Design + Decor CT/NJ/NY Vol.18 Issue 6

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every property has a story it begins with a vision

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VOLUME 18 ISSUE 6 | 2021



Two wildly different design aesthetics come together in a symbiotic riverside retreat. Story by Heather Shoning Photography by Barry Hyman Photography



2021 ANNUAL ARCHITECTS ISSUE Stories by Meryl Seigman



The Amalgamated world of Maneli Wilson Interiors Story by Kathleen E. Syron Photography by Heidi Solander

DEPARTMENTS 10 Editor’s Letter 16 Ask the Experts 92 Profile

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VOLUME 18 ISSUE 4 6 - 2021

Editor-in-Chief Matthew J. Kolk 203-820-1092 Managing Editor James Eagen Contributing Writers Deborah Brannon, Lisa Gant, Susan Heller, Alder Grove, Anna von Stelzer-Worth, Kait Shea, Anastasia Storer


Contributing Photographers Jane Beiles, Michael Biondo, Phillip Ennis, Tria Giovan, John Gruen, John Hannon, Paul Johnson, Neil Landino, Mark La Rosa, Tim Lee, Daniel Milstein, Durston Saylor, Eric Striffler, Carl Vernlund, Jonathan Wallen, Woodruff/Brown Photography

love this time of year in the Northeast. The weather starts to become warmer on a regular Copy Editor basis, allowing us to spend Elena more time outdoors, theSerocki grass is green and the beauty of our area shines. Graphic & Web Design East Coast Home Publishing

This year, we finally get a step back to normalcy: vaccinations are available to all, and we can start packing away those pesky masks. What a fantastic gift to bring in the summer months. Publisher We had a great time puttingGroup together this year’s Outdoor SpacE. McCormick es Issue. Our wonderful Shelley partners shared some fabulous outdoor spaces with us, and we these impressive projects will inspire 203-545-7091 you to take your own home to the next step. Account Managers

Our feature stories, “A Classic the Country ” and “Modern in JaneinO’Reilly Montauk,” are also top-notch. Both Kelly Amesprojects Smith have that wow factor, and their attention to detail is nothing short of magical. Design + Decor

Forestissue Hills Boulevard We hope you enjoy this 349 special of Design + Decor, and we Naples, Florida 34113 look forward to sharing our Amazing Transformations Issue—my personal favorite—in July. We’ll be showcasing great projects in a variety of +styles. If you’d likeperyour project firm to beSubscriptions: a part of Design Decor is published six issues year. To subscribe:or; year, $28; two years, this, one please reach out$50. to Back us. issues can be purchased at For editorial inquiries: Editor, Design + Decor, 349 Forest Hills Boulevard Naples, Florida 34113 or e-mail: For advertising inquiries: Please call Shelley McCormick at 203-545-7091. Reproduction whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All projects described in this publication are for private, noncommercial use only. No rights for commercial use or exploitation are given or implied. The opinions expressed by writers for articles published by Design + Decor are not necessarily those of the magazine.

Matthew Kolk Best,

- Editor-in-Chief

EAST COAST HOME PUBLISHING 349 Forest Hills Boulevard Naples, Florida 34113 DD-MAG.COM

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creving boraette who rom ome rom erful on,” nique area raise gn. fight ster lean eThe r, is 70s. rds, ents tions, ood nes. skiing t is rovidAnfohes, mean, ch the

Monaco Monaco, a waterjet mosaic shown in polished Dolomite, Carrara, Cornflower Glazed Basalto, and brushed Aluminum, is part of the VOLUME 16 ISSUE 3 - 2019 Liliane™ Collection by Caroline Beaupere forVOLUME New 18 ISSUE 3 - 2021 Ravenna. Editor-in-Chief

Matthew J. Kolk Editor-in-Chief Matthew J. Kolk 203-820-1092 203-820-1092 Managing Editor James Eagen Managing Editor James Eagen Contributing Writers Lisa Gant, Susan Heller, Pam Gersh, Contributing Writers Shea, Anastasia Wirth DeborahKait Brannon, Lisa Gant,Storer, SusanAnna Heller, Alder Grove, Anna von Stelzer-Worth, Kait Shea, Anastasia Storer Sika Armchair Contributing Photographers Sika is a deer specimen Jane Beiles, Michael Biondo,Photographers Phillip Ennis, Tria Giovan, Contributing rooted in Japan whose John Michael Gruen, Paul Johnson, Neil Landino, Jane Beiles, Biondo, Phillip Ennis, Tria Giovan, strength and elegance Mark La Rosa, Tim Lee, Milstein, John Gruen, John Hannon, PaulDaniel Johnson, Neil Landino, inspired Sika wingback chair. Durston Saylor, Debra Striffler, Mark Lacold Rosa, TimSomerville, Lee,settling DanielEric Milstein, distinctive ith the weather inThe as most we rapidly ap-features Jonathan Wallen, Woodruff/Brown of thisand wing chair are the Durston Saylor, Eric Striffler, Verlund proach the holidays and all Carl ofPhotography the hustle bustle button detailing in the inner Jonathan Wallen, Woodruff/Brown associated with them, we canPhotography hopefully look forback, the nailhead trim and Copy Editor ward to a “different” 2022. the brass details of the arms. Elena CopySerocki Editor Elena Serocki When you dive into this issue, take a bit of extra time to read through Graphic & Web Design the stories and lose yourself in Home the beauty of all of the wonderful EastGraphic Coast Publishing & Web Design projects we have within.East Coast Home Publishing

grated round insert ter an omsto tchen. ght ting gives guides tted fasciglass; Lilly e and me as ding e; and, ted” fond ke adterior sain. ntique throp ears he as eautio colpurmaris lette south ther’s dng so ived many below. ashan, look all deavygar.tural. This se of ortant alph ades, ction g the glassits ustin r has pieces. oward arterfocal of orated atof is the eof They mont drop glside that wder pold I am laytoof escing Then I hetant palNH, esson win,arrow NH pping. want g the sucnative “so life nger a r onaper the take est.” ,umbox, re and the yoom speI were kle to ctural, ntipped of dthe versoon rim, onder, n? the tation away chieve actinnials, bric mong great etting.


The Architects Feature is fascinating. For our theme we challenged Publisher the various firms with Harmony, Timelessness and Functionality. Shelley E. McCormick They certainly delivered! I personally lost more than a few hours Group Publisher reading the stories and looking at the detail of each project through203-545-7091 Shelley E. McCormick out the images. What fun! Account Manager 203-545-7091


Alessandra The Feature of Peter Cadoux’s latestFlanagan creation was really fun to Account Managers duce. Peter had called me in the spring to take a look at, it as he Jane O’Reilly wanted it to be published in our publication (we get that a lot, which Design + Decor Kelly Ames Smith we are flattered by each7485 time it happens) and after our two-plus Inspira Circle #1203 hour meeting of the minds, I think you will Naples, Florida 34113 agree that it simply a Design + Decor spectacular home. Congrats to you,Hills Peter, and thank you for sharing 203-286-1850 349Fax: Forest Boulevard it with us and our readers. Naples, Florida 34113 Design + Decor is published six issues per year. To subscribe:; Subscriptions: Enjoy the issue and have a happy and healthy holiday season! one year, $28; two years, $50. Back issues can be purchased at For edito-

Design + Decor is published six issues per year. To subscribe:; Subscriptions: rial Editor, Design$50. + Decor, #1203at Naples, Florida 34113For or editorial e-mail: oneinquiries: year, $28; two years, Back 7485 issuesInspira can beCircle purchased For advertising inquiries: call Shelley McCormick 203-545-7091. inquiries: Editor, Design + Decor, 349 ForestPlease Hills Boulevard Naples, Floridaat34113 or e-mail: Reproduction whole or in advertising part withoutinquiries: permission is prohibited. All projects described in this For Please call Shelley McCormick at 203-545-7091. lication are for private, noncommercial use only. No rights for commercial use ordescribed exploitation Reproduction whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All projects in are this given or implied. The opinions expressed byuse writers by Design Decor are publication are for private, noncommercial only.for Noarticles rights published for commercial use or+ exploitation not necessarily those of the magazine. are given or implied. The opinions expressed by writers for articles published by Design + Decor


are not necessarily those of the magazine.

