Tour a Fashion Consultant's Scandinavian-Modern Home
Scarsdale is full of beautiful Colonial houses and pleasant scenery—but despite its considerable charms, it’s not for everyone. “I had zero interest in moving to the suburbs,” says Ali Horowitz, a former senior vice president at Theory who now works as a fashion consultant. But after she and her husband realized they needed more space to raise their two children, they decided to take the leap from the city to Westchester—and they were going to do it their way. “I have a strong opinion about what I like,” Horowitz continues. “I didn’t want to have a spec house, and I didn’t want to trust someone to make all the little decisions—suburban style isn’t me.”
But as luck would have it, a friend of Horowitz’s had just had her Hamptons home redone with the help of interior designer Tamara Magel—and Horowitz liked what she saw. To bring her new client’s dream home to life, Magel worked with Horowitz’s builder to integrate custom touches—such as white oak floors, black-rimmed industrial windows, and dark gray-blue soapstone counters—much the way a fashion designer would. And in the family room, she focused on natural textures to create a comfortable and alluring environment, incorporating a vintage teak chaise, a dark linen-weave sofa, fur throws, and chunky cable-knit blankets. “I think of it as rustic glamour, or warm Scandinavian modern,” Magel says. “It’s layered and luxurious, but the detail is in the textures.”
Horowitz’s family spends most of their time in the breakfast area, where more dark fabrics and faux-leather accents make for a warm and inviting space. For entertaining and holidays, the ample dining room can handle a crowd, gathered around a custom-made white oak table on shearling-covered chairs.
The kitchen is spare, but amped up with graphic details, such as a custom black hood and “big, black metal hardware to match,” Magel says. “It’s another natural material that creates more interest but is still approachable. If everything is too high-end, it makes people uncomfortable and starts to feel like a showroom. No one is that formal in real life.”
Certainly not in the master bedroom, where a portrait of Marilyn Monroe by the famed photographer Bert Stern hangs above the bed, and more chunky cable-knit throws are piled in abundance. “The best part about this project,” says Magel, “is that Ali really appreciates beautiful things. And because she’s in the fashion industry, she isn’t afraid to be a little edgier. As everyone knows, you have to be edgy to be in the fashion biz.”
“In fashion,” concurs Horowitz, “if you’re going to wear bell-bottom pants, you have to go all the way. If you’re not going all the way, don’t wear them.”
A version of this article appeared in the Holiday 2016 issue of NYC&G (New York Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Suburban Chic.