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Sarah Albanese Infuses a New Build with a Whimsical, Bohemian Feel

Sarah Albanese Infuses a New Build with a Whimsical, Bohemian Feel

“Very Italian grandmother” is how designer Sabrina Albanese describes herself. While that description might conjure images of kitschy chintz and sauce-stained countertops, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything similar in her designs. Instead, she borrows only the chicest elements of her italic inspiration to create “sophisticated and layered” vignettes. “I love beautiful florals, timeless pieces, color, and a sense of busyness to a space. My designs are meant to be unpredictable, chic, and synergistic,” she explains.

Her most recent project, a 3,325 square-foot model home built by her client, Aspen Ridge Homes, in Ontario, Canada, exudes precisely this ethos. “This home was meant to attract an established, creative family who wants to have warm and playful spaces with lots of character,” she says. “The space deserved a sense of curated whimsy,” she adds. With a blank slate to work with, Albanese did just that. “I wanted each room to have its own personality and materiality—some with deep crimsons, veined marble, and warm woods, and others with rich blues, chic florals, and jewel-toned plush velvets.”

The resulting space is a far cry from the builder-grade, white-walled, interiors she was first met with. Instead, the home now emanates a mood she describes as “modern bohemian luxury.”

Tour the entire residence below.


Living Room

Lauren Miller

“Sophisticated, inked, and luxurious” is how Albanese describes the home’s formal living room. “It has a private members club feel,” she says. To create this distinct aesthetic, the designer focused on filling the room with furniture and fabrics that read like art. “Each piece has a stand-alone, artful element,” says the designer. One such piece, a 19th-century antique slipper chair covered in a “fiery red” Schumacher fabric, is the room’s piece de resistance. “The fabric breathes unique luxury into a classic antique. The botanical details with these surreal animals layered into the print make it so alluring,” she gushes. “They are a classic luxury piece.”

Elsewhere, Albanese relied on a captivating combination of patterns and tones to distinguish the space. “There is a heavy amount of contrast, like the burnt umber walls and chalk blinds, or the black stone fireplace and natural wood wall. It adds a sense of moodiness to the space that really separates it from the dining and kitchen area.”

Slipper Chair: custom in Schumacher Le Menagerie fabric. Pendant: Contadari.


Dining Room

interior

Lauren Miller

Situated between the airy kitchen and moody living room, Albanese incorporated both light and dark wood elements to create a seamless sense of flow between rooms, while a built-in shelving unit doubles as additional storage and a morning coffee bar.

Dining Chairs: DWR. Dining Table: custom.


Breakfast Nook

interior

Lauren Miller

“Each room is meant to have its own mood,” says Albanese. In the kitchen, the goal was to create a space that was “bright and joyful.” Upper white cabinets delicately reflect the influx of natural light, while lower cabinets painted in an understated sage offer a calming quality. The breakfast nook, outfitted with a custom banquette painted to match the lower cabinets, glimpses at the designer’s playful side with funky floral drapery, a pink cushion, and a medley of patterned throw pillows.

“One great styling hack we have for any space: Get custom toss cushions made. There are so many gorgeous fabrics out there you can mix and match,” says Albanese. “This is an easy and cost-effective way to curate your space.”


Hallway

interior

Lauren Miller

Light tumbles in at every turn in this crisp passageway.


Family Room

interior

Lauren Miller

In contrast to the home’s formal living room, this upstairs family room offers a more casual spot to lounge. Outfitted with rattan details and woven wall decor, the space exudes a distinctly bohemian feel.

Sofa: Gus Modern. Chair: West Elm. Coffee Table and Side Table: Uttermost. Light: Hudson Valley Lighting.


Primary Bedroom

interior

Lauren Miller

The primary bedroom is a lush reprieve from the rest of the breezy interiors. Covered in a House of Hackney floral wallcovering, it oozes the sort of opulent moodiness one might find in a boutique hotel. A custom velvet headboard in a deep mustard pops against the room’s rich, blue palette, marking it as the visual centerpiece of the room, while other luxe finishes, like a velvet sofa and Turkish-inspired rug, add the precise sense of whimsy the designer sought to infuse.

Bed: custom, designed by Sarah Albanese Designs. Nightstands: Crate and Barrel. Wallpaper: House of Hackney. Rug: Pottery Barn. Sofa: DWR.


Coffee Nook

interior

Lauren Miller

Albanese added a wet bar in the primary bedroom, perfect for breakfast in bed or a late-night cocktail.

Sink: Blanco.


Guest Bedrooms

interior

Lauren Miller

“The bedrooms each had a specific theme direction,” explains the designer, who drew inspiration from around the globe. In one bedroom, which she appropriately dubbed, “the white Greek room,” Albanese looked towards Greece to inform the blue-and-white color palette and airy choice of fabrics.

In another, the designer opted for a Scandinavian feel, characterized by its neutral palette, sleek lines, and a blend of textures. “Those spaces reflected colors true to the country of inspiration,” she says.

sabrina albanese guest bedroom

Lauren Miller

(Greek Room) Side tables: Anthropologie. Floor lamp: Urban Outfitters.


Primary Bedroom

interior

Lauren Miller

The primary bedroom is a lush reprieve from the rest of the breezy interiors. Covered in a House of Hackney floral wallcovering, it oozes the sort of opulent moodiness one might find in a boutique hotel. A custom velvet headboard in a deep mustard pops against the room’s rich, blue palette, marking it as the visual centerpiece of the room, while other luxe finishes, like a velvet sofa and Turkish-inspired rug, add the precise sense of whimsy the designer sought to infuse.

Bed: custom, designed by Sarah Albanese Designs. Nightstands: Crate and Barrel. Wallpaper: House of Hackney. Rug: Pottery Barn. Sofa: DWR.


Laundry Room

interior

Lauren Miller


Yoga Room

interior

Lauren Miller

“This room was strategically placed in the loft for lots of natural light. Often the choice is made to put gyms or exercise rooms in the basement, but who is motivated to work out down there?,” says Albanese. “The feeling [in this space] is meant to be very organic, which is reflected through the materials. The natural light paired with bohemian touches, like the wicker floor cushions and a large irregular shaped mirror, set the scene for a relaxing meditation.”

Mirror: Urban Outfitters. Light fixtures: Serena & Lilly.


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Nathalie Kirby
Contributing Writer
Nathalie is the former Senior Editor of Content Strategy at House Beautiful where she covered everything from home decor to the latest news.

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