Lapiaz Sideboard

The Lapiaz Sideboard from one of Boca do Lobo’s iconic design Matthew J. Kolk EAST originates COAST HOME PUBLISHING pieces. Based on the same aesthetic that created a legacy, the Lapiaz Side349COAST Forest Hills Boulevard EAST HOME PUBLISHING Editor in chief board takes exceptional craftsmanship and design to a new realm. Consisting

Naples, Florida 34113 7485 Inspira Circle #1203 of two individual modules, Lapiaz34113 is finished in polished stainless steel that DD-MAG.COM Naples,the Florida portarys a perfect mirror, with a poplar root wood veneer interior. DD-MAG.COM


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11/16/15 5/12/15 1/17/15 3/16/15 7/14/15 9/15/15 1/19/16 11:16 1:36 3:48 3:42 2:35 5:01 6:58 PM 3/7/17 3/13/18 7/13/16 1/15/18 3/9/16 10:58 5/13/16 9/15/16 11/7/16 1/7/17 10:28 12:47 12:21 10:34 3:21 7:49AM 1:36 8:08 PM AM AM PM 7/14/19 7/16/21 12:47 7:23 PM

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Acrylic Tic-Tac-Toe Set Modern art or old school challenge? Both. Rack up style points with our update on a favorite parlor pastime. Featuring luminous turquoise and purple playing pieces on a thick slab of clear acrylic. A perfect housewarming present, or gift or for a playful host.

Rhino Bookends Take charge of your toppling tomes with our Rhino Bookends. Each features an L-shaped polished nickel base supporting a posh acrylic two-horned pachyderm. Wild with a warm amber glow, they’re a luminous prize to pair with your literature.

Tuttuno Backgammon Tuttuno is a versatile luxury game table with a transparent aesthetic, that is the result of design precision and materiality. This design piece features an elegant Alcantara® playing surface highlighted by the essential glass structure, which, with a simple gesture, can also be used as an elegant side table.

Derby - Designed by IMPATIA R&D The Derby collection is a visionary football table that dedicates itself to Italy, especially to the city of Milano where the game of football holds great prominence; presenting a modern reinterpretation made with meticulous care through the highest exponents of Italian craftsmanship.

Filotto - Designed by Adriano Design One of the first products created for Impatia’s luxury game table collection, Filotto gives new life to a classic game that is loved by many across the world. This unique billiard table collection showcases a design with the highest expression of technological sophistication and craftsmanship.

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Design + Decor chats with Peter Sciarretta of Hemingway Construction Story by Kathleen Syron | Photos by Carl Vernlund


+D: How has COVID affected your business? Peter: I have been getting calls from previous clients who are saying how much they really love their home now that they are actually using it. Rooms previously untouched, except for the odd guest or movie night, are now used daily. The homeowners do, however, need to have their houses tweaked to accommodate their new lifestyle. Last summer we were doing a lot of landscape development because people wanted to get outdoors after being cooped up all winter. We have always tried to create a connection between the indoors and outdoors with our builds, but now we are making fully functional outdoor spaces with all the indoor amenities. For one house, we created a pool, hot tub, movie area with big screen TV, separate open structure for the bar, an entertaining area around the pool and a firepit area. That is essentially six separate rooms. Now that the spaces are fitted out with all the bells and whistles, homeowners find it easier and more inviting to use the outdoor space. In the winter we’re doing more movie rooms, gyms and play spaces, and putting in an extra wow factor, such as home 16

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theaters with their own concession stand. Homeowners need more distractions since they are spending so much time in their house. Homeowners are asking for private space as well. I call it the “mad room”—named for the great effects it has on your mental health. They want someplace to be alone that is not an existing shared space, like the living room or kitchen. They need a restful place to forget about the world for awhile D+D: What new technology are you using more of these days? Peter: Audiovisual equipment for both outdoor and indoor spaces has grown so much. A recent house I built was completely wired for all forms of media, including 10 TVs. We are no longer using media as

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just a source of entertainment; it is also becoming more of a professional tool. Homeowners want to do their Zoom meetings on the big screen, have their own professional lighting, a wireless security system and intercoms. They want to watch the news in the morning while they get ready for work with expertly-styled TVs in every room, so they don’t miss a beat. D+D: How do you work with architects and designers? Peter: It is really a symbiotic relationship. We are all focused on getting the homeowner what they want on time and on budget. I have often been asked for material recommendations with design professionals, but now that has ramped up as well due to COVID and other circumstances. Currently, building material prices are on the rise and will only continue to go up because of supply and supply chain disruptions. It is taking longer for supplies to reach us, and the increase in prices has the designers scrambling for alternative solutions. I am at the forefront of all building materials, so it is only natural that they would come to me for a value-engineered solution—and I am happy to do it. D+D: Hemingway Fine Homes is a multigenerational company spanning 50 years. What has changed, and what is something your father did when he first set up the company that

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you still do today? Peter: We now have three generations working in the company, ranging in age from 25 to 82 years old. It is really something very special. My father, who is originally from Italy, grew up in a masonry family. His fathers and uncles were all masons, so he was surrounded by creativity and art, and given the ability to work with his hands. In the U.S., he was trained as an engineer and later founded his own general contracting business. That job turned into a career and a very successful family business. The business has changed a lot over the last 50 years, but the biggest change for Hemingway Fine Homes is our use of contracts. My father never used a contract. He would discuss a project with a homeowner, and when the deal was set, they would shake on it. My father is a very honorable man, and his word was as good as any contract we have today. There was also more interest and value attributed to the items you can’t see, such as extra drainage, framing, plumbing and electrical materials. For example, the use of PEX tubing has taken the place of copper. There was a true art-to-home construction, which builders took immense pride in. You wouldn’t want to build a house that is faulty or subpar because your reputation,

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honor and integrity were at stake. My father never made a deal he didn’t keep. The one thing my father did on day one that we still do today is return every phone call. It’s important to treat your clients well and give them the attention they deserve. My father stressed how important that was, and we still do that to this day. Resource: Hemingway Construction Peter Sciarretta 115 Mason Street Greenwich,Connecticut 06830 203.625.0566

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ON DESIGN A Conversation with Jeanne Collins of JerMar Designs Story by Kathleen Syron | Photography by Jane Beiles


+D: Your designs run the gamut of the color spectrum. Where do you see the trends for color and neutrals? Jeanne: First you need to understand that there are industry trends that I keep abreast of all the time, and then there are the trends I see in my local community as reflected in my clients. The industry trend is definitely shifting into a color phase of big earthy tones, such as yellowy spring greens and flat muted oranges. Autumnal colors are gaining relevance again as well. However, there are still homeowners who are afraid of color and opt for a more monotone look. My clients tend to fall into either camp—bold and colorful, or soft and neutral. I rarely have clients who want a combination of the two, or even a pop of color in an otherwise magnolia color scheme. So I take the lead from my clients and design for their needs and desires, and not the latest trend. Unless the homeowner is planning to sell their house in the next several years, then it is best to design for a style they can live with until they move on. D+D: Is it a wise design decision to give an active (read “messy”) family a white sofa? Jeanne: Yes, yes and double yes. I design with white fabric all the time. Since the invention of Crypton, a special treatment that can permanently protect fabric from spills, stains and odors, I find no excuse to dismiss any fabric out of hand. And just because it is considered a performance fabric, that doesn’t mean it’s rough. The treatment also makes the fabrics very


soft, so you can have cozy and carefree furniture. I’ve created a video that I show my customers of red wine being spilled on white fabric treated with Crypton. The stain magically disappears under running water with a little dish soap. If the stain is overly large or particularly gruesome, you may need to take it to get professionally cleaned, but the stain will come out. The fabric works by attacking the stain as soon as it hits the fabric. The liquid will bubble up and pull away from the fabric. D+D: What is the one element that every designed room should contain? Jeanne: I firmly believe you can’t design a room without the use of plants— real or faux. Plants, flowers and other vegetation can soften the room and make it more inviting. And plants can be used in a variety of ways to make the design more interesting. While an indoor tree can ground the space and not look out of place, a large succulent terrarium can make a big statement, even given its low profile. Plants also work with any style. Neutralists/ minimalists don’t mind the natural colors plants deliver, and most color schemes are compatible with nature. D+D: How are you dealing with the supply chain issues? Jeanne: It is a challenge for sure! First is to set expectations with clients so they know that everything takes a long time right now—even Amazon! I’ve reduced the number of vendors I source from, so I have greater confi-

