A PLACE OF ONE'S OWN
Homes & Gardens|February 2022
In a quiet corner of upstate New York, interior designer Markham Roberts called upon his consummate creative vision to turn an old carriage house into a dreamy bolthole
JULIET BENNING

EXTERIOR

Markham painted only one wall of the exterior, leaving the original distressed paint work to strike a note of authenticity. Wall in Barn Red by Benjamin Moore

SEATING AREA

The swathes of pine cladding are enriched by bright pops of colour, allowing the scheme to be both modern and classic. Swedish-motif rug by Tibetano. Source the Sirocco Safari chair by Arne Norell at Vinterior. Mandala prints by Julia Condon

MUDROOM

Too fragile for use on a bed, an antique patchwork quilt has been stretched across a canvas, adding a traditional American flavour. Bench and wooden lamp bought at auction; source similar on 1stDibs

Once abandoned and open to the elements, the upstate New York carriage house that is now owned by interior designer Markham Roberts was found to be full of intriguing details when he started stripping back its layers. ‘We discovered a tonne of old whisky bottles in the walls, but sadly they were empty and the mice had moved into them,’ he says. The explanation, he found out from older people in the town, was that the building had once been used as a gangsters’ hideout in the prohibition era.

Having renovated the main house alongside his partner, the art and antiques dealer James Sansum, the barn-style carriage house awaited with all its spacious potential. ‘We had restored the main house when we bought it about 15 years ago, but the barn was like a little wildlife preserve until we took it back. It was full of countless bats, squirrels and a raccoon.’

While Markham spent a few days a week working in the city, he wished to carve out a workspace at home in the country that would be entirely his. ‘It was important to me to have a place where I could do my creative work and be alone and not bothered. I have all my fabric library and samples there and it’s where I do my plans,’ Markham explains.

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