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HOME+DESIGN CONNECTICUT | NEW JERSEY | NEW YORK

THE 2016 DESIGNERS ISSUE

$5.95 US

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EAST

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HOME+DESIGN September / October 2016

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ISSUE 82

The New Classics

Inspired by their client’s love of rare literature, Studio Dumitru and Jablonski Associates take a page from the past to create a masterpiece home Story by Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw Photography by Durston Saylor

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Block Island Blockbuster One of the last 12 great places in the Western Hemisphere Story by Dorothea Craigen Photography by William Waldron

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Days of Future Passed

A pre-war apartment in the heart of Manhattan gets a new life, thanks to the team at Kelly Weldon Designs and Michael Smith Architects. Story by Jennifer Jackson Outlaw Photography by Laura Moss

DEPARTMENTS 10 18 96

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In Memorium Art Department Profile

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E A S T

C O A S T

HOME+DESIGN September / October 2016

ISSUE 82

Editor-in-Chief Matthew J. Kolk mattkolk@me.com 203-820-1092 Managing Editor James Eagen Contributing Writers Tracy Dwyer, Lisa Gant, Susan Heller, Lollie Mathews, Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw, Sarah Robertaon, Kait Shea 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, Debra Somerville, Eric Striffler, Jonathan Wallen, Woodruff/Brown Photography Copy Editor Elena Serocki Graphic & Web Design East Coast Home Publishing

Publisher Shelley E. McCormick shelley_mccormick@yahoo.com 203-545-7091 Account Managers Lisa Dearborn Patrick Giddings Lollie Mathews Business Development Randi K. Lehrman, Esq. Marketing & Sales Advisor to the Gold Coast 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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IN MEMORIAM

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e have lost one of the good ones in our industry—a legend in print, a kind soul and a wonderful, caring person—and it happens to be my dad.

sist his previous clients and salespeople as well, though he didn’t have to. He was a valued advisor and a trusted sounding board. He never stopped, he never gave up his passion.

Robert Charles Kolk was born the son of a hottypesetter. My grandfather owned a business in Chicago that placed raised type on a plate by the use of what can only be described as a huge typewriter on huge trays. It melted together for the trays printed from.

All of us “Web” kids worked with them. We all worked the presses and tackled all of the odd jobs that could be done by us knucklehead kids. Oh, the monotonous jobs that we all worked. It was a family effort. It taught us all the foundation of hard work, perseverance and pride in a job well done.

Upon graduation from Notre Dame High School, Bob furthered his interest in printing by attending the Rochester Institute of Technology for Print Technology. After working with several printers, he found a home with a new company, Continental Web Press. I vividly remember “Friday Fish Fries” at the local bar with Ken Field, my dad and a group of guys trying to figure out their next move. This was truly the “Harvard Five” of print. They were young, daring and motivated to make a place for themselves in the print industry. It was pure, and I will never stop admiring their passion and drive. My father’s reach extended far beyond simply selling a job and delivering it. He was a creative genius: he would not only make an impossible print job possible, but he would go beyond the job, analyze it and sometimes modify it to make it more effective for his client. He went out of his way to make a good program great. That’s what made him special. He was a mentor not only to his clients, but to new salespeople as well. He was giving, and he cared. Even in retirement, he would continue to as-

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I had the pleasure of not only growing up in a circle of wonderful, hardworking, passionate individuals, I was fortunate enough, upon graduating from college, to work with them. I fondly remember the first day I “officially” became a salesperson directly under my father. He said to me, “Lesson number one: Never forget the three Cs.” I said, “Okay, what does that mean?” He replied, “Client, company, compensation. You keep these in order, you’ll do fine.” That’s my dad. Not only a great parent and a wonderful, caring person, but also my best friend. I am lucky to have learned my craft from the best. You will be missed. Not only by me, your son, but by the entire industry you helped shape. Your legend will live on.

Matthew 9/15/16 1:24 AM


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IN THE FIELD

KITCHEN GEMS Tony Aitoro takes us on a tour of the latest jewelry for the kitchen

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Story by Sarah Robertson | Photography by Neil Landino

ppliance shopping can be an overwhelming experience. I find clients struggle more with decisions about appliances than about almost any other area of kitchen design. The best appliance showrooms can help clients evaluate their options and make smart purchase decisions. I recently toured the totally revamped 15,000-square-foot Aitoro Appliances showroom in Norwalk, CT, with owner Tony Aitoro. Aitoro was established in 1948 by Anthony Aitoro with his sons Vincent and Rudy. Since then, it has grown into a multigenerational appliance powerhouse. Aitoro now offers more functioning displays in a broader range of brands than any other appliance dealers in the tristate area. The enormous new Sub-Zero/ Wolf/ASKO display includes functioning ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers and more. Can’t decide on a dishwasher for your new kitchen renovation? Aitoro has dishes and glassware at the ready so you can experi14

ment with loading different models. Considering the new Wolf steamer module? A demonstration kitchen allows you to see it in action before you buy. Unique luxury products, such as Dacor’s new WineStation, invite you to have a taste of wine while you contemplate a purchase. Regular cooking demonstrations are hosted right in the showroom; check the Aitoro website for upcoming events. The amazing showroom aside, if you ask Tony Aitoro what is the biggest advantage to shopping at Aitoro, he’ll respond without hesitation, “Our service!” The sales staff has more than 250 combined years of experience selling appliances, and they keep on top of market trends by regularly attending conferences and workshops around the country. If you need to understand the nuances between the Wolf E series and M series ovens, this is the place to shop, where models are displayed side by side and the sales staff can explain all the differences. The same goes for comparing models across brands.

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Sarah Robertson and Tony Aitoro

The breadth of brands represented at Aitoro is impressive. Client favorites such as GE, Thermador, Sub-Zero/Wolf and Gaggenau are featured in their own large display kitchens, but a huge array of other brands are also here, including La Cornue, DCS, Bertazzoni, Dacor, Viking, Fisher & Paykel and BlueStar, to name a few.

portunity to evaluate appliance options before a major kitchen renovation. I always recommend that my clients take the journey up to Norwalk before they make decisions on appliances.

Despite its size and success, however, Aitoro has never forgotten its roots in the community. It regularly hosts local fund-raising events at its showroom to benefit local organizations, such as Al’s Angels, which supports children suffering from life-threatening illnesses and domestic violence.

Aitoro Appliance Tony Aitoro 401 Westport Avenue Norwalk, CT 06851 203.847.2471 aitoro.com

Resources Studio Dearborn Sarah Robertson Mamaroneck, NY 914.815.2707 studiodearborn.com

Visiting the tremendous showroom at Aitoro is a can’t-miss op16

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ART DEPARTMENT

Alina B. Genevieve 2016 Mixed Media on Mirror

Stephen Ciuccoli Dried Tarot No.1

John Traynor

Jane Schmidt

The Value Of Working With An Art Advisor Story by Sandra Pelletier

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quipped with an extensive knowledge of the contemporary art market and design trends, Sorelle Gallery’s team of art advisors provide their clients with a completely custom buying experience. Miranda Girard, Rafaella LaRoche, Alina Bisikirskaite, Meghan Roach and owner Sandra Pelletier, make the process of building your collection as simple as possible. Whatever your reason for purchasing, an art advisor prioritizes your preferences while aiding in the navigation of an increasingly intricate art market.

when selecting artwork. They understand preferences and needs, but can provide alternatives and complements as a means of problem-solving. They are also well-versed in facilitating commissioned projects and professional framing.

Building your Collection: Advisors Tips

Rare is Valuable. Original paintings and limited, early edition, handsigned prints and artist proofs are more valuable because they are either one-of-kind, or one-of-a-few.

Each interaction with Sorelle Gallery’s art advisors is entirely catered to the client. Advisors create digital renderings to demonstrate how the client’s favorite artwork will appear in their space, providing them the opportunity to visualize and refine their selections prior to moving forward in the process. Taking it a step further, Sorelle advisors visit clients’ homes to assist in placement and design.

Follow your he(art). Buy what you like. At Sorelle Gallery, we promote the idea that an investment in artwork is a solid investment. Fabian Bocart, founder of the art advisory firm Tutela Capital has advised, “Invest confidentially in art, because an artwork will never be bankrupt.” Artwork holds value in more ways than one, so go with your gut.

