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athome magazine presents the Second Annual

A-List Awards 2011



Meet Our A-List Winners

Jonathan Adler

Eric Cohler

BEAUTY MAY BE in the eye of the beholder. But good design is in the eye of the homeowner— it must appeal in a visual way while also satisfying the needs of those who live with it. It’s no coincidence, then, that the striking projects selected

Jeremiah Eck, FAIA

Celerie Kemble

Paul MacNeely, AIA

by our esteemed judges to win this year’s A-List competition are also those that wow with their Proudly Celebrating 10 Years

smart solutions and livability. We caught up with the award-winning professionals and their clients to find out what sets the A-List apart from the pack. Their Vicente Wolf

stories reveal a host of creative ideas that are certain

Bunny Williams

to inspire first-rate home projects in the future.



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for the equipment needed to create, display,

for a homeowner’s sculpture studio

and move them, and the north light artists

had humble beginnings. Sited on a

prefer. Zoning restrictions demanded that

back corner of a beautiful piece of property

everything new would fit within the foot-

high above Long Island Sound, the original

print of the existing structure. Cardello and

structure offered storage and garage space,

the owners also agreed that the new building

but little aesthetic value. “It didn’t even have

should complement the main house, designed

a window opening to the view,” notes Dave

and built by its original owner, an architect

La Pierre, project manager for the reconstruc-

and student of Frank Lloyd Wright.

tion. But the owners had plans for the somewhat dilapidated outbuilding.



rchitect Robert Cardello’s design

Managing this tall order with aplomb, the twenty-first century design includes a

When they hired Cardello to renovate a

deck that captures the panoramic view, and

portion of the main house, Penn and Cor-

provides Cornelia with outdoor space for

nelia Kavanagh also asked him to rebuild the

meditation and inspiration. High clerestory

shed to accommodate Cornelia’s active career

windows flood the interior with light, and

as a sculptor. Since her art involves forms cast

movable platforms manage works in progress.

in metal, the program would require work

This bright, functional and contemporary

space to accommodate weighty pieces, room

space fulfills its purpose in every way. —JO

With an expansive deck for coffee and contemplation, abundant natural light, and space for movable tables and equipment to lift and place sculptor Cornelia Kavanagh’s work, architect Cardello has created the perfect artist’s aerie.




Robert A. Cardello Architects 203-853-2524; BUILDER:

Jerry Radice

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner architecture: modern

ar tist’s s pace

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner kitchen DESIGNER:

Cobble Court Interiors 203-972-7878;



form and function



ooking to downsize from a much larger home, Rob Rizzo’s clients saw their opportunity in a small waterside house in East Norwalk, a neighborhood with a great beach and

views that remains one of the county’s best-kept secrets. The place they found had potential, and a convenient mooring for their boat. “The kitchen was part of a gut renovation,” notes the designer, who created the new space from scratch. “The requirements were to keep the design low-key but sophisticated. It’s just a few steps from the water, so the client wanted a beachy feel without using any obvious nautical references.” After establishing a tight, functional work triangle for the plan, Rizzo turned his attention to selecting a palette of materials and forms suited to the small space. “It was actually fun to design a kitchen on a more compact scale than the majority of Cobble Court’s projects,” says the designer. “We Compact in its dimensions but long on style, this seaside kitchen has beautiful details, such as custom leather pulls from London for cabinets, and laser-cut muntins for the glass doors. Floors and island of antique oak provide contrasting texture to the slick marble, glass and painted surfaces.

had a chance to use really wonderful, distinctive materials in small quantities.” Designing around a brass faucet that the client loved, Rizzo devised an artful combination of sleek and rustic details for the finished space. He fabricated the custom island from antique oak, with exposed graining and thick brackets for an almost barn-like feel. Subway tile with a navy blue glaze for the backsplash and blue Calcutta marble for the counters suggest the proximity of the sea. For a bit of glossy sophistication, white-glazed, ten-inch wide wood planks form the tall wainscoting on walls; above the chair rail, the designer layered grass cloth over silver foil wall covering for more shine. The room is casual and fun, balanced with just the right amount of polish. —JO

WINTER  2012



athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner dining room



hen Liria Heidenreich was looking for design

quest: “no boring chairs.” Dark chocolate grass cloth on

help for her shingle-style house in Greenwich,

the walls provides warmth and anchors the abstract art.

her sister-in-law recommended Amy Aidinis

For the floor, Hirsch put an unexpected spin on a simple

Hirsch. The young designer had already decorated the

wool loop rug. Instead of picking one colorway from the

homes of other family members, so why not hers? But the

samples, she sourced all of them to create a custom stripe.

