The Family Home

When a lighting designer teams up with her architect brother to design a house, surprising and wonderful things are bound to happen.

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Christened The Tree House, the design is as well suited to the green environs of New Castle County as they are to sunny Southern California, with large expanses of glass that provide optimal views. A friend alerted her to a rare find in appliances, a side-by-side refrigerator in a shiny grape finish. She bought it on the spot and kept it in storage for two years while the project was under way. She designed the underlighting for the deep purple resin sink and countertop in the powder room.

“When you see purple, you have to get it,” she says. “You know it won’t be around much longer.”

A hip 1969 Knoll sofa, originally purchased for her father’s beach house, retains its original cobalt blue upholstery. A partner in Walker Sander Kerr & Ford, her father was a well-known architect in Princeton, New Jersey, for many years. When he died, he left his daughter money to build a home of her own.

Leslie’s stepfather, Denver-based ceramicist John Swift, made a pair of round, ruddy vessel sinks for the master bath.

A whirlpool tub is extra deep, ideal for soaking. It’s outfitted with lighting in an array of colors, a floating remote control and other goodies, “back massager, neck massager, a ledge for my wine and cheese,” Sander says.

On the main living level, a floor-to-ceiling panel of etched transparent resin creates a small foyer and buffers the entry from the living space.

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