For the Love

Diversify. All types of artwork go hand in hand, so don’t get stuck in one type of medium. If you like a sculpture, try it out next to your

Much like a designer, the Sorelle team has your best interest in mind 18

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Julia Contacessi

Teodora Guererra The Perfect Storm

favorite painting. Art is timeless. Sorelle advisors are constantly searching for emerging talent, as well as renowned artists with established careers. Acquiring artwork by both new and seasoned artists adds breadth to your collection.

Artist to Watch and Collect

Internationally renowned artist, John C. Traynor continues to appeal to admirers of the Impressionist movement. Establishing atmosphere with his painterly application of paint, which results in a lightly textured and often serene landscape, is essential to Traynor’s process. His artwork is represented in more than one thousand private and public collections in the United States and abroad. Teodora Guererra After laying down her textured foundation, Teodora Guererra uses thinned oil paint to drip and stain her canvases. Although her dripping process is controlled, “ultimately, there is always the exciting element of chance,” she says of her work, which has been collected abroad and in Florida, Texas, California and New York City. Guererra rose from 8th to 2nd place in sales at Sorelle Gallery this year. Self-taught painter Daniel Pollera is acclaimed for his stunning views of East Quogue and Baldwin Harbor, Long Island. While popular Pollera prints have been made available on the market, his

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Daniel Pollera

Byn Del Mar Cinnamon and Sugar Mixed Media

original oils are highly sought after and more difficult to find. Pollera’s work, “creates a sense of peace and tranquility,” devoid of people, sparking reflection between the viewer and nature. Studded with upbeat, rhythmic color, Jane Schmidt’s abstracted landscapes are host to color application that is as varied as her canvases. Whether on a foot-long panel or a five-foot canvas, her paintings are vibrant, emotive, and familiar. With a transitional style akin to Wolf Khan, Schmidt continues to be top seller at Sorelle. Ryn Del Mar was always enthralled with dance. She uses a variety of tools to amplify emotion and movement, including palette knives, paste, and acrylic spray-paint. She has seen quick success as a favorite of New York City interior designers. Julia Contacessi has helped many ease the transition into abstract art. Her easy to love paintings are a welcoming additional to any environment. She says of her creative process: “… there is that moment when I layer on the paint just right – so that it dances in time and space… That’s when I have to catch my breath…”. Contacessi who is entwined with Frankenthaler’s philosophy of letting the “picture lead where it must go”, is one of Sorelle’s leading artist as she continues to breakthrough the abstract world. Lithuania-native, Alina B’s love for glass design began at Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, where she was first exposed to glass blowing, fusing, etching, casting, and staining under the instruction of Vidmantas Gutauskas, a former apprentice to Dale Chihuly. As Alina’s career evolved, she discovered her affinity for the manipulation of 20

Jason Young Necker Belle

mirror glass using acid and paint. The organic colors and patterns that surface, in combination with the remaining reflective areas create a charged, fluid composition that continues to respond to its changing environment. Stephen Ciuccoli is an internationally published advertising and fashion photographer working in the New York Metro area. He is a compulsive image-maker with interests ranging from reportage to noir narrative. Ciuccoli began his fine art photography career in 2015. His first art show opens this September 15th at Sorelle Gallery. Jason Young’s body of work continues to evolve as he experiments with intricate and daring materials like urethane, automotive lacquer, plexi, and aluminum. His painting Gunmetal Tap was selected as the invitation and catalogue cover for the Tucson Museum of Art’s exhibition, Paint On Metal, which included the works of Frank Stella, Robert Raushenberg, John Baldessari, John Chamberlain, and Alexander Calder. Young’s work can be seen in the lobbies of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Resources Sorelle Gallery Fine Art Sandra Pelletier 84 Main Street New Canaan, CT 06840 203.920.1900 sorellegallery.com

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WHITE BY DESIGN

2016 ANNUAL INTERIOR DESIGN ISSUE

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VALERIE GRANT

VALERIEGRANTINTERIORS.COM

East Coast Home + Design

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of white. The fresh white fur rug is welcoming, it “provides another layer of comfort and elegance to the room, and it softens the harder stone surfaces,” says Valerie. The fur is again echoed in the luxurious throw on the upholstered chair—something the homeowners wanted to add to the bathroom to provide comfortable seating. The clear outdoor light shines through the large windows above the focal point of the large When Valerie’s services were requested at a new construction home in silver-framed tub. Greenwich, CT, she went to work designing the master bedroom and bath suite. Valerie’s clients did not specifically request white, but they In the master bedroom, the homeowners wanted a fireplace and a relaxwanted the rooms to feel serene, comfortable and elegant. To Valerie, ing private seating area that would allow for a place to unwind— thus, “white is timeless and understated, just as it is in fashion, which is why the club chairs that flank the inviting fireplace and provide a comfortit always feels current.” able place to decompress. Valerie’s use of drapes in the master bedroom helps to anchor and soften the windows, while the thick, luxurious The bathroom feels pure and clean, and is an oasis of calming versions pleats offer texture and softness. 24

he meaning of the color white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completeness. Designer Valerie Grant has an appreciation for the color white, and in these two projects she captures its true essence through the use of textiles and paint.

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Valerie often uses white or soft neutral colors as the backdrop for her designs. While white in particular feels incredibly clean and refined, she also loves using different shades of white together to add dimension, from bright true whites to creamier tones. She says she makes sure to incorporate a “variety of materials, textures and details to elevate the overall design and create interest in a room. “ Valerie believes “you never tire of white,” and she can’t think of “a more soothing color to surround yourself in.” She also thinks that white can be powerful if used to create the overall look of a room, or in a more pared-back way as an accent color.

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LINDA RUDERMAN

LINDARUDERMANINTERIORS.COM

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hile Linda Ruderman doesn’t use an overly abundant amount of white in her designs, she uses it sparingly and carefully. She loves color but also likes to use white in her moldings and casings, which achieves an updated effect. She sees white, she says, as “clean, soothing and spa-like.”

crisp white sheets on the beds add a fresh look. Pops of white brighten a room automatically, while keeping it clean and fresh. Though the color white can exude a feeling of neat and hygienic, too much white can be piercing to look at, and even send the message, “Look, don’t touch.” Linda also notices that, in today ’s marketplace, there are white fabrics that won’t get dirty from the treatment they receive, making them more durable for today ’s Linda likes to incorporate white in her accessories—for instance, busy home. 26

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Linda’s master room project is a lesson in restraint and detail. The drapes are a pale green and white diamond pattern, which resonates in the pillow shams. The white leather chair that sits by the bed at the sleek, curved, lacquered desk has a hammered nailhead border. White can impart an elevated perception of space, so for small spaces designers can use it to their advantage. For instance, in

this bathroom that Linda designed, she used hexagon-shaped Calcutta Gold Tile marble, which flows through the floor and into a rectangular tile that runs all the way up the shower walls, providing the perfect amount of movement. Even the white towels have diamond gray and white embroidery. The wall covering is a taupe vinyl texture, and the moldings and casings are a high gloss, which echoes well in the surroundings.

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SUSAN ALISBERG ALISBERGPARKER.COM

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oco Chanel said it perfectly: “Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.” Susan Alisberg couldn’t agree more, and it is evident in her numerous projects. She has a designer’s respect for the color white, and uses it in her numerous projects when she sees fit.

The marbled mirrored bathroom pays homage to marble in all its glory. The way Alisberg showcases the marble’s gray grains along the wall with slight gray frames is impressive to the eye. The floor also echoes the gray marble in its jagged design that flows in a fluid pattern. The mirrored cabinets reflect the floors and make the already large bathroom feel even more spacious. The white tub with its silver outline is a true form of art.

With the use of vivid orange drapes that frame the tall and wide windows, one can’t help but notice the shades of white in all the other objects in the room. The flat-screen plasma TV is an afterthought to the chic, vibrant drapes. The couch and chairs feel anchored to the crisp white textured rug.

In the kitchen, the white subway tile takes on a life of its own as it literally blankets the backsplash and wall behind the stove. A very large shiny hood draped above the stove adds a reflection to the room. The use of a white countertop serves as a cool slab atop the sleek brown cabinets.