Heidenreichs were seeking a different approach: “They

The homeowner admits to being particular about lighting

wanted to marry a modern style with more traditional ar-

and this glam three-tiered crystal chandelier from Ochre

chitecture,” says Hirsch. The success of the dining room—

acts as a jewel in the room, about which she jokes: “My

part of a whole-house project—lies in the way Hirsch

electrician doesn’t like me anymore.”

translated their desire for an eclectic interior with little

To add a touch of color and tradition, Hirsch brought

clutter or fuss. “I didn’t want a lot of color. I’m nutty and

in a red antique lacquer cabinet from Greenwich Orien-

I need mellow,” says Heidenreich. “She really got me.”

tal. This one-of-a-kind piece provides storage and charac-

At the center of this sleek-yet-personal space is an archi-

ter, picking up on a hue continued in other parts of the

tectural Italian table surrounded by Ligne Roset cowhide

house. The sophisticated scheme fits the family to a tee.

chairs and a wood bench. The more casual arrangement

Says Heidenreich, “I still walk into these rooms and say,

suits the family’s two boys and also answers Liria’s re-

‘Damn, this works!’” —MKH



moder n family


Amy Aidinis Hirsch Interior Design 203-661-1266;

In this contemporary dining room, the designer brought in eclectic pieces that make a chic, cohesive statement. These include a crystal chandelier from Ochre, an antique Chinese cabinet, cowhide chairs from Ligne Roset, and digitally created abstract art.

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Glass tiles define the arches of the shower, one of several focal points in the room. Paired with nickel medicine cabinets from Restoration Hardware, the vanity was built by Yoguez Woodworking. “I really wanted the rich walnut wood to warm up the whole bathroom,” says Alisberg. Below: The tub and fixtures are from Waterworks.


t first glance, this elegant bathroom in a 1940s Greenwich house dazzles with its good looks. But the brilliant surface is only half of its charm. Behind the wainscoting lies hidden

storage: built-in drawers, shelves, and cabinets that contain towels, bath supplies, and even laundry hampers. “People keep a lot of things in the bathroom and you need to create a home for those, so the experience can be more relaxing,” explains designer and architect Susan Alisberg of Alisberg Parker Architects. With clutter out of the way, the homeowners can easily maintain the bathroom’s sleek appearance. This bath blends tradition with modernity, a mix that Alisberg says reflects a trend among clients who “want to keep the roots of tradition but with a cleaner, simpler aesthetic.” Classic touches include the star pendant light and the nickel medicine cabinets, while the contemporary asserts itself with a custom walnut vanity and glass shower enclosure. flanked by swing-arm lamps creates a luxurious, relaxing spot for the homeowner, who likes to sit and soak. In the steam shower, which sits inside a subway-tiled dormer, the windows open up to give the feeling of showering outside. The toilet is nestled into its own little nook, with ribbed translucent glass for privacy, which lets the natural light pass through. Says Alisberg, “We aim to make our projects luxurious yet welcoming and with a sense of place and home.” —MKH




In the marble-floored alcove, a sizeable Waterworks Empire tub


Alisberg Parker Architects 203-637-8730;

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner bath design

peace treatme nt

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athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner kids’ room playspace

bold play




Deane (Veronica Campbell) 203-327-7008; ARCHITECT:

Steven Mueller Architects 203-869-3758;

Vibrant color and white-lacquered cabinetry give youthful energy to the multipurpose work-play area, a team effort by architect, designer, and a forward-thinking client. Soft textiles and easy care surfaces make it kid-friendly and cozy.


