The Lavender Ghost is the name of a newly renovated Victorian home of Amy Ilias and Jim Denney tucked away in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley. Its lavender exterior becomes the trademark of the home, overflowing with character and architectural charm. The couple, a designer and painter, have been renovating their home for the past two years, recording the progress through their dedicated Instagram, @TheLavenderGhost.
Photos by Matthew Johnson
We chatted with Amy Ilias, the owner and resident of The Lavender Ghost, to tell us more about the transformation of her home.
Tell us about The Lavender Ghost.
The house is a manifestation of a visceral shared vision that Jim and I had immediately when we first saw the property. It looked quite different than it does now- lots of deep, saturated color, dark floors, outdated bathrooms, a gutted kitchen. We wanted the space to breathe- to bring attention back to the bones, scale and architecture of the rooms. Our intention was to create space for artwork and furniture but not have any one thing dominate the space.
How long did the project take to complete?
After two years the inside is complete from a renovation perspective. It will continue to evolve because we continually reimagining the space. We are now doing extensive work on the exterior.
What were some obstacles you overcame with the project?
The house is 200 years old, but the biggest issues that we had were in the dining room- a 2003 extension that was built very carelessly. It had a lot of rot, structural issues, lack of insulation, and improperly installed windows. We have addressed all except for the windows which eventually need to be replaced. The older part of the house has held up well considering the age. We did have a plaster ceiling fall down and a mysterious leak that took forever to track.
Why did you choose Juniper fixtures for your home?
We chose Juniper to light large paintings on 2 walls. We loved the form and function- it is designed so precisely and the spread perfectly illuminated the large pieces that needed direct light. We live with modern, antiques, and vintage. The Juniper lighting fit in so perfectly. (If we could, it would be in every room!)
Entering the living room, the space features a large painting by Jim Denney, the home’s other owner. The painting is illuminated by Juniper’s THIN Suspension light using 3 connected segments. The segments feature magnetic connections, which enable easy installation and the ability to freely rotate toward the painting to properly showcase the artwork.
Adorning the hallway on the home’s second floor, the slender line of light again provides a wayfinding glow to softly illuminate the path and another large piece of artwork.
The THIN Modular Lighting System, designed by Peter Bristol, offers a way to create custom architectural lighting in a variety of shapes, sizes, and orientations. The system’s 1/2-inch brass tubing creates a truly minimal design aesthetic without being obtrusive to features in a space like artwork and showstopping architectural elements.