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dence in their delivery times and inventory. I’ve also sourced more things locally than I did before. For example, I will often have a chair made locally or ask a local vendor make cabinets instead of sourcing them from other locations. Using local vendors allows for more control over the process, the final products are always of a higher quality, and supporting local is always good to do! D+D: What advice would you give homeowners who are interested in redesigning their homes and would like the assistance of an interior designer? Jeanne: The first step is to start finding images of things you like, whether it be on Pinterest, in magazines or on Google images. It doesn’t have to be the room as you want it designed, as that is the interior designer’s job. Focus on images you like for whatever reason you like them. It could be that you like a piece of artwork, the floors, the room colors, the lighting, the sofa or the overall vibe the space gives off. Then ask friends for recommendations of designers—even if your friends have a different design style than you do! While designers have styles they prefer, they are all trained to design in many styles, and often have projects not shown on their websites that could be a good match for your needs. Resource: Jeanne Collins JerMar Designs 163 Pocconock Trail New Canaan, CT 06840 203.253.0649

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THE NEW CUSTOMIZABLE KITCHEN with Joseph Pisano of Majestic Kitchens Story by Kathleen Syron Photography by Brian Madden

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+D: What key elements should clients and their designers consider when creating a new kitchen? Joseph: Besides the obvious features of kitchen design, such as floor plan and material selection, I think it’s important to consider these three fundamentals: Budget: Currently, the budget it is the number one driving force when considering a new kitchen. Homeowners watch remodeling shows on TV and think they can have similar spaces for the same cost, and that is never the case. An education process needs to happen so clients can get a realistic picture of how much a new kitchen will cost. Appliances: Let’s face it—cabinets aren’t nearly as cool as appliances. The new technology integrated into appliances has become very attractive to homeowners. They see these great appliances on TV, research them on the Internet and then, when they go to design a new kitchen, they already know what machines they want. The cabinets Design + Decor

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have to be designed around them. Why: The best way to design the kitchen of your dreams is to really understand why you want/need a new kitchen. Everyone is different, but the reasons all center around common themes of more space, more functionality and need to be updated. It’s important to know exactly what the homeowner needs—and that usually isn’t about the aesthetics. It has more to do with the bones of the kitchen. D+D: Organization is important in kitchen design. What are the key priorities for homeowners now? Joseph: Organization is brilliant in all its forms—it makes you feel your life is not so chaotic. It’s best to have as much organization as you can. When I started in kitchen design in 1998, the cabinets were simple boxes with immovable shelves. Now you can customize a cabinet with locks, pullouts, spice trays, cupcake trays—the kitchen is becoming very individualized and custom to the client’s specific needs. Every kitchen design is done on a case-by-case basis; there are no cookie-cutter kitchens anymore. Designers need to ask key questions to the clients so they get the accessories that suit their needs, such as: Do you have little kids and need to keep certain items out of reach? Do you have silverware? How much do you cook? The more you know about your clients, the better kitchen you can design for them. 24

I think that, of all the accessories available, the one item every kitchen needs is a pantry. It would be wonderful if everyone could have a walk-in pantry, but barring that they should have some sort of pull-out cabinetry for bulk dry storage. D+D: What new trends or materials that you now use in cabinetry design have revolutionized the kitchen? Joseph: The art of cabinetmaking has not changed much over time, so all the big developments in kitchen design come in terms of lighting, integrated cabinet lighting, appliances and new technology. It’s been difficult trying to change carpenters into electricians, but it’s happening. The trend for cabinetmakers has been to get more functionality into the cabinets with all the accessories and add-ons. The price of the cabinets goes up with all the accessories, but people are willing to pay for it. In a kitchen I designed in Montauk, the homeowner wanted an automatic door to the outside. It was completely unnecessary for a new kitchen, but the client wanted it and was happy to pay for it. Of all the new developments in kitchen design, I believe integrated cabinet lighting is the most functional. Kitchens used to be dark caves at night, but now all the different types of lighting have been a godsend. The kitchens feel more open and inviting, which is better for both daily use and entertaining.

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D+D: Tell us about the kitchen in the photos. Joseph: The homeowners had become empty nesters after raising three daughters. They had considered moving, but decided to do a kitchen/living room makeover. The biggest challenge was accommodating all the appliances the homeowners wanted in their kitchen. She wanted a pro-style range, custom metal hood, dishwasher, small sink, second oven, coffeemaker, microwave and beverage center. As an afterthought, they included a full-height wine refrigerator. We needed to move everything except the sink to make room for all the appliances. But we stayed on budget and timelines. D+D: How have COVID and the supply-chain issues affected your business? Joseph: If I gave pre-COVID quotes to clients who are coming back now to start their kitchens, they are facing higher prices and longer wait times. Material supply and supply-chain issues are the real problems. We know how long the wait will be, so we can inform the client, but it is taking longer. For instance, if you want a Sub-Zero refrigerator, you will need to wait nine months—and that is a $10,000 refrigerator. Unfortunately, people have adopted an “Amazon mentality,” and waiting isn’t an option. Builders are giving clients “kitchen budgets,” and with that figure they can decide to upgrade or not. This takes the guesswork out of rising prices. The budget can’t be too low or you will price yourself out of the market. There are also labor shortages at some of our manufacturers. Most of our suppliers are located in rural areas; locals seem to prefer working at Amazon for benefits and higher wages than learning a skilled trade. So labor shortages are a problem. Resource: Joseph Pisano Majestic Kitchens 700 Fenimore Road Mamaroneck, NY 10543 914.381.1302

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Ask the Experts IN THE FIELD


Story by: Kathleen Syron | Photography by Olivier Kpognon


hirteen of Design + Decor’s architects and builder partners gathered at Gault Stone & Landscape Supplies in Westport, CT, June 23rd for the 8th Annual Design + Decor Architects and Builders Roundtable. With D+D’s Matthew Kolk as the moderator, the attendees shared their thoughts on the state of the industry during these interesting times. In keeping with our magazine’s 20-year history and mission to educate our readers with information and insight from the area’s top experts, we present the most noteworthy observations from the discussion. Having lived through these most unusual times, we have come to view our homes through new lenses. We see our residence as a means to nurture family time; to communicate and appreciate time spent with loved ones; to foster creativity, reinvention and resourcefulness; to recognize the need for privacy; and to honor nature. Our homes have been reimagined as havens of comfort, workspaces, creative dens, play areas and multigenerational gathering spaces. We have repurposed the functions of rooms, taken down walls to open up spaces, and erected dividers to create alone-time zones. Indoor living areas flow seamlessly into outdoor living areas. We have erected outbuildings, greenhouses and pool houses to provide more opportunities 26

for privacy and multigenerational living. We have increased the need for technology, commercial Internet and high-speed wiring, thanks to the inclusion of offices, gaming and entertainment systems, and sophisticated lighting and surveillance in our homes. After welcoming attendees and briefly introducing Design + Décor, Matthew noted that he relies on the discussions and insights that come out of these meetings to create content for the magazine, so he is especially grateful for the audience’s participation. Next he launched into his first question. “During the COVID crisis,” he said, “homeowners were forced to truly understand their homes: how they utilize the spaces, and what benefits and shortcomings their home layouts have. What do you find are the most common shortcomings for homeowners?” Many attendees were anxious to respond. George Pusser, president/ owner of Cornerstone Contracting in Greenwich, CT, noted that most houses weren’t built for the whole family to be there all the time. They were built to be utilized for part of your life—not your entire life. But now there is a need for more space. “Additions are becoming very popular,” said George. “Whether it is a home gym, theater or library, families want more room to spread out.”

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A similar observation was made by Peter Sciarretta, chief executive officer of Hemingway Fine Homes in Greenwich, CT. “The most interesting idea to come out of this crisis is the need for a distraction room,” he said. “I’ve gotten three calls asking about what I call a ‘mad room.’ The homeowners need a distraction space. They are requesting additions the size of a library or an office, but more of a multifunctional room, such as having one theater chair for sleep or media, and a card table for games. They want to be able to go somewhere all alone and do what they want. They also want a space where the husband and wife can sleep alone without the teenagers. I am calling it the ‘mad room,’ and I can’t wait until designers and architects start incorporating these ideas.” Ralph Mackin, principal/lead architect at Mackin Architects, based in North Salem, NY, expanded on the topic, commenting on the need for personal space for everyone in the family. Clients have always wanted an office so they could occasionally work from home, but the need expanded exponentially during COVID. “There are twoincome families that essentially need two offices, a home school for the kids, and a play area for the kids,” he said. “All these spaces have to be fully integrated into the home for it to work.” The situation Ralph described has created a very interesting challenge for architects and builders: how to design a home that offers both privacy and connection. Homeowners would like to be able to see the family when they want, and then retreat into their own spaces. He explained it is a bit like going back in time: We started with clearly defined spaces—kitchen, living room, dining room—then we opened it all up to communal living. Unfortunately, however, that eliminated most of the privacy. COVID plus the advent of new technology created a need for more private spaces within the greater framework of the home. Most attendees were in agreement, as they are seeing more additions, more creative space planning and the introduction of the “mad room.” John Mastera, owner of John R Mastera & Associates Architects in New Canaan, CT, also made the point that outdoor spaces are getting a lot more attention. Matthew then brought up the elephant in the room: the need for better technology in the home. West Chin, owner of West | Out East, and Bill Charney, owner and principal of Advanced Home Audio, both of whose businesses are in multiple locations, noted that they are seeing a constant demand for increased bandwidth, Wi-Fi, technology and geographic expansion. “If two parents are working at home and two kids are doing their schoolwork, some outside and some inside, they are going to need a lot of bandwidth, and right now homes can’t handle the traffic,” says West. “We are going to have to start wiring homes as though they are small businesses.” Design + Decor