ithin the spacious floor plan of the shingle-style home

Using this aesthetic in their design, Mueller and Campbell installed

that architect Steven Mueller designed for his Greenwich

a wall of white-lacquered custom cabinetry, which accommodates

clients, the family saw an opportunity to craft dedicated

identical workstations, an entertainment center, and closed storage.

space for their two daughters to do schoolwork, relax, and entertain

Upping the wattage with fuchsia accents for walls and accessories,

friends, separate from their bedrooms and private baths.

and topping the surfaces with fresh-to-the-market, silvery glass silk

“This room extends the idea of his-and-hers home offices, and provides the children with their own private place to work, or be so-

counters, results in an appealing, child-centered room that Campbell characterizes as “girly, dramatic and fun.”

cial,” notes the architect. Mueller, along with Deane designer Veronica

Says Mueller, “The children’s space is like the rest of the house. It’s

Campbell, developed a productive collaboration with their client, who

cool and uncluttered, but also very warm and inviting in the way that

embraced many of their suggestions—and had a few of her own.

colors and materials are used.” Does the prize-winning room also please its clients? Notes Campbell of the homeowners’ daughters, “They love it, and they also keep

bright, modern feel to the interiors,” says Mueller.

it neat!” —JO


“Even though the building envelope was traditional in style, the owners were eager to experiment with new materials and give a

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athome 57


iven the real estate mantra—location, location, location—Neil Hauck’s clients had it all, but their house left something to be desired.

“They lived in a convenient family neighborhood in

New Canaan that they loved,” says the architect, “but with three growing boys and a one-car garage, the place was bursting at the seams.” After shopping unsuccessfully for a replacement, the couple approached Hauck to see what might be done to create a more livable floor plan for their existing home. Zoning restrictions prevented any addition to the front or sides of the structure, so the only options remaining were to increase height and expand the backyard elevation. “My clients did not want to build something out of character with the neighborhood, which still has many

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner renovation

ne w heights ARCHITECT:


Neil Hauck Architects 203-655-9340;



small old Capes,” says Hauck. “So they needed to be careful about proportions.” Inspired by the simple shingled houses of Nantucket, where they had spent many summers, the couple directed Hauck to consider a remodel program that embodied this same simplicity. What emerged from the discussions and drawing sessions was a design that reshaped the house in a pleasing scale. On the first floor, the kitchen, family room and breakfast area open to one another. The expansion also includes a new master suite, homework space and laundry on the second floor. Finally, by increasing the pitch of the roof, the architect captured enough usable space for a large playroom and office/ guest room on a new third floor. The amplified square footage—increased to 3,900 square feet from just over 2,200—has given the family a home for today, with room to grow. —JO

By raising the roof, ramping up the light with well-placed openings, and creating a Nantucketstyle profile with subtly classical detailing, the architect nearly doubled the home’s square footage while maintaining a modest footprint.

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athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner pool house

swim club




Wadia Associates 203-966-0048;


Stately and serene, the slate-roofed brick and limestone pool pavilion is a compact and elegant mirror image of the main house; its detailed architecture requires no decorative embellishment other than its comfortably simple furnishings.


inyar Wadia’s practice has burnished his reputation for de-

small kitchen and bar for food and drink—its intricate details and

signing in classic styles that reference the past while living

components, all of the same quality as the manor house it comple-

firmly in the present. Many of his projects are reminiscent

ments, make it remarkable.

of great European country houses, fully finished and equipped for

The building’s symmetry, with its covered terrace opened to front

modern use. So when the owners of an extraordinary brick mansion

and back with triple arches, flanked by circular windows in its brick

he had designed were ready to install a pool pavilion, they commis-

ends, delights the eye like a perfectly constructed jewel box. “Using

sioned him to fashion it in the same spirit of tradition and livability.

