George Marrone renovates a A Mid-Century Modern home in Brandywine Hundred, Delaware
Rat Pack Redo: Blend 1950s cool with Frank Lloyd Wright, and this is what you get.
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‘Like Being in a Tree House’
Marrone searched long and hard for the brown leather Barcelona daybed, dated 1964, placed strategically in the sitting room to capture a slice of afternoon sunshine.
“You have to be patient, plus you have to live with the fact that something special is often expensive,” he says. “My mother always said, ‘When you buy quality, you only cry once.’”
The second story is divided into wings on either side of the corridor that overlooks the foyer. On the right are guest bedrooms and a bath. On the left is a sumptuous master suite.
Nubby grasscloth sheaths the walls in this tailored, masculine space. The palette is an urbane blend of deep tan and black, with an upholstered headboard, cowhide rug and a single George Nakashima rope chair, stationed like a sculpture in front of a bank of windows that offer a jaw-dropping view of woods and water.
“It’s like being in a tree house,” Marrone says. “In winter, when it snows, it’s so beautiful I don’t want to get out of bed.”
In addition to three spacious closets, the dressing area is outfitted with an additional indulgence, a built-in cupboard for shoes.
“We love the shoe closet,” he says. “Carolyn thought of everything.”
When in doubt, don’t rip it out. Original built-in pieces are part of a structure’s architectural design.
Choose materials that are in keeping with your home’s period and style. George Marrone installed sleek white quartz countertops that jibe with his kitchen’s spare mid-century vibe.
Embrace the great outdoors. If privacy isn’t a concern, dress windows simply—or not at all.
Adopt an orphan piece. A single seat, like the George Nakashima rope chair in the master bedroom, is much less expensive than pairs and makes a statement on its own.
- Be willing to pay the price for furniture and accessories you truly love. You might feel the pinch when you write the check—but you will surely kick yourself later if you settle for less.