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hite is considered the color of perfection, and designer Lara Michelle believes that “ white keeps everything light and bright.” Lara loves using shades of white as backdrops, to contrast against furniture and artwork. She understands its importance when designing for her clients, and, in this instance, she was asked to design a dining room and powder room for a new construction in Greenwich, CT. The homeowners had previously purchased the modern chrome34

base and glass-top dining room table and taupe leather chairs during a trip to Italy, and Lara was hired to complete the room. She started with a “marbled” gray rug with white lines running through it. The lines lead the eyes in different directions and are the perfect amount of crisp white. The drapes are a commanding tan, with an off-white pattern running through them. The homeowners had a long piece of burgundy-colored artwork, which they also wanted Lara to incorporate into the room. She selected additional pieces of modern art to coordinate with it, all while keeping the other colors in the room neutral with

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Artistic Tile ARTISTICTILE.COM

Christopher Spitzmiller pair of wide zig zag lamps in marigold christopherspitzmiller.com “Yellow is the most luminous of all colors in the with purchases and shipping, and can even suggest accommodations, spectrum, in almost every culture it represents if needed. sunshine,happiness, and warmth”

We arrive at Antichita Trois, where I’m introduced to Alberto Anfodillo. Once again I’m whisked away—indeed, my feet barely touch the Gypset Travelof a somber palazzo. Of course, the ground ground!—to the interior assouline.com floor is reserved for acqua alta, and thus left vacant. We enter an elevator that is small even by European standards and are brought to the most spacious rooms of his magnificent palazzo. Alberto guides us through his treasure trove of antique paintings on reverse glass; a collection of lions (the symbol of Venice); ancient boxes, some as PUZZLE CHANDELIER beautifulbyonathe inside the outside; furniture; paintings; glass; and, Inspired house of as cards, our Puzzle Chandelier is made ofsheets course,ofchandeliers (this is Venice, all). I’ve always been fond of solid brass layered into after a dynamic composition. The clients wanted an open, free-flowing house that would take adThe Modernist warmed by the luminous of Architectural Venetian Murano chandeliers, now I’mup convinced that antique Design Baldwin forfeel Newisand Ravenna, Aurelia fromLathrop vantagebyofSara a dramatic waterside location onaThe a cove. Sellars metal. your Chandelier above circularoftable, like is theHang way to go.isPuzzle Delft Collection a modern American interpretation a cenArchitects and Landscape Architects were fortunate to colourArtemis Nixon, or in a here fabulous turies old familiar craft, . Shown is a foyer. hand cut jewel glass laborate on this classic modern home. jonathanadler.com David Rachtian a Venetian partialMica, Persian descentWhite on hisand father’s mosia inisLapis, Lazuli,ofthem Lolite, Absolute erie’s shown team decided to update to an off-white finish. Doing so side. Spinel. At his shop we find antique Persian rugs from Tabriz, Kashan, Blue not only helped lighten the rooms but also offered the enduring look While Howard Lathrop of Sellars Lathrop provided the overall dePhoto credit: Chuan Bing. imagesbychuan.com Isfahan and China, around which one could easily build a room. This jamieshop.com that couple for wasthe seeking. helped provide a sense of sign the direction housePlus, and the thecolor site, Ibiza he knew it was important Collection thoughtfully arranged and packed antique storeLounge also features glassuniformity home. from Artemis, to bring in within Tara M.the Vincenta a firm known for its exrestorationhardware.com ware, silverware, jewelry and important, sought-after Jewish pieces. pertisewhites, in coastal plantsand andsilver, sensitive ecological locations. Howard grays, which “really makes decorated the artWhat catches mytaupes eye are paperweights from the 1950s, The couple were thrilled with the results—a timeless home that is says he and Tara “worked collaboratively to meld the interior of the work stand out nicely,” she says. with mythological creatures. just as with welcoming to their kids as to their adult guests. house the exterior.” White and was Chiara also integrated into modern Orseola walk me back to the wheresleeker the tour began, powder and I am “Hedgerows and stone walls work together to formits thefixtures interplaytoof room, which was long and narrow, and needed pleasantly surprised to find myself in familiar surroundings. Then I INTERIOR DESIGNER planes and solids that create the designthat aesthetic,” he The palbe small Laracircle, believes aresays. important realize we and have modern. made a large and theywhites have given me a lesson Valerie etteuse ofGrant hardscape materials is limited to washed river rock, narrow in smaller rooms intogetting around Venice, too.and dark rooms that have no winValerie Grant Interiors concrete pavers, Ipe wood deck and case, nativeLara stone“didn’t outcropping. dows or don’t get much light. tiles In this want 14 Friar Tuck Circle Retaining walls are natural concrete matching the pavers. A native to clutter the long empty wall with artwork,” she says, “soa Leaving Venice is like parting with a lover; I daydream to linger Summit, NJ 07901adjacent stone wall runs to thepatterned road and atsilver-white the parking area. instead I chose a delicately wallpaper little longer before returning to reality. Visitors can at least can take 917.921.1916 to fill the wall withsomething a bit of shimmer and tons of interest.” comfort in bringing back home—a beautiful lion, box, valeriegrantinteriors.com Tara white, provided a clean, simple landscape that keeps fits thethe architecture and The silver and gray color scheme small room chandelier, a commissioned Luigi Bevilacqua fabric for that very spespectacular waterfront setting. As she explains, “Howard and I were light and bright evenunique thoughbag. it has no like windows. cial upholstery and/or Finds these add sparkle to The Jenning Brutalist Ribbon was to be simple and architectural, in agreement that the landscape interiors and wardrobe, lifting one out of the sea of sameness. Table will dazzle thethefor particularly the entrance to home, thewith use aoftint clipped Lara likesLamp toatpick a whiteincolor wallwith paint of modern home with striking ilboxwood hedges, ivy groundcover, concrete plank walkways and verthe color that will coordinate with any other colors in the Venice is a bewitching city that I can’t wait to get back to as soon lumination, simple geometric nacular stone site walls.” She uses brighter whiteAnd on itthe window trim, asroom. possible. Itthen makes me ayearn for more. makes me wonder, designs and bold metal done with the off-white color on the doors and ceilings to contrast Scalamandre Spring 2016 fabric Where will The Antiques Diva takeIndoor/Outdoor me to travel and shop next? BIZET TABLE in aThe gold leafwas finish. One of the project goals to has extend the direct coastal vegetation wall. Unless clients insist, she tries to steer them away book.her colors Linda selected are the A stunning hand-wrought base is topped zincdoor.com into the house, all while becoming part of the shoreline. To achieve following: 27056-002 Surf, 27059-002 Surf,for 27058-002 from white fabrics on upholstered items, obvious practiThe Antiques Diva &with Co circularSurf tempered glass. Distinctively Surf, 27067-003 scalamandre.com thisreasons. the team used a variety of ornamental grasses and perennials, cal The only white/light-colored upholstery fabric Toma Clark Haines individual and suitable for a range of including echinacea, Russian sage and joe-pye weed to fill is in among she likes to use is a faux-leather vinyl fabric, which great up, I love these fabrics for settings. + 49 (0) 171 “Surf’s 386 2213 Before period andfresh contemporary theresisting native shoreline vegetation and enhance the natural cove setting. at stains and dirt. spring, they remind me of the water” christopherguy.com antiquesdiva.com

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Zanzibar Ticking Woven Cotton Rug dashandalbert.annieselke.com