brick, slate, limestone and plasters creates the right fit,” notes Wadia,

Set in a beautiful pastoral landscape, and placed on an axis with

who also designed the pool to reflect the pavilion and the porch, its

the home’s screened porch, the pool house design mirrors the porch,

mirrored structure. The effect of this careful composition is a tranquil

and its Georgian style, in form, character and impact. While Wadia

environment worthy of description in a nineteenth-century novel,

equipped the pavilion with the expected accoutrements—showers, a

with all the comfort and luxury of the twenty-first. —JO

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athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner architecture: traditional (more than 7,000 square feet)

g rand plans


Baltray Company Inc. 203-966-0699; INTERIOR DESIGNER:

Bunny Williams 212-935-5930;

fter designing a large, gracious home for clients in the 1990s,

“I develop all my projects from the inside out,” notes Finlay. “I start

a few years ago Mark Finlay again found the plans for this

by considering the space, light, and proportion. My clients were inter-

brick-clad Darien classic on his desk. Its new owners needed

ested in rooms that would be somewhat less formal, and more open.”

some changes. “A house is like occupied art,” says the architect. “It should express what the people who live in it are all about.” With a practice informed

Leaving the home’s stately façade virtually unchanged, Finlay instead reworked the interiors, creating transparency from front to back, drawing even more light into the major rooms.

by his extensive knowledge of the work of iconic, turn-of-the-century

Opening the kitchen to the family room, and the library to the liv-

residential architects such as McKim, Mead and White, Finlay strives to

ing room, and then opening the landscape at the back of the house to

create timeless spaces of enduring livability.

the lot lines, provided the expansive feel that the owners had sought.

Still, times change and a good design can sometimes get a tweak

To furnish and decorate the rooms, Finlay introduced the couple to

to make it even better. While the home’s original interiors still looked

designer Bunny Williams. The result is a comfortable home that Finlay

beautiful and elegant, the clients—a young couple with small children—

describes as “rooted in tradition, but not stuffy. It’s bright, and it lives

had different ideas about how the spaces should connect and flow.

young.” —JO






Mark P. Finlay Architects, AIA 203-254-2388;

Updating an elegant residence that he designed in Darien, Finlay opened up the interior public spaces to the front and back, giving the home the flow that its new owners required, while maintaining the beautiful details that highlight its Georgian-style bones.

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athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

detail oriented ARCHITECT:



Sean O’Kane, AIA 203-438-4208;

E.M. Rose Builders Inc. 203-481-4550;

Dawn Fawcett 203-733-6204


ean O’Kane’s New York clients enlisted him to build their

charming details that reflect the design’s Carpenter Gothic antecedents.

weekend home a decade ago. Set on a spectacular five-acre

While the cypress siding will weather to a soft gray that comple-

site on Scott’s Cove in Darien, the property combined two

ments the other wooden and stone buildings, the interiors also speak

lots to create a literal island of serenity for its owners. A few years

to the cottage vernacular.

later, when plans expanded to include guest quarters, the architect’s

“We thought that a massive stone fireplace would look out of scale,”

proposal suggested a charming counterpoint to the main house and

says the architect of the 1,400-square-foot structure’s focal point. “So

two outbuildings, all designed by his firm and built in stone and slate.

we combined fieldstone with plaster, and used hand-hewn beams for

“The clients wanted something more modest than the main build-

the trussed ceiling in the main living space.” These details, he notes,

ings, so it made sense to use different materials. Adjacent to the guest

keep the finishes in character with the concept.

house site, a small existing board-and-batten structure gave us the

O’Kane adds, “The clients are very happy to have something built

inspiration to suggest another wood building, one with a nineteenth-

on such a different scale from the main house, and we enjoyed the

century feel,” recalls O’Kane. The idea materialized as a plan for a

opportunity to craft a custom structure in smaller dimensions than we

one-bedroom cottage, sheathed in cypress and accented with some

usually work in. It turned out well for everyone.” —JO




winner architecture: traditional (less than 7,000 square feet)

Diminutive compared to other residential projects in his portfolio, O’Kane’s design for a guest house uses Carpenter Gothic details, such as painted sawtooth bargeboards and a stone and plaster hearth, to embellish its simple board-and-batten sheathing and timbered interior framing.

Landscape designer Robin Kramer likes to create outdoor spaces as destinations. Among the various garden rooms that unfold for her Greenwich client is this heart-shaped boxwood parterre, blooming with allium. In winter, the parterre’s structure becomes living sculpture.

