Stefania Skrabak designs idyllic cabins in the woods, where rivers meander nearby and lavender-lined paths beckon. Inside the cabins, wood surfaces glow, plush fabrics pile on squashy seating and soft colors soothe. We spoke with Skrabak, who’s part of our Trade Program, about how she creates these cozy getaways for her New York City firm, AHG Interiors.
How do you approach your designs? It’s always about being true to the space, and to the area and the bones of a home.
What are people looking for in these homes? It’s an overall feeling. Clients want a fire pit or a tree swing or an outside dining area. It’s kind of a replication of perfect summer memories. It’s all about living an experience.
How would you characterize your style in these projects? I’m a country girl at heart. I just love living in nature and bringing those elements into a home. I do very neutral palettes in light grays, beiges and taupes, with bigger pieces of furniture instead of lots of little ones. My featured elements are various materials — I use wood, cement, stone or brass as an accent instead of color.
What kind of accents do you use? It’s a little rust on candlesticks; it’s a granite coffee table; it’s about stone tiles and copper pots and fur on linen. Sometimes a pile of wood is the most exciting part. I like a little grittiness. Scaling things back and making it raw are great.
How do you evoke the feeling of a garden in your projects? To me, the best designs use as many senses as possible. It’s going down a path lined with flowers that your hand brushes as you walk by, or a bench surrounded by mint. Indoors, I love an overstuffed bowl of orchids or the colors of eucalyptus.
How do you bring the countryside back to the city? It’s about taking rustic elements and appropriating them for a more urban style. Bringing in lots of light grays and bleached oak, but in Victorian shapes for a 1920s Brooklyn brownstone. I mix the styles together.