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ROBIN MCGARRY

ROBINMCGARRYINTERIORS.COM

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n all-white interior is certainly elegant and eye-catching!” says designer Robin McGarry. “White is one of the most popular colors to use to create an interior—so much so that it is almost becoming a cliché.” But although it is popular, it’s also the color that must be used most carefully. The elegant look of a white room is one of the most difficult to maintain. As one would expect, white shows every imperfection and is easily marred by everyday wear and tear. Robin believes that “nothing looks worse than the purity of white space tarnished with stains.” Robin knows that the “major role of being an interior designer is advising a client on the appropriate uses for color, certain fabrics and various finishes.” Most of her clients have families, and they don’t need to spend any of their precious time on constantly maintaining the white surfaces or having them cleaned. Unless a client insists, Robin usually avoids the purist of whites and leans more towards the off-white shades as shown in this master bedroom. When she does use whites for fabrics, materials or rugs, she is very careful to select fabrics that are resistant to stains or can be cleaned, sometimes adding on a premium stain protection. When using off-whites and a light or neutral color palette, she also tries to use fabrics that have an interesting mix of sophisticated textures. Robin says she prefers and recommends “using other soft shades of color, such as very light grays and blues, to achieve the same sophistication without the highmaintenance issues a pure white interior creates.” Everyone has a different approach to the color white, and Robin is no exception. In this master bedroom, she uses white as a mellow offspring to the subtle light blue-gray tones on the walls and drapes. The light fixture that hangs in the bedroom has a mix of silver and off-white, making it light and airy as it drops from the celling. The white chaise lounge that complements the master bed sits below the window, making it the perfect place to enjoy the solitude of the room. East Coast Home + Design

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ANTHONY MINICHETTI AMARCHITECTLLC.COM

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nthony Minichetti’s projects are precise enough to be considered works of art, and it is evident that he puts his heart and soul into each and every room he works on.

lacquered surfaces. In the study, he especially enjoys “the structure of the geometric pattern white-on-white wall-covering background,” he explains, “ which supports the organic, stormy nature of the abstract oil that becomes a feature in the study.”

In this reception foyer he was asked to design, an oil painting of vibrant color sits against a brilliant white wall. The foyer has walls and furnishings in whites and neutral tones, which “ground the adjacent spaces where the walls’ vibrantly colored pigments borrow from the color palette of the painting in the foyer,” says Anthony.

In the bedroom he chose lavender-toned walls that are framed in white trims and window treatments to allow the color to pop. The metallic-framed furnishings reflect and blend the whites and colors well. The “lucky horseshoe” art is neon and was drawn by Anthony and created by a neon artist to match the wall color. Anthony appreciates how the white trims and surfaces in the room take on a pale purple glow when the art is illuminated.

Anthony likes how the white-on-white aesthetic is made interesting with variable sheen finishes, from matte to high-gloss In the dining room is an inverse concept, where dark-framed 40

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furnishings and artwork are set over pale white tone backgrounds. What Anthony finds most appealing is “how white takes on all reflective colors of adjacent surfaces,” he says. The white backgrounds especially show off the curvatures of the pair of antique carved mahogany armchairs that flank the large, commanding painting.

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Anthony notes that he likes how the kitchen is a “departure from the typical all white kitchens.” He selected ocean blue lacquer cabinets inset in all white tone surrounding surfaces, which he feels “still maintains a timeless neutral palette with a twist!”

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JHON ORTIZ

THETAILOREDHOMECT.COM

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s a worldly couple settled into their newly built Weston, CT, home with walls of white, they looked to Jhon Ortiz of The Tailored Home to create an engaging aura for the home’s guest bedroom. For this room, like the others in the home, they wanted a hint of nostalgic old-world opulence sprinkled with a touch of contemporary glam and a dusting of practicality. And this would all be against a backdrop of white: white walls, white trim, white linens.

room, Jhon introduced the concept of a white background of Romo fabric with Impressionistic watercolor-splashed design. These Tailored Home workroom custom drapery panels are tailored, butterfly-pleated and buttoned. Custom toss pillows adorn the white bedding. Offering the requested nod to old-world nostalgia, Jhon designed—and his workroom realized—the uniquely-shaped, color-saturated headboard of Kravet velvet. Contemporary practicality enters the room in the form of a nine-drawer, ’70s-chic John Stuart vintage dresser, along with scalloped-top open nightstands, all newly lacquered white by The Visiting Jhon at his showroom and store in Westport, CT, was precisely Tailored Home’s lacquering workroom. Antique chalk-white Italian the right thing for the couple to do to achieve a successful composite urn lamps silhouette white-on-white. of styles. As he typically does in realizing a client’s dream room—or dream home, for that matter—Jhon carefully processed cues about the On The Blue Side, an acrylic on canvas by Audrey Klotz, is the perfect couple’s lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. In this way he could guide white-wall mirage of outspoken color. It is flanked by a pair of newly their selections in fabrics and furniture, complementing the way they reupholstered antique tufted slipper chairs (Romo fabric), along with live and how they entertain. Jhon visited their home to elicit further a frothy faux Mongolian goat fur-topped bench, newly upholstered possibilities and, as is also his practice, he brought enhancement op- and painted vintage by The Tailored Home’s workshop. tions, allowing the couple “try out” and thus fully visualize his sugDelighting a client is the white dream of every designer. In Jhon’s gestions. words, “When a client loves the final draft, we all celebrate together.” For the window treatments, which set a delightful color palette for the 42

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RALPH VUOLO

RALPHVUOLODESIGNS.IFP3.COM.COM

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hen the owners of a traditional home in Connecticut wanted to lighten up and introduce modern elements to a serious background, interior designer Ralph Vuolo was excited at the prospect.

One room in particular was a sitting room off the library that had dark paneling. Ralph started by lightening the paneling and using a cream and pale green wash. “ The room became a good background for light and dark elements,” he explains. He then carefully placed paintings to complement the now whitewashed paneling. The homeowners were interested in using various shades of tans, but Ralph suggested different shades of white. He knew the sitting room would then appear brighter and more modern. Ralph likes to incorporate white in his fabrics and rugs, explaining, “ The neutral is always great against a bold wall color.” The off-white rug he chose for this study brings an immediate sense of comfort and softness to the room. The rug acts as another layer of color and texture, and helps anchor the glass table with its dark, wooden, freeflowing base. Even with traditional backgrounds, whites always give a fresh, modern, updated appearance. Ralph likes to use a light sofa as his baseline and then build from there. For instance, he chose fun and vibrant print pillows to help accessorize the sitting areas. Through this process, he says, the “room can change over time, around the same neutral sofa, with bursts of different colors 44

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INTERIOR DESIGN

www.HOMEWORKSNY.com 914.934.0907

509 North Main Street Port Chester, NY 10573

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ANDREA ROMEO REBECCA BAGLIO ROMEOBAGLIO.COM

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omeo+Baglio Design is inspired by the way white evokes a calming and serene mood. It’s a crisp, clean look that can be simple, yet sophisticated. Andrea Romeo especially notes the versatility of white, as it mixes with all colors, grounds a room and is truly timeless. There are many different ways to add white to a room, notwithstanding all the different shades of white. And whether she uses a lot or a little, the results can be dramatic.

the whole home has a calm and serene feeling, mimicking the peace of beach life. Andrea’s favorite way to use white is to accentuate natural light in a room. She explains, “It’s absolutely breathtaking to see natural light streaming through sheer, white draperies, or an all-white bathroom that appears spa-like.”

For a client who is a business owner and the mother of two young children, Andrea used white to create a relaxing, stressfree office free of clutter. She designed a minimalistic space where the client could focus and be creative. Here, white is used in a very simple way, but in other projects, Andrea and Romeo + Baglio Design have used white as a backdrop to draw the eye to a particular item or place. The team has designed several beach houses, and “ white is always a perfect color to induce a coastal vibe,” says Andrea She uses it in combination with all sorts of bright colors or as an adornment sprinkled throughout a room. Currently, R+B is working on a project in where white is a major focal point. White throughout the entire home, including white catta marble and other details. With white

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South Carolina will be infused cabinetry, Calaused so heavily,

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STEPHANIE TAMAYO | NICHOLE GUTHREAU

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tephanie Tamayo and Nicole Guthreau of Dalliance Design use white to make a room feel crisp and inviting. “ The beauty of white is that it can be used for many different styles,” says Stephanie. “Creamy whites work nicely with traditional settings, while brighter whites can be paired with more modern or contemporary settings.”

with white, it would age well, she explains, and wood floors can be very forgiving. As Nicole notes, however, ”Most people have a fear of commitment to color.” So they also experiment with different shapes and textures. For example, the living room of their Summit project had amazing natural light due to two-story windows, so they broke up the room with custom moldings painted in Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain.

Their appreciation for the diversity of white in designing comes from the opportunity to go bold. The Dalliance team loves working with white and often uses it as a backdrop or canvas to truly showcase the furniture and details in a room. They note it is especially popular for a tile backsplash, painted cabinets and upholstery.