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athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner landscape

f re nch t w ist LANDSCAPE DESIGN:


Wadia Associates 203-966-0048;

Details of the landscape created by Dinyar Wadia for this French country house include lush flower beds, espaliered fruit trees for courtyard walls, and outdoor rooms accessed by stone entries, such as the shade garden (far right). A well-groomed apple orchard outside the walls provides fodder for local deer.




plan for the setting of an elegant stone house, crafted in the

European tradition of a long approach to a country place, with pas-

mansard-roofed style of nineteenth-century Paris, became

sage to the house via an imposing gate and walls that conceal all but

the puzzle that led Dinyar Wadia to tackle the landscape

the entry, and enclose a courtyard.

portion of his Greenwich project.

Inside the gate, the view opens to the home’s decidedly French

“It was an experiment,” recalls Wadia, who underscored this fact as

façade, and a veritable cornucopia of delectables for the deer—plants,

he accepted his A-List award, one of two his firm captured this year.

flowers and shrubs—preserved and protected by the impressive stone

“The house called out to me for a traditional French garden, and with


my client’s permission I decided to design it as my first landscape commission.”

With the plants and cutting gardens deer-proofed, the design remains kind to the fauna outside the gate. Exterior greenery includes

The architect, credentialed in landscape as well as residential archi-

espaliered apple trees trained along the walls, as well as a carefully

tecture, needed to solve a continuing backcountry dilemma: roving

pruned and restored orchard that separates the residential landscape

and rapacious deer herds. Adding to the complexity of the landscape

from the polo grounds.

requirements, the property adjoins the local polo fields, and perimeter mesh deer fencing is a no-no. For the solution, Wadia drew on the

Says Wadia, whose initial commission has led to many more: “The deer can feast, and do no harm to the owners’ garden.” —JO

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Lynne Scalo Design 203-222-4991;

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner bedroom


lux e re treat


new, classically detailed Georgian-style home in Greenwich

the palette creates something new.”

offered designer Lynne Scalo a backdrop for her signature

One of Scalo’s trademark talents is her careful selection of furniture

blend of comfort and glamour, artfully expressed in the mas-

and accent pieces. From an international inventory of fabulous finds,

ter bedroom. Conceived as a sophisticated and calming retreat for its

she plucked a parchment-covered bombe commode from the Paris

busy owners, the room features a sumptuous range of materials and

markets. Above it, she installed a sparkling chandelier of German

furnishings, creating a space of soothing textures and glowing surfaces.

origin, which catches and diffuses natural light throughout the room.

“I wanted something dreamy and dramatic for this room,” Scalo

The bedroom reveals Lynne’s penchant for providing the rooms she

recalls. Using the technique of chiaroscuro—the juxtaposition of dark

designs with breathing space, exuding opulence but always carefully

and light—the designer added definition to the supple textiles she em-


ploys in her design. Rendered in a distinctive pairing of deep charcoal

“A room full of too many good things can easily go over the top,”

and silver, the traditional French damask curtains and velvet-covered

notes the designer. “I think the most successful spaces have a few

upholstery are transformed.

luxurious elements that provide an elegant environment in a very

“I love to reinterpret the classics for today,” says Scalo. “Freshening



subtle way.” —JO

Elegant elements in Scalo’s design for a Greenwich master bedroom include a lushly upholstered Jonathan Adler bed and French damask curtains; she turns out the furnishings in a fresh and distinctive palette of deep charcoal gray and silver. For sparkle, the designer adds a multifaceted chandelier at the window.

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Placement is key for the prizewinning pool design; it reflects the original groom’s cottage from the 1920s estate that has been transformed into a new and expanded residence.





