In this family’s forever home, designer Emily Meszkat brought bright and sophisticated together to create a space that’s as stylish as it is family-friendly.
For Emily Meszkat, of Emily Meszkat Interiors in Rye, NY, design has always been her passion. “I grew up in Colorado and came to New York in my 20s to become a singer,” she says. “Like many things in life, that didn’t go according to plan and I turned to interior design as another way to express my creativity.”
Even back then, Meszkat was always a keen observer of her surroundings, and often spent her rent money on vintage furniture and different color paints for her walls. “I don’t have a formal design background—just a constant passion and desire to educate myself about the craft and help families love their homes,” she explains. “Interior design is now my life and I couldn’t be happier.”
For this Greenwich, CT, project, Meszkat worked closely with the family to create a home that not only appealed to the adults, but also was welcoming to their three young children and rambunctious puppy.
She started this project like she starts all of her projects: by asking the question, ‘how do you want to live in this room?’ “That is the foundation for the way we decorate each room in any home. I believe in mixing the old with the new. I also believe paint and reupholstery are magical things,” says Meszkat.
CREATING THE RIGHT FEEL
One of the challenges of this project was the timing. Meszkat took on the project right before the Covid lockdown back in the spring of 2020, so it wasn’t always an easy task to find furniture and accessories that were available to ship before the family’s move-in date. “We ended up reupholstering a lot of furniture— which is one of my favorite things to do anyway,” she says.
While the owners didn’t want any rooms to be off limits to children or pets, they also wanted it to have the cohesive look of a home belonging to a well-traveled and sophisticated family. Therefore, each room is a “glamily” room—a family-friendly place with a touch of glam, Meszkat explains.
INCORPORATING BOLD ELEMENTS
The use of wallpaper was utilized throughout the house. “I am a firm believer that wallpaper chooses you, you don’t choose it— and this house wanted it,” says Meszkat. “It could handle a heavier dose than most, so we went with it.” For others who want to utilize wallpaper in their design, but are hesitant, Meszkat suggests starting with the powder room. “A beautifully papered powder room is always the favorite room in the house, and gives you the confidence to paper the world.” For this project, the powder room is a grass cloth wallpaper in a riot of rainbow colors by Lindsay Cowles with a blue glass mirror by Bungalow 5.
ALL IN THE DETAILS
The details in each of the rooms are really what make them stand out. For the family room, Meszkat created a bright and cheerful tone with benches upholstered in a lemon-colored Christopher Farr pattern. For the office, Meszkat says, “My client had lived for a time as a teenager in Indonesia and so we chose the iconic C.W. Stockwell wallpaper to invoke that time in his life. We painted the paneling the same creamy color—Benjamin Moore White Down—as the back- ground of the paper.” For the youngest child’s room, custom Roman shades trimmed in a gray stripe were used for the unusually shaped windows.
And for the living room, Meszkat went for a “a more is more” look. The vintage wingback chairs were reupholstered in Alan Campbell Zig Zag print in brown to give an exotic feel alongside the magenta lacquered Lakehouse table by Dunes and Duchess and the Visual Comfort table lamp. The vibe in the living room is “fresh and a tad tropical” but still luxurious and cozy, so people feel perfectly suited to whatever season it is. The Palacek chairs sit on a plush Greek key rug from Fayette Studio, while a Made Goods coffee table in ivory bone inlay brings the rooms together. “The gold leaf ceiling feels like sunshine,” says Meszkat.
THE END RESULT
Because of the age of the home, and the beautiful molding and details everywhere, Meszkat says she and the homeowners “wanted to bring in a fresh new vibe with the pattern and color choices while honor- ing the traditional bones.” She encourages people to take risks when it comes to design. “I’ve noticed over my career, that it’s usually the risks taken with color, wallpaper and fabric that make people the happiest when all is said and done,” she advises. And while it was an emotional roller coaster for the family to move into their forever home during a pandemic, they couldn’t be happier with the final product.
Photography by Lo Austin