
I was very fortunate to be raised in beautiful homes by extremely aesthetically minded parents who were constantly collecting and curating. It was an inspiring environment to grow up in and it gave me what we laughingly call a high quotient for “everyday beauty!”
Some of the designers whose work I am most inspired by are Alessandra Branca, Tom Scheerer, Mary McDonald, and Thomas Britt.
What energizes you?
I love the idea of being able to help people live the way that they aspire to live. Everyone is different, and the home in which each individual wants to live is extremely specific to that person. I love that I get to be the interpreter, and to take each of those specific wants and needs and translate them into an environment in which they feel like the best version of themselves.
All photos by Jane Beiles