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‘CAUSE IT’S COOL! page 14

EAST

COAST

HOME+DESIGN JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014

ISSUE 66

FEATURES

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Designer Paul Guzzetta Balances The Elements By Diana Sussman

How a designer blends beloved antiques with modern design to create an updated functional form a family could love

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Twice As Nice Design By Peg Ventricelli

An everyday home interior in Old Greenwich is resuscitated by a skilled designer and her artist partner

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Designer Ralph Vuolo Mixes It Up By Peg Ventricelli

This self-proclaimed “traditionalist” pairs his beloved antiques with modern design elements

DEPARTMENTS 12 16 76

Editors Letter In The Field Ask the Experts

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Melange Kitchen Cookbook Hidden Treasures

Cover Photo by: Neil Landino

East Coast Home + Design 9

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Number 66 Editor-in-Chief Matthew J. Kolk mattkolk@me.com 203-820-1092 Managing Editor James Eagen Contributing Writers Cristina Commendatore, Tracy Dwyer, Kait Shea, Diana Sussamn,Peg Ventricelli 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, Janice Parker, Durston Saylor, Eric Striffler, Jonathan Wallen, Woodruff/Brown Photography Graphic & Web Design East Coast Publishing

Publisher Shelley E. McCormick shelley_mccormick@yahoo.com 203-545-7091 Account Managers Lisa Dearborn Lollie Mathews Business Development Randi K. Lehrman, Esq. Marketing & Sales Advisor to the Gold Coast Corporate Counsel James F. Walsh, Esq. Distribution Man in Motion East Coast Home + Design 111 Forest Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06824 Fax: 203-286-1850 East Coast Home + Design is published six issues per year. To subscribe: www.eastcoasthomepublishing.com; Subscriptions: one year, $28; two years, $50. Back issues can be purchased at www.eastcoasthomepublishing.com. For editorial inquiries: Editor, East Coast Home + Design, 111 Forest Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06824 or e-mail: mattkolk@ me.com. 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 East Coast Home + Design are not necessarily those of the magazine.

EAST COAST HOME PUBLISHING 111 FOREST AVENUE FAIRFIELD, CT 06824 EASTCOASTHOMEPUBLISHING.COM

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Letter from the Editor

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am pleased to share with all of you that this is our 10th Anniversary year. With our September issue, we will have been providing you with all that is East Coast Home + Design for ten years! This is going to be a fun year for us and we intend on fully enjoying it and sharing it with you. As a community, we have all come so far and created so many memories together. Looking back at “Issue One”, it was such a simple concept. As one of our partners stated “I know what you are trying to do, you just need to get there.” We truly were young, naive and had an unstoppable passion to create something new and unique. The magazine wasn’t “funded” or “backed”, it was a combination of 401K’s, IRA’s, savings and a group of people that burned the midnight-oil to actually create something. As individuals came and went, clients came and went, there were many of each, who still are an integral part of our magazine. Our mission was, and still is to create a community of talented individuals, who are unwavering in creating beauty. Our part is to identify that and share it with the masses. This has never changed, we have created some great relationships, our clients have become our family, trusted advisors and collaborators in sharing creativity through our pages. Each and every issue we produce of East Coast Home + Design is followed with e-mails and phone calls from clients and readers who are “wowed”. We receive written complements, in multitude each time the issue hits the stands. The truth is, we constantly strive to present our partners projects in the greatest light to our readers. We strive to provide great content. However, we never lose focus on what has made us a successful magazine: The truly invested collaboration between us as the publisher and the client as the creator to provide the reader with a smart, clean, sophisticated look at each project that we present. I’m very proud of our beginnings, I’m proud of our “grass roots” accomplishments and I continue to be proud of our clients, who do not only create amazing spaces and structures, but are honest in their design, true to their craft and have the strength to share in a manner that embraces our readers. Enjoy and buckle up, it’s going to be a fun year! Matthew J. Kolk Editor in Chief mattkolk@me.com

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Melange

Aquarius Mirror A constellation-inspired frame forms the shimmering antique gold Aquarius mirror. Accenting its circular center, dozens of tiny, convex mirrors elicit eye-catching drama. zincdoor.com

Chelsea Crystal & Chrome Semi-flushed Ceiling Mount Glowing with modern sophistication, the brilliant Chelsea semi-flush ceiling mount dazzles alone or in a pair. Clear hand-polished crystals tightly align to form this impressive cube light fixture. district17.com

‘Cause it’s Cool! NEW TO MARKET PIECES FOR THE HOME

The Stud Console Boasts hand-cast pyramid studs that texture its open design. Edgy and daring, this modern style delivers a dose of glam. zincdoor.com

Palu Camden Chaise Lounge Organic materials influence mod design on the Palu Camden chaise lounge. Featuring a kona finish, this rattan seat intrigues with clean angles and a minimalist frame. zincdoor.com 14

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The Horseshoe Star Made from 5 welded new horseshoes. It is a functional & decorative use of heavy duty horseshoes with a rustic finish used indoors or outdoors. It lays dead flat and measures 10″ . railroadware.com

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In The Field

Super Sandy’s Winds of Change A Look at Life on Connecticut’s Shore post Hurricane Sandy Story by Susan W. Capparelle with Anne DiFrancesco

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Before

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o stand under the guts of a Connecticut shorefront home, wrenched from its foundations, hoisted 15 feet up in the air and hanging in its entirety over your head is an eerie experience. Looking up at the exposed rooms from below, the whole foundation is now balanced precariously on stacked concrete blocks and stilts. It’s easy to see that home’s uprooting as emblematic of the kinds of deep change and upheaval residents on the entire shorefront will need to undergo, sooner or later, post Super Storm Sandy. Today, more than 13 months after that devastating storm, all along Connecticut’s coast in towns such as Rowayton, Greenwich, Fairfield, Westport and Milford, hundreds of homes just like this one are being raised (if not razed or sold) to accommodate FEMA’s new flood plain levels, amid overwhelming scenes of reconstruction, construction, repair, and change. Shore Life – From the Air Take an aerial view of our coast’s history and speed it up in a timelapse film. What you will observe is the initial settler colonies dotting our shores in the 1600s, expanding and then spreading out like

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a web as more and more people move in. From your aerial perch you might also observe the encroaching ocean surge and rising tide levels in more recent decades. As our climate changes, the issue of rising water has come to the forefront – not just on our populated shores, but all across the state. As recently as the late 1990s towns like Fairfield and Rowayton still had their ubiquitous seaside capes, small bungalows, seaside shacks. In many of the upscale shore communities today, however, those small dwellings are no longer there, replaced instead by heavily packed neighborhoods of large, often palatial homes, complete with all the latest accoutrements of modern upscale living. It is these new residents, along with those still living in homes owned for generations, who now have to deal with the repercussions of shoreline living in an era of rising waters. Sandy’s Wake Down the twisting seaside streets of shore towns and on the beach fronts, far from main thoroughfares like I-95, there is a busy hive of construction and reconstruction activity going on. “I saw entire streets being rebuilt and ALL houses being lifted,” says

