A strong Instagram presence led to a big commission for the New York designer Augusta Hoffman, Studio Director Augusta Hoffman. Jesse, the 24-year-old daughter of a TV nutrition expert Joy Bauerfound Hoffman’s page and liked what she saw. Joy was looking for an up-and-coming designer to create a relaxed, sophisticated aesthetic for their family’s dream home in Westchester, New York – a five-bedroom, nearly 8,000 square foot home for Joy, her husband and their three adult children. It would also serve as a studio for filming television segments. Finding joy was kismet.
Since the house had good bones, most of Hoffman’s transformation was done using paint and wallpaper. The biggest interventions were the updating of two fireplaces and the kitchen counters and light fixtures, the latter being essential for Joy, given her profession. Hoffman also had to get creative with some made-for-TV details, like hanging on a pulley system above the kitchen island so it could be lowered or raised depending on camera angles.
“It was their first time working with a designer,” says Hoffman, “so they were incredibly excited about the whole process…It was a great experience collaborating with them, because while Joy was the primary client, Jesse spearheaded design decisions. It is a space that absolutely reflects the love of their entire family.
Most of the furniture and rugs in the house are from Mitchell Gold Bob Williams.
“The Bauers wanted a stylish but super practical and fun home,” says Hoffman. “They are constantly entertaining and have requested space to comfortably accommodate large gatherings. The dining room table expands to accommodate 25 people.”
Fabric tablecloth: Schumacher. Dining chairs: Henning Kjærnulf.
Besides being such a fabulous cook, Joy (and her son Cole) are both “talented musicians,” Hoffman reports. “Most people don’t know that I played keyboards in a rock band before my career in nutrition,” Bauer reveals. “Cole is a singer-songwriter and fills the house with beautiful music. I love to entertain – holidays, weekends, a random Tuesday or Wednesday night – and after every delicious meal we all have instruments and we meet in the music room.
So, instead of a formal family room, Hoffman was commissioned to create a music parlor. “We had so many amazing moments in that room,” Bauer says.
Wallcoverings: Phillip Jeffries. Chairs: Giancarlo Piretti “Arki” armchairs.
“Films of joy for the Today show straight from his kitchen,” says Hoffman. “One of the ongoing topics of conversation throughout the design process was what everything would look like on camera. ‘d, shine.
To give it that weathered finish, Hoffman “used a special Portola wrought iron finish paint that is matte black at first and then, once an acidic formula is applied, slowly begins to mimic the look of iron” , explains Hoffman. “It was a really cost effective way to update the kitchen while creating a textural focal point.
Walnut cabinet handles and zellige tiles add earth. “By focusing on replacing generic items with more organic, layered pieces, we got what we paid for,” says the designer.
“My kitchen is the heart of my home,” says Bauer. “It’s my office, my hangout, and my lab. It gives me plenty of room to move around comfortably, and it’s suitable for TV shoots for remote locations, with high ceilings and an open design.” One of his favorite details is the Lapitec counters: “They’re crisp, low-maintenance and virtually indestructible.”
Countertops: Lapitec, ABC Stone.
Located between this room and the family room was a breakfast bar, which Hoffman dropped to counter height “to allow more natural light and a consistent view from the camera”.
Obtained during a trip to Hudson, New York, the marble table now sports a custom finish.
Questions and answers
Beautiful house : How does the space represent the personality of your customers?
Augusta Hoffman: Joy referenced Nancy Meyers’ set design as she was looking for a comfortable family home. Jesse is a little bolder and sent inspirational images of 1970s Italy, mid-century Scandinavia and laid-back California chic. I think we managed to strike a cool balance between the two personalities, resulting in a very healthy space for a lovely family with some unexpected details.
HB: What surprised you the most about this project?
Joy Bauer: That less is more. I learned how a simple touch can create a special moment. Our marble table in the breakfast nook was from an antique store – it was actually a resting place for little treasures, but we fell madly in love with it and made the store owner an offer. The distressed range hood in the kitchen is such a unique focal point and customers always ask about it. The refurbished European brown suede chairs in the living room are so gorgeous and comfortable. I love how the two colors of velvet in the music room, the green sofa and the golden brown chairs, complement each other. And the subtle yet elegant silver textured wallpaper on the dining room ceiling really makes this room sparkle.
HB: How did you make pre-existing pieces work with the new design direction?
Oh: The Bauers wanted this house to feel like a completely new chapter and didn’t use many existing rooms. It allowed us to really organize individual spaces in the house and achieve a cohesive design. However, we were really aware of adding elements with warmth and patina to give the house a sense of history. We’ve mixed in some special family heirlooms such as Joy’s grandfather’s old Cinzano ashtray in the bar and her vintage Fender Rhodes piano from her days as a musician.
HB: What’s your favorite thing in the finished space?
Oh: I love seeing the Bauers enjoying this space as a family. Between Joy’s Instagram and the Today show, I often get a little glimpse of how they live in the house we designed together. It’s rare in my work, and it fills my studio with happiness and motivation. That’s why we devote so much time and passion to our clients’ homes.
See more exclusive photos of the house
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