This Holistic Interior Designer’s ‘Modern Farmhouse’ Is an Inspiring Mix of High and Low

This Holistic Interior Designer’s ‘Modern Farmhouse’ Is an Inspiring Mix of High and Low

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Bedrooms
Square feet
2600
Sq ft
2600

Name: Gala Magriñá and wife, Martha Magriñá
Location: Westchester, New York
Size: 2,600 sq. ft.
Type of Home: House
Years lived in: 2 years, owned

The home found us. My wife had been making a push to move out of the city (I was raised in the city so this took me a while to come to terms with), so she was the one that began looking at listings and setting up viewings. “The Farmhouse” was the first property we saw and fell in love with so we put in an offer. We loved that it was upon a ridge with beautiful views, high ceilings, and had an open floor plan. Ultimately, we were outbid and, since it was the first house we saw and we didn’t have anything to compare it to, we did not counter. We let it go, believing that if it was the right home it would come back to us.

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In the meantime, we looked at two other properties in the same price range and they couldn’t compare. Three weeks later we got a call from the real estate agent that the other buyers had backed out and the place was ours.

I thought about this story a lot while we were going through with the purchase and the stress of construction. In those moments, it brought me a lot of peace of mind. The home was clearly meant to be ours, so we felt any issues or stress we were dealing with in the process was meant to be and worth going through.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: We took inspiration from the modern farmhouse look for the first floor and met it with a natural and minimalistic style for the second floor. My personal style is modern eclectic, which my wife isn’t entirely a fan of. So, we really focused on the home and setting to determine style while still remaining true to what we both love when it comes to design and how we want different rooms to feel. I also love mixing high and low pieces together so you might find, for example, a Lexington coffee table sitting on top of an IKEA rug.

Inspiration: Off the bat, we were inspired by the shape and the red shingles of the house, so we named our home The Farmhouse and from there drew a lot of inspiration from modern farmhouses, which are quite popular right now. We mixed this with a modern, minimal, natural style that creates a sanctuary vibe, which was really important to both of us.

Favorite Element: Our home is an inverted house with the living room, kitchen, and main bedroom on the second floor, which takes advantage of the view. The openness and airiness of the second floor and the views to the outside are everything. Nature is truly the star! Other key features that I love include the high ceilings, the fireplace, and our huge main bathroom with expansive views of the backyard.

Biggest Challenge: My wife and I both have stressful jobs and we wanted our home to feel like a sanctuary. Neither one of us likes over-designed rooms or clutter so the openness and clean lines in this home are really reflective of that. At the same time, we both like a lot of colors and have very vibrant personalities, so our individual office spaces reflect that. They are way more colorful and vibrant. Like we say in Feng Shui — our offices are more “Yang.” It was a challenge for us to get just the right balance of sanctuary and liveliness!

Proudest DIY: There were so many DIY moments! Here are a few favorites:

  • Once we finished with the final remodel downstairs, I really wanted to add a personal touch to the guest bedroom so I made the “El Farmhouse” cross stitch pillow you see in the photos. It took months to complete but working on it brought me so much peace and zen vibes and I’m super proud of it.
  • One of my all-time favorite design hacks I indulged in was in the downstairs bedroom dresser. We purchased the dresser from IKEA and then I scoured the internet for the perfect knobs, which I eventually found on Etsy. I swapped them out and now it looks like a statement piece.
  • Another favorite design element is the West Elm area rug, which we decided to use as a tapestry. We designed a beautiful, sturdy, and functional rigging system for it. Check it out in the photos!

Biggest Indulgence: Our biggest indulgence was the waterfall kitchen counter—absolutely worth every penny! It’s a statement and in an open floor concept, where the kitchen is fully visible, it was a must.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? As mentioned above, our main goal was to create a sanctuary within our home. We worked with the Feng Shui principles of Yin and Yang energy and really focused on making the living room, guest room, main bedroom, and main bath more Yin with toned down colors and textures while making the office areas more Yang with pops of color and fun, vibrant artwork. For the furniture and decor selection, we tried to tie in as many natural materials as possible. And from a Feng Shui perspective, we selected everything we put in the home with intention, ensuring that energy flows nicely through every room and that the rooms are balanced.

Additionally, nature reigns in The Farmhouse and we really focused on letting it be the star upstairs, intentionally creating a non-intrusive but comfortable, modern, elegant, minimal design that lets nature and the views from the windows really stand out. In addition to maximizing views of nature, we also included biophilic elements everywhere. We have tons of plants—on the floor, on tabletops, hanging, on shelves, and we also incorporated nature-inspired artwork.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why?

  • In terms of favorite decor, in the downstairs living room, we have two vintage travel prints from Spain and Maine. I’m from Spain, my wife is from Maine, and our hashtag from our wedding was #spaintomaine so it’s a nice reminder of that day and also a wonderful way to invite guests into our home.
  • I absolutely LOVE the West Elm geometric rug we hung on the living room wall as a tapestry. Our ceilings are really high so we needed a giant statement piece and it was perfect because it also added some texture.
  • I discovered a DIY cleaning solution that is made of ¼ white vinegar, ¾ water, and 9 drops of eucalyptus oil. It is all-natural, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and smells divine.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Always remember that less is more and a no-clutter policy is really conducive to keeping a tidy space that flows and feels good. I do an entire edit of my closets every spring and love the feeling of being aware of every single thing I own and donating what I no longer need. In Feng Shui clutter represents emotional baggage that holds us back and also doesn’t allow for new things to come into our lives. Knowing and having experimented with this has been a game-changer in my life and I can’t recommend it enough!

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? I think getting intentional about what our homes look and feel like is paramount to being happy. The Global Wellness Institute writes that “Our communities, homes and environment affect our lifestyle, actions and behaviours and these in turn determine 80% of our health outcomes.” Dedicating time and attention to designing spaces that are happy, healthy, and supportive is the ultimate form of wellness and self-care we can give ourselves and our family. There is a lot of power in good, intentional design.

Resources

PAINT & COLORS

  • Sherwin-Williams “Site White”

ENTRY FOYER

  • Nissedal Mirror — IKEA
  • Ivar cabinet — IKEA
  • Cross Rug — Novogratz
  • Mark I Semi Mount 13” Globe Light – Houzz
  • Black Marble Tank Tray — CB2

DOWNSTAIRS LIVING ROOM

GUEST BEDROOM

LIVING ROOM

OFFICE

DINING ROOM

MAIN BEDROOM

KITCHEN

Thank you Gala and Martha!!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.