Left: Post storm but before restoration. The garden right after Sandy hit. The green shoots visible here and there are native species that survived and include hydrangeas and grasses. Center: In progress. Early spring 2013. The following spring Hoffman Landscapes replaced all the original ornamentals (non-salt tolerant plants), and, with the clients’ agreement, added more native (salt-tolerant) blooms such as hydrangeas, roses and sedum as a base for flowers, and grasses like switch grass and fountain grass. Right: After. Summer 2013. This garden is now a happy integration of salt tolerant and ornamental plantings. The owners saw the sense in reducing replacements costs, and their anxiety around future storms, by adding more salt tolerant plantings like sedums and hydrangeas. At the same time, they got to keep their ornamentals such as Shasta daisies and Nepeta. It’s the best of both worlds!

photos: Hoffman Landscapes

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one eyewitness of a drive around Fairfield beach in November 2013. “I was surprised by exactly how much reconstruction is going on.” Drive around Rowayton and you will see entire streets where house raising is going full blast, streets where every other house is set higher than its neighbor. In Westport some owners are replacing all their landscaping while others raze and rebuild entire homes. And everywhere there is bull dozing, back hoeing, storage PODs in yards, muddy no access roads filled with construction crews, wall building, landscape teams and bustling activity. Connecticut shore residents must adhere to stringent new FEMA regulations as of July 2013, involving varying zones and flood elevations – based on Mean Sea Level. “Where once a house was safe at 11 feet above sea level, it now may need to be 15 feet above sea level, or 9 feet to 10 feet higher than the grade, especially if it is in a VE zone which many homes on Rowayton point now are,” says Christopher Pagliaro of Pagliaro Bartels Sajda Architects LLC. His Norwalk-based firm has raised houses in Rowayton, Fairfield and Westport post Sandy. VE stands for “velocity”, where the waters not only rise, but also are expected to hit the structure with force. Structural requirements are more stringent for velocity zones. As of July 2013, based on new FEMA regulations, Fairfield beach also became a VE zone. In towns like Rowayton, today there are streets where one side is now a designated 15 VE zone, while the other side of the street remains in 18

the flood plain or AE zone. (AE essentially means “rising waters.” Most areas in Connecticut are in AE 12, 13, 14, 15 zones.) The result? Oftentimes, the rebuilding leads to jarring visual results. Pagliaro’s office was inundated with calls for help post Sandy. Many of them were from those people who had “watched the new construction all these years (and) were now requesting that we raise their house to comply with FEMA.” Local towns utilize the FEMA regulations in their Zoning Regulations. When a homeowner wants to comply, they can and the town usually wants to help. Towns see the benefit of working with homeowners, local architects, designers and landscapers to help preserve the scale and charm of that community. However, there are limitations. Part of the local zoning regulations adopted from FEMA include the limitation of improvements to older homes that do not conform to the FEMA regulations, especially when the improvement plans don’t call for the house to comply as part of the proposed work. In such cases, improvements are limited to 50% of the value of the structure (not the overall property). FEMA implements such restrictions to prevent having to pay for repairs time and time again. Often, homeowners struggle with the challenge to bring the structure into compliance. FEMA’s position is that the question is not “if ” flood damage will eventually occur, but “when”. For such reasons, they want to restrict how much investment is made into a non-conforming structure.

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DESIGN TIPS Design features that can help a house weather a devastating storm include the following: - Casement windows that seal tig hter in the face of strong head winds. - French doors that swing open outwards also seal more securely against the force of wind gusts. - Flood vents, strategically placed in unfinished areas of a home such as the garage, control the natural ebb and flow of water without damaging the house’s foundation. - Breakaway walls (part of a list of FEMA requirements for VE zones where you cannot impede water flow) help protect the overall structure against the strength of Mother Nature.

Landscaping tips for seaside gardens: - Put the rig ht plant in the rig ht spot. It will have not only the best chance to survive a heavy storm, it will also thrive in good conditions. - Consider soil remediation. Just cleaning or replacing salt drenched soil 3 to 6 inches down can make a huge difference to the survival of plantings in your landscape after a big storm or sea surge. - Create windbreaks with salt tolerant shrubs and trees to protect plantings less tolerant of salt and wind. This type of screening also creates a natural backdrop for your landscape design.

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Sometimes, according to Ed Parker of the Old Greenwich firm Alisberg Parker Architects LLC, the extent of what can be done comes down to the age of the home (old vs. newer) and the quality of the soil (poor vs. adequate) underneath it. “The older homes are often built on inadequate foundations to raise a house on,” he says. “So if you want to keep the house you have to lift it, rip out the old foundation and then dig down further to pour a new foundation – all with the house above your head.” All of which is an extensive, expensive proposition. These facts explain why it is only now, more than 13 months on from the storm, that many homes are being lifted or fixed.

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A Change in Attitude as Well as Latitude The new FEMA regulations may be stringent but for good reason – they protect shoreline residents. They are not designed to stop water from penetrating the footprint of the structure but instead protect the structure from damage caused by water pressure as well as protect finished areas. Ed Parker notes that those homes that adhered to FEMA regulations before Sandy hit fared very well in the storm. “There was a house we worked on at Todd’s Point in Greenwich which adhered to the FEMA regs at that time and that house did not get any water on its first floor,” he explains. “The water receded through the water vents, there was extensive damage on landscaping but [overall] the house did great.” With FEMA now requiring first floors be as much as 9 feet to 10 feet higher than grade, the challenge is trying to incorporate good design in line with those requirements as well as each individual town’s zoning regulations. For example, when a house is lifted to meet the new elevation regulations, its garage may become just another room in the house, calling for a new floor plan. Or the garage might stay at grade level and then the issue is what happens (design wise) between it and the newly elevated house. “Following regulations is one thing, following them with grace is another,” says Pagliaro. One house in Rowayton had a ground level pool. After the home was raised it was no longer reachable from its former kitchen back door, now over 8 feet up in the air. The experienced design solution called for a new inside staircase down to a (floodable) mudroom/pool cabana that accesses both the pool, as well as the new below flood level garage. Go Native Where Possible Whether it’s architectural entities, construction companies or landscaping firms, experienced players offer local residents a quick turnaround after storms like Super Storm Sandy. With hundreds of clients, Hoffman Landscapes out of Wilton, CT has seen their fair share

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Top: After Notice the change in relationship of house to grade, especially the street level (foreground). Pagliaro Bartels Sajda Architects’ solution was to create a series of aesthetically pleasing stone terraces connecting the street level to the front door. Without this, it would be a house with no relationship to grade, and a long flight of straight steps to enter the house. Center: In Progress Post Sandy the house was lifted to the minimal FEMA floor elevation requirement (above MSL – mean seal level.) The project exemplifies how the height and scale of neighborhoods will change. Bottom: Before Pagliaro Bartels Sajda Architects LLC renovated this Rowayton home under the 50% value rule 10 years ago. It took in water from Sandy. Photo by Pagliaro Bartels Sajda Architects

