It took two seconds for Mindy Grossman to fall in love with the rambling old house and another nine years of gleeful collecting and fearless renovating to make it completely her own. What she's discovered along the way—about honoring the past, embracing the new, and staying true to your vision—could serve as a blueprint for living.
"My husband jokes that this is the only place I can do the movie version of relaxing—which is, you don't sit and relax, you're just in a different environment," says Mindy Grossman. The photograph behind Mindy is by Henri Cartier-Bresson.
A Place in the Sun
In the airy sunroom are a Ralph Lauren Home sofa and armchairs upholstered in fabric by John Robshaw Textiles. French garden chairs surround a Moroccan wrought iron and mosaic table, topped by vintage McCoy pottery from Mindy's collection. Above the console at rear, girded by an antique garden fence, is a painted mirror set in antique tin ceiling tiles.
The library is still a work in progress (Mindy hasn't settled on a desk or curtains yet), but it's well stocked with thrillers, farm manuals, and classic novels. A sofa upholstered in paisley silk and wool by Christopher Hyland and a Lee Jofa Furniture skirted chair cozy up to a Ralph Lauren Home crocodile and steel table. In the foreground, one of Mindy's favorite pieces: an antique Hunzinger lollipop chair, sized for the petite and "definitely not for my husband—he's not allowed to sit on it."
Who Put the Great in the Great Room?
Mindy and Neil bought a massive portrait of boxer Joe Louis from British artist Sandor Camille—then waited years to find the right wall to hang it on. The painting dominates the great room; the custom-designed coffee table is from Studio JDM, Inc. The fabrics are a study in contrasts: muted shades for the Jim Thompson curtains and Beverly Furniture sofa, vibrant stripes for the twin club chairs.
You Can't Take the CEO Out of the Kitchen
In Manhattan, Mindy is a takeout queen, but here she lives to cook. Hand-forged copper hardware, modern geometric light fixtures from Vaughan and Designs, and a sleek walnut countertop warm her cheerful open kitchen.
A Chair of One's Own
For fun, not for fanfare, Mindy personalized the dining chairs in her breakfast room with a monogram she worked out with a designer at Monogram Inc.—one of many happy collaborations. The Chelsea armchairs are by Thomas O'Brien for Hickory Chair. The inviting round dining table is by Ebanista.
The antique English banquet table in Mindy's dining room (surrounded by chairs originally from a Newport, Rhode Island, "cottage") can easily seat 16. This room is a smorgasbord of color ("I like the mix"), from the shimmering reds of the Persian rug, purchased at auction, to the sunburst tones of the Travers striped silk curtains and the burnished green of two antique Chinese pickle jars. Mindy marvels at the craftsmanship of the handpainted de Gournay wallpaper: "I'd love to go where they make it and just watch them."
Light of Her Life
The lantern from Jamb, in London, that hangs in the center hall replaced one that was smashed to smithereens in transit. At the foot of the custom-designed staircase, with its idiosyncratically varied spindles and barley-twist newel post, sits a 19th-century English table.
"I'm convinced that there are two kinds of people in life, bath people and shower people," Mindy says. "I'm a shower person. Neil and my daughter are bath people. They're more ethereal, dreamy, you know?" The master bathroom suits them all, with fixtures and a bathtub from Waterworks and a crystal light fixture from ABC Carpet & Home.
In the cool blue heaven of the master bedroom, matching Ebanista sofas rest on a Megerian Sultanabad rug that can look blue or green, depending on the time of day. In the foreground, a Rose Tarlow chaise. Stool, Shine Home.
La Vie En Rose
Mindy's teenage daughter, Lizzie, picked out the palace-worthy chair and pillow as well as the rosy linen-velvet wall and curtain fabric, all from Ralph Lauren Home. "There were occasions when I would veto something," Mindy says, "but I figured if she feels a part of the decorating process, she's going to love her room that much more."
Be Her Guest
Neil's friends from Norway often come to stay in the upstairs guest bedroom, "so he calls it the Norwegian room." The Ralph Lauren Home bed, decked in Kashmire bedding and pillows by John Robshaw Textiles, is highlighted by Teresa's Green walls from Farrow & Ball. Side table, John Rosselli Antiques.