Renovation by Sara Story Design breathes new life into this 1870s historic home built in New York City

APR 11, 2019 | By Esha Pal
The towering exterior facade of this 1870s home in New York is bound by trees on all sides; Photographs by Marco Ricca
Prsitine white seaters and a warm fireplace combine to give way to a cosy setting; Photographs by Marco Ricca

Nestled in a historic estate in New York’s lush Hudson Valley, Niederhurst is a Victorian Gothic home built in the 1870s by Winthrop Gilman, Jr, a notable New York City banker. The restoration helmed by architect Dirk Denison Associates and interior design firm Sara Story Design is built for the now third owner—Sara Story and her family of five.

When they unearthed the project in 2010, the exterior was in disrepair and the grounds completely overgrown. But Sara used her discerning eye to see through it all and launched a five-year renovation to bring the historic details of the home back to life.

A glimpse of the living room spruced with eclectic furnishings; Photographs by Marco Ricca
At Work, Our lips are sealed, Jim Lambie; Photographs by Marco Ricca

The gorgeous house was manicured to reinstate momentous details such as the intricate brickwork and original mouldings—coated to communicate a fresh, modern and comfortable design language. An unforgettable six bedroom house designed to be entertaining for family gatherings, and serve as a showcase to her dynamic collection of contemporary art.

The colour palette of the interior reflects cues of soothing neutrals—whites, creams and greys—which highlight the stunning architecture and play on the essential natural light. Pops of vibrant colours are peppered throughout in the forms of soft goods and artwork.
“I wanted the home to be warm and inviting, a place where we can gather with family and friends. Each room is meant to be lived in, with comfortable seating and layers of lighting. And it was important that the elements could stand up to life with three young children—nothing in the house is off limits!” says Sara Story.
Dance party night, a painting by Yayoi Kusama; Photographs by Marco Ricca
Playful and dramatic mural by artist Otto Zitko on a site-specific piece in collaboration with the designer Sara Story; Photographs by Marco Ricca
Paavo Tynell Chandelier, Finland, ca. 1940 (Brass) from Lief. Park Place Counter Height Stools by Yabu Pushelberg (Leather 126 Premium, Polished Rose Copper Base) from Avenue Road. Blue de Savoie Honed by Felix Lorenzoni Studio; Photographs by Marco Ricca

Step inside and you will find layers of lighting in each room, a mix of both quaint modern pieces and vintage articles, each room outlined in a unique and a suave language. The lighting was sourced from a range of designers and galleries all over the world, and include fixtures by Isamu Noguchi, Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte, Disderot, Vincenzo de Cotiis and Jonathan Browning.

Tread a few steps further to find an sophisticated brass Paavo Tynell Chandelier, Finland, from Lief that adds continuity flare to the kitchen. The dining room features a myriad collection of a collaboration of Sara with artist Otto Zitko on a site-specific piece—with the dining room as a canvas for the playful and energetic mural. The master bedrooms feature modern eclecticism in a neutral palette in synchronisation with the outdoor space. A home so tranquil, we swoon at its sight.
Custom Shower designed by Dirk Denison Architects, built by Rareform Architectural Products. Custom Size Vincenzo de Cotiis Ceiling Fixture in Silver Plated Brass – from Vincenzo de Cotiis Progetto Domestico. Paonazzo Honed by Felix Lorenzoni Studio; Photographs by Marco Ricca
Dinesen Natural Oiled Oak, King Size Duvet, Selena Collection color Ciment from Caravane, Natural dyed Rabbit Fur Blanket from Harolds Finishing Touches; Photographs by Marco Ricca