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of post storm restoration. “We have put procedures in place to help us before, during and after major storms,” says Rick King, Project Director for Hoffman’s crews working by the shore. “Hoffman realizes the importance of getting life back to normal for people devastated by storm damage so our crews are geared up and ready to roll out as soon as possible.” At many of the homes King has worked on, the soil is still saturated with seawater more than 3-6 inches down. This calls for extensive irrigation to a depth of six inches to wash the soil out then applying gypsum to desalinate it. Soil remediation is another solution, which is based on the large-scale removal of tons of soil and replacing it with uncontaminated topsoil trucked in. “There is no reason to wait for FEMA to step in to evaluate your property,” he says. “An experienced landscaper should be able to evaluate the damage, then rescue and salvage whatever plantings and trees it can while offering the homeowner solutions to protect their property from future storm damage.” Looking ahead to the possibility of more storms means that, ideally, clients should consider salt tolerant plantings and native species, replacing lawns with hardscape, stone or fill and making other necessary adjustments in a changing environment. Whenever possible King encourages clients to consider native plantings that can withstand salt saturation and flooding. “Whenever we can, we suggest to homeowners that they try some type of sustainable restoration i.e. salt tolerant plants like beach grass, bayberry, hydrangeas and sedums,” says King. “We can offer them 22

compromises too like putting back the boxwoods – but just around the house or on a higher level of a new terraced grade.” There are also those properties where putting things back the way that they were works fine, since the original plantings were appropriate for the environment. “We have one client in Westport who had beautiful gardens right on the water with hundreds of ornamental plants that were salt tolerant – even roses which are pretty hardy.” King simply replaced that original landscaping. Landscaping is the finishing touch to reconstruction projects after a storm like Sandy. Whether it’s through terraced retaining walls, layers of lawn or native plantings, landscaping works in conjunction with proper architectural design to help ease the eye, and the visitor, up to newly elevated abodes. A New Mantra The future holds more change and challenges for Connecticut’s shore and the people who love it. Climatologists and scientific models point to storms like Sandy and the more recent typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines becoming stronger as an ongoing trend. Many point out that even though Sandy was quite destructive, it could have been worse. “The reality is that Sandy – as devastating as it was; as much as “The Perfect Storm” as it was described – fell between 18” and 24” short of the 100-Year Flood levels designated by FEMA when mapping (FIRM – Flood Insurance Rate Maps),” says Pagliaro.

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While the Connecticut shore remains as attractive as ever, the mantra going forward will be adapt, change but also retain. Retain the quaint, small-scale New England village feel and look, the antithesis of which has always been the Outer Banks of North Carolina, with their houses “on stilts.� Resources Alisberg Parker Architects 222 Sound Beach Avenue Old Greenwich, CT 06870 (203) 637-8730 alisbergparker.com Hoffman Landscapes 647 Danbury Road Wilton, CT 06897 (203) 834-9656 hoffmanlandscapes.com Pagliaro Bartels Sajda Architects 3 Pine Street (2nd Floor) South Norwalk, CT 06854 (203) 838-5517 pbs-archs.com

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ISLAND LIFE

The kitchen island has become a “must-have� in the heart of the home. We offer a few different looks to show how our designers get that heart pumping! Story by Cristina Commendatore

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Presented by:

HOUSE OF CLEMENT When ones thinks of House of Clement a vision of fashion meets interior design comes to mind. The award winning French Designer Gilles Clement has developed a full service high end Design Firm within his freestanding store in Westport, CT. For the owners of an older Colonial in Fairfield, Greenfield Hills section who had an addition to their kitchen and mudroom they turned to Gilles to make it flawless and blend in with the rest of the home. As Gilles stated, “it was quite challenging to make it look like it was always there, but we surely succeeded and the homeowners were thrilled!” They were quite involved with the design process and their views blended seamlessly with Gilles innovative ideas. The space demanded functionality and a desired amount of room enough for realistic storage and comfort combined with style. Gilles was careful to keep within the feel of the home and he “stayed in the harmony with the gorgeous colonial bones of this “older gem”. The coveted Kitchen Island has a seating area with grey and white piped cushions atop Lucite stools, open shelves, and a stunning Calcutta marble countertop. Double clear glass pendant lights hang directly above, making this an important focal point in the kitchen. But not upstaged by the other modern chrome light that hangs in the adjacent part of the kitchen. East Coast Home + Design

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The high gloss floors, both wood and concrete, reflect the mosaic backsplash that is a common thread throughout the kitchen. The window drapery is seen in two completely different ways, one being a modern trellis design and the other translucent, light and airy framing the kitchen table. Both allowing the daytime light to poor in. Gilles certainly kept the heart of the home intact and did it with his fabulous flair. Resources House of Clement Gilles Clement 181 Main Street Westport, CT 06880 203-349-5300 hocparis.com East Coast Home + Design

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JWH DESIGN & CABINETRY When JWH Design & Cabinetry designers began work on this kitchen in a 6,500-square-foot Old Greenwich home, they were sure to keep family and functionality at the forefront of their minds. JWH designers worked closely with the homeowners’ architect to create a kitchen space that allows for family time spent cooking together, adequate space for children to work on their school projects, and an open, free-flowing layout ideal for entertaining. The kitchen was designed to function independently, yet flow with the rest of the home. It includes a chef-inspired cooking and prep area, cleanup sink with convenient dish storage, a baking center with a concealed mixer lift, a children’s breakfast/snack area with a hidden countertop storage for small appliances, and a “command center” for Mom. Designers achieved balance throughout the design with creative planning and by using quality products and finishes, ensuring the kitchen would meet the family’s needs for both the short and long term. Collaborating directly with the client’s needs, JWH’s unique design process included using 3-dimensional drawings that allowed the client to fully visualize the design options. At the heart of this kitchen is its island, which serves as the functional prep and cleanup area for the range, as well as comfortable seating for casual meals. The dark walnut finish is a visual anchor in the space, and it is designed to fit a full-sized second sink, extra dishwasher, trash/recycle pull-out, drawers for utensils, extra storage across the rear, and serves as a convenient spot for hanging dishtowels.

