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A Portrait of Grandeur Made for Living

Written by Karen Marley
Imagery by Sandra Kicman

 “When wonderful interiors are your passion and you are dedicated to the fine art of home craftsmanship, time is of no consequence.” This philosophy, as quoted by Robert Reeder of Robert Reeder Interiors, depicts an interior design project that is the epitome of what happens when two creative, knowledgeable individuals collaborate and take the time to achieve perfection. In this project, the artistic force came primarily in the form of Reeder with regular input from the homeowner, a woman with keen design sensibilities of her own. 
    The older, Tudor style home was overwhelmed with a series of small, tight spaces and numerous rooms and doors.
There were neither trims nor crowns and the creative elements that did exist were disproportionate in their size  Sutton, Principal of Sutton Architecture, transformed the space and design into a home of classical opulence, re-specting the Tudor form while achieving a higher level of functionality with today’s modern standards.
    “This home is nothing more than a true collaboration. Everything was designed and selected with the homeowner. We met every week and with all service providers. The amount of detail over the course of this project was inexplicable,” says Reeder. “Selections, designs, millwork, fabrics, fireplaces, tiles, stone, marble, paint colors, glazes, wall colorings – all that you can imagine.” The homeowner concurs, “I was very involved. Robert brought me to a new level of thinking. I know what I like and I liked his style. He knows all the resources and the possibility of all the different choices. He incorporated my ideas into his vision.”
    This Tudor revival was built before World War II but it was never completed to its greatness. However, giving the home its rightful magnificence required navigating a new layer; establishing open space for the modern lifestyle. The entire process kept going back to the floor plans. What started as a five bedroom and five bathroom interior with no true kitchen was transformed into three bedrooms and three baths.  The kitchen became the family room and an addition became the kitchen and breakfast nook.
    When Reeder came on board the foyer was already demol-ished to remove walls and its eight doors. Sutton and an engineer opened up the ceiling. Reeder recalls wondering “What was the support?” Is it the wall we’re removing? ” The transformed foyer then required balancing in the design. Painted and lacquered moldings, a wrought-iron banister, and a chandelier dropping from the second floor, emphasized the grand staircase’s wonderful curve creating an entrance of splendid proportion and depth.

“This home is nothing more than a true collaboration.”

    Each room required recalibrating its balance and character all while highlighting classical components such as the Tudor arch from the foyer to the living room.  The living room was originally anchored by an ill-proportioned fireplace. In consultation with a sculptor, Reeder kept the top frieze and let it determine the rest of the recast but retained the Tudor arch. He also added a coffered ceiling and trims.
    In the newly conceived and designed den, cabinets of the neo-classic style with brass bases and capitals have pilasters while the black teak finish matches the grand piano for richness in depth and presentation. Bookshelves have a brass reveil inset of egg and dart trim on every shelf. He found an antique fireplace mantle with a series of carved festoons and jabots, along with carved pilaster.
    The dining room is stately, glamorous, and welcoming. A quatrefoil ceiling was added, complete with evil looking men in each corner; a typical detail in Tudor architecture. The walls received light gray silk; the dining table, chairs, and server are from the Baker Thomas Pheasant collection; and the vitrine was shipped from Italy.
    The carpeting is a custom Stark carpet by David Tiftickjian & Sons. The bench is an Oscar de la Renta, owned by the client. The kitchen’s hood was designed and manufactured by Buffalo Plastering & Architectural Casting. The kitchen also has
artisan-level custom stained glass with Tudor period figures designed by Jane Jacobson of Glass Roots who has worked on the Metropolitan Museum of Art and on cathedrals in England. Jacobson re-leaded all of the living room windows for authenticity.
    When asked how to conclude such an extraordinary project Reeder is thoughtful then quotes Carolyn Roehm, a modern trendsetter in fashion and elegance.  “There is a pleasing stateliness to be found in a grandly proportioned space with classical details. And when it is supported by décor that is livable as well as lovely and enlivened with a dash of glamour,  the result can be magical.”  Yes, it truly is.

Project Resources
Anzalone Lighting Inc.   
Beauty Pools, Inc.  
Buffalo Plastering & Architectural Casting   
David Tiftickjian & Sons   
Old Dutchman’s
Wrought Iron Inc.  
Tile Shoppe@Homestone Gallery

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