African Accents Make This Family Home Anything But Boring

Design firm Chango & Co. taps into a family's heritage to outfit their new Westchester, New York, home.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


When a couple with two young children (ages one and three), moved into a recently-built house in Westchester County, NY, they had one make goal: make the space kid-friendly, but not cookie-cutter. They reached out to Susana Simonpietri of Brooklyn-based design firm Chango & Co. for help.

“They wanted their home to feel like them: a unique couple with a multicultural background,” says Simonpietri. “Something effortless, like their beautiful family. A comfortable home that they could enjoy with their kids and be able to use for entertaining.”

Though the five-bedroom, 4,600-square-foot house was new construction, Simonpietri added tweaks right away—including a white-bricked herringbone backsplash in the kitchen and a built-in dining bench for casual meals. All the light fixtures were replaced, the interior painted a crisp white, and window treatments added. The furniture is clean-lined and contemporary, with upholstered pieces integrated with accents in wood, jute, and raffia.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


“We used neutrals to set the tone of the home,” says Simonpietri, referring to both the architectural bones and to the principle furnishings. “But we also had great fun with color.”

Color plays a large part in lively wallpapers, as well as punchy pieces like the denim-blue upholstered four-poster bed in the master bedroom. Black accents and tribal-chic elements travel seamlessly throughout the rooms, tying them together.

“We used lots of perennials and solution-dyed acrylics to make everything as spill- and Cheeto-proof as possible,” says Simonpietri of upholstery choices in heavily trafficked rooms. Meanwhile, the family’s heritage is reflected in African-inspired and sourced fabrics and accents, like the Kuba cloth pillows in the living room and the foyer’s Juju hats.

“The house now seems both light and restful, and fun and joyful,” says Simonpietri. “There’s also great movement between the lively patterns and calming neutrals.”

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


In the foyer, an inlay Parson table with folding X-benches defines the space, along with hanging Juju hats.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


Linen sheers on wrought iron rods dress the windows in the neutral living room. The appliqué Kuba cloth pillows add personality, as does the organically shaped wooden coffee table.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


Twin black basket light pendants make a dramatic statement above the live-edge wood dining table. Pattern is added with wallpaper, along with a hint of yellow, as well as through the woven fabric on the dining chairs.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


A built-in bench, paired with a rustic table, provides room for eat-in meals. The woven rush chairs have a subtle pattern, as does the added backsplash. Triple globe pendants provide task lighting above the marble-topped kitchen island.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


Chango & Co. added plenty of hidden and open storage to the great room adjacent to the kitchen. Black library style sconces are a nice touch, and there’s plenty of comfortable seating for reading or watching TV.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


Dusty orange pillows pop the blues in the master bedroom where the carpet, lumbar pillows, and lamp bases are a riot of tone-on-tone pattern. Three round wood mirrors are a fresh substitute for above-the-bed art, while reflecting light.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


The master bathroom features a deep freestanding tub, his-and-hers walk-in showers, and double vanities. A rustic wooden stool brings a natural element into the all-marble room. 

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


A toddler bed and red nightstand nestle side by side in a kid’s room, as do the zebras on the fun wallpaper.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


An oval crib, giraffe-print wallpaper, and an over-scaled linen shade make this nursery fun, as do the papier-mâché African animal heads.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


This Jack-and-Jill bathroom has a pretty penny tile floor in shades of gray.

photography by RAQUEL LANGWORTHY


A mudroom with built-in storage is key for an active family.

Published on April 18, 2017 - 5:30am EDT

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