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The island’s countertops are two-inch thick Calacatta marble, with Savanah Grey Limestone on the perimeter. Walnut countertops are featured on the radius corner and desk area of the kitchen. The curved countertop and bookcase in the kitchen, the arched doorways between rooms, and the circular designs of the Regina Andrew chandelier over the island, compliment the exterior architectural details and dramatic three-story curved stairway. JWH pre-finished all the cabinetry of this home in the firm’s on-site mill shop to provide lasting durability. The stains and paint finishes were custom selected to best compliment each space, while also creating a unifying theme throughout. The rooms adjoining the kitchen include the butler’s pantry (with concealed dumbwaiter to the third-floor roof deck), a children’s homework room with built-in desks, a mudroom with both closed and open storage to maximize storage and minimize clutter, and the open family room with built-in cabinetry for the family TV, books, and games. And the home’s close proximity to the water inspired fresh, light colors and textures throughout the kitchen. JWH worked with its client on every step of the design process – from the initial architectural sketches, complete cabinetry and millwork design for every room, selections of plumbing, electric, tile and countertops, as well as managing full construction services – to ensure long-term functionality of a kitchen and home perfectly fit for a young family Resources JWH Design & Cabinetry Jennifer Howard 1111 Boston Post Road Rye, NY 10580 914-967-6020 jwhdesigns.com

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LYNNE SCALO DESIGN East Coast Home + Design

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Home is where the heart is – and in most cases, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Designers at Lynne Scalo Design turned that philosophy into reality when they designed this timeless kitchen for an active Westport family. Besides having a kitchen that looked the part, this Westport family needed the heart of its home to be child and dog friendly. It also needed to be easy to clean for the homeowner. The homeowner was heavily involved in this design process and wanted her kitchen to reflect her fond childhood memories of spending time with her grandparents in Por34

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tugal. Designers, along with the homeowner, selected tiles with Portuguese influence to bring a slice of Portugal to the home. The island, which is the center focal point of the kitchen, was designed so the children in the family could sit at the island while their mom cooks and prepares meals. The island was designed to have extra seating for eating, and the acrylic bar stools and lighting keep the look light and airy. Those seated at the island also have a clear view to the pool area outside. The kitchen island is also used as a space for their children to do their homework, as well as mom’s

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satellite office. The entire look of the kitchen is clean and open. Designers used custom cabinetry in an eggshell hand glazed Benjamin Moore white. In addition, a secondary sink was added for extra cleanup. The inspiration behind this project was spearheaded by Lynne Scalo’s client, who wanted a fresh light classic kitchen infused with pops of modernity. It was also important to the client that the kitchen integrate Portuguese tiles for a bit of heritage and a timeless take on a classic New England home. Lynne Scalo’s sophisticated, yet functional design blends modern glamour with classic elegance, transcending both staid traditionalism and faddish trends. This kitchen is a timeless space that truly reflects the homeowner’s childhood, vision and lifestyle. Resources Lynne Scalo Designs 23 Jesup Road Westport, Ct 06880 203-222-4991 lynnescalo.com

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SHORE & COUNTRY KITCHENS

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A large family living in Fairfield’s Greenfield Hill section that had outgrown their current kitchen space decided they needed to renovate to accommodate their needs. They turned to Shore and Country’s Bob Blanco, who designed their original kitchen eight years ago, for help. Together, the family and Blanco’s firm developed a plan to double the size of the kitchen by bumping out the back of the house by 14 feet. Shore and Country was tasked with adding onto the existing kitchen and blending the old and new together seamlessly. Since the large family wanted more storage and additional appliances, Blanco and his crew added a third sub-zero refrigerator to the kitchen, as well as a new built-in coffee center, which was on the family’s wish list. Another need for the family was more island seating. An original island had seating for two, and a newly renovated island adds another three to four seats, so that during meal making the children can close by and help out. Additional refrigerator drawers were also added to the island, allowing the children to access juice and water without being in the main cooking zone. Stylistically the island has a hand distressed, burnished finish on Cherry.

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The furniture details like the columns on the end and the furniture base molding make for a nice contrast to the white perimeter cabinetry. Working with the existing island, Shore and Country mirrored a second island and added an eating bar on one side and additional refrigeration on the other side. The kitchen’s perimeter cabinetry is a Nordic White baked on stain, and the islands are a hand-finished Edinburg on Cherry. All cabinetry is Full Custom by Wood-Mode. Shore and Country designers – handling all aspects of the cabinetry and working with the client’s private contractor – kept as much of the existing kitchen as possible, making the addition seamlessly blend with the original. Shore and Country, a full-service company who can do everything from design, installation, counter tops, construction, electrical and plumbing, ensured the renovations were completed as efficiently as possible to fully suit the needs of this Fairfield family. Resources Shore and Country Kitchens Bob Blanco 1735 Post Road Fairfield, CT 06824 203-259-7555 shoreandcountrykitchens.com

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JMKA ARCHITECTS

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A clean and simple design that resembles more of a living area than a kitchen was the inspiration behind this Cape Cod kitchen. JMKA architects worked closely with their clients to provide a kitchen fit for entertaining in a vacation home on the Cape. Requesting a kitchen that the clients and their guests could cook in together, the kitchen was designed to accommodate large groups of people. JMKA delivered, but with a relatively compact space to work with. Given that the house is only 2,200 square feet, the firm’s architects were inspired by the efficiency of tight and

compact kitchens and living spaces on boats. Keeping the design clean and simple and working within set parameters, the firm ensured the kitchen opens up to the dining area and the living area as well as being by the front entry of the house. In this active, working kitchen, the island is the main workspace for preparing and serving meals. The island serves as a separation between the cook and the guests who can either sit at the counter or be in the living area but still have the cook be part of the conversation. It includes a below-counter refrigerator, a microEast Coast Home + Design

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wave, storage space for serving dishes as the food is taken out of the oven and off the cook top and recyclable bins built in to a cabinet. Throughout the kitchen, the cabinets were painted the same color as the walls to blend in and the counters, which are a Carrera marble, really open up the space. The reclaim red and white oak floors flow through all of the rooms, creating uniformity throughout the entire house. In order to make the project work as a whole, JMKA remodeled the entire house, changing the locations of the living/entertaining areas as well as adding on enclosed exterior spaces to increase the overall space to make it ideal for entertaining. JMKA ensured their clients have an open and idyllic entertainment space to host many gatherings on the Cape with friends and family.

Resources JMKA Architects Jeff Kaufman 17 Kings Highway North Westport, CT 06880 203-222-1222 jmkarchitects.com

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TR BUILDING & REMODELING

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Creating a contemporary, sleek look and open floor plan was the inspiration behind this New Canaan kitchen designed by TR Building & Remodeling, Inc. The firm, which serves lower Fairfield County, transformed a kitchen that was once tight and closed off and modernized it to reflect the contemporary and egalitarian feel of the rest of the home. The total scope of work for this project included the complete gut of the kitchen, family room and mudroom, which included several structural changes to remove walls and enclose an old breezeway to create a more open, free-flowing feel to the kitchen space. The focal point of the newly remodeled kitchen is the island, which is sleek with its high-gloss, brushed bronze cabinets and stainless steel countertop. A cantilevered counter extends beyond the back of the island to maximize the preparation area and to allow for a comfortable spot to chop vegetables while sitting on a high stool. The homeowners expressed the importance of maximizing their view from the kitchen, as well as bringing in natural light. The firm delivered by placing a range on the back wall of the kitchen and by installing a large picture window behind the range rather than a traditional tile backsplash. The island was intentionally not positioned to align with the range in order to allow for maximum space between surfaces for comfortable traffic flow throughout the kitchen. The island was also designed without a cook top or sink to maintain adequate preparation space. Materials used in the rest of the kitchen include Arabesque quartzite

perimeter countertops, wide plank character-grade white oak floors, custom barn doors, stainless steel, and high-gloss lacquer custom cabinets to achieve the desired contemporary look. TR Building & Remodeling, Inc. worked closely with the homeowners to transform an older, tight kitchen into this contemporary gem. The firm handled every aspect of this project from design to construction to give the New Canaan homeowners exactly what they envisioned. Resources TR Building & Remodeling Todd Drury Rick Krug 28 Vitti Stret New Canaan, CT 06840 203-664-1303 trbuilt.com