While designing in white, says the team, it’s important to remember that not every single item or detail in the room has to be super special. White helps create room to breathe in a design, as in a painting. “ The entire room will shine in the end,” says Nicole, “and you’ll end up loving each and every piece because of how it all works together.” Stephanie adds, Nicole hopes her next projects will allow her to paint some- “ Trust your interior designer!” Sometimes clients are averse one’s wood floors white! “It’s an area I think is unexpected but to using white as a focal point or backdrop, she says, but “in can really work with any style,” she says. Like most designs the end they are their favorite details of the design.” East Coast Home + Design

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KERI MCKAY

KERIMCKAYINTERIORS.COM

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shingle style facades on these projects because people want that comfort exterior that feels like home. But as architects, how are we challenging ourselves to translate the more modern interior to a different particularly during the first few eri McKay ne actually of the usedmost to shy challenging away from using conditions white in any provide adequate water to the plants,Resources exterior, whatever that is? in her designs, landscape thinking is shade, it wasn’t it can very be interesting caused by several in fac- years while their root systems establish, even drought tolerant or xeriScott Hobbs:concept. People Now, looksuch at modern houses and think, it’s going to become established enough tors various as large shadescanopy of white trees areand heradjacent go-to build- scape plants will need sufficient water Hammered in Time elcome to It’s atrue. new Ifyear to andsurvive in that it’s months a new start. Isn’t itDewitt great? time autilizdigit thevein, dry hot of late summer. 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So Starting this February, we have partnered with Sorelle Galleries in New Canaan to create vignettes with our Interior Designers to showcase patterns, two tones and seaSince ceives awakening four to six to the hours designing of direct powers sunlight of the eachcolor day white, duringKeri the growing from interesting textures, to variegated Rena Paris their Each what vignette will featured in upcoming issues of ECH+D. when you go through it takes to makeclients anshade, energy efficient house, sonal variations. 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LISA STRETTON

LISAMICHELLEINTERIORS.COM

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isa Stretton knows colors. As both an artist and a designer, she has learned how the color white brings light into a space—or a painting, from an artist’s perspective. For Lisa, white adds an element of depth to a room by emphasizing that light. Without it, she says, a space can feel one-dimensional, but emphasizing the light brings dimension that would otherwise not be there. “ The pureness and simplicity of white inspires me to use it in my designs,” she says. White is timeless and a good investment for pieces you don’t want to change as styles change. Lisa uses it because it is one of the most versatile and complementary colors. “White can also be dramatic when used as a focal point with contrasting colors,” she adds. In a recent project, Lisa used white as a focal point in the wave tile of a bathroom. It was a first-floor bathroom for a house on the water, with access to the pool from the bathroom. With the walls painted a deeper gray in contrast with the white, your eye is drawn to the white-wave patterned tile, and you experience symmetry with the beach and the water outside. Next on Lisa’s agenda is using white in contrast with a deep midnight blue for a “striking master bedroom that will make a statement,” she says. The versatility of white gives designers a wealth of options for its use. For Lisa, if all you need is a change in perspective, then all you need is a little white in your design.

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SHAWN DIAZ

HOMEWORKSNY.COM

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nterior designer Shawn Diaz remembers an art teacher telling her, “ There is nothing scarier than a blank canvas.” Shawn happily disagrees and loves working with whites.

She recently worked on a home where the setback made the house very close to the house next door. In the living room were two very small windows that looked out at the neighbor ’s home and did not provide a lot of light. Shawn convinced the owners to close up the windows and put mirrors and lamps in front of them. The reflection proved to be an added bonus to the room, giving it great light. But Shawn wanted even more.

Her favorite shade of white paint is Paper White from Benjamin Moore, as she loves how it reflects off the sky and the room’s furnishings. “ There are so many warm and cool whites that you need to see them in all kinds of lights,” she says. “It is always interesting how you can use the same white paint in a room, and it looks different depending on the finish.” Shawn strongly believes that families with children shouldn’t be afraid to use white; it actually makes surfaces easier to clean and not remove the color. And with the new Crypton and indoor/outdoor fabrics, homeowners have a fighting chance to wipe up spills.

The room is square and needed the mantel to anchor the room, but not overwhelm it. She selected Equator Marmara marble because of the variety of shades of white in it. The white hair hide with silver is another texture that brings interest and pops off the beautiful hardwood floors.

Since Shawn’s clients said they liked grays, she designed their guest bathroom with a beautiful light gray Bardiglio, nickel fixtures and black-and-white photographs. The absence of color and various shades of white create a very serene and elegant space.

Shawn appreciates monochromatic color schemes with decor that has different textures, patterns and shapes. “When white is predominant in a room,” she says, “the space is invariably soothing, like a spa or an oasis.”

Shawn loves adding seasonal accents to white rooms. She explains that white “allows the rooms to move through the seasons effortlessly.” East Coast Home + Design

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SARAH KENNEDY DOLCE

HOMEWORKSNY.COM

nterior designer Sarah Kennedy Dolce of Homeworks was lucky enough to work on this 1960s home in Big Horn, WY, during an 18-month renovation.

The living area was a former screened-in porch, so Sarah added a vaulted ceiling and enclosed the space, opening it to the dining area and kitchen. Since the view of the Big Horn Mountains from this new living area was to be the focal point, Sarah chose a very neutral palette that doesn’t detract from the scenery. The accessories and artwork are appropriate for a Wyoming home, but not overtly western. The walls in the living area are custom painted in Ralph Lauren’s Indigo Denim technique to create a natural burlap effect. The sideboard, cocktail table and trefoil side table are all custom made by Chaddock. The vintage woven rattan sofa and chairs are upholstered in London Plane from Highland Court.

sible for it to have a window. Sarah worked her design magic and used pencil tiles in Carrara from Urban Archaeology, Thassos white counters and floors from Daltile. All these elements helped to complete the bathroom even with the absence of a window. “White is a lovely jumping off point,” says Sarah. “It’s not cold at all, and it acts as a wonderful foil for any colors you add to the room.” She loves to add art to her projects, and is aware that white is also the ideal background color for an art installation. When choosing whether to use white, Sarah believes, “it depends on the end use of the room. You have to take into consideration the surroundings and, most importantly, the lifestyle of the people living in the room.” While white is always fresh and can be very calming, she notes that she might shy away from designing an all-white room for clients “unless it was a bedroom and you had no children or animals. You do have to be able to live in the room!”

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SARAH WEILAND

TUSKHOMEANDDESIGN.COM

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o Sarah Weiland of Tusk Home and Design, white is likened to purity and beauty. It’s a great example of why wedding gowns are white. So, in all the ways she uses white in her designs, be it modern, traditional or transitional, she makes sure to always express that cleanliness.

Sarah has had multiple experiences using white in kitchens and baths. The woodwork and backsplashes especially are timeless and never go out of style. She excitedly notes that homeowners can even paint their bricks white and get the same beauty out of them. Currently, she is working on a kitchen with white millwork and a white background with metallic and black and white sketching. “White is very valuable in gray scale,” she says, and it’s easy to use different shades of white to create an interesting color palette. When her clients fear the use of white in their homes, Sarah assures them that, first and foremost, white in any space brings outside light in. It creates a more naturally bright lighting while still keeping the abode cozy. Secondly, she says, white actually accents children’s rooms very well by balancing out bright colors and patterns. White slipcovers are good for families, too. Lastly, with a white background or backsplash, anytime you tire of your design, you can change everything and still have your white look great. Sarah wants her clients to know that it is possible to have beautiful whites be durable, too. So everyone, even families with children and pets, can experience the beauty and purity of white in their homes. 58

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KAREN POWELL DECORANDYOU.COM

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esign creates value,” according to Karen Powell of Decor & You. So when she begins a new project, she takes multiple things into account. The personality of the client and the space—its size, use, architectural features and especially lighting—all get analyzed before she can “create space for clients to love,” as the motto of her firm says. “White is always a consideration,” says Karen. It can be neutral or transitional to draw attention to itself, or it can sit stoically in the background. White helps expand space and creates accents in a pure version of itself, or with soft undertones to create something totally unique. In one of her recent projects, Karen uses white cabinets to create a clean, timeless and classic look, and also in bathroom tiles for something more contemporary. With more than 30 years of experience in the decorating industry, Karen notes that sometimes white can be impractical in a design, as when a client has children or pets. And sometimes it can be overwhelming, as it was in a client’s house with little wall decoration. On the other hand, for a previous client who traveled extensively and had tons of artifacts in his home, a white background was a great showcase! Karen says her job as a designer is to encourage clients to have an open mind and be willing to step out of their comfort zone. She asserts, “The biggest thing in decorating is there is never just one right way!”

