HUMBLE OUTSIDE BUT WITH GREAT EXPECTATIONS WITHIN, AN ANTIQUE DEALER'S TARRYTOWN HOUSE IS A CELEBRATION OF EUROPEAN NEOCLASSICAL DESIGN
"Design training? I don't have any," admits antiques dealer Michael Philip Tubis. "What I have is an eye for beautiful things." The former copywriter developed this eye as a young boy riffling through copies of high-end interior design magazines. "That was my passion," he recalls. "I loved looking at all of those beautiful rooms, and I felt a real affinity for the upscale European style featured in many of the interiors"—a style far removed from what was familiar in his old Bronx neighborhood, where plastic slipcovers and fiberglass draperies were de rigueur.
As owner of Carol Master Galleries, an antiques store in Tarrytown, Tubis spends four days a week shopping estate sales and antique shops looking for items that evoke glamour, exhibit a hint of decadence or have an interesting story to tell (or some combination of the three). Nowhere is his engagingly quirky aesthetic and clever eye more apparent than behind the doors of the unassuming clapboard house in Tarrytown he shares with his partner, Dr. Stuart Bentley-Hibbert, and their dog David.
From the outside the house is simple yet attractive, not exactly a head turner. But that changes once you step into the couple's front parlor-cum-Parisian salon, which is full of grand objects, art and furnishings. Neoclassical motifs borrowed from 18th-century French and Italian design—Greek key trims, garlands, cartouches—abound.