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RAJNI ALEX DESIGN 48

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The challenge for Interior Designer Rajni Alex in designing this kitchen was the long, narrow dimension of the space. Nestled in a Bronxville apartment, Rajni had to carefully consider the specific needs of her clients and come up with creative solutions to satisfy the multitude of uses for the space. “This was a complete gut renovation. Its a narrow kitchen, where we had to carve out different work space for different members of the family:- stainless steel covered narrow island for the husband who loves to cook, a separate peninsula for the wife who loves to bake, TV area and a desk for the kids as they don’t have a family room in this apartment, and of course an eating nook.” Says Rajni “Since the kitchen is so narrow, to accommodate an island was very challenging, but at the same time very important to the clients as they wanted to have an area where they could do all the meal prep, having a 48” cooktop left them with very little work space on either side of the cooktop.” The kitchen island while narrow, serves a variety of functions: it is placed right between the sink and the cooktop, hence easy access from both the cook top and the sink and thus a great place for the meal prep. It has very organized drawers for their dishes and cutleries placed diagonally across from the dishwasher, for easy storage of the clean dishes and it also serves one another very important functionthey have a dog named Roxy who is a very special member of this family and RAD created a nook specially for her food. Roxy recently lost one of her limbs due to cancer, so having a raised nook to eat from made it much easier for her to have her meals. East Coast Home + Design

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The husband wanted a modern minimalistic kitchen, and the wife wanted a white classic transitional kitchen. Rajni married the two and gave them a kitchen that appealed to both there aesthetics. With a modern fixture over the durable stainless steel counter topped island, she used quartz on the surrounding coutertops as a contrast and accented the kitchen with stick glass mosaic backsplashes. The use of darker finishes on the cabinets tones down the modern feel and creates a warm, inviting space. The result of Ranjis efforts are a unique, stunning space that allows the clients to get maximum usage for their everyday needs without compromising aesthetics in a very stylish manner. Resources Rajni Alex Design 66 Palmer Avenue Suite 28 Bronxville, NY 10708 917-543-7049 rajnialexdesign.com

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January / February IH Design’s Paul Guzzetta shows his sophisticated side in this amazing home in New Canaan Connecticut. D2 Interiuer’s Kerri Rosenthal and Denise Davies share their eclectic flair in this Old Greenwich Connecticut beach home. Interior Designer Ralph Vuolo’s vision creates an instant classic in Westchester County New York.

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As you enter, the marriage between traditional and modern design is apparent. An antique mahogany chair nestles next to a modern brass table in front of antique venetian mirrored panels and opposite the reupholstered Queen Anne bench

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DESIGNER PAUL GUZZETTA BALANCES THE ELEMENTS How a designer blends beloved antiques with modern design to create an updated functional form a family could love Story by Diana Sussman Photos by Neil Landino

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The printed grasscloth wall covering refreshes the otherwise traditional dining room feel

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eamlessly melding tradition and teenagers is no easy task, but as anyone who enters this elegant, six bedroom New Canaan colonial sees Paul Guzzetta of IH Studio achieved this seemingly impossible feat with panache. As Guzzetta explains, “the inspiration for this project was the challenge.” His clients, a family with four teenage children, wanted to update their home but also wanted to ensure the home was livable and that it incorporate as much of their existing furniture as possible, including many traditional pieces the clients had inherited. Further complicating matters, the twin teenage daughters wanted color and a young feel. Guzzetta masterfully fuses incongruous objectives by drawing upon his 23 years of experience as an interior designer, his ten years as a fashion designer, and his extensive travel. Guzzetta feels that while in the fashion industry he amassed “knowledge of fabrics, prints, garment construction, dying procedures, and manufacturing that enabled him to be more creative, achieve details and avoid technical disasters.” He believes this gives him an edge on interior design. He also sees his travel as having afforded him one of his great assets – “the ability to see things from different perspectives, the knowledge of different

Interior Designer Paul Guzzetta

resources and certainly very clever uses of many materials, often in their natural state.” Guzzetta believes the Far East and Polynesian areas have been the most influential. As a tour of this home evidences, Guzzetta’s knowledge serves him well. Upon opening the front door you see your reflection in eye-catching Venetian antique mirrors framed in wainscoting painted with gold leaf. A light, modern feel is established through the wall paper, an updated fleur-de-lis pattern in muted sage and gold on an oyster background. The rich mahogany floor and a beige and brown contemporary area rug ground the room. Two of the client’s antique pieces, a Queen Anne style mahogany bench that has been reupholstered in a light current fabric with hints of blue and a curvy mahogany chair that is placed next to a modern brass occasional table with similar curvature, seem refreshed. A brass chandelier with white light shades caps off the space. The color scheme set in the foyer, a neutral palette with green and blue accents, segues into the adjacent rooms with varying emphasis. The living room plays up the beiges, the dining room suggests muted green tones, and the family room features blues and greens. Of all the rooms, Guzzetta says updating the living room presented his greatest challenge because he had so many inherited, oriental pieces and antiques he needed to incorporate. He succeeds, however, by following the formula set in the foyer. The bronze metallic walls, East Coast Home + Design

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Guzzetta casts off the weight and age of the dark antique furniture by dispersing the pieces among the lighter toned modern ones

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As prominent family portraits suggest, the family room is where the family lives, and Guzzetta makes sure this room is functional, as well as modern and colorful. 60

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simple straight ivory and bronze colored drapes, pale beige sofa, club chairs and ottomans surrounding a pale area carpet together create a neutral backdrop. An antique Chinese secretary, shelf unit, and lamp, all black lacquer with extensive gold leaf design, are spaced out from each other and placed near the large windows and French doors, enabling the natural light to brighten them up and cast off their weighty feel. Nestling an antique Chinese black lacquer garden stool between two of the pale beige club chairs and placing two, burl walnut, bow fronted commodes outside these chairs creates a balance between color and style. Beyond these commodes you see an area raised by two steps. This is where you enter the room. It is separated by two, white, low ledges bordered by white columns. The white urns set on these ledges are perfect since they can be viewed from either part of the room and enhance the room’s neutral palette. When looking up from the main area you see the client’s mahogany and walnut demi-room table centered in the raised area and anchoring the room’s symmetry. The overall effect of this amalgamation is an updated traditional room consistent with the flow of the home. Even more so than the living room, the dining room retains most of its traditional elements. Yet, Guzzetta updates the feel of this room through the clever use of a grass cloth wall covering with a muted sage fan pattern printed on it. While the drapes used in this room have a traditional floral pattern, their ivory, green, and beige colors transition nicely with the rest of the house and accentuate the inspired wall covering.