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After a lively conversation, the participants agreed that the changes they are experiencing are: • Separate buildings • A smaller office outside the main living room—separate but together • Two separate offices for husband and wife • A homework room with three to four workstations with industrial strength Wi-Fi, making them basically mini-offices • Clients still wanting the open kitchen, living and dining room open space, but the areas becoming smaller • Better use of outdoor space Noting the issues around material supply and supply-chain disruptions, Matthew asked, “How does this change your building process, and how are clients dealing with increased costs and delays?” The attendees answered this question in two parts: how the situation affects the clients, and how it affects the builder. Simply put, builders need to manage the expectations of their clients, learn how to buy smart and early, and warehouse everything from lumber to lighting. Though this sounds simple enough, the reality is far more complex, especially when it comes to contracts. Can builders realistically offer fixed-price homes in this market? “There are no lump-sum jobs anymore, with materials and lumber pricing increasing,” said Michael Smith, owner of Michael Smith Architects, LLC, in Norwalk, CT. “If you sign a contract with a builder, and then he wants another $15,000 for lumber, technically the client does not have to pay. You have to address it with your clients and builders, and get them to work together to be a good partner. Right now, lump-sum contracts are very hard for builders. I suggest my clients do a cost-plus contract, where you nail down the percentage fee and work on schedules from there.” In some cases, homeowners are waiting to see if costs come down. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, building material costs are shrinking, but this has not been seen on the local level and may not for 12 to 18 months. Matthew also brought up the issue of permitting, which seems to be all over the place in Connecticut and New York. In Fairfield County, such as in New Canaan, a builder can get a permit in a couple of days. In other places, such as Stamford, Greenwich and Westchester County, it can take five to six months for a bathroom permit. The size and style of new home construction was also a topic of discussion. “In remodeling a home”, Matthew asked, “what are you seeing in layout now that people are using their homes differently? And how have new home sizes changed?” Not surprisingly, the resounding answer was “the bigger, the better.” Homeowners are now designing for multigenerational living. Not only are they trying to enhance the comfort of their immediate family, they are considering amenities for grandparents, adult children and grandchildren. West mentioned that grandparents are competing with the other in-laws in designing their homes. “Nobody wants to lose the grandkids to the other grandparents,” he said. Dan Conlon of Daniel Conlon Architects in Redding, CT, observed that older clients are no longer looking to downsize—they are building for multigenerational living. They are drawing their families back home with waterfront locales, kid’s suites, sports buildings, outdoor kitchens, pools and fireplaces. And the trend does not seem to be stopping.


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Resources: Alisberg Parker Will Jameson Cornerstone Builders George Pusser Daniel Conlon Architects Daniel Conlon Davenport Contracting Brian McDonald Domus Constructors Chris Shea Foster Lyons Building Science Foster Lyons

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Hemingway Fine Homes Peter Sciarrette Mackin Architects Ralph Mackin John R Mastera Associates Architects John Mastera Michael Smith Architects Michael Smith Gidley Remodeling Stephen Gidley Studio Dumitru George Dumitru West Out East West Chin

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SEAMLESS SERENITY Two wildly different design aesthetics come together in a symbiotic riverside retreat. Story by Heather Shoning | Photography by Barry Hyman Photography

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magine his home: gallery space for art, French chateau-inspired dark-wood furnishings, and copious plants. And now consider her design style: Scandinavianinspired, with clean lines and no fuss. Marrying these two concepts into one home design might seem like an exercise in futility, but not for Peter Cadoux Architects of Westport, CT. Peter easily visualized the solution, designing a fresh take on a modern farmhouse that fits the riverfront location in Westport perfectly, while providing a clean backdrop to showcase the homeowners’ curated decor. In the process, he assembled a team that included Diana Jonason Interior Design and HSL Building Company.

To keep the home from feeling too large, architect Peter Cadoux designed it as three smaller buildings connected by hallways that provide abundant natural light throughout the home. Careful planning included low-maintenance exterior materials and natural grasses on rooftop areas that are visible from many parts of the home.

Fresh and Timeless The couple sought out Peter to build a new home on the site of the husband’s existing residence. For the structure, Peter created a design that looks like three separate buildings. “That provided a reduced scale to their home and a modern aesthetic that would meet their needs and complement their natural setting simultaneously,” he says. The clients didn’t want a big three-story home, but they did ask for five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a screening room, two home offices, a gym and a sauna. “They weren’t saying ‘modern farmhouse,’ but that’s what they were describing,” Peter says. The couple also required a great deal of interior light that a more typical home would not provide. On the exterior, many of the finishes are convincing synthetic materials geared toward luxury appeal with easy maintenance. The composite wood dormers and connectors contrast with the painted siding, metal detailing and green roofs, all combining Design + Decor

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The front entrance to the home sets the tone for the overall design. A large sculpture greets visitors in front of an oversized pivot door.

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The floating staircase allows the foyer to maintain a light, open feel. Its steel and wood construction aligns with the other finishes throughout the home.

beautifully and resulting in a contemporary farmhouse with scaled-back detailing to keep it clean and light. Inside, rich walnut and white oak floors throughout adorn the home with warm tones and neutral walls. The use of natural light and organic materials like stone and natural-look wood siding connects the home to the flora and fauna on the beautiful property. Blending Styles Peter designed an L-shaped, open-concept space where an office is

cleverly removed—behind barn track doors—but adjacent to the kitchen, dining and living room spaces. These, in turn, embrace the outdoor poolside dining, entertaining and seating areas. The indoor kitchen and dining areas feature a mixture of walnut and white cabinetry that beautifully contrast with each other. The oversized island has a white quartz waterfall top and a large walnut inset to differentiate the seating area with a warm, natural material. The heart of the family room centers around the large, two-sided fireplace that Design + Decor

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looks through to the backyard pond. The entire indoor formal area opens wide to the entertaining spaces in the backyard through large glass doors that expand the living area and blur the line between indoors and out.

The indoor/outdoor living connection is strong in the living room. A custom curved sofa by Thayer Coggin ensures beautiful outdoor views from every position. Custom wall shelving fits each piece of family art perfectly.

To create warmth and depth, Peter, who custom designs all the millwork and cabinetry in his homes, brought the wood tones from the exterior inside. He specified walnut wood cabinetry, naturally dark and rich, with white panel accents that pop and contrast perfectly with the dark bronze hardware selected by interior designer Diana Jonason. The highcontrast design is consistent with walnut wood room doors, white walls and dark hardware accents peppered throughout the home. Rich, black anodized window frames set into white interior walls practically disappear visually when one looks to the view outside. The black and white custom light fixtures that Diana created enhance the theme. She brings in a touch of soft elegance and complements the design with beautiful hardware that includes brushed brass, pewter and stainless steel. “Since the architecture was very modern, I knew the furniture and finishes would have to take that vision as Design + Decor

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Custom cabinetry blends the richness of walnut tones with the sleek Scandinavian design style for a modern yet warm look. Interior designer Diana Jonason ordered a custom dining table from Scholtissek in Germany, an ideal finish for the room.

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well,” says Diana, “but we had to find a way to bring in the husband’s things, too.” Creating gallery spaces for artwork was a primary goal for the design of the home, starting with the concrete pad right outside the front door, which is adorned with a ballerina hippo statue. The design team used the white walls as backdrops and created gallery spaces throughout the home, bringing order to the art and family photos in a way that fits the simple vernacular with extensive window space.