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E A S T

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The New Classics Inspired by their client’s love of rare literature, Studio Dumitru and Jablonski Associates take a page from the past to create a masterpiece home. Story by Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw | Photography by Durston Saylor

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The kitchen’s open design leads to the home’s breakfast room.

y design philosophy is very simple,” begins George Dumitru, the founder and principal architect of his eponymous design firm, Studio

Dumitru. “We don’t build houses. We build homes.” Over the decades he has served the Westport, CT, community, those words have become more than just a mission statement: they are the mantra he applies to every project. To that end, he encourages his clients to be fully engaged in all aspects of their home’s design and construction. So when George was approached by a family looking to build their dream home featuring a show-stopping library worthy of their beloved collection of rare titles, he jumped at the chance to create a once-in-a-lifetime space. “The clients were repeat customers of mine who were relocating in the area,” George explains. “They were very knowledgeable about what they wanted, so I knew we would be able to collaborate on something special.”

Great Expectations

Realizing that putting together this project would take more than his 66

skilled hands, George reached out to the construction management group at Jablonski Associates to assist him. The award-winning team had built a stellar portfolio of luxury homes over the past three decades, so George knew their expertise would be a great fit for the client’s specific requests. Plus, George and Jablonski had joined forces on similar projects in the past, to great success. Still, despite their excellent working history, George wasn’t initially sure whether Jablonski would be available to work with him on this venture. Lucky for George, the builders were more than willing to reconnect. “George and I have definitely worked well together in the past, so I was really eager once I heard the initial plans,” explains Jeremi Jablonski, a third-generation builder and the owner of Jablonski Associates. “What attracted me was that the client wanted something very unique. It was to be a low-key, very casual home. And yet it would have lots of character.” Together, the two men worked closely with the homeowners to design a space that would more or less become a casual oasis for family and friends. After reviewing the footprint of the rest of the neighborhood, the team settled on a classic style that once served as the epitome of modern American design in the late 1800s: shingle-style architecture.

A Treasured Past

These uniquely crafted homes, once a common sight along the New England coastline, were especially popular with the area’s jet-set crowd towards the end of the 19th century. Today, shingle-style

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The kitchen featured two custom islands—one for cooking and the other for entertaining.

homes represent a period in architecture that has become increasingly synonymous with both rugged American individualism and casual elegance. For George and Jeremi, choosing this kind of design served two purposes. First, it allowed them the chance to build a home with the laidback vibe the client was looking for, with lots of flexibility regarding space and functionality. Second, doing so would give the house a timeless feel, ensuring it wouldn’t dramatically stand out from the other residences nearby. “We really wanted to use a design choice that blends well with the rest of the neighborhood,” explains George, “so we looked to various wellknown shingle-style design projects, such as the ones done by McKim, Mead & White, for inspiration.” Indeed, the influence of the legendary architecture firm is evident throughout the home’s final layout: from the house’s asymmetrical rooflines and wooden cladding, to the large, picturesque windows and expanded patio space outside. As with the original shingle-style cottages of the past, the materials used during the building process was as important as the initial blueprints. So, whenever possible, the team used building materials that were native to the area. They also took care to be environmentally conscious, ensuring they did little to change the area’s lush landscape. East Coast Home + Design

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The tub in the master bathroom allows the couple the chance to bask in the natural light while gazing privately upon their beloved courtyard.

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Novel Interiors

Once inside, visitors to the home are greeted by an elegant foyer that leads them through an open-space environment that flows effortlessly from room to room. The kitchen offers a perfect view of the sunny breakfast room just steps away; the latter, in turn, gives diners a look at the comfy patio outside. The layout provides the homeowners a sense of being connected with one another, no matter where they may be in the house. To further this effect, white is used as a dominant color throughout many of the rooms, which not only unifies the various spaces, but also brightens them up. The clean white setting also serves as the perfect canvas for the unique additions provided by the clients’ interior designer, Julie White. With her help, the couple selected such personal touches as the pop of color woven through the floor tile in the master bathroom, as well as the shades of blue present throughout the kitchen in the backsplash.

A Many-Splendored Thing

Because of the clients’ various interests, George and Jeremi made sure to include several specialized rooms designed to meet their needs. In the master bathroom, the clients wanted to have the feeling of a his and her bathroom without some of the more rudimentary design elements commonly found in such spaces. So the wife got a dedicated makeup zone, while the tub was placed strategically away from the standalone shower to create a relaxing oasis after a busy day. “The clients didn’t want the space to feel like a separate area for both—like dual sinks and such,” George East Coast Home + Design

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A map-inspired design graces the inside of a dome perched above the library.

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The wine cellar’s walls are adorned with stone to give the space a more classic look.

explains. “I created zones within the bathroom.” To indulge the homeowners’ love of entertaining, the design team added two custom islands in the kitchen. One is a dedicated area that allows the couple to prepare food while being fully engaged with their guests. The other is made specifically for gathering around while enjoying one another’s company. The need for entertainment also played a major factor in the final construction of the spacious veranda. In addition to the comfortable seating, the space also has an outdoor oven as well as a gorgeous stone terrace surrounding it. Indeed, everything about the area was well-thought-out— even the location itself. “The patio was intended to be an extension of the home’s interiors,” says Jeremi, “so it was placed in a spot that you can easily see from the breakfast room and kitchen.”

Wuthering Heights

Perhaps one of the home’s most impressive areas is the twostory library, which was methodically crafted to showcase the homeowners’ beloved assortment of rare tomes. “The client really loves his books and wanted the library to be one of the specialized rooms we created for the family,” George says. “So we wanted to design a truly special space that would house his large collection.” East Coast Home + Design

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To meet this challenge, George commissioned custom oak bookshelves that run floor-to-ceiling. Oak wall paneling gives the room a comfy finish, while the large windows offer the right amount of natural light. To give the library a more sophisticated feel, Jeromi suggested adding a dome over the space. The family excitedly agreed, and the team set to work finding a design that would befit the literature within 74

its walls. After an extensive search, they stumbled across something that would be perfect. I honestly don’t remember who found it,” George recalls exuberantly, “but we eventually came across an old map that we all fell in love with. The homeowners really wanted it, so we got it painted on the dome. It’s one of the additions the clients are very proud of.” A beautiful winding staircase was added to connect not only the li-

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brary ’s two floors, but also the wine cellar below. To further link the two spaces, Jeremi and George added custom oak wine racks that mirror the shelving upstairs. They also wrapped the walls in stones to give the room a more traditional finish. The clients were thrilled with the completed residence, marveling at the personalized details that were included in every part of the construction process—which, according to George, is the true sign of a successful project. “We were in constant communication with the client, and I love that, because that means the home we built matched them perfectly,” George concludes. “At the end of the day, that’s our main goal.” Resources Architect Studio Dumitru George Dumitru 49 Richmondville Avenue # 106 Westport, CT 06880 203.226.5156 studiodumitru.com Builder Jablonski Associates Jaromi Jablonski 59 Grove Street #1b New Canaan, CT 06840 203.966.3636 jablonskiassociates.com

The final design of the home pays homage to the work of McKim, Mead & White—a legendary architecture firm credited with popularizing shingle-style architecture.

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Block Island Blockbuster One of the last 12 great places in the Western Hemisphere Story by Dorothea Craigen | Photography by William Waldron

Block Island is a cozy little island about 12 miles from coastal Rhode Island in the Atlantic Ocean. The island offers a wealth of pleasures— including stunning bluffs and 17 miles of unspoiled beaches—and having a home there is just a dream for most people. And that is exactly why these clients wanted a rental summer house here, a utopia called “one of the last 12 great places in the Western Hemisphere” by the Nature Conservancy. The chosen residence had spectacular water views all around and was built in 2006, so the owners expected that little renovation was necessary. Upon entering the house, however, they learned they were completely wrong.