Doyle Herman Design Associates 203-869-2900;

Aquino Garden and Landscape Service 203-570-0598

Sandoval’s Landscaping & Masonry, Inc. 203-969-7991

Signature Pools 203-866-7665

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner pool design

history lessons 70



fter purchasing a stunning parcel of land, carved from a

what is now the dining pavilion and place it in an axial relationship

storied 126-acre Fairfield estate, the owners decided to build

to the house and the secondary structure.” The axes of both build-

their new home using two existing structures on their acre-

ings intersect at the pool’s center point, making this arrangement very

age as reference points. Renovated and expanded, what was once a

pleasing to the observer’s eye. Because of the contours of the property

groom’s cottage became the main residence, while another auxiliary

and the owners’ wish to preserve a giant elm close to the house,

building, used in the past for raising game fowl, became an outdoor

Herman also positioned the pool four feet below the terrace, surround-

dining pavilion.

ing it with new walls that mimic the main house’s stone sheathing and

Kathryn Herman, who recently became a principal of Doyle Herman

provide the requisite enclosure.

Design Associates, served as landscape architect for the project. She

“The owners insisted on preserving the historic qualities of the

saw an opportunity to create a space that would contain the pool and

property, so we had to build a new pool that would look as if it had al-

link the main and accessory structures in a meaningful arrangement.

ways been there,” she recalls. “By using materials and proportions con-

“What we did was to design the pool to duplicate the footprint of

sistent with what already existed, I believe we achieved that goal.” —JO


Now a dining pavilion, the gamecock house of the old estate and an ancient elm tree, below right, were preserved and now flank the pool, designed by Herman to look “as if it had always been there.”

WINTER  2012



The good bones of this serene living room in an antique house are enhanced by the designer’s adept hand. Luxe cotton velvet fabrics on the furniture and silky drapes add to the softness of the space. opposite: Lindsay created artful displays of pieces from the homeowner’s existing collection. The round mirror above the fireplace was handcrafted in Mexico.

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

winner living spaces

organic glamour 72




Pimlico Interiors (Melissa Lindsay) 203-972-8166;


his chic living room in an antique New Canaan

testing at different times of day to capture the perfect

home is so soothing and sophisticated that it’s

shade. These richly textured walls, along with luxe velvet

hard to picture the ‘before’—a room encased in

upholstery on the silver framed loveseat, X-shaped white

sunflower yellow walls and crowned with honey-toned

leather benches, and a chandelier with dangling mirrored

wood beams. As designer Melissa Lindsay, co-owner of

pieces, speak to the glam side of the equation. Organic,

Pimlico in New Canaan, describes the eloquent trans-

natural elements include a faux bois side table, a seagrass

formation, she coins a decorating style: “I call it organic

rug (“so the room doesn’t seem too fancy,” says the de-

glamour.” The term seems oxymoronic at first, until Lind-

signer), and a potting table with orchids, which echoes

say clarifies that the description applies not only to the

the garden outside.

room, but also to the homeowner. “She has a very distinct

Lindsay also devised a clever solution for a shallow

style. She’s natural and loves to garden but also has this

bookcase: On its frame, she hung the homeowner’s collec-

glam side to her,” says Melissa of her client Polly Good-

tion of butterfly and bird prints in an artful arrangement

year. “It was all about balancing those two elements, so

flanked by antique sconces. This vignette, like the rest of

the room feels like it’s really her.”

the space, reflects the homeowner’s tastes, respects the

The new backdrop is a Venetian plaster in a pale-blue hue, a color that came out of a week of sampling and

character in the room and—true to the designer’s style— adds just a touch of sparkle. —MKH

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Selldorf Architects New York, NY

g r a n i t e

t r av e rt ine



exterior landscape stone

ABC stone

new york 718-389-8360 long island 516-997-9412

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011


finalists architecture: modern

Stein | Troost Architecture


ainter and restaurateur Felton Weller wanted “green contemporary architecture” for his waterfront home in Westport. Although architect

Michael Stein, who has known Felton for twenty-five years, says the zoning challenges were numerous, he was able to use green design to create a unique project. Since Stein’s design complied with flood laws (the old house on the lot did not), and he replaced an illegal septic tank with a greener alternative, the town zoning board let him build in the former home’s footprint, a much larger area than would be allowed today. The rooftop features pho-


Stein | Troost Architecture 203-831-9983; BUILDER:

