2023 Master Design Awards: Residential Specialty — SILVER

by Emily Blackburn

Teakwood Builders, Inc.

Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Location: Saratoga Springs, N.Y. | Project Cost: $ 312,056
Square Footage: 384

The owners of a special horse farm in Saratoga Springs NY sought to expand and modernize the property’s anchor structure, an artfully reconstructed late 18th-century house with sweeping views of the Adirondack Mountains. The aim was to create sumptuous living and entertainment spaces to be enjoyed by generations of extended family. As broad travelers and dynamic entrepreneurs, the owners also wanted to incorporate recreational amenities for business guests. Rounding out their bucolic retreat is the show-stopping basement finish, complete with billiards parlor, whiskey room, spa, golf simulator, and the radiant highlight: a formal bar room. The objective with this space was to design and build a swanky New Orleans-styled setting to impress, exclusive while still fashionably connected to less formal fun spaces. A multitude of innovative design elements keep this below-grade space from feeling anything but “basement.” Frequent entertainers, the homeowners tell the builder that–while not initially an objective–one significant outcome of this project was that guests now congregate in areas like the basement bar, instead of milling around the main floor kitchen.

Given the absence of windows and natural light, the basement —and especially bar room— risked feeling, well, like a basement, eschewed and disconnected from the rest of the home. The design solutions intended to solve for this challenge created their own quandaries: how to combine a striking mix of materials and finishes in a way that would uplift but not overwhelm the space; and how to balance the loftiness of 12-foot ceilings with the desire for a more intimate and scaled-down setting at the formal bar.

The design team created a greater sense of intimacy in the bar by raising the floor and dropping the ceiling. Bar revelers can overlook the adjacent golf simulator from the slightly raised elevation and through unique steel-framed tempered glass windows that retract discreetly into a wall pocket beside the banquette. The room’s centerpiece is a substantial and sinuous bar with seating for seven, fronting an expanse of warmly lit floating glass and wood shelves. The sophisticated and truly luminous space is enhanced by an array of finishes and patterns, including lacquered black woven and faux crocodile leather textured wallcoverings, maraschino-red leather at the banquette, glass shelving and stemware racks, brushed pewter bar top, plaid-patterned mosaic marble floor tile, silvered, antiqued, mirrored, and polished black subway wall tile, honed dark marble countertops, walnut shelves, and warm wood accents.


Doors: The Heirloom Companies
Tile: Soho Studio Corp
Flooring: Artistic Tile

Kitchen Cabinetry: QCCI
Countertop: Capital Stone, La Bastille

Sinks: Blanco
Faucets: Brizo

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