While the neutral palette allows gallery spaces to shine, however, they don’t provide quite enough color for the homeowners, so Diana added more color in the screening room. Calming and meditative deep turquoise walls and high-gloss lacquered turquoise trim set this room apart from the rest of the home. The furnishings are clean-lined, but an array of texture in the geometric-print rug and tactile wallpaper create a level of warmth. Design + Decor

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The interior finishes and furnishings design was a collaborative effort. “The homeowner would come up with an idea, and our team would figure out how to make it happen,” says Diana. “The wife found this picture of little lights hanging over a dining table; we loved that concept, but I suggested we do it with a canopy of walnut wood that would be an accent piece on the ceiling.” The end result was exactly what the homeowners—and the design and construction team—were looking for. It adds a level of interest to the open-concept, modern dining area. The primary suite is a serene respite: bright with large, white sloping ceilings, warm with a deep azure accent wall, and nature right outside the window wall. And, for personal health and wellness, the team designed a well-equipped gym with an attached outdoor yoga area. The sloped ceilings in the bedrooms created a challenge for determining exactly where the lighting fixtures should be hung so the electricians could run the power prior to the drywall installation. “I made scale mock-ups for every one of these light fixtures,” says Diana. “With longer-than-necessary strings attached, we could rearrange them to just the right height to get the perfect drop.” The clients’ shared love of travel is evident in their vast collection of art. Indeed, while on a trip during construction, the homeowners spotted some sea-salt accents in a sauna, and HSL Building Company was able to source the same sea salt to create backlit accents for the homeowners’ personal sauna. Connecting to the Outdoors Natural light was another major factor in the design of the residence. Because of the many windows, there are vistas from the second floor, where the homeowners can Design + Decor

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The outdoor living area allows the homeowners to connect with nature on their riverfront lot. The spa is separate from the pool so it can remain open all year long. There are several points of entry from the deck to the yard.

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look out and see the rooftops of other areas of the home. Peter made sure the views were pleasant by specifying a live roof on the flat sections. He merged huge expanses of glass with wood details to bring a softness to the black and white structure. He also designed an eight-foot-tall, dual-sided fireplace that connects the indoors and outdoors. “There’s definitely a symbolic gesture toward earth, fire and water,” Peter says. The large window wall that opens to the backyard also boosts the connection to nature and leads to the pool and spa area. “People are using their homes more than ever,” Peter notes. To ensure this couple can enjoy their outdoor space year-round, he planned the space very thoughtfully. “The spa is separate from the pool because, in New England, we close down our pools in the winter,” he says. “This way the spa stays open all winter and the masonry connecting the changing room to the spa is heated. So, whenever it snows, it never collects.” Because the home was new construction on an existing homesite, Peter took care to document the existing trees to retain as much of the natural surroundings as possible during construction. As a result, the house looks as though it has been there for years, surrounded by mature trees. A path leading away from the outdoor living Design + Decor

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area draws the homeowners to the river. “We gathered all the materials we felt would be somewhat indigenous to the property, we took into consideration the view, and we created a home that would incorporate the clients’ previous life experiences and heritages,” says Peter. In end, the overall design is exactly to the wife’s taste and personal style. And her husband found himself surprised at how comfortable and warm a modern home can be. Ultimately, the finished product is reflective of both of them. Resources Architect Peter Cadoux Peter Cadoux Architects 35 Post Road West Westport, CT 06880 203.227.4304 Builder Erno Basco HSL Building Company 5 Myrtle St, Norwalk, CT 06855 203.557.4433 Landscape Architect Bruce Eckerson Eckerson Design Associates 21 Ann Street, Unit AC-1 South Norwalk, CT 06854 203.212.3679 Interior Design Diana Jonason Diana Jonason Interior Design 203.904.8499

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h e n Christopher Pagliaro is asked about the confluence of harmony, timelessness and functionality in residential architecture, the first thing that comes to mind for the founder of Christopher Pagliaro Architects in Darien, CT, is the marriage of structure and site to create a place. Embracing the philosophy that all homes should both reflect and enhance the complete context within the environment, his firm uses concepts of place, light and texture to create exceptional homes inspired by their natural landscape. Another key element in the firm’s work is adaptability. “Being able to convert a home to meet the priorities of its owners over time is tied to thinking ahead and expansion,” Chris explains. “ The first thing we tell our clients is that we put the names of rooms on our plans, but we don’t spray them onto the floor of each room, because its function depends of how the owner wants to use it.” He explains that creating inflexible elements, such as a home office or dedicated workstations for the kids— Design + Decor

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popular 20 years ago—can become quickly outdated due to lifestyle changes and new technology, including laptops that can be used almost anywhere. However, many of the waterfront homes he renovates and designs in Fairfield County, CT, create special challenges because of flood zone lines and the small size of the lots. In the project pictured here, the owner wanted his workspace to be incorporated into his social life. Instead of creating a private office, Chris designed it as part of an intimate lounge. Its dual function allows the owner to enjoy a cozy spot by the fire with friends, while also using it as an office when not entertaining. “We created seating with coffee tables whose height and orientation can be changed,” Chris says. “In the past, people spent a lot of money on built-in file cabinets, but in today ’s paperless world, that is no longer necessary.” Another example of adapting a space where harmony, timelessness and functionality could merge was finding a way for four athletic sons to have an indoor basketball court—a particular challenge on a property with a limited ability to expand. Chris’ solution was to create a functional yet stylish garage that could also be used for basketball.

The firm’s experience working in an area with a rich New England architectural history ensures that each home it designs is appropriate for its surroundings. Chris strives to make every home he designs timeless while respecting its original features, which are based on practicality or what was in vogue when it was built. He even throws in details that are whimsical and fun. “I believe a house should have contextual placement, because its style will always ground itself in context,” he says. With the firm’s creativity, technical skills and commitment to design that is both harmonious and functional, it is no surprise that Christopher Pagliaro Architects brings the concept of “total work of art” to each project. Architect Christopher Pagliaro Architects Chris Pagliaro 320 Post Road, Suite 160 Darien, CT 06820 203.838.5517 Design + Decor

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nown for their design of exceptional luxury homes in Fairfield County, CT, and Westchester County, NY, founder Robert A. Cardello and his partner David La Pierre of Robert A. Cardello Architects (RAC) are masters of blending harmony, timelessness and functionality. Seeing traditional principles as a tool for innovative expression, both have an uncompromising eye for timeless design and pay thoughtful attention to function and space, while keeping the home’s regional context in mind. This magnificent waterfront home in Mamaroneck, NY, is a perfect example of RAC’s unparalleled skill and creativity. Conceived of with the future in mind, the house is notable for its flexible but flowing design, created with the use of glass and pocket doors. Even though their children have not yet started their own families, the owners want this house to become a hub for gatherings in the years to come. All the rooms are identifiable, but an open floor plan ensures they do not appear compartmentalized. “We started with a somewhat formal but very adaptable first floor plan,” David explains. “For instance, the 16- by 16-foot dining room, which isn’t large enough for large groups, was designed to incorporate the adjoining hallway to accommodate 20 people Design + Decor

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when necessary.” He designed a play area in the basement for future grandchildren, as well as a basketball half-court, one of the most used rooms in the house. While stylish and modern, the space is adaptable and utilitarian, with a floor that can be raised up to convert the room to a bedroom or theater. “The material palette is not over the top,” Dave says, “so the owners won’t feel bad when they remove it to accommodate their changing needs in the future.” The bedrooms, each with its own en suite bathroom and walk-in closet, are designed to accommodate king or queen beds and, eventually, bassinets. Other features with an eye to the future include Lutron wiring and gang-together switches that prepare the house for upgrading its information technology when needed, and use of materials such as closed cell insulation, highly efficiently windows and mechanical systems to keep energy costs down for years to come. With a reputation for exceeding code requirements in its projects, the firm created a building envelope and systems technology that are highly efficient. The design team also used authentic, natural materials, such as Ipe wood, cedar shingles and a red cedar roof. Because the home is situated on an unusual property—a twoand-a-half-acre lot that is six times larger than most in the area—the owners did not want it to seem out of place or be too visible from neighboring houses. “Scale was very important in the design of this house,” David says. “So that it doesn’t appear oversized, we put the entire house under the roof, which goes down to the first floor, with pop-out balconies and dormers, like a Hamptons house.” The result is a home that is in harmony with its neighborhood, functional in its forward-thinking design, and timeless in its ability to bridge the gap between tradition and the future. Architect Cardello Architects Robert A. Cardello David La Pierre 60 Post Rd West Westport, CT 06880 203.853.2524

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oastline M o d e r n Houses in Larchmont, NY, specializes in the design of stunning contemporary homes. Created by combining the design company, Swiss Contemporary Design, with the construction company, Gazda Construction, the firm is known for its modern architecture, innovative engineering, energyefficiency construction, and use of sustainable materials with advanced technology. Architectural designer Mariella Malizia and her partner, builder Marek Gazda, are passionate believers in modern architecture that interacts respectfully with its surrounding environment. Mariella maintains that the merging of harmony, timelessness and functionality in residential architecture can be successful only if the home’s setting is taken into consideration. “What these three things have in common is the home’s surroundings,” she says. “It is always the elements of the environment that lead me to a concept.” Before beginning work on a project, Mariella anaDesign + Decor

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lyzes the home’s surroundings and orientation, knowing that if the house is moved even 20 feet, she might have to start the project over. “Construction should tell a story, and that story is about responding to the environment,” she says. In the project shown here, just steps away from Mamaroneck Harbor, NY, she designed the home’s two parallel roofs to evoke a ship’s sails and its motion on the water. All of its large, numerous openings give the house a rhythm and a connection to the exterior land and seascape. Every single room is designed to have access to the property ’s many outdoor spaces, including its front porch, patio, garden and lawn, in addition to its long, stretched balconies on the third floor and an accessible rooftop nested within the roof itself.

