Home Design Contest winner’s at-home Delmar getaway

Home Design Contest winner’s at-home Delmar getaway

DELMAR – Dr. Jackcy Jacob is a pediatrician and internist. She and her husband have three young children. Jacob’s days are long. When she has time to relax, she thinks about interior design.

Jacob’s design hobby is the creative power behind renovations throughout her family’s home and, most recently, a fresh outdoor space on their property. The utility shed, transformed into a garden oasis, is the winner of this year’s Home Design Contest, following an evaluation by a panel of judges and readers voting on the Albany Times Union’s Facebook page.

Jacob said she and her husband had been discussing the shed project for a while, but the onset of the pandemic was a catalyst to get it started.

“When we realized we weren’t going to be going anywhere or taking a vacation, we wanted a place to go where it would feel like getting away even if it was just stepping out of the house,” Jacob said.

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Jacob hired Martelli Contracting, her longtime contractor, to glam up an existing shed on its original footprint. Doors on one side were replaced with a set of French doors flanked by windows, and Martelli cut away a large section of another wall to add more windows. The space is 22 feet by 12 feet, room enough for a table for six; a sitting area with a couch, two chairs and nested tables; a chic liquor cart; and lots of plants.

Jacob was inspired by the farmhouse garden celebrity designer Joanna Gaines designed for her personal use. Like the Gaines version, Jacob’s shed is surrounded by raised garden beds; the perimeter is fenced and a gate opens beneath a trellis arch. Joe Martelli was Jacob’s Chip Gaines, creating a custom gate with the same curve as the trellis above it.

The panel of judges for this year’s contest — interior designers Julie Maleski Putzel and Brendan Flanigan, and Carisha Swanson, market director for House Beautiful — loved it.

Swanson noted the popularity of shed conversions and praised the flexibility Jacob allowed her space with the choices she made.

“Setting this room up as a sitting area makes it the perfect perch for having an intimate tea or reading a book, but the openness of the space allows the possibilities to go a million different directions,” Swanson said.

Flanigan praised Jacob’s commitment to design direction and the “backyard whimsy.”

“It’s immersed in nature and furnished with real furniture — not outdoor furniture and plastic rugs but with fabrics and texture that show a juxtaposition to the immersion in nature. It shows a real intention to create a warm cocoon in the lush backdrop. Nice scale. Enchanting exterior and unexpected coziness,” Flanigan said.

Although Jacob and her husband enjoyed a couple dates nights in the space last fall when it was complete, 2021 will be the family’s first growing season in their new garden beds. Jacob has apple trees already, plans for pear trees and herbs and plenty of jalapenos, alongside purple flowers. She’s looking forward to a “garden-warming party,” when her guests will bring plants. Jacob has also started her own design business called JackcyJDesign. Her philosophy is helping people enjoy the space they’re in.

“Don’t pine for the house you want years from now, small changes like new paint and a new carpet can make a big difference,” Jacob said.

There were 38 entries across five categories in this year’s contest. The category winners are:

Living room: John Hughes, The Gardner Farm Inn, Troy

Kitchen: Jenna Jandali, Latham

Bedroom: Joanne Chmura, A Perfect Placement

Bathroom: Jackcy Jacob, Delmar

Outdoor finalist: Jen Glose, Saratoga Springs

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