The newly built house was not constructed well and had a layout that made little sense. The challenge would be to redesign the layout to be accommodating to summer travelers while still maintaining symmetry with the calm of the surrounding beaches. In 2010 the owners contacted Terri Ricci of the award-winning Terri Ricci Interiors, with whom they had completed many projects before. Terri worked in collaboration with a former colleague, architect Joel Barkley of Ike Kligerman Barkley, and local builder John Spier of Spier Construction. Terri knew from the time she was in high school that her career would inEast Coast Home + Design

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volve creativity. “I was always involved in set design for school plays,” she says, “and I was doing everyone’s makeup behind the scenes.” Her talent her to the New York School of Design, where she graduated and was afforded the opportunity to work alongside interior designers Sam Bartero and the legendary Naomi Leff. This invaluable experience, in addition to her love for the “architect and designer relationship,” piloted her into a senior executive position at the Interior department of Ike Kligerman Barkley, NYC. Here she spent more than 10 years building and maintaining interior design practices while working closely with the firm’s other 78

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departments and clients. At the height of her career, Terri opened her own interior design business, which is known for its elegance and simplicity. Terri believes the personality of the home should echo that of the client. Joel Barkley and Ike Kligerman Barkley have received numerous awards through their use of the latest technologies as well as traditional handicraft. Their creations can begin simply, such as with watercolors on a sketch, or with the latest technology, such as digital rendering and 3D printing. Over its 25 years in business, Ike Kligerman Barkley boasts an

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Simple and rustic themes make the kitchen symmetrical with the surrounding outdoors.

extensive portfolio, including a mountain lodge in Aspen and a vernacular white cottage in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Having worked there, Terri has a special connection with the firm and knew she could trust its expertise in renovating this beach house. Working on an island involves its own set of problems, so Terri selected local builder John Spier and his company, Spier Construction, to turn her clients’ rental vacation home dream into reality. Spier specializes in custom homes and building within their capacity in a

timely and efficient manner. The original home was not well built and had a very odd design flow. There were three bedrooms plus an office, with a semi-attached garage and a bonus room above the garage. Upon entering the front door, you faced a dark hallway ahead and a staircase on the right. At the end of the hall was a door to the master bedroom and another hallway that went up half a flight of stairs to the bonus room above the garage. Up the stairs was a nice-sized great room, but it had very few windows and a narrow East Coast Home + Design

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walkway deck on the back. The kitchen was tucked into one corner and faced away from the view. The layout was so confusing and backwards that the clients actually made a construction paper model as they tried to figure out the house. Studying the model, the clients and the designer realized that, between the main house and the garage, they were dealing with five different levels and something seriously needed to be done. Joel Barkley changed everything. He designed a new entry between the two buildings with a staircase that would connect the bonus room with the 80

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great room. To do this, however, the house had to be gutted down to its bare bones. All the materials, floorings, fixtures and hardware had to be replaced, and it was important to the client that sustainable, eco-friendly materials be used. This became a challenge in itself: since this would be a rental home, Terri and her crew had to stay within a budget. However, one of Terri Ricci Interior’s greatest assets is that it never gives up and always works to fulfill the clients’ wishes. Not only was the firm able to work most of the sustainable, user-friendly fabrics into the clients’ budget, but it was also able to integrate some upscale touches. One of the most stunning of these was the beautiful shade of blue small-scale Heath Ceramics tiles for the master bathroom.

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One section of the great room, with large windows and a simple layout for a calm, beach-inspired feel.

But what would a renovation be without unexpected problems? Building, renovating and installing on an island during the summer season means you have to factor in the ferry schedule, hotel accommodations and truck sizes, just to name a few. Installing on an island during its off-season presents another set of problems entirely. You have to ensure all the furnishings, lightings, wall decorations and accessories are ready on time, as returning to mainland for extra touches is not an easy option. Added to the pressure to stay within budget, all shopping had to occur precisely and accurately since returns and exchanges were pretty much out of the question. Fortunately, it was easy for Terri to purchase the furniture, hardware, etc. as she had known her clients for many years and developed a friendship. They traveled to trade shows together, and chose fabrics and finishes together as well. The name of the game was summed up nicely by the client: “Keep it simple, it’s a rental…nothing breakable.” Accommodations were sparse during the island’s off-season, so the crew actually stayed in the house during the project. This proved to be a good thing, though, as it allowed them to work out all the kinks before the clients moved in. Terri says she always consolidates all the furnishings for one final installation and brings in art, accessories and finishing details all at once or else the house is not exactly completed. Then the client can come in to a home that’s truly ready to live in. The result is an absolutely beautiful home that is unique in that it sits very low to the road. But when you enter, you are greeted by a gorgeous pastoral view of the backyard. The originally poorly laid out levels are tied together beautifully by the new entry and East Coast Home + Design

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staircase, and the different levels add an element of privacy. The great room is now just that, with very large windows taking advantage of the views on the north side of the street, including bikers passing by and the serene water views you can’t get enough of. The bonus room is now a den, newly attached via the central stairs. Here, smaller-scaled ceilings and windows create a cozy feeling. The kitchen is opened up and windows added all around continue the open, airy theme. Off the great room is a large deck offering fantastic views of the water and sunsets and, downstairs, a covered porch with a fireplace. Being that the house is on an island with lush beaches all around, Terri knew it was important to create a casual, relaxed and simple feeling. She knew the clients’ style was much more down-to-earth than flashy, glamorous or formal. The goal was for her clients to feel at home in the décor, not to put together a designer showcase. Each room is painted with a simple motif, allowing the gorgeous outside views to speak for themselves. All the furnishings reflect the comfort and calm of the island and are welcoming rather than showy. When the clients finally saw the finished product, they loved it so much they decided to keep the home for themselves instead of renting it out. They had a large family with many visitors, and the openness as well as the calm, comfortable and casual feeling was perfect for their needs. Originally wanting a low-maintenance home for rental reasons, they realized this new beauty would be great for small gatherings and safe for their grandchildren to visit. And they decided that adding a great fire pit area out on the lawn and clearing the view to expose a rolling lawn would give them a feeling of complete privacy on their new beach wonderland. This newly transformed home adds to the beauty of the island itself, and now the loveliness of the exterior matches that of the interior. Despite some interesting hurdles, Terri, Joel and John came together as a cohesive team to create something truly amazing. Resources Interior Designer Terri Ricci Interiors Terri Ricci 10 Knight Street Norwalk, CT 06851 203.642.3202 terriricci.com Architects Ike Kligerman Barkley Joel Barkley 330 W 42nd Street New York, NY 10036 212.268.0128 ikekligermanbarkley.com Builder Spier Construction John Spier 1267 West Side Road New Shoreham, RI 02807 401.207.4203 spierconstruction.com East Coast Home + Design

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Days of Future Passed A pre-war apartment in the heart of Manhattan gets a new life, thanks to the team at Kelly Weldon Designs and Michael Smith Architects. Story by Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw | Photography by Laura Moss

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or many interior designers, inspiration for projects can come from any number of modern sources—be it a snap on Instagram, or an HGTV host showing off the latest trend. But for interior designer Kelly Weldon, her life’s work has been greatly inspired by taking a bold look at the past. “I consider myself someone

who appreciates the classics,” explains Kelly. It’s definitely something that heavily influences my work.” And for the award-winning designer, it’s a philosophy that definitely works well for her career. Over the years, she has been celebrated for her ability to combine modern form with vintage sensibility, mixing various styles in surprising new ways.

