The Upstate Vibe: Decorating for Westchester
Westchester isn’t that far away from the Big Apple on a map, but it’s a world apart aesthetically. While houses and apartments in New York City tend to favor either ultra-minimal, futuristic chic or opulent, traditional decor, the upstate area offers luxurious but livable spaces. Many of the guiding principles of this look are common to luxury houses everywhere. You’ll find stunning outdoor spaces, exquisite finishes and plenty of generously scaled spaces, but there is a strong local flavor to these designs. Much of it is inspired by the beautiful location. Sustainability counts for a lot in this area as well. Here are some ideas to try in your home.
There are a lot of ways to add earth-friendly elements to your house without compromising the luxury experience. If you have a great back yard, try a rock garden or other landscaping that doesn’t demand much water. Also, feel free to bring sustainability into your interior design. As these houses show, you can go totally green with solar panels and the like, or you can simply select sustainable materials like bamboo flooring.
Make the Most of Space
Emphasizing big, open rooms is a large part of what defines the style of upstate New York residences. Don’t be afraid to push the furniture farther back toward the walls to allow for easier traffic patterns. If you have hardwood floors, use smaller area rugs in neutral tones that don’t compete with the color of the flooring. Keep the palette consistent from room to room to help create continuity.
Go for Statement Lighting Pieces
High ceilings beg to be adorned with chandeliers of all kinds. Whether you like the traditional crystal-encrusted style or the ultra-modern streamlined options, a large light fixture makes a great focal point. Shorten the chain to bring it close to the ceiling and make a more visually open room. The fine lines of this fixture help keep the room balanced.
For upstate houses, stone is a fixture not only outside, but also indoors. The look and feel of stone are a great way to add both drama and a sense of naturalness to interiors. Consider stone treatments on a chimney or adding stone-based water features. If you really want to embrace that vision, you can take the lead from this house and try stone cladding around a room’s architectural elements.
Find Your Own Voice
The range of styles within the Westchester area is fairly broad. If your tastes run toward modern or traditional, you can still fit elements of the style into your home. Just make sure you curate them to suit the rest of your home. For example, if you have a more traditional house, some of the eco-friendly touches will have to be carefully considered to maintain the look, so think about a minor shift like sustainable drapery. If you like a very modern look, consider adding some wood tones to soften the impact. This site shows off some different ideas. Whatever you do, remember that livability is also part of great design wherever you are, so create spaces you and your family want to be in, not just look at.