This Elevated, Family-Friendly New York Home Has a Los-Angeles-Meets-Brooklyn Vibe
The owners grew up near snowy Rochester, New York, but stretches in Los Angeles and Brooklyn put indelible stamps on this family's way of living. When they returned home with young children in tow, they brought the energy of both places with them, and filled their new house with light, color, and creativity.
When Courtney and Matt Winslow decided to move back to their hometown, they really doubled down. Both were raised just outside Rochester, New York, and each stayed nearby for college, which is when they met and started dating. Soon after graduation, they headed west, trading cold, gray winters by Lake Ontario for sunny Santa Monica, California, where they had their first son, Cash, now 12, and spent the next decade. In 2009, a job opportunity for Matt brought the family back east, to Brooklyn's Park Slope. But when their daughter, Mae, now 9, arrived a year later, the couple— much to their own surprise—felt the pull of the suburbs and their loved ones. Suddenly, they were Rochester-bound. "We knew right where we wanted to live, and looked for a newer build that didn't need a lot of work," says Matt, the cofounder and managing partner of the hospitality firm Long Weekend. Since most homes in the area are older and more traditional, this was a long shot. But luckily for them, an early-2000s contemporary with four bedrooms and an open floor plan popped up quickly. It was set on a quiet cul-de-sac, and backed up to the even quieter Country Club of Rochester golf course. And—the clincher—the neighbors included Courtney's folks two houses down, and Matt's mom around the corner.
As for not doing a lot of work, well, an opportunity in 2013 changed their minds, says Courtney, a former therapist and writer. The house next door, which was in pretty bad shape, went on the market. So they snapped it up and tore it down, with the inklings of an expansion plan in mind: "We were missing the brightness and lightness of Santa Monica," says Matt. "We also wanted to combat the upstate New York weather, and add spaces where we could all stretch out." To realize their vision, the couple hired their childhood friend Lyndsay Caleo Karol, a creative director at the Brooklyn Home Company who'd worked on their Park Slope apartment. When she suggested opening up the main floor into the attic and building out a lower level with a four-season "gym," they went for it. The reno also moved the kitchen, enlarged the parents' suite, and—after the Winslows learned of the pending arrival of their third child, Knox, now 6—nimbly added a bedroom. When the work was finished in 2015, their place quickly be-came the cul-de-sac clubhouse. "We still have a lot of childhood friends nearby, and now they have families, too," says Courtney. "Before the pandemic, it wasn't unusual for there to be a dozen kids and their parents here on a Saturday." After this extended time-out, they'll be happy to get back in the game.
Courtney pads down the wide main hall, which is framed by reclaimed-wood beams from a 19th-century barn, while her daughter, Mae, pulls up to the kitchen island. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore Super White, which interior designer Lyndsay Caleo Karol used throughout the home. The chandelier is by Workstead, and the rug is from ABC Carpet & Home.
Art Direction by Ryan Mesina; styling by Lili Abir Regen.
As a mom of three, Courtney loves how the oversize living room windows by Marvin "bring nature inside." A neutral B&B Italia sofa, Lawson-Fenning armchairs, and a Brooklyn Home Company coffee table form a serene sitting area; Intiearth alpaca pillows and throws add softness. The sculptural wrought-iron Voila Gallery lamp is welded to the gas fireplace, which has a pietra-cardosa surround.
Cash (far left), Courtney, Mae, and Matt hang in the kitchen, where most of their meals and homework happen. The Carrara-marble counters and backsplash, custom cabinetry (painted in Benjamin Moore Super White, like the walls), and shelves of John Derian and Crate & Barrel dishes impart calm, no matter how busy life gets. The Donabe clay pot on the range is from Roman & Williams Guild, the Modo chandelier is from Roll & Hill, and the stools are by Makr.
It may not look like a gym, but this refined rec room can handle pickup basketball games one minute (yes, there's a full-size hoop at the other end) and host a sleepover the next. Lyndsay Caleo Karol, a creative director at the Brooklyn Home Company, worked with Hope's Windows on hurricane-rated panes that can take literally anything the kids throw at them. She put the ash coffee table and sofas (which have washable linen slipcovers), both by the Brooklyn Home Company, on casters to make way for floor-hockey and soccer scrimmages. The Leonard Urso painting, plaster fireplace surround, Faustina Pace pillows, and Hans Wegner Circle chairs add adult polish.
A custom lofted bed in Knox's room offers a guest bunk up top and a place to play with action figures or "hide from mom" below, says Courtney with a laugh.
Pretty in Pink
The children's rooms are all on the lower level. While adding the bedroom there for 6-year-old Knox, Caleo Karol carved out a nook for quieter pursuits. "It would have been a hallway otherwise, so it was the perfect spot for a children's library," she says. Slim custom ledges allow the covers to face out like works of art—and make it easy to find favorites. An Arne Jacobsen Egg chair and Jonathan Adler rug and pillow make story time very stylish.
In Matt and Courtney's bathroom, a Visual Comfort Hicks pendant light hangs over the Signature Hardware iron bathtub. C&C Milano linen curtains, mounted close to the ceiling, draw eyes upward and frame the woodland view. The stool and rug are from Roman & Williams Guild; the latter brings warmth and cushioning to the Ann Sacks Bellarita honed-marble tile floor.
Preteen Cash was born in Los Angeles, so Caleo Karol wanted to give his room a colorful West Coast vibe. She covered the back wall in painted cherry-wood panels by San Francisco artist Rex Ray for B+N Industries. The dresser is from Houzz, the stools are from Serena & Lily, and the bedding is by John Robshaw. His bedside lamp was a gift from Courtney's mom.