Guzzetta casts off the weight and age of the dark antique furniture by dispersing the pieces Clearly taking the daughters’ preference for color into consideration, Guzzetta chooses bolder patterned fabrics for this room that feature a celadon, teal and lime green color scheme.

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As prominent family portraits suggest, the family room is where the family lives, and Guzzetta makes sure this room is functional, as well as modern and colorful. The oatmeal colored vinyl wall covering has the look and texture of linen. It is easy to picture the clients sitting on the sectional and ottomans having a casual dinner. Swivel chairs can turn one large space into two separate ones or vice versa. The coffee table and black metal drum table straddle modern and traditional design. The celadon and teal throw pillows covering the sectional and the fashionable large-scale paisley patterned drapes in celadon, lime green and teal satisfy the girls’ preference for color. The color scheme and style on the first floor follow you up the stairs, as does the wallpaper in the entry foyer. The modern couch and ottoman in the second floor balance the client’s traditionally gilded mirror and sconce. The upper foyer flows into the master bedroom vestibule, which in turn leads to the master bedroom. The ivory and beige toned backdrop spans each space but the accented color in each room gently transitions from muted sage, to steel green, to cadet blue. In the master bedroom, Guzzetta mixes the client’s traditional four poster mahogany bed with a large abstract paisley print roman shade. The wall paper simulates a faux finished paint in shades from beige to crème. The beige carpet looks and feels like silk but is actually a synthetic to accommodate the family’s dogs. Guzzetta has created an updated traditional home with balance and harmony out of contradictory elements and objectives. He does not make the family choose between form and function; he offers functional form. Resources IH Design Studio Paul Guzzetta Phillip Shortt 30 Commerce Road Stamford, CT 06902 203.969.7227 ihdesignstudio.com

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The bedroom represents a perfect medley of color and design. Neutral creme toned faux finish wall paper balances the bolder cadet blue in the shams, bed cover, lamp and shades. Modern fabric designs and accents update the look of traditional furnishings

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D2’s Kerri Rosenthal and Denise Davies

TWICE AS NICE DESIGN

An everyday home interior in Old Greenwich is resuscitated by a skilled designer and her artist partner Story by Peg Ventricelli Photos by Neil Landino

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he beach-area home in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, was “beautiful,” but, alas, it had few distinguishing features inside. Its color scheme was monotone. Style elements were mismatched. And the big house simply felt small. That was before interior designer Denise Davies of D2 Interieurs and collaborating artist Kerri Rosenthal did what they do best. “It didn’t feel special,” said Davies, “but we saw what it could be by layering of what was already there.” The two are known for creating comfortable modern interiors that reflect their clients’ tastes and way of living. “We try to make real living environments that don’t scream that a decorator has been there,” explained Davies. While they aim to give every project its own special mark, infusing happy colors into their designs is a reoccurring theme. With her expertise in color theory and composition, Rosenthal brings a creative vision to each home, helping it to be become an artistic reflection of the family that lives in it. Agreeing that the existing space lacked cohesion and flow, the clients, former Californians, collaborated with the designers on a plan to impart their home with a beachy feel, modern lines, and comfortable furnishings that could withstand the activities of their three children. Then the clients gave Rosenthal and Davies the trust and freedom to do their own thing, which is different for every home – nay, every room—they design.

“I think what people like about us is that we vary so much,” Rosenthal conjectured. “Every time, we start with a blank slate.” She continued, “There are plenty of designers who if you want the same house over and over again, you know who to call and you’ll get that look.” Added Davies, “We don’t like anything to be too overdone or too much like the last thing we did, no one would walk into one of our rooms and say, ‘Oh, this is a D2 Interieurs room.’” So how do they design? “It depends on the house and the client and then what we’re feeling at that moment,” explained Rosenthal, “and that’s how the room evolves.” While drastic style differences can thus occur, the designers work to ensure that each of their homes is embellished with a harmonious flow of all its decorative elements. “There’s always a common thread,” imparted Davies. Their preferred design style is clean lines with a definite lean toward modernism. Additionally setting them apart from some other Fairfield County designers, they say, is their custom-designed furniture and what they call their “inspired shopping sprees,” during which they find home furnishings that are both original and unexpected. Said Davies, “There’s only so much you can do buying from vendors online. You need to go out there and get inspired.” Injected Rosenthal, “Sometimes you find something surprising, but there it is—and it’s absolutely perfect for the room and makes it come alive!” Further expounded Davies, “I believe that using things that have a history, and that other people have East Coast Home + Design

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owned, gives a room more life and creates more of its own originality” The designers met six years ago through their school-age children. Davies recalls that Rosenthal was reading “Elle Décor” magazine when she first saw her at a Weston basketball game and struck up a conversation. It was not long thereafter when an art client asked Rosenthal to help her decorate her home. She decided to “give it a whirl,” brought in Davies, and they’ve been collaborating ever since—on more than 20 home interiors. “It just added to my creativity,” said Rosenthal, who found the new artistic outlet “liberating.” Davies has been designing interiors for 20 years, having focused on business and interior design during college, which included coursework at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. While spending 15 years in the fashion industry, she made a professional hobby of “flipping” apartments –two NYC lofts—and a house in Woodstock. From there, interior design took center stage. She is a passionate collector of midcentury art, artifacts and furniture, and these were the building blocks for D2 Interieurs. Both designers credit their travels as informing their techniques. Davies grew up in Miami Beach and has lived in Italy and Los Angeles. Rosenthal worked for a Dutch clothing company and spent time in Holland. These experiences together with Davies’s training and Rosenthal’s creative artistry combined to determine their design aesthetic.

