Bonnie Fuller is no stranger to fixer-uppers. The Toronto-born media entrepreneur (and currently the president and editor-in-chief of HollywoodLife.com) is known for her distinctive overhauls of flagging American magazines.
She left Canada for New York 22 years ago and has lived for all of that time in a once-dilapidated five-bedroom house in Hastings-on-Hudson. Fuller transformed the building with her architect-husband, Michael, into a family home with a deliberately low-key style.
An addition was built to hold a spacious living room, a hub of domesticity and her favourite room in the house. “It’s very warm and comfortable,” says Fuller, who has four children aged 10 through 24. “It’s where the entire family can hang out and have intimate dinners around the coffee table in front of the fireplace.”
1. The couches
“I have two couches because, with a family the size of mine, I need a lot of seating. Plus, the room is so big that two couches make the space feel more intimate. The kids can have one for playing major Monopoly games at the coffee table while my husband can have another for lying down and reading.”
2. The pillows
“I have a very eclectic collection of pillows. Many are by Versace, which I love, because they are so colourful and feminine. I’ve also got pillows made from an Anne Klein scarf that belonged to my mother. She has passed away, so it’s nice to have something that makes me feel like she’s close by.”
3. The painting of the boy
“My husband got this painting at a student art show when scoping out the Rhode Island School of Design for our oldest son. My husband loved it so much that he bought it on the spot; he said it reminded him of our son. We later commissioned the same artist to do a portrait of the family.”
4. The chandelier
“I got this at ABC Carpet & Home in New York City. They have fabulous chandeliers.”
5. The round table
“I bought this at an antiques shop in Tarrytown, the third town north of where we live. It was very inexpensive.”
6. The French doors
“Before the addition, these French doors were actually windows that faced out onto the backyard, which at the time looked more like a jungle. But now they connect the old part of the house to the new.”