Corrin Arasa has never shied away from color. In fact, color instructs everything from the entrepreneur's business to her wardrobe, and perhaps most significantly, the way in which Arasa decorates her multi-story, four-bedroom upstate New York home.
"I used to overthink when it came to color, I'd plan it out so much more," muses the Patina founder, perched cross-legged in a rust colored jumpsuit, mirroring the vintage velour counter stools sitting adjacent. "Now I think of things more in terms of context, feeling, texture and light, with more of a loose palette as my guide."
Upon entry, it's hard to deny that Arasa's approach to design isn't cohesive and structured, right down to the final finish. The space Arasa shares with her husband Casey, two kids, Devin and Kaia, and their beloved family dog Bodie is better thought of as a tight edit of bold complementary colors — deep shades of teal splash down the staircase, punctuated with burnt orange artwork and vintage, reupholstered furniture. While Arasa's palette is brave, it's also undeniably restrained.
"After living in New York City for so long, we were craving the space," the entrepreneur begins, when asked how she first discovered her home, a "technicolor treehouse" located in the sleepy town of Pound Ridge, Westchester County.
"A normal suburban house just didn’t really appeal to us, so we branched out a bit and discovered this magical little town. It wasn't within our preferred commuting distance to Brooklyn but our instant connection to this place made us forget about our reasoning."
"It feels like another world up here — it's so quiet and peaceful with a small township and lots green space," Arasa continues. "Pound Ridge is home to some pretty cool architecture, too, ranging from early 1700s farmhouses to a contingent of '80s homes designed by architect Vuko Tashkovich — who actually designed this one. It's home to a really friendly, creative community."
On their search for something a little out of the ordinary, Arasa and her family have certainly found it. This unconventional treehouse is better thought of as a prism, catching the light from all angles, peeping out from behind the pines. Outside, there's ample access to trails and nature walks, a luxury that allows Arasa to regroup and leave the business of Brooklyn — the borough that's home to her thriving furniture rental and event staging company, Patina — miles away.
"I was producing large-scale events and I needed to find a pair of chairs to act as a focal point," the entrepreneur recalls, when pressed about how a simple idea evolves into a full-fledged rental operation. "None of my usual rental companies had what I needed but since my weekend ritual was scouring flea markets in the Hudson Valley, I knew exactly where to turn. It all clicked into place shortly after that— rather than treating my business and my lifestyle as two different entities, I could actually combine them to create something useful to offer other creative event designers. So, I built a website, took a bunch of iPhone pics of my own furniture within my own home, and it just took off."
Fast forward eight years and sift through Patina's backlog of vintage and custom designs online, and you'll find yourself spoiled with choices. A unique edit of furniture offers designers, businesses, event planners, production companies, and creatives the opportunity to work well outside the mainstream framework, styling their spaces with flair and originality. Arasa utilizes years of experience thrifting New York's iconic flea markets and fostering relationships with upholsterers, to establish a collection that best echoes furniture design in the here and now, masterfully preceding trends and sourcing accordingly.
"We’re currently building out some strong color stories within our inventory," Arasa explains. "Color is so important in creating a mood or an experience, so we are very intentional about the colorways we use within our furniture lines. Our clients are super creative and love to experiment, so we do our best to give them strong products to work with. Our upholstery workshop is essentially our lab — it's here that we play with color, contrast, and texture, it allows us to be creative in how we roll out the different attributes across the collection. We might release a range of warm earth tones and a collection of cool blues and greens, but we make sure that they complement each other in just the right way, so that mixing and matching can give our clients more depth to create interest. To tie it all together, you might find both colorways on one of our pillows, made with scraps of furniture fabric, or a rug that can pick up color from either colorway. Color is an important part of how we think about our collections at Patina."
Throughout Arasa's own home, the color story feels distinctly seasonal. Apricot, burnt orange, and rust mirror the changing trees outside, while washes of teal and ice blue cool the space down. Arasa uses upholstery, soft textiles, and vintage artwork to better complement her choice of paint colors — like the unexpected pops of Benjamin Moore's Beau Green that decorate the staircase. In the living space, a custom Patina Studios bench seat is cozied up with velvet rounds from Arasa's own line, offset by a vintage burl wood coffee table — sourced via Chairish — and a textured cream rug by Aelfie. A gallery wall of line drawings and larger canvases serve as a mood board for the rest of the home, optimizing the soaring ceiling height and tying together different hues.
Neighboring the living space, an expansive home office and creative studio offers the ultimate work-from-home environment, proving invaluable during the time of Covid.
"It’s really nice to have the office double as a guest house because it gives our friends enough space and privacy," Arasa points out. "The desk is a custom murphy bed, so it works out well. We feel so lucky to have been here this year. Home has always been such an important space for us, it's a place to feel grounded, calm, and safe, and having the room to feel inspired and creative is the ultimate for me when it comes to being at home. I’ve been able to acutely experience all of that, particularly this past few months." While Arasa's own work has been forced to pivot — "some weeks I’m working 24/7 and then others, it’s crickets," she says — the entrepreneur remains grateful for the space and the security of home.
Glide through to the open plan kitchen and dining space, and a pared-back, natural palette is peppered with pops of color from the living, loft, and office spaces. A turmeric-toned throw by Wayfair livens up a Seasonal Living dining table, while vintage reupholstered counter stools by Gangso Mobler and a trio of Flos pendant lights soften the heavily trafficked space. Oversized windows offer an uninterrupted outlook of the great outdoors, the driving force behind Arasa's fluid approach to color play.
Follow the teal staircase upstairs and the mezzanine loft offers an informal living alternative. Here, Arasa uses the space to house accessible buys fit for family living — like a leather Urban Outfitters loveseat and AllModern egg chair. A weathered surfboard, vintage rugs, and a Knots Studios floor pillow all contribute to the layered and lively palette of orange and blues.
The same color story is echoed throughout the main bedroom, a space that Arasa decorates with puddled paprika drapes, worn buttery brown leather, gold metallic accents, and coats of jewel-toned paint.
"Introduce neutral textures through natural elements like stone, wood, and wovens," suggests Arasa. "All of the above are really good grounding elements. Having a grounded home is — in my opinion — is the most important thing to set out to achieve when designing your own space."
In a home stitched together through color, perhaps the most magical space is the one that strays from the dedicated palette entirely. Arasa's daughter's bedroom — complete with a sprawling bird mural, pale pink walls — Benjamin Moore's Chippendale Rosetone to be exact — and earthy rattan furniture, takes its cues from the towering trees and snowy branches just beyond the window ledge.
"So many of the items in my home are vintage," Arasa admits. "Often, the way I acquire a piece ends up having something to do with my feelings about it. I remember the flea market dealer, or the history of the person, the way it makes me feel."
As the seasons change, so too will Arasa's home. Warm, fall hued upholstery will soon be subbed out for wintry pieces and holiday decor.
"If we were ever to move, I'd miss the dramatic change of seasons that occurs right outside our window," Arasa admits. "We go from a lush jungle to an actual snow globe, almost overnight — it’s all so good. And we’re just here for the show."