Photos by Tony Valainis
The inside of the Hunt family’s house doesn’t look like what you’d expect when you’re standing in front of the 1928 Gothic Tudor in Forest Hills. Owner Bridget Hunt cues this departure from that design era the moment you enter. Straight ahead, a Picasso-style painting of a face hangs on the wall, popping with vivid color and provocative shapes. It’s whimsical and modern, a look that Bridget, an artist herself, layers together from room to room.
Once a show home, the brick beauty’s layout is virtually unchanged—it’s not open concept—which Bridget finds cozy for her family of five. She loves the generous light spilling in through leaded windows with original stained-glass details. In the upstairs bathroom, the general contractor who had once lived there nestled a large tub inside a dramatic archway and spared no square inch of Carrara marble. That bathroom isn’t big, but its luxury factor makes up for its size.
All major renovations had been done when Bridget and her husband, Drew, bought the house last year, allowing Bridget to jump right into embellishing the 2,775-square-foot blank canvas of wall-to-wall neutrals. She studied drawing and painting at Notre Dame, and is so skilled that she can start and finish a display-worthy painting in the span of a couple of hours. (Aside from being a mom to three young children, she also works full time. Let that level of productivity sink in.)
Bridget’s command of color theory, composition, and scale are evident in every room. Her starting points for the two rooms that flank the foyer—dining and living—were the rugs. She already had favorite carpets that fit each room, so she pulled out a color from each of those to establish the rooms’ palettes.
In the dining room, that color is red, reflected in the window treatments, upholstery, and her own abstract painting.
In the living room, it’s pink—even though the patterned Oriental rug doesn’t hit you as all that pink. “But when you focus in on it, there’s a lot of pink in there,” Bridget says. “If you have a piece that you love, and you want to pull out a specific color, you can do that through accessories.”
The white walls and beamed ceiling in the living room give it a Mediterranean feel, inspiring blue-and-white accents and a seascape of Greece that Bridget painted after visiting. She then extended that blue and white across the foyer into the dining room, in a bold wallpaper on one wall.
In the living room, the decor leans tropical, reflecting both the colorful casualness Bridget adores and the time that she and Drew, a chiropractor, lived in Florida.
Bridget’s mastery of scale in design shows up in the way she mixes bold and subtle patterns, but also in her depth of detail. The rooms radiate an overall sense of fun. But you also see that joy in an array of specific touches, like a pair of statement rattan peacock chairs, a framed teal-and-pink print of dogs lounging poolside, a bamboo vase, and a wall mirror that Bridget painted half coral, half red. (She couldn’t decide.)
The rattan chairs were a Facebook Marketplace bargain. Though Bridget employs Thibaut wallpaper and Schumacher’s signature dragon fabric in three rooms, she also loves vintage shopping. Thrifty Threads is a local favorite for furniture. Garage sales and Goodwill helped her fill the floor-to-ceiling shelves, an example of a masterful composition, in the sunroom. The walls and trim are enveloped in teal, and the shelves hold a chromatic rainbow of books, creating a cheerful display framed by the doorway. She once drove back from Iowa, her home state, loaded down with hundreds of brightly colored volumes, and not just primary colors, but variations of each hue. She points to one thin, rose-colored hardback that bothers her, though. It’s just not the right shade.
It would take a true artist to notice.