That aesthetic was put to work revamping the house from floor to ceiling. For some rooms, that meant smoothly incorporating some of the owners’ furnishings and finishes. For others–the husband’s office, for example—a complete re-do was in order. The room’s white bookcases were lacquered a deep blue. The chandelier, desk chair and couch were all redone in mid-century modern--adding masculinity without being too nouveau (though the women threw in a couple leopard print pillows (with husbands approval of course) for fun and contrast). The floor was warmed up with a Prestige Mills wool herringbone carpet. Said Davies, “It was an understated room that’s now very special and well suited to its use”. Lighting is all-important to the designers, who insist that every room have three types: overhead, ambient, and task or reading. In the living room, this is seen in the chandelier from the Ochre chandelier, the defused light from the Astelle sconces, and the reading lamps that create ambience. All style elements are mixed and balanced with the lighting throughout the room, such as the brass in the chandelier that ties back to the brass sculptures, and the modern shape of the sconces that contrast with and complement the chandelier. “The challenge is keeping a balance so that everything is beautifully well-lit,” said Rosenthal. The designers had the most fun in the kitchen, where they parlayed the beachy comfortable style of the home with the right amounts of whimsy and color. They added a Bohemian twist to the reupholEast Coast Home + Design

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“We don’t like anything to be too cliché or to be too overdone, and we don’t want anyone to walk into one of our rooms and say, ‘Oh, this is a D2 Interieurs room.’” stered benches with colorful fabrics from Trina Turk. At the windows are Roman shades in complementary fabric by Martin Boullard for Schumacher. Adding to the casual elegance is a minimalist Gus Modern overhead lamp. The kitchen opens into the family’s great room, where the designers created a visual boundary between the spaces with a large sectional sofa. They extracted colors from the gorgeous stone fireplace to use throughout the room, and custom-designed the fireplace screen. The oak coffee table was also custom-designed by D2 Interieurs and made locally. A print from Rosenthal’s new series Puzzle Moderne references the pillow colors and complements the room’s color palette. Having worked the D2 magic in their typical, but notably quick, three-month time frame, Davies shortly thereafter called on her client (and new friend). She was delighted to find her in her refurbished office enjoying the attributes of the redesigned space (including work

station and sitting area): working at her computer, with her Jonathan Adler candle lit and her music playing. “It was perfect,” said Davies. “It made me so happy. When I see a client happy like that in the space we created, it is a great reminder of why I do this. – to create places for people where they feel special and alive” ” Resources D2 Interieurs Denise Davies 646.326.7048 denise@d2interieurs.com Kerri Rosenthal 203.246.4139 kdrosey@aol.com d2interieurs.com East Coast Home + Design

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Designer Ralph Vuolo Mixes It Up This self-proclaimed “traditionalist� pairs his beloved antiques with modern design elements Story by Peg Ventricelli Photos by Neil Landino

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he designer-homeowner collaboration was a “marriage made in heaven” between designer Ralph Vuolo and his Bedford, New York, clients—a romance of fine antiques juxtaposed with modern art and clean lines. Vuolo, who has offices in Greenwich, Connecticut, and New York City, embraced his clients’ sensibilities in all the selections he made for the floor-to-ceiling decoration of their 8,000-square-foot home. “It was important to show both their personalities,” he said, “on top of the form and function I provide.” Favorite items of the couple’s— his fine carpeting and her lively pop art—were seamlessly integrated into Vuolo’s design. Vuolo, who calls himself a “traditionalist,” is best-known for the merging of period antiques and modern elements in his rooms. A deep and abiding love for antiques informs his fascination with history and preservation. Co-founder of the Greenwich Neighborhood Preservation Association, he was instrumental in establishing a historic district around a watermill in Greenwich. 18th- and 19th-century English and French antiques are Vuolo’s specialization, and through his own travels and local connections he has ties to more than 100 antiques dealers worldwide. Vuolo takes the old and mixes it with the new, bringing a fresh perspective to his designs, which can be seen from California to Miami to the Caribbean. “My client list is based on referrals; as well, I have had some of the same clients for 20 years, so I go wherever they buy new properties,” he explained. Many of his clients are in New York City, which is also where Vuolo was born and raised. His mother, a fashion designer whose clients included actress Veronica Lake, introduced her

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son to the Metropolitan Museum of Art at a young age. She sent him to art school as a child, and he later went on to study design and develop his own aesthetic that he calls a “curated” look. For this project, Vuolo had a head start in crafting the home’s new look having worked for the same couple on a smaller-scale project six years earlier. For the designer, the new center hall colonial was a blank canvas, and he took full advantage of the opportunity that it presented. “I got to add all the details,” he said gleefully. Vuolo imparted architectural accents in a traditional manner and then updated the look, for example, with pop and contemporary art. “I built a library for them and included a lot of custom cabinetry,” said Vuolo, who injected modernism by creating a stained checkerboard pattern on the entranceway floor. The entranceway is further styled with antique Regency chairs upholstered in silk and linen set to either side of a French empire console, and boasts a modern midcentury abstract painting. Two French empire stands, topped by 19th-century Chinese porcelain vases lead into the sitting room, where a French settee and chairs face a 19th-century English drop-leaf table. The cream and pale green color palette here segues nicely to both the pool straight ahead and the darker green library to the right. In the library, the 19th-century leather Chesterfield sofa sets the masculine tone of the room, which includes custom-built cherry cabinets to house the TV, stereo and office files. In front of the sofa is a 1920’s French mirrored glass-top coffee table beside a carved French chair upholstered in 18th century tapestry. Velvet and tapestry drapes are in fabric by Kravet and frame the window in a majestic hue that warms

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A neutral palette in the living room keeps it feeling light and open. The loosely pleated drapery panels in Robert Allen silk provide textured elegance to the traditionally modern design.

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The library is embued with masculine details and warm colors as seen in the custom-built cherry cabinets and nailheads encircling the sofa. Heavy period pieces covered in leather and tapestry provide solid comfort and style.

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According to Vuolo, the drapes throughout the house were done on a generous scale and are “the jewels” of each room. the room. According to Vuolo, the drapes throughout the house were done on a generous scale and are “the jewels” of each room. “The clients let me go hog-wild using volume with the silk taffetas and damasks we chose for the windows,” he said with satisfaction. Windows in the living room are also framed beautifully with Robert Allen silk drapes in cool blues that blend smoothly with the neutral hues in the Donghia chaise and Christopher Guy sofa. The antiques in the room were finds from Hamptons Antique Galleries (Stamford, Conn.) and include the Regency chairs, arts and crafts chairs, and the 19th-century bronze sculptures. The display of antique furnishings continues in the dining room with a 19th-century mahogany dining table and sideboard. Modern, generously scaled custom-made chairs take the room from somber historic to lively and livable. They complement the modern paintings, while the 19th-century French chandelier ties back to the table and sideboard. “The clean lines speak modern while the antiques and rich fabrics evoke luxury,” said Vuolo, describing the contrast. Also seen in the dining room—to dramatic effect—is one of Vuolo’s signature design elements: color-imbued ceilings. “I like to include the ceiling in the project,” he explained, “instead of painting it the

standard white.” He likes that the dining room is enveloped in one rich and warm amber color. With lighter wall colors, where he cannot go lighter on the ceiling to any real effect, he will use a “fairy tale blue that evokes the sky.” Further enriching the dining room’s ambience is the evenly diffused lighting. House-wide, dimmers are mandatory, per Vuolo, to satisfy his lighting aesthetic. “Lighting is very important to the feel of the home,” he said. “I use dimmers on everything; this way the entire household can be lit up evenly.” Vuolo likes a combination of lamps, wall sconces and chandeliers, though he will also use high hats (recessed lighting) when the space calls for them—with dimmers, of course. An overhead 1920’s French lamp sets the mood for the warm and textural kitchen. Other great finds in this favorite family gathering space include a long 18th-century French table, 1960’s French-style chairs, and midcentury chrome stools. For Vuolo, the search for these furnishings made decorating the kitchen especially fun. Further fun was had incorporating a major overhaul of the ceiling in the redesign of the family’s great room. Vuolo had the ceiling raised and vaulted to include hand-hewn beams brought in from a 19thEast Coast Home + Design

