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The Brooklyn-based design studio Workstead masterfully combines traditional inspiration with contemporary elegance, designing one-of-a-kind interiors and pieces that balance beauty with necessity. In their first monograph with Rizzoli — Workstead: Interiors of Beauty and Necessity — they present a special blend of their tour-de-force historic renovations and innovative yet elegant new constructions. Written by David Sokol and photographed by Matthew Williams, the book follows ten home projects as the design studio showcases their multi-disciplinary power across interiors, architecture and lighting design.

Featured in the book, Twin Bridges is a 19th-century Victorian home in Hudson Valley that Workstead reinjected with the site’s original energy and spirit. Restoring the Eastlake Victorian to its former glory the studio expanded the interior, erected a contemporary farm pavilion in addition to the original structure to create more space.

The goal for the pavilion was to reflect the history of the 19th century while incorporating modern features. The exterior consists of the same clapboard as its predecessor, but its coal-coloured finish contrasts the ivory facade in the front. The structure appears as a lantern in the landscape at night, as the interior illumination fills the expansive casement windows. The homeowner requested a modern interior for this pavilion, so each space is consistent with clean architectural features, natural hues and black accents.

 

Related: Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina.

 

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The ground floor is organized around a hand-plastered core that integrates a fireplace on one side and a Signature Kitchen Suite refrigerator on the other. The fireplace is a standout architectural piece within the living area, which also features a Workstead Orbit chandelier, a pair of brown patchwork leather De Sede DS88 sofas and a Nathan Lindberg cocktail table. The refrigerator serves an expansive kitchen that is finished with black granite-topped custom cherry wood cabinets. A custom tall black railing extends across the island, acting as a rack to store pots and pans. The island also features Rejuvenation counter stools, Dornbracht fittings and a Miele dishwasher. These living, dining and kitchen areas flow seamlessly into one another allowing the owner to host guests at ease. The walls and ceilings are painted off white, and the floors are finished in white oak wood to create an open and airy feel.

Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open towards the rear deck, which blends into the five acres of surrounding farmland. Initially, the homeowner wanted to preserve as much of the Victorian home as possible. However, once the pavilion started to take shape, it influenced the client to rethink this design request. Workstead began overseeing a near-total reconstruction of the artifact. The interior design of the original home differentiates itself from the pavilion. It plays into the 19th-century architecture seen on the exterior of the residence. While the pavilion reflects a minimalistic approach with clean lines and natural hues, the Victorian home presents the opposite with historically sympathetic use of wallpaper, furniture, artwork and colour. Workstead incorporated the bold Victorian hues and furnishings at the front of the house and then lightened up the rooms at the back to allow the different interiors to blend effortlessly.

 

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A 19th century restored mahogany staircase greets you in the foyer of the original Victorian home, complemented with oak flooring, C.F.A. Voysey owl-themed wallpaper by Trustworth Studios and a Workstead pendant. Moving into the formal parlour, a massive 19th-century tapestry is accented with the Farrow & Ball Inchyra Blue painted walls. The space also features a FAIR sofa upholstered in House of Hackney patterned velvet, Butaque chairs by Clara Porset, a Willy Rizzo cocktail table and a WOKA pendant. A vintage Laristan rug grounds the room. The Inchyra Blue paint is also carried into the front parlour. A Harvey Probber games table is centred around Luigi Caccia Dominion chairs that are upholstered in green mohair. In the formal dining room, an Isamu Noguchi pendant hangs over a Guillerme & Chambron table and chairs. The room is wrapped in Marthe Armitage wallpaper and complemented with a Charles Dudouyt sideboard.

Workstead has proven themselves to be a significant voice in American design in the last decade. In all their projects, they consider both clients and community, working with local artisans to create meticulously crafted modern interiors, architecture, and furniture designs inflected by history. Twin Bridges is just one the intricate projects featured in the book, which you can find here or at any good bookstore.

 

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