One House, Two Different Owners

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sell your house and then see what the new owners did with it? That’s what happened to the owner of this house in Long Island- the architect/interior designer Steve Gambrel. He bought an eighteenth century former boarding house and began the process of restoration. He installed baseboards, mercury glass doorknobs and this…


…historically and architecturally appropriate Federal-styled staircase. Notice how thin the newel post and balusters are. After he finished the house, he sold to Margot Brunelle and her husband- “It already had so much character you almost didn’t want to decorate it. Some of Steve’s colors worked well for us, so we kept them. Why fix what isn’t broken?”


The color blue that Steve had painted in the foyer remained. However, the thin newel post and balusters were redone.


Steve’s living room was painted chalk white and he hung a mirror over the fireplace. A unique black chair with a curved back and other selected furnishings showed Steve’s love of various styles.


The wall color remains in the same living room, but Margot replaces the mirror above the fireplace with a nautical print. She also introduces stripes in her choice of chair and sofa (not shown here).


Steve’s small library was outfitted with a colorful sofa and rug. The American Empire chair came from his college days.


Working with the same wall color, Margot decides to use a white slip-covered sofa and chair. An antique trunk replaces Steve’s coffee table. Chartreuse lamp bases are fun alternatives to his floor lamps.


This was Steve’s green dining room with painted chairs and bamboo blinds.


Margot kept the green, and added similar chairs, a light fixture, and an extra table.


Steve’s master bedroom was limited to white and light blue.


Margot’s master bedroom keeps the white and adds shaker-inspired furniture- the bed and the table.


Here, Steve’s guest room had a family heirloom bed reaching the ceiling.


This room was altered by Margot the most. She installed delightful wallpaper and orange-red accessories. As new owners, Margot and her husband did a wonderful job preserving the old house Steve spent so much time and effort perfecting. At the same time, they managed to create a home uniquely theirs.

(Photos of Steve Gambrel’s home by Elle Decor, August 2001.Photos of Margot Brunelle’s home by House Beautiful, June 2007)


3 thoughts on “One House, Two Different Owners

  1. I found this wallpaper refreshing after all the painted rooms, too. Several people expressed interest in the wallpaper…it’s from Thibaut Wallpaper & Fabrics. Pattern- South Beach, Collection- Sweet Life. It looks like they no longer carry that color but they have other colors you might be interested in.

  2. I love the board walls in the master bedroom. Our farmhouse has several rooms with board walls. They are my favorites.

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