Functionality is essential to Coastline’s design work. Mariella starts each project by analyzing the home’s layout and flow. “To many people, ‘modern’ can be very cold or intimidating,” she says. ““We put functionality into every space—even in an open floor plan—while making it homey and offering maximum flexibility. Walking around the house should be natural and effortless.” An example is designing a previously unused attic space to be utilized for practically anything, such as a home office, gym or playroom.

With so many architects designing and builders constructing similar types of houses, Mariella has a unique vision of timelessness. She designs each home to engage passersby, but, even more importantly, to adapt to its inhabitants’ changing lifestyle for years to come. As she explains, “Part of the evolution of a house’s construction is to meet today ’s needs; technology offers us many more options.” She also believes that the modern openfloor concept will become even more flexible over time, allowing homes to evolve along with their occupants’ needs.


The surroundings of a home are key to Coastline’s design work, as they allow harmony, timelessness and functionality to merge both now and in the future.

Coastline Modern Houses Mariella Malizia Marek Gazda 8 Clark Court Larchmont, NY 10538 914.310.9394 Design + Decor

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ichael Smith, the principal of Michael Smith Architects (MSA) in Norwalk, CT, founded in 1999, has worked on a wide range of high-quality projects, including many customized residences in the New York City area. Among his specialties is his unparalleled renovation work, through which he transforms residences to meet the specific needs of his clients, creating custom solutions that respond to the homeowners’ wishes, the environment and the project’s historical context. The masterful work Mike did on the home pictured here is a perfect example of his numerous renovations, which take into account harmony, timelessness and functionality. While many young homeowners are focused on the future needs of a growing family, this project was the exact opposite: His clients had purchased the home in the 1990s to raise a family, but now wanted it remodeled to accommodate their needs as empty nesters. Though the project started as a kitchen makeover, it snowballed into a complete renovation, resulting in a practically new house that is designed around his clients’ enjoyment. Attuned to the value of exterior spaces and how they connect to the house, Mike first addressed the disconnect between the indoor and outdoor spaces by adding a sunroom and a series of patio structures. “The current importance of exterior spaces is an example of how much things have evolved in the last 30 years,” Mike explains. He also created a new kitchen and repurposed some of the rooms to suit the owners’ needs and desires, such as transforming the dining room into a new family room. MSA is committed to incorporating sustainable features in a harmonious way. Fortunately, this renovation gave Mike the opportunity to upDesign + Decor

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date and upgrade the home’s envelope. The original pink fiberglass insulation was compressed and therefore ineffective. Mike and his team reinsulated the entire structure and outfitted it with all-new siding and a state-of-the-art rainscreen drainage system behind the shingles, making the home more energy efficient. The firm also seized on the remodel as a way to completely update the wiring, an important factor for the owners. Because MSA has designed and constructed numerous homes in Fairfield County, CT, it is deeply attuned to the community and its New England roots. “There are a lot of modern houses going up in the area,” Mike says. “While these owners wanted to keep the home traditional, in keeping with its regional context, they also were looking

for a fresh, clean and modern look.” The end result is a timeless home that honors its conventional roots while adapting to the changing needs of its owners, a place where harmony and function abound. Architect Michael Smithe Architects Michael Smith 41 N Main Street #101 Norwalk, CT 06854 203.563.0553 Design + Decor

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armony, timelessness and functionality in residential design are inseparable from the current and future needs and priorities of clients. That’s the belief of Miroslava Brooks and Daniel Markiewicz, co-founders and principals of FORMA, a full-service architecture firm based in New York City. “‘ Timeless’ describes not just the materials used, but a home’s ability to withstand its owners’ changing desires,” Daniel explains. “It also means working harmoniously with our clients to address their needs.”

The partners begin each project by talking with their clients to understand their needs, and then respond by offering design solutions the clients might never have considered. They also ask their clients where they see themselves in 10 or 20 years. By projecting into the future, the FORMA team designs flexible residential spaces that can adjust to their owners’ changing needs. “A room should be designed to have many different functions,” explains Miroslava. “For example, a bedroom can be converted into a home office, or a gym into a playroom.” Design + Decor

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The same is true for the wiring needs of a house. According to Daniel, trying to stay in front of technology is not an easy task, but it’s important to plan ahead. “It goes back to understanding the clients’ priorities at the beginning of the project and anticipating what they will need in the future,” he says. “When we do our initial planning, we consider what new technology might become available, such as high-tech sound and security systems.” 68

The goal of the FORMA’s highly creative renovation work is to meet the current needs of their client while making the home more efficient and saving the homeowner money. Describing their recent work on a renovation project in upstate New York, Miroslava explains that the firm successfully combines traditional typology with a modern touch, taking advantage of technological advances while honoring the building’s original features and components. The team utilizes new ma-

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terials while successfully creating a harmonious contrast between the traditional and the contemporary. “We see barns everywhere upstate,” says Daniel. “We’re constantly thinking about how to take that concept and modernize it through the use of materials and design.” The team stresses the significance of a home’s connection to the natural environment, which has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. “How can we create spaces between the indoors and the outdoors, such as interior gardens?” asks Miroslava. “Our goal is to connect the interior to the exterior in new and exciting ways that we haven’t thought of before.” The partners also factor in the location of the home, designing details such as its configuration, the shape of its roof, and the amount of shading based on the local elements. At FORMA, harmony factors into the firm’s relationship with its clients, the home’s connection with nature, and its locality, while timelessness and functionality include the home’s ability to adapt to its owners’ needs. Mastering these concepts is key to the company ’s success. Architect FORMA Miroslava Brooks Daniel Markiewicz 466 15th Street Brooklyn, NY 11215 614.260.4032

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o Peggy RubensDuhl, harmony, timelessness and functionality are the pillars that form the basis of her work. In 2005 she founded Fresh Architect, known for its iconic coastal residential design, with those concepts in mind. Along the way, she earned her credentials as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), trained to help seniors live safely in their homes as they grow older. Understanding the unique needs of older adults, Peggy has invaluable knowledge about home modifications and solutions to the common barriers seniors confront in their day-to-day lives. She creates beautiful homes that are also 100% accessible to people with disabilities, without outwardly appearing to be equipped for special needs. The renovation of the Westport, CT, beach house pictured here is a perfect example of how Fresh Architect integrates timelessness with functionality. “The proximity to the Long Island Sound and the water views drove the project’s overall design,” says Peggy. The first floor features an open floor plan with multipurpose spaces, with every room visually connected to the water. The custom-designed sliding window wall creates a constant dialogue between the home’s architecture and the surrounding sea and landscape. Design + Decor

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The harmony that is so evident in this waterfront retreat is reflected in the design details and materials used, including mahogany, oak and engineered stone countertops with a sea-blue glass backsplash to reflect the water in the kitchen. “The owners spent many years travelling in the Far East, so the design of the home is simple and modern, with a Zen-like feel,” Peggy explains. The house illustrates how she successfully marries beautiful contrasting materials with modern coastal design. Building in a coastal community presents its own obstacles, such as the need to raise the entire house to meet FEMA requirements. Peggy found a solution by designing the house on multiple levels, with the ability to navigate through the structure graciously and comfortably. Known for creating houses that integrate the indoors with the outdoors, Peggy says, “Respecting nature—both its power and its healing effects—is important in what we design and build. Originally it was a dark, split-level house. We basically transformed it so it fits in with its environment and the water, capturing the views.”

tails include an elevator with six stops, generous clearances, space between cabinets, a gorgeous master bathroom that is fully accessible and, most important, smart technology, which allows the home’s systems to be controlled with the push of a button. Even the grab bars are beautiful. “There is no way you would know this is a handicapped home,” says Peggy. Ultimately, harmony, timelessness and functionality all factor into the architect’s relationship with her clients. “The home mirrors the way the clients want to live,” says Peggy. “Our excellent relationship is reflected in the beauty and functionality of their home. This project was built with the future in mind.” Architect Fresh Architect Peggy Rubens-Duhl 203.671.9997

