Before undertaking the massive task of overhauling this (now stunning) house, Maureen Ursino sat down with her client to set their intention. The homeowner wanted their home to feel special, but not stuffy. By blending elements of vintage and modern Maureen created a design that looks beautiful and feels comfortable. Take a stroll through the photos captured by Raquel Langworthy to see how Ursino Interiors not only gave this home new life but honored its previous one.
Nearly 10 years into a career as a management consultant, you took a leap and pursued your dream of becoming an interior designer. What brought about this prodigious career change?
Yes! It was certainly a leap and required a lot of thought, but at the end of the day, I had a burning desire to create that continued surfacing for me over many years. I had always loved all aspects of the design world, particularly interior design, but never knew it was something I could make a career of. I made the “safer” choice and majored in economics as an undergrad and went straight into the business world after graduation. Looking back I am grateful to have had that experience because there are many aspects of my previous corporate life that directly relate to running a design business.
How would you describe your design style? If we were to tour all of your homes what common thread would hold them all together?
I would say I have a fairly transitional design style – I really love weaving different styles together to create one cohesive look that feels balanced and approachable. I think it’s important that each project feel unique and be tailored to our clients and their stories, but I also always strive for that balance of blended styles.
This home is an eclectic mix of cane-back chairs, ultra-modern lighting, and rustic sideboards. Tell us a bit about the story behind this design and how it came together.
Our client had a really great sense of style and wanted her home to feel special, but not overly precious or formal, so we looked to balance some of our modern choices (for instance the living room sofa has a very modern shape to it) by introducing earthy and textural elements such as the caned back chairs and vintage pieces. I find that adding vintage to a home is a great way to achieve that “special” feeling in a grounded way.
If you were asked to choose one feature from this home to bring into your own, what would it be?
I have to say I really love the oversized soapstone fireplace surround in the family room! I love how it acts as such a dramatic focal point and really anchors that whole space.
Before it became the stunner we see today, this home underwent extensive remodeling. Were there any hurdles that became highlights during this process?
One of our hurdles was ironically the family room fireplace. The reason we needed to make the surround so large was because we were forced to cover an existing footprint of where tile had been laid due to not having enough time to re-sheetrock. I knew that we had to keep the design of the soapstone very simple due to the overall area we were covering and I was thrilled with the way it turned out! Roadblocks often end up being design blessings in disguise!
I spotted a little game table perched in the corner of the living room. Are there any other treasures or design features you brought in for the homeowners?
The game table is another one of my favorite parts of the home! We recently finished remodeling the pantry that is tucked behind the dining room and that is also a great little treasure in this home! We’re photographing it this year and I can’t wait to share more!
Your portfolio boasts many beautiful remodels, some even dating back to prewar. Where do you begin on a project that has so much history?
Thank you! Our Brooklyn Heights project is a pre-war home and I always think it’s important to honor the history of a home. In this particular case, we kept some of the brick exposed on the fireplace to speak to that heritage. To me, part of the allure of living in an older home is to live with its charm. I love figuring out ways to keep those authentic details while updating parts of the home that need modernization.
What is your go-to styling tip that will always elevate a home’s look?
Layering! Throw blankets and pillows always go such a long way in making a space feel homey. Also, mixing shapes, heights, and textures of accessories is so important in helping your eye move around the room.
It has been a few years since you launched Ursino Interiors and turned your side hustle into a thriving business. Congrats! How do you see your business evolving in the future?
Thanks so much! It’s been three years since I took the leap to transition from a side business to a full-time studio and I have learned so much! The last few years have been so busy focusing on growing our client base and streamlining our internal processes, and I finally feel like we’re at a point where we can now focus on expanding our team! We are also in the process of launching an e-commerce shop, Eteria Home, that will offer a curated collection of both vintage and modern handmade wool rugs. I’m really excited to see where it goes!
Where can we find you when you’re not working on a new design project? What brings joy and inspiration to your life?
Spending time with my family! I have two little kids who keep me very busy and we love decompressing on the weekends by spending time outdoors and being together. I also really enjoy entertaining and am looking forward to welcoming family and friends back into our home soon!
We’ve all been spending more time at home throughout the past year, and it has challenged many of us to reevaluate what needs our homes meet. What does a well-lived home mean to you?
To me, it really is about a place you feel completely comfortable and yourself in – a place that invites you to feel relaxed and truly content so that we can reserve our energy to meet the demands of our daily lives, whatever those may be.