2014 CTC&G Innovation in Design Winners: Interior Design

A music barn designed by Kelly & Co. Design

Winner: Kelly & Co. Design
A race to the finish: completing a music barn, stone cottage and guest house in six weeks

Charged with refurbishing, refreshing and furnishing three outbuildings on a 50-acre estate in a frantic six-week time period, interior designer Kelly Mittleman wasted no time getting busy. First up, morphing a working horse barn into a music studio. “The homeowner loves to play drums and likes to get loud and crazy with his friends, but didn’t want to intrude on the neighbors,” says Mittleman, who enlisted Grammy Award–winning sound engineers to soundproof the building. To maintain a feeling of authenticity, she carefully tucked the acoustic panels behind reclaimed barn wood.

Designed with people and parties in mind, the space is outfitted with durable leather sofas and a custom zinc bar downstairs, plus tables and stools for watching the entertainment and Murphy beds for impromptu sleepovers in the loft. “It’s part performance space, part high-end lounge and part crash pad,” she adds.

The designer took a more refined approach in the stone cottage (the former editing studio of an Academy Award–winning film director) meant to be the quarters for visiting in-laws, and in the guesthouse, where the mandate included outfitting the space down to the toilet paper. “There was no time to even consider doing anything custom,” says Mittleman, who opted for a straightforward neutral palette and forgiving sisals, cowhides and leathers in both spaces. She admittedly relied on big box retailers to fill in the gaps.

For continuity, the same vintage wood used in the music studio covers the ceiling in the cottage living room, and the guesthouse is tied to the barn theme with accessories like horse blankets and equine art.