At the same time, the owners wanted their home designed for aging in place, another of Fresh Architect’s specialties. Design deDesign + Decor

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armony, timelessness and functionality are major factors to be considered in the design of a residential structure, notes Ralph Mackin, Jr., the founder of Mackin Architects in North Salem, NY. “Whether it’s a renovation or new house, we always consider the scale and proportion of other homes in the neighborhood,” he says. “In historic neighborhoods, our designs are contextual, in keeping with the history and architecture of the area, as well as the site it is on.” Since 1992, Ralph and his team have been creating beautiful homes that reflect their clients’ tastes and lifestyles while amplifying natural night, capturing magnificent views and enhancing the landscape. The key to the firm’s success is consistently building houses that are adaptable—ready to change according to the owners’ needs. One focus of the firm’s residential designs is the inclusion of an “away ” room—a separate space that provides a retreat from other areas of the house, to be used for working, reading or watching TV. For clients who also need a separate home office, Ralph has taken the notion of adaptability one step further by converting an extra bedroom into a changeover room: the space can be used as a workspace while doubling as a guest room when someone is spending the night. While design is about dealing with immediate needs, Ralph emphasizes the imporDesign + Decor

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tance of anticipating the way a space might be used in years to come. He often plans for future spaces by “phasing,” or preparing the room for a new use over time. “One example is the space over a garage that is not currently being used,” he explains. “We bring up the plumbing, but intentionally leave the room unfinished—to be turned into a study or a room for an au pair.” Such rooms are usually accessible by back stairs or connected to the main house through the mudroom. Early on in the project, the firm talks with clients about their technology goals, often recommending that the homeowners consult with a technology specialist. “ These days, you can use systems that run on Bluetooth, which can reduce the amount of wiring,” he says. As they renovate, the Mackin team tries to incorporate the latest building products on the market. Harmony, timelessness and functionality all circle back to scale and proportion. “If you pay attention to that,” says Ralph, “it will all come together.” Architect Mackin Atchitects Ralph Mackin 112 Titicus Road North Salem, NY 10560 914.277.3152

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WHERE OPPOSITES ATTRACT The amalgamated world of Maneli Wilson Interiors Story by Kathleen E. Syron | Photography by Heidi Solander

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MWI also advises their clients on Art selection. This is a one-of-a-kind abstract painting by Jenna Snyder-Phillips.


ow does a designer combine sophistication with whimsy—or a serene space with ornate, eye-catching decor? And how does a designer create a streamlined look by mixing several layers of different textures and styles? To find out, check out the portfolio of interior designer Maneli Wilson. Her style, she explains, “takes a maximalist approach to the minimum by artfully combining classical and modern elements of the finest quality, creating settings that convey emotion while ensuring that each room is functional, refined and stylistically eclectic.”

Vintage chairs were re-envisioned with cobalt blue leather and a Pierre Frey Fabric, “GUSTAVE” inspired by the Austrian artist.

It’s no wonder Maneli appreciates contrasting styles. Her own background includes a potpourri of international travel, design school, advertising, magazine publishing and a long list of life experiences, with every adventure leading to the goal of opening her own interior design house. Born in Tehran, Iran, Maneli emigrated to the U.S. at a young age and was raised amid two very distinctive cultures. She quickly learned how to blend her love of highly ornate, maximalist, old-world styles with a more serene and minimalist aesthetic. Her deep respect for ageold craftsmanship and artistry stems from her Persian heritage, ingrained in eclecticism, with influences from Eastern and Western cultures. In 2010 she founded Maneli Wilson Interiors (MWI) with the objective of Design + Decor

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The book-matched calcutta gold marble slabs wrapping the fireplace and media center were well worth the effort.

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The perfect angle to see how the gold color is picked up in many elements of the room without actually creating a “gold” room.

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The condo’s kitchen was enhanced with the use of cylindrical pendants and foliage.

offering comprehensive interior design services for residential, commercial and multi-unit properties. Her firm provides expertise in all aspects of the design process. Not only does she refresh existing spaces, but she executes full-service renovation projects that include design planning and analysis; project management; furniture, fixtures and equipment specification and procurement; custom furniture fabrication; space planning and art advisory. Networking and social media helped Maneli develop a roster of high-profile clientele including celebrities, architects and real estate developers, for whom she creates individual solutions tailored to each client’s lifestyle and budget. One of Maneli’s recent projects exemplifies her style. It is located in The Greenwich Lane luxury complex in New York City, a collection of five unique addresses and five townhouses nestled together in the West Village. Built on the site of one of the city’s longest-standing hospitals, St. Vincent’s, the development is groundbreaking for its rare mix of historical restoration and innovative new construction, all surrounded by a lush central garden. Deciding this was the perfect locale for their pied-à-terre in the city, a young Long Island couple with two small children sought out MWI to help bring their new, part-time home to life. In contrast to their rural home, the clients wanted a chic and classy space when they come to the city to see shows, visit museums and entertain friends. Maneli’s challenge was to create a child-friendly, sophisticated space from a Design + Decor

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A colorful rug grounds the light and airy room. The silver-leafed bubble chandelier adds the whimsy.

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rather bland, white cement box. Although the condo was delivered “move-in ready,” the lack of any enhancements, including overhead lighting, called for substantial remodeling. For budgeting and timing purposes, Maneli broke the project into two phases: construction, and soft furnishings and fixtures. The overall project took eight months to complete, starting with dropping the ceiling in the living room to accommodate recessed and cove lighting and a chandelier. Maneli also constructed more soffits throughout the condo to house pendants, especially in the kitchen and master bedroom. Another built-in feature she created is the book-matched Calcatta marble fireplace wall that hides all cords and communication devices. Sourcing, fabricating and installing the marble became a of labor of love for Maneli and her team, who finished off the construction with paint and all new wallcoverings. The design of the living room centers around the dripping gold wallpaper. Maneli saw the sophistication and whimsy in the design, and knew the family would appreciate the juxtaposition. The wallpaper set the tone for the entire residence, which features bold contrasts of maximalist and minimalist, with a little whimsy. While a quick once-over of the living room suggests a well-decorated space, closer inspection reveals the true genius of MWI. The room looks clean and streamlined, when in fact there are no fewer than four design styles seamlessly interacting with one another. The modern wallpaper is paired with Scandinavian pillows, vintage Art Deco-covered chairs, mid-century modern dining chairs, and more capriciousness with the Gabriel Scott Welles steel chandelier. The resulting room creates the maximum effect in a minimalist room. The swivel chairs are of particular interest—they were a vintage find recovered in cobalt blue leather and the dynamic fabric “Gustave” by Pierre Frey. It takes a seasoned designer to Design + Decor

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Layers of lighting and a mix of texture are the key elements to this sophisticated master bedroom.

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Maneli Wilson’s propensity for balance pairs the linear headboard and side table with round accessories and cylindrical pendants.

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The large vertical windows are matched with equally tall headboard and custom wall unit.

bring these vibrant colors into a neutral modern room and not have them dominate the space. The eye never truly lands on anything: it jumps from wallpaper to chairs to chandelier and back again. Not only does Maneli try to balance her designs with the right amount of color and neutrality, but shapes—big and small, light and dark—are also very important to her. Most often she uses curved accessories to balance out all the clean lines. Her rooms don’t look fussy but offer a softer, modern look, the result of combining differing shapes without letting one dominate the other. In the living room, the modernist features are tempered with the curved dining chairs, alabaster sconces, swivel chairs, oval dining table and cluster of round stone coffee tables. A modernist would have filled the room with square furniture to stay true to the genre, but Maneli isn’t one to follow any preconceived notions of design. The master bedroom is divine, luxurious and simple. High-quality materials and furnishings give the room its magnificence, while unassuming pieces keep the room grounded. An extra-tall headboard tufted with thick navy velvet dominates the room and sets the scene. The bed is covered in white Egyptian cotton sheets, dark silk and fur pillows, and is flanked by two gorgeous brass multi-light pendants. The luxuriousness is countered by the custom bookshelf wall unit, which is decorated with neutral accessories, including hand-thrown ceramic vases that give the room a natural organic

element. Maneli’s love of shapes is also very evident in the bedroom. While most of the main pieces here are straight lines—bed, headboard, pillows, bookshelf and books—Maneli added ceramic vases and other round objects, including the hanging circular pendants, chair and circle pattern on the rectangular Stark rug. Every item is intentionally chosen to counter another object—a fine balancing trick that Maneli Wilson has mastered. Other rooms in the sizable apartment include the kids’ room, kitchen and two full bathrooms. MWI needed to do minimal work in these rooms to make them congruous with the newly designed residence. All in all, the condo is a welcoming amalgamation of practical, luxurious and simple. It is a perfectly designed pied-à-terre that this family will enjoy for years to come. Resources Maneli Wilson Interiors Maneli Wilson 154 Grand Street New York, NY 10013 917.226.9104 Design + Decor

