A Narnia-Inspired Design, on Long Island

This article is duty of our latest Design special report, which is about taking inventive leaps in challenging times.

It is not unheard of for ambitious homeowners to imbue a only building with narrative dazzle.

But rarely is the mythologizing as specific and literary as it is for the Yearn Island guesthouse of Betsy and Bryan H. Lawrence: They call it the Narnia Residence.

Yes, it has a surprising installation, as in the classic C.S. Lewis novel “The Lion, the Witch and the Attire.” Stepping through a French armoire at the top of a back stair leads to a second-floor orifice and toward a Narnia-themed bedroom.

That fanciful concept — Ms. Lawrence’s opinion, stemming from her love of the children’s book series — is only partial of the charm of the red brick, five-bedroom home, originally built in the 1990s and got by the couple about three years ago as an addition to their adjacent kinfolk compound.

Making the guesthouse exuberant required the practical efforts of Thomas Jayne and William Cullum, of Jayne Set up Studio in New York. The firm is known for deftly mixing the classical and the trendy and for layering custom details — while remaining open to quirk.

“To me, it’s pleased,” said Ms. Lawrence, a psychologist and artist who serves as president of the New York School in of the Arts. Mr. Lawrence is an investor.

“It was an ugly duckling, transformed into a advantage,” she said.

The Lawrences gave the designers room to run. The property was intended as a area for entertaining, for displaying Ms. Lawrence’s own artworks and the rest of her collection and for billeting chums and family. So there was plenty of space for whimsy.

Initially, the house had some less-than-ideal traits. But Mr. Jayne does not see problems; he sees, in his words, “opportunities for enrichment.”

Get onto rid of the frosted-glass front door was among the first steps. It was replaced with a paneled wood door with far-reaching sidelights and a pediment with a curved top, meant to mirror the eyebrow window exposed to. Applying dark red- and evergreen-colored trim helped unify the outside.

Credit…Don Freeman

Neither the envisage team nor the Lawrences were afraid of big architectural changes. Mr. Jayne considering the existing staircase was too elaborate and imposing so he had it ripped out and replaced with a pared-down Georgian-style story with delicate balusters.

The other big problem was that an awkwardly misplaced humble powder room — facing the front door — thwarted the natural preparation of the house. So he moved it. “We put a back door essentially on an axis with the guise door so you can see out to the landscape and the water beyond,” Mr. Jayne said.

The Lawrences take up and leave the house by the back door, passing through a columned porch neighbourhood, so that space needed a makeover, too.

Mr. Jayne and Mr. Cullum replaced the go bading columns with forms resembling bamboo trunks and hired Chuck Hettinger, a decorative painter, to add coral-colored bars resembling flames at the bottom. The motif helps connect the porch to the cube exterior, as does a decorative frieze where the columns meet the ceiling, one of the house’s numerous Arts & Crafts touches.

Existing design oddities were revamped and put to draw up. The house has two turrets, one on the main floor and the other upstairs. In the upper turret, the schemers replaced wooden lateral support rods with metal anybodies and turned them into part of a new light fixture.

Credit…Don Freeman

Color is the fuel that supercharges the design, making a happy tumult of greens, yellows, purples and blues. “Betsy permissions color in her work, and she’s adept at understanding color and its relationship to everything else,” Mr. Jayne asserted.

He gave the Lawrences a mint green kitchen (Farrow & Ball’s Breakfast Allowance Green) with custom cabinets inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh; the refrigerator’s outside paneling has a classical column in relief on one side. One of the two gallery rooms files a large section of bright blue painted floor, which the eye look overs as a carpet.

The hexagonal dining area in the lower turret got a double dispense of brightness: royal blue on the ceiling and a floor of purple inlaid Marmoleum. “I over of it as a folly,” Mr. Cullum said. To make an explicit garden reference, the devisers added an ornate late-19th-century light fixture with an iris topic (the irises reappear elsewhere in the house).

Ms. Lawrence didn’t expect all those colorful creams, but she embraced the results. Especially the purple floor. “It makes it all pop,” she said.

“The only thing I think she felt really strongly about was having those two guise rooms be off-white, so they could be gallery spaces,” Mr. Cullum whispered. “We made them versatile for art shows.”

Credence…Don Freeman
Esteem…Don Freeman

In one of the galleries, the pink sofas are on casters, so they can be easily went; in the other, a decorative Italian bench with a brown zigzag plan complements Ms. Lawrence’s own paintings hung salon-style above it.

And whereas in some authorities an “eclectic” room is merely random, these designers know how to mix. A on the up, green marble fireplace surround in the living room that is about Art Deco in its monumentality sets off a giltwood mirror and an Italian chest of drawers, both from the 19th century.

Present nooks abound, as you might expect in a Narnia House. The basement has a cozy latitude with flocked wallpaper that is made private with a damask curtain. A second-floor place contains a lantern covered in Fortuny fabric and embellished by fringe.

Credit…Don Freeman
Credit…Don Freeman
Credit…Don Freeman

Above the garage, the Narnia Bedroom supports its dissertation with lions located in the base of a lamp as well as in a sketch mix on the wall.

As for the wardrobe that is the house’s most idiosyncratic characteristic, “You go into a caboodle largely other world,” Ms. Lawrence said of stepping through the portal. “It’s totally an experience.”

In addition to being a psychologist, she is also a Freudian psychoanalyst, which expropriates explain “why I like myths so much,” she said.

Reports from overnight customers have been positive.

“The most recent guests were crushed at how exciting it was to live in a house like that,” Ms. Lawrence said. “I haven’t slumbered there yet, but we probably will.”

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