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Noteworthy

This Wellington Home Underwent A Dramatic Transformation With A Nod To The Equestrian Community

What makes a house a home? If you ask designer Samantha Knapp, the answer includes a pop of color and a flow customized to fit a family’s lifestyle.

The creative director for Tiger Lily’s—a Greenwich, Connecticut-based interior design firm—worked to create exactly that with a sophisticated, yet casual retreat for a family of five living in Wellington. 

With the goal of transforming their second home into a destination house where family and friends of the equestrian community could gather for food and drinks, the clients wanted to infuse a bit of their own personality into the space.

“There's a sense of tradition, I think, when you think of the equestrian world,” Knapp said, adding that she wanted to incorporate fun elements to make the home reflect the young family’s energy. “There’s some vibrancy there that I wanted to play off of.” 

The five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 3,700-square-foot house was purchased in late 2014 and remodeled over the course of a year, as her clients traveled from New York to Palm Beach County for riding season. 

These periods of occupancy and vacancy ended up working in the family’s favor in more ways than one, Knapp explained. Not only did they end up expediting projects new homeowners might put off because of the inconvenience of the construction process, but they allowed the family to take the space for a test run before design decisions were finalized. 

“You really got a sense of how people lived and where they congregated,” she said. “It was kind of neat to see what your needs might be.” 

The soup-to-nuts renovation, as Knapp calls it, included reworking electrical, installing a wet bar in the dining space, opening up the kitchen and living room, creating walk-in closets in the master bedroom, reconfiguring the bathroom, and replacing the doors in the living room so that they recede back to let guests walk from the indoors to the outdoors freely.

The team used Stikwood on certain walls to give the rooms a “textural vibe” and opted for wood beams as a nod to the equestrian life. Other than that, Knapp noted, she didn’t go heavy on trims or moldings because the house already had clean lines and light walls that would make the bold colors she chose for the furniture pop.

“It was always [about] upgrading the house to a level where it could be sellable,” she said. “Once we take all the fabrics out, it’s kind of a neutral house … which is kind of neat all of in itself.” 

Knapp—who classifies the house’s finished style as modern farmhouse with whimsical touches—said it all came down to embracing the challenge of personalizing what was essentially a mint-condition spec home.  

She acknowledged that a lot of homes in these neighborhoods have strict HOA guidelines that often leave buyers wondering how they’d be able to achieve one-of-a-kind designs. But that’s where inspiration is waiting to strike. 

“You can look at a space completely differently than the person who previously lived in it,” she said.

Take a look at the finished project in the photos below. 

Courtesy Tiger Lily's
Courtesy Tiger Lily's
Courtesy Tiger Lily's
Courtesy Tiger Lily's
Courtesy Tiger Lily's
Courtesy Tiger Lily's
Courtesy Tiger Lily's
Courtesy Tiger Lily's