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Apadana Fine Rugs


padana Fine Rugs, the area’s go-to source for elegant, handmade rugs, has expanded its operation and moved to a new location, 507 Westport Avenue in Norwalk, CT. Designers and discerning homeowners who are looking for sophisticated rugs have turned to Apadana for more than four decades. The new, luxurious showroom enables Apadana to showcase the artistry of its rugs in a way no one else can. “Our new store’s warm and spacious layout gives designers and clients the ability to easily browse the wide breadth and depth of our handmade rugs,” says owner Mike Alidadi. For 2021, the company has created its new, exclusive private label collection, the Apadana Collection, which gives clients and designers the ability to choose the size and colors of their own elegant, custom rug. “In addition to featuring our Apadana Collection, our new 15,000-squarefoot showroom also allows us to highlight our expanded broadloom and contemporary flooring offerings,” says Mike. Apadana Fine Rugs Mike Alidadi 507 Westport Avenue Norwalk, CT 06851 203.299.1760


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hen Anthon Fuisz purchased a mid-century home in Pleasantville, NY, in 2017, he was ecstatic. Living in a house built in the architectural legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed and developed many homes just miles away, was a dream come true. At the same time, the house fit in beautifully with the surrounding environment. All-glass walls and windows offered an unobstructed view of the trees, deer and coyotes that shared the property. Simply put, the home combined incredible architectural design and natural beauty in a single property. This ecological symbiosis, however, raised an important question for Anthon: How could he live sustainably, supporting the ecosystems outside his window and around the world, when the home’s outdated construction made heating and cooling extremely inefficient? Reliant on an oil-burning furnace for heat, the house had an ecological impact that was far from perfect: more than 1,600 gallons of fuel oil were required each year to heat the residence. Anthon knew something needed to change, so he called Dandelion Energy, the nation’s leading home geothermal company, headquartered in nearby Mount Kisco, NY. (The firm also has warehouses in Long Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, with additional servicing in Vermont and, soon, New Jersey.) Dandelion Energy had an elegant solution for Anthon’s home: a geothermal heat pump that would warm and cool the house without the high cost and environmental impact of an oil-burning furnace. Indeed, the company’s geothermal heating and cooling presents a costeffective way to access the energy already underneath people’s homes. It harnesses the steady, 55-degree, year-round ground temperature, relying on a heat pump installed in the home and ground loops buried in the ground to efficiently and effectively heat and cool the house. The process is shockingly simple: In the summer, the geothermal system pulls


heat from the home, sending it into the ground. In the winter, the heat is drawn from the ground and into the house. Since a geothermal heating and cooling solution doesn’t rely on natural gas, installation can be done quickly, often requiring Dandelion less than a week to drill, lay the ground loops and install the heat pump. Traditionally, installing a conventional geothermal system would cost homeowners more than $50,000, but Dandelion’s engineers have driven down these costs significantly. Today, the average install costs $18,000 to $25,000, with a no-money-down financing plan, allowing homeowners to integrate a geothermal heating and cooling system with no upfront cost, while saving up to 50% on their heating and cooling bills each month. Con Edison, the local utility, offered a significant rebate when the system was installed, while other tax incentives made the project even more affordable. While money wasn’t the primary motivator for this homeowner, his geothermal heating and cooling system is already paying dividends. While natural gas and fuel prices fluctuate this coming winter, Anthon is insulated from uncertainty. Most importantly, he is living sustainably, unifying beautiful architecture with an eco-conscious ethos that makes all the difference. Dandelion Energy Westchester Headquarters: 333 North Bedford Road, #220 Mount Kisco, NY 10549 Connecticut Headquarters: 460 Hayden Station Road Windsor, CT 06095 833.GEO.4ALL Design + Decor

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New England Antique Lumber


ue to an economic crisis in 2006, Patricia and Mauricio Guevara and their three daughters made the journey from Ecuador to Bedford, NY. “We had no money in our pockets and no knowledge of the language or area,” Patricia recalls. “The language barrier was the biggest obstacle because we didn’t really know what would be possible.” They rented an apartment and found employment via the Community Center of Northern Westchester in nearby Katonah. The couple worked overnight shifts to clean the Katonah Art Center, saving money to provide a good education for their children. Next the Guevaras were referred to work as house cleaners, and Mauricio found further employment in construction, where he trained to work with reclaimed wood. With the support of his employer, he began taking on his own custom-woodworking clients in whatever time he had on the weekends. On a trip upstate to buy more wood, the Guevaras decided it was time to take a leap of faith and open their own business. They found the perfect spot for their own showroom in nearby Mount Kisco, NY. Weeks later, they invested their savings and opened the New England Antique Lumber Company. Now, more than 10 years in the business, the company serves a distinguished client base from all over the area. Star athletes and Hollywood celebrities— some of whom used to employ the Guevaras as house cleaners, such as Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively—now purchase the Guevaras’ products as clients, and refer their friends to the business. “We went from cleaning their houses 94

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to having them as valued customers,” Patricia says with pride. “We worked very hard to get where we are,” adds Mauricio, “but we believe that anyone can make it here.” This year the Guevaras realized the next exciting phase of their journey by opening their second location, at 238 Post Road East in Westport, CT. Here, under the name “New England Lumber,” clients can find the same offerings of custom wood furniture, live-edge tables, mantels, ceiling beams, reclaimed wood flooring, paneling and custom millwork, all lovingly crafted by the Guevaras. Together, the two give new life to trees that have been cut down, creating personalized pieces that satisfy the tastes and suggestions of their clients. Indeed, the Guevaras say that using their supply of wood and timber, they can create anything their clients imagine. New England Antique Lumber Mauricio and Patricia Guevara 238 Post Road East Westport, CT06880 203.557.0317 91 East Main Street Mount Kisco, NY 10549 914.864.0895

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LDD Interiors


ith more than 25 years of experience in the field of design, Lisa Davenport has gained an acute awareness of the importance of every piece of work that comes together to craft a living space. Whether it be the architectural side, the labor of building the structures, or the interior design work that turns the space into a home, Lisa and her team at LDD Interiors have a mind for it all. At LDD Interiors, however, one-of-a-kind interior design work takes more than just understanding each stage of work that goes into a living space. For Lisa, great design comes from working together harmoniously with each person crafting the home. Lisa’s love of interior design was sparked when she was selling drapes, wallpaper and other household accessories in a retail space. When clients would excitedly return to tell her about the rooms they had created using her ideas, “I got the bug,” she says. “Seeing that feeling of excitement in a person’s face when they love the place they live in, I wanted to feel that all the time.” Lisa chased that feeling all the way back to school—and never looked back. She became a partner in a design showroom for 15 years, and then about 10 years ago set off on her own with LDD Interiors, using her experience to bring about that delighted expression on the face of every client. When it comes to Lisa’s work, she never attributes the finished product to herself alone. Lisa’s goal is to reflect her client’s personality within her work. This means considering more than just the finishes within a space, but also the architectural elements, such as how sight lines within a room will make a client feel, and how light entering a space can impact clients differently. “It’s important to make sure I embrace the architecture while reflecting a client’s personality,” she says. “I can never forget the architect’s vision in the work I do.” 96

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That’s why Lisa goes above and beyond, not just in her relationships with her clients, but with others involved in the project as well. While some designers might work separately from architects and builders, Lisa tackles a project collaboratively. “My favorite relationships are when an architect, a builder and I are all in a room together,” she says. “We each bring our own strengths to the table, and that offsets our weaknesses. I may pay more attention to how a space feels, the builder could be thinking about costeffectiveness and material quality, and the architect might dial in to how a physical space will work best for its inhabitants.” It’s this collaboration during a project that makes the result seamless for clients of LDD Interiors. “When everyone works together harmoniously, the clients never experience any disconnect in their space or stress over how their home will end up,” she says. Indeed, Lisa is certain about “how important it is to have those three team members together from the getgo,” she says. “There are fewer mistakes and fewer headaches, with a better outcome by the end.” LDD Interiors Lisa Davenport 140 West Street #303 Middlefield, CT 06455 860.316.5718 380 10th Street East Suite 101 Naples. FL 34102 239.260.1845

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