Foley&Cox Design A Sophisticated, Inviting Home For Multiple Generations


In a Long Island home that represents more than a decade of collaboration between the homeowners and design firm foley&cox, a third generation now has a space to call its very own. Over time, and as the clients’ family expanded, the designers have been invited back to redesign and refresh a variety of spaces, the most recent of which included the creation of a multigenerational family hub, where special attention was devoted to engaging and playful space for the grandkids.

The lower level of the 5,000-square-foot home experienced a complete renovation, which Michael Cox, principal of foley&cox, notes was created specifically with the third family generation in mind. “We joked with them and said, ‘We are going to make you the coolest grandparents in the whole neighborhood,’” the designer recalls. And the bright, cheerful space surely has done just that. Cox explains that in their goal to morph the windowless, lower-level space into an inviting retreat the whole family could enjoy, the design team got involved in the interior architecture and found creative ways to connect with the outdoors. A closed-off staircase was redesigned to open it up and render it, and the entire lower level, more welcoming. Colorful, durable furnishings, flooring, and other elements raise the playful quotient, while a large and welcoming sectional provides space for the whole family to enjoy time together. A low, drop ceiling was ripped out and the height of the room taken all the way up to the structural cross beams. And “daylight” shines on the space via a Duratrans from Skyframe that depicts the great outdoors. “You have a sense there’s a big window there,” Cox says of the large-scale lightbox. “It’s our way of bringing some vibrancy and life into the space.”


That energy and effective use of color continues throughout the home, where sophisticated pops of powerful and saturated hues coexist with furnishings from an array of historic and more recent periods, as well as art that takes a decidedly modern turn. “It’s this really nice blend and mix of periods and styles that show you can live in a modern way with classic, vintage, or antique elements,” Cox says of the assortment.


As the firm has long been involved in the evolution of the home, the designers also have had the opportunity to both help the homeowners build an art collection and to move the artwork among the home’s rooms over time, allowing it to prompt changes in color schemes in particular spaces and new appreciation for the pieces themselves. “When you shift something,” Cox explains, “you get the opportunity to see it in a different context and with fresh eyes.” That can be said of multiple pieces that found new homes during the recent work in the house. A Lloyd Martin triptych whose pieces previously hung flush to one another in the living room, for example, was given new perspective when moved to the dining room, where it is now displayed with space that emphasizes the division of its individual pieces and where its pop of citrine green served as a springboard for the green leather selected for the dining chairs.


It’s that sense of discovery and rediscovery that defines this home that has been collected over time on the collaborative journey of the designers and the homeowners. “There’s a beautiful sense of what’s collected,” Cox notes. “You travel to a different part of the world and get introduced to a completely different culture and style. And then you incorporate a component of that into your home environment and play with ways to make it part of your world.”

Understanding the world of this client has been enhanced through time and shared experience. Through the years, foley&cox also designed homes in The Hamptons and Florida for the couple and has just completed work on the home of one of their children. “When I say ‘collaboration,’ it truly is,” Cox remarks. “We’ve known each other so long and there’s really a trust and confidence level. They’re excited and engaged and really give us the freedom to tap into our best creativity. We all evolve over time, and we’re doing that together.”

Photography by Tim Lenz.

For more from foley&cox, be sure to check out the banquette they designed, as seen in aspire design and home magazine.

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