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LA BELLE VIE

Written by Karen Marley
Imagery by Matt Whittmeyer

(The Beautiful Life)

When you have a taste for classic, traditional design and situate your new house on a former horse farm in the rural outskirts of Pittsford, New York, a home in the style and spirit of a French country manor becomes the natural outcome.
   French country is not defined by a single style. Rather, it is a collective feel of furniture and interiors across rural France that emulated urban trends but reinterpreted them as simpler versions. Lighting leans toward ornate while furnishings are more modest. Spaces are open and welcoming for family and friends.

A Meaningful Interior
The exterior, by James Fahy Designs, balances the use of stone, French windows and an engaging profile with archways, curved dormers, and hips and gables. The stately exterior prepares you for the elegance inside. With unobstructed views of the bucolic landscape, the pastoral manor embodies the essence of French country design.
   “It’s curated, not decorated. We achieved an Old World feel with timeless elements, not plaster walls and distressed finishes,” explains Janis Reed of Janis Reed Interiors. This is the third home she has designed for the homeowners.
   The overall aesthetic feels sophisticated and luxurious, but it is designed for family, especially grandchildren! Furnishings, often covered in performance fabrics, were selected for warmth and ability to provide ample comfort for family and guests.
   Reed exclaims, “There are no forbidden pieces!”


Iron and Wood
Paneled ceilings, a barreled vault gallery hall ceiling, and a pale blue coffered ceiling in the kitchen add interest. Carved archways and moldings layer the millwork down to the hand-scraped, wood floors. Eight-foot, solid wood doors contrast with glass-paned French ones.
   Wrought iron lighting fixtures hang over the kitchen island and dining room table. Iron is also on fanciful display as the bed in the blush-colored guest bedroom. Iron and wood elements come together in the sweeping upper hall with the Juliet balcony.
   A wrought iron daybed in the bonus room can be used for sleeping or seating. The multipurpose room also features a built-in desk unit, designed by Reed, which conceals storage space for a beautiful, highly functional space.

Refined Elements
Custom cabinetry flanks the great room’s stone fireplace. Along the window wall, a French daybed covered in velvet performance fabric is a grandson’s favorite hangout. A Currey & Company chandelier balances the space off the balcony’s graceful curves and a crystal chandelier adds sparkle to the guest bedroom.
   Reed designed the master bedroom to feel restorative and the tufted headboard in a light gray/blue contributes a calming effect. The master bedroom also holds the homeowner’s favorite spot: a sitting area near a fireplace.The master bath carries the manor’s color scheme of light blues, grays, and celery green. A tiled wall holds a subtle, white-on-white French damask pattern.

The Family Kitchen
The large kitchen is a mix of painted and walnut cabinetry brightened with subway and decorative tiles. There are three ovens.
   “I love to bake,” says the homeowner. “The entire crew can be over helping me cook from entry-level roles to more difficult tasks.”
   A lovely French country morning room occupies a little nook between the kitchen and great room. Chairs from the homeowners’ former home pair with a small table for a quaint corner. A screened-in covered porch, adjacent to the kitchen, provides a transitional indoor-outdoor space.
   “This home embodies the homeowners’ welcoming spirits and their love for relaxed, everyday elegance,” says Reed.

Design Resources
James Fahy Design Associates Architecture & Engineering P.C.
Janis Reed Interiors
VP Innovations

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