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Vuolo’s display of antique furnishings continues in the dining room, replete with 19th-century dining table, sideboard and French chandelier. Modern custom-made chairs complement the contemporary paintings—and reinvest the historic pieces with liveliness.

century Maine barn. He also closed off a balcony that had extended into the room from the second floor landing, replacing it with a reproduction of the shuttered wooden windows made famous by the Dutch artist Rembrandt. “It’s very similar to Rembrandt’s house, ” explained Vuolo. Another distinguishing Vuolo touch is seen in the animal prints used to update the traditional Baker chairs flanking the stone fireplace. The nicest aspect of the entire project, according to Vuolo, was working with the clients from the day they moved in to the day the final accessory was placed. “Every piece was chosen with love, and they loved every single selection,” he beamed. “They’re just thrilled.” Proof in point: Vuolo is currently decorating the couple’s new home in St. John! 78

Resources Ralph Vuolo Designs, asid Greenwich, CT (203) 253-1414 New York, NY (212) 369-0694 RVgppa@gmail.com Hamptons Antique Galleries 441 Canal Street Stamford, CT Antiques and Design 533 Pacific Street Stamford, CT

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Ask the Experts

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NEUTRALIZE! HOW TO EFFECTIVELY COMBINE NEUTRAL TONES AND POPS OF COLOR IN YOUR HOME Story by Tracy Dwyer

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onne Annee!! Wow! Where did the year go? Here we are again, taking down our holiday decorations and dried out evergreens leaving us with bare spaces. This is the time to reevaluate what is necessary to bring back into your decorating plan for 2014! While living in France, one of the many things I learned from the French is their ability to ‘repurpose’. Strolling through the Paris flea market, two hundred year old pieces have been re-purposed to make them compatible with our modern lives. Armoires, with doors removed and mirrored backs, suddenly become a functioning, handsome bar; antique shop counters recycled into kitchen islands with stone tops added were common. In the past six months, the most common requests from our design and retail customers is helping them neutralize their homes. Because of the influence of the neutral furnishings and textiles readily available in the marketplace, I find we are gravitating towards home decorating to feel casual and comfortable. The neutral palette provides an easy going approach to our home décor.

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If you are inclined to freshen up your home and incorporate the neutrals into your color scheme, the best way to get started is by editing. That means clearing out accessories and possibly eliminating furniture pieces. We all have accumulated years of accessory and furniture collecting. This process is not easy because of sentimental attachments. Consider relocating the things that seem impossible to part with to another room in the house. Once the editing process is done, evaluate which upholstered pieces can use reupholstering with an updated neutral fabric option. The lighter colored fabrics can be used and protected by having them sealed by an outside service like Fiberseal. Fiberseal will come to your home and spray a chemical free solution that requires 5 hours of drying time. The rep will leave detailed instructions regarding care along with a stain removal kit. This service has allowed us to successfully use these neutral fabrics with active families in the most frequented rooms in the house. A recent assignment was to neutralize this beautiful Weston home that had been carefully well appointed with very fine furnishings and collectible accessories. This project is a perfect example to share with you the options we used. We started with a color scheme that was heavy with a jeweled tone palette i.e. hunter greens, garnet, and lots of gold and transitioned the entire house using Farrow and Ball’s neutral palette. Painting is a great way to neutralize your house. Farrow and Ball paint offers a wonderful array of neutrals that add a velvety look to walls, trim and ceilings. Using neutral tones gives the home a serene, casual appearance. We started with the entryway by placing a modern looking con-

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sole with contemporary art and lighting at the front entrance giving a first impression of being relaxed and new. Continuing to the dining room, window treatments with a transitional tone on tone neutral fabric was added, painting the buffet in a neutral glazed finish including the hardware, using modern lamps on the buffet, and removing all clutter has given this dining room a totally updated look. The living room had a heavy hutch on its focal wall. Luckily, we could remove the top of the hutch, added contemporary artwork above to make the old piece look entirely new. Again, a modern fabric was chosen for the window panels that help transform the room. The kitchen/family room areas were a bit more challenging. The kitchen cabinets are painted a beige color with a Tuscan style backsplash. We brought the beige with the driftwood browns into the adjacent family room using orange as the bold accent color. A glass taupy-brown tile was layered on top of the outdated existing tile enabling us to keep the cabinets ‘as is’. A detail as simple as removing the yellow chandelier shades to linen white drum shades completely changed the iron chandelier hanging over the kitchen table. There is a country styled china cabinet that is functional and perfectly suited for a focal wall, we used a driftwood finish with a glaze instantly connecting the two spaces. The driftwood color highlights the white dinnerware stored behind glass doors. The bottom line is neutralizing can be easily accomplished but I cau-

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tion, once you start it’s hard to stop. A neutral palette void of color can be soothing and also creates a perfect canvas for adding your favorite pop of color. Ways to re-purpose: paint, change hardware, change tops to stone, reupholster. Repositioning artwork around the house and reframing where necessary can be done to shake things up. Adding art lights that can be hard wired from a wall outlet installed by your electrician gives importance to art whether original or a reproduction. By adding a base rug made out of natural fibers under an exisiting rug will help to update a room when we have made an investment in a rug that may not quite be what the room needs in the neutralizing process. Hope this helps!! Bon chance! Parc Monceau Tracy Dwyer 1375 Post Road East Westport, CT 06880 203.319.0001 parcmonceauwestport.com

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Hidden Treasures

Fairfield County Antique & Design Center Opens Fairfield County’s newest multi-dealer antique and design center featuring over 80 dealers of antiques, art and fine home furnishings opened on December 14, 2013. Located in Connecticut, on Willard Rd. directly off Westport Ave (Post Rd.) on the Westport-Norwalk line the newly renovated 22,000 SF building is convenient to 1-95 & Merritt Parkway as well as the Westport and East Norwalk train stations. Geoffrey Walsky, proprietor, has a passion for fine art and antiques, inherited from his mother, a designer based in France. While building his career as a retail consultant Geoff, along with his wife Sharon, continued to purchase and sell antiques and, as they searched galleries, shops, shows and markets they formed the concept of a unique retail space that would not only host established art and antique dealers of the NY Metro and New England but also present new designers, artists and dealers not represented elsewhere. FCADC dealers specialize in all styles of furnishings, art, jewelry, accessories and design; there is something for everyone. The avid antique collector, the professional designer, and anyone who loves beautiful things will all find things unique and exciting. In addition to the selling floor FCADC has a 2000 SF art gallery and event space, weekly auctions on Wednesday at 6:30 and has space dedicated to consignments. airfieldantiqueanddesigncenter.com 84

www.eastcoasthomepublishing.com

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East Coast Home + Design January 2014