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So when Kelly was approached by a former client to assist him with renovating an apartment at one of New York’s most well-known addresses, she saw the opportunity of a lifetime. “He had recently purchased an apartment in the San Remo building and wanted help making the space his own,” Kelly says. “And because he knew of my work and my love of historic places, he felt I would be the right person to turn to.” A Storied Past Built in the 1930s, the San Remo, on Central Park West between 74th and 75th Streets, has enjoyed an interesting history among New York City ’s jet-setting elite. Over the years, the building has been home to an eclectic mix of actors (such as Demi Moore and Bruce Willis), athletes (Tiger Woods) and even the occasional rock star (Bono). It has even played a supporting role in movies, including The Odd Couple. And yet, beyond being the playground of choice for some of the Big Apple’s most famous people, the building itself has an amazing legacy. The San Remo was the innovation of legendary architect Emery Roth of Emery Roth and Sons. Renowned for weaving a liberal mix of multiple design elements throughout his works, Roth is largely credited with designing some of New York City ’s most famous hotels and apartments during the early part of the 20th century. Today, many of his buildings, such as the Normandy and the Beresford, have achieved landmark status. Indeed, the bulk of Roth’s designs, including his notes and blueprints, are permanently part of the archives at Columbia University for future generations to study. The San Remo has remained one of Roth’s most celebrated projects. At the time of construction

Kelly used a variety of textures and prints to create a welcoming sensory experience in the study. A luxurious leather couch is partnered with textured upholstered chairs. Hand-blown Italian lamps have flecks of gold woven throughout the glass, so that it gives off a prism-like illumination when turned on at night.

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One of the most dynamic spaces in the apartment, the foyer features sunny specialty wallpaper and lacquer ceilngs both from Farrow & Ball. The carpet runner was formed from two vintage rugs sewn together.

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in 1929, it was one of the first buildings to take advantage of the city ’s multiple dwelling law. This ordinance modified New York’s existing construction laws to allow towering structures to be built for housing purposes, provided they offered extra amenities like yards. To accommodate the legislation, Emery created San Remo’s units as part of a large, U-shaped structure with an elegant courtyard facing away from Central Park. He then drafted two 10-story towers using basic styles from both Art Deco and Beaux-Arts architecture. The result is a unique space that has become an integral part of the New York City skyline. Meeting the Challenge For Kelly Weldon, the chance to work in a space with such an amazing heritage was too good to pass up. And yet she knew that making significant changes would come with its own set of issues. For one, the San Remo was converted to a cooperative building in the 1970s, which meant that Kelly ’s work would be limited by the building’s bylaws. Plus, the apartment itself had undergone multiple renovations in the past, leaving fixtures such as water pipes exposed. And then there was the “little” matter of the San Remo having achieved landmark status in 1987. This meant that any alteration or new construction affecting the outside property must be approved in advance by the city ’s Landmark Preservation Commission—a detail that further affected Kelly ’s ability to expand the apartment’s overall footprint.

Throughout the apartment, Kelly mixed objects from multiple periods to create a timeless effect. At the dining room table, she placed two new Ralph Lauren chairs next to seating created in the 18th century, while a 16th-century velvet tapestry graces the wall as a balance.

“I would definitely say that the biggest challenge was the landmark status issue,” recalls Kelly with a hearty laugh, “which made some of the work we did a big balancing act, meeting all the requirements. For example, there was a stipulation that anyone who bought into the building had to replace the windows, which caused problems because the air conditioning was a window-box units.” Her team would have to find a way to bring in an HVAC unit without damaging the walls or ceilEast Coast Home + Design

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Kelly Weldon and Michael Smith take a bow in the beautifully redesigned kitchen.

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ing—a tricky task made more difficult by the special restrictio ns. Realizing she would need a hand with this and other aspects of the renovation, Kelly reached out to her good friend, Michael Smith of Michael Smith Architects, for assistance. A firm principal with almost two decades of experience, Kelly knew that Michael would be the perfect partner in her quest to restore the San Remo space to its former glory. “Being brought on to the project by Kelly was really a treat,” says Michael from his office in Norwalk, CT. “The San Remo is one of the most iconic fixtures in New York City, so we wanted to do what we could to restore some of the pre-war details.” As the team worked on the space, they found that the restoration process often required some creativity. For example, there was a large exhaust vent in the kitchen that they were not able to move. “That exhaust vent was one of the biggest design challenges we had going in,” Michael says. “After discussing the alternatives, we realized our only choice was to hide it, so we built a column around it. Once we added other details, such as the countertop and island, it blended right in.” Finding the Perfect Piece As the construction was taking place, Kelly worked hard to find the right furnishings for the apartment. Because she had collaborated previously with the homeowner on other residences, she had become familiar enough with his tastes that he respected her judgment implicitly. And that, according to Kelly, made the task of decorating an incredibly rewarding experience. “I was really fortunate in that,” she says. “Even though this was the client’s main residence, he travelled quite a bit for his job. So he placed an extraordinary amount of trust in me when it came to what pieces to use.”

Taking cues from the space’s historic vibe, the design team decided to incorporate vintage elements in some of the more modern pieces that Kelly selected. Doing so would not only give the space some much-needed warmth, it would also be a nod to some of the oldworld charm the apartment exuded. Nowhere was this design strategy more evident than in the foyer, where visitors are greeted by a warm mixture of textures and styles spanning many centuries. The brightly colored wallpaper on the wall blends perfectly with the 16th-century castle chairs that Kelly had custom upholstered with zebra print. Meanwhile, a 17th-century trestle table is featured with a rare framed photograph of Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger perfectly positioned on the wall above it. “The foyer was originally very dark,” Kelly explains, “so we wanted to brighten up the space as much as possible. The golden tones with the wallpaper and ceiling were by design, to add some warm elegance to the area.” In the dining area, she deftly paired two new Ralph Lauren chairs with ones made in the 18th century, while on the wall sits a 16thcentury velvet and gold tapestry that she had cut into a custom balance. To complete the look, Kelly added a 16th-century Japanese screen, with gold leaves woven throughout on the wall. During the decoration phase, Kelly often pushed herself to locate the right furnishing, no matter where the search might have led her. In many cases, as with the bathroom tub and the foyer’s rug, the pieces were custom made. But often she would be on location hunting for the perfect piece herself—which meant she often found herself in some pretty unusual spots. “Among the most unique things in the study are the end tables,” she says. “Everyone loves them, but East Coast Home + Design

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To hide the large exhaust vent that dominated much of the available space in the kitchen, Kelly and Michael built a column around it. Right: The custom-made tub in the guest bathroom was specially designed to have a vintage vibe.

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honestly they are probably among the least expensive items in the room.” Indeed, she sheepishly admits that she found them in a garden shop. “As odd as it sounds, they just work with the custom upholstered chairs and antique furniture.” A Space Fit for a Rock Star Overall, the project took four years to complete. And, while the timing may seem drawn out for some, Kelly explains it was the perfect scenario for the client because it allowed the team the opportunity to build the design layers needed to finish each room. The patience and planning paid off, as the client was thrilled with the results: an elegant yet approachable residence truly worthy of the San Remo’s glamourfilled past. And, for Kelly and Michael, that made the long process to completion worth it. “We were grateful we got the time we needed to find the right piece for every room,” concludes Michael. “No matter if it was vintage furnishing or the perfect custom molding, we wanted to make sure everything was right for the customer.” Resources Interior Designer Kelly Weldon Design & Build Kelly Weldon 574 West End Avenue Suite 124 New York, NY 10024 917.613.2623 kellyweldon.com Architect Michael Smith Architects Michael Smith 41 N Main Street #101 Norwalk, CT 06854 203.563.0553 michaelsmitharchitects.com East Coast Home + Design

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PROFILE

New Season/New Works

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andra Morgan Interiors & SM Home Gallery is pleased to announce our Fall 2016 Group Show, “New Season/New Works,” featuring a fresh collection of paintings, drawings, handpulled prints, and photographs from our roster of talented gallery artists. Featured artists include Helen Cantrell, Catherine Doocy, Katherine Evans, Paul Favello, Dana Goodfellow, Donna Grande, John Hall, Rob Lang, William McCarthy, Mary Morant, David Morico, Penny Putnam, Kerri Rosenthal, Janis Sanders, Elasah Schaff-Smith, Louis Shields, Melissa Steinhauser, Barbara Sussberg, Rachel Volpone, and will introduce our new artist Karen Tusinski.

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“New Season/New Works” Group Art Exhibition Show runs November 3 – December 31, 2016 Opening Wine Reception Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 from 5:30 – 7:30PM Sandra Morgan Interiors & SM Home Gallery 70 Arch Street Greenwich, CT 06830 203.629.8121 sandramorganinteriors.com

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East Coast Home + Design  

September 2016

East Coast Home + Design  

September 2016