Raise High Construction 203-854-6994

tovoltaic panels which use sunlight to produce much of the energy needed to power the home. Inside, more ecofriendly materials like recycled glass tiles were used. “I love the mix of materials,” says Stein, like

the custom

butternut cabinetry around the fireplace that houses the artist’s collection of figurines. “We’re proud of the fact that the difficulties moved it into something special,” he says. “It was a great collaboration.”



athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists architecture: modern Joeb Moore + Partners Architects


e really likes to sit out in the open environment but still feel sheltered,” says Joeb Moore of his client for this project. The two-story

screened-in porch was built using teak and mahogany, materials that Moore chose for their heartiness and stability in outdoor conditions, and also to match the Duratherm doors and windows of the main house. The porch is supported by two concrete columns, and largely cantilevered out over the water so it doesn’t disturb the natural environment. Since the project is in a wetland area there were some town-imposed restrictions, but instead of seeing them as roadblocks, Moore let them drive the design process. “This is a powerful example of an elastic design project,” says Moore, who had to work with the client, the environment and these wetland restrictions while designing. It’s unusual to dedicate this much square footage to a space that’s only used half the year, but the homeowner loves the addition. “He would stay out there all the


time if he could,” says Moore.


Joeb Moore + Partners Architects 203-769-5828;

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athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists kitchen

Deane and Steven Mueller Architects


e wanted to create a feeling more than anything,” says Veronica Campbell of Deane. “Clean lines, peaceful, and something with an edge to it.” The client wanted things completely clutter-free, so

Campbell and architect Steven Mueller created a striking space with lots of room for concealing appliances and cooking utensils. They started by blending a number of Wolf cooking elements into one stainless steel work station, and instead of using hardware, they chose stainless steel lips for opening and closing cabinets and drawers. “It’s a crisp and clean look,” says Mueller. “It’s very sleek.” A leatherized absolute countertop for the island and a veined marble backsplash give the space some warmth. The space is perfect for a family who truly loves to cook. “They always have a fresh-baked cake on the island, every time I go over there,” says



Deane (Veronica Campbell) 203-327-7008;

Steven Mueller Architects 203-869-3758;




Campbell. And their kitchen: “It’s definitely a ‘wow’ feeling.”

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists kitchen Laura Kaehler Architects


aura Kaehler’s clients wanted low-maintenance, durable materials and no visual clutter for their kitchen. “They wanted a very clean, contemporary style,” says

Kaehler. The island is white Caesarstone with a waterfall edge, the backsplash is stainless steel subway tile, and the cabinets are MDF board spray-painted a soothing gray-green that’s also used throughout the rest of the house. Cabinet pulls are recessed in, and the upper cabinets have no hardware at all. Instead the door fronts hang down just a bit below the cabinet box so fingers can reach behind to pull them open. For the floors, Kaehler chose bluestone to warm things up. “This is a pretty hi-tech kitchen, so we wanted to juxtapose that with something more natural,” she says. Behind the island are three sets of French doors, through which the cook can look out onto the lake outside. “There’s no extra noise,”


she says. “It’s really calm and clean.”



Laura Kaehler Architects 203-629-4646;

Gallo Contracting 203-378-1793

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athome magazine A-List Awards 2011 athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists dining bathroom f i room nalists Wainscot Solutions


omeowner Suzanna Wanicka had three requirements for her dining room: that the ceilings be mirrored,

that the walls be high-gloss black and that the chandelier she’d already chosen be used. It just took a designer’s keen eye to bring it all together. The real challenge here, says designer Michael Yedowitz, was making it truly over-the-top. “The client wanted spectacular,” he says. Wainscot Solutions was upgrading all of the millwork in the house already, so when they came to the dining room, they added more texture (like the crocodile-skin wallpaper) to amp up the drama. Wanicka picked out her own furniture and accessories, and the collaboration produced a dramatic, sophisticated space. “She has a real flair for design,” Yedowitz says of his client. “She’s very talented.”



Wainscot Solutions 860-354-3638;



athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists dining room

Pimlico Interiors


his atypical dining room posed some challenges for designer Melissa Lindsay, the most significant of which was making it work for both day and night. In the morning and afternoon, the dining room is flooded

with sunlight and the gardens outside are in full view, so it had to be a light and airy space, but since people also congregate there in the evening, it had to turn into a cozy retreat at night. To achieve the perfect balance, Lindsay used lush fabrics like faux fur upholstery and a Flokati rug, but chose them in creamy colors to keep the look fresh and light. The stylish sitting area occupies the home’s former kitchen space, and also features the original 1820s fireplace. “It’s a really special house,” says Lindsay. “It’s so great to see them enjoying the space.”  DESIGNER:

Pimlico Interiors (Melissa Lindsay) 203-972-8166;

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finalists bath design

Wadia Associates


esigner Dinyar Wadia wanted this bathroom to be a relaxing retreat for a young couple in New Canaan. “I call it quietude,” he says of the serene space he designed. The rest of the house is mostly white as well, so he

carried that theme into the bath—but added a jade-green tile from Waterworks (“One of my favorite places to shop,” he says) on the floor to keep it warm and romantic. “It gives it a nice, soft touch so it’s not antiseptic,” says the designer. He had never done a fireplace in a bathroom before, but the room had the chimney flue running up the side of the house from downstairs, so they tried it, “and now the homeowners love it,” he says.


Wadia Associates 203-966-0048;



athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists bath design JMKA Architects


he boys for whom this bathroom was created do like New York City, but it was their mother who came up with the subway theme. “We wanted to create something that wasn’t the normal space,” says architect Jeff Kaufman.

The group had come across tile that looked like a street and manhole covers, and the theme evolved from there. The room is actually part of a large addition to the house which includes a new kids’ suite. “The big problem-solving issue was how to fit the program into the space,” says the architect, who spent a lot of time making sure that the addition didn’t look like a whole separate structure. The bathroom’s fun details, such as subway handles for towel bars and a yellow “safety zone” strip on the floor, have made it a hit with the boys, ages twelve and fifteen.


“They love it,” says Kaufman.


JMKA Architects 203-222-1222;

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finalists kid’s room | playspace

PL Design


or the three children of this house, designer Pavleta Landjeva created a cozy play space, inspired by a Manuel Canovas quatrefoil fabric in a lavender color. Though the shade of that

swatch was a little too bright for this room, it did inspire the calming palette of taupe and lavender used throughout. On the walls, Landjeva used three different shades of lavender, fading from darkest to lightest, floor to ceiling. The space isn’t huge, so a twin-size daybed (featuring a quatrefoil cut-out) with a trundle is a perfect fit—and great for sleepovers. The green detail on the backs of the bookcases was added towards the end of the project, when Landjeva decided the space was a little too monochromatic and needed an extra punch. “The room is space they could grow into.”


PL Design (Pavleta Landjeva) 203-550-5371




playful, but functional and practical,” says the designer. “We created a

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists kid’s room | playspace Sam Allen Interiors


he’s a total fashionista,” says Sam Allen of the eight-year-old client for whom he designed this bedroom. Artistic talent runs in her family, so it’s no surprise she was very involved

in the design process. The client wanted a place to hang out with friends, but also requested an area where she could study and do homework. “We wanted something playful and useful,” says Allen, but also something that could transition with her into middle school and high school. She loves pink and purple right now, but just in case she changes her mind in the next few years, Allen kept the walls neutral and put the color in the accessories—like lavender window treatments and colorful pillows in a Kelly Wearstler ikat fabric, which inspired the design for the rest of the room. For doing homework, Allen gave his client a “big girl” desk and a chic Kartell Ghost chair in the study area, and for reading at night, sconces on a dimmer above her daybed. It’s the perfect space for this glamour girl—and will be


for years to come.


Sam Allen Interiors 203-984-5590;

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finalists renovations

Hilton-VanderHorn Architects


hen we first saw this house, it was kind of a builder’s special,” says Charles Hilton. But the home had decent bones—they just

needed to be fleshed out. Creating a “good, solid, classic Colonial” was the goal, and that’s just what Hilton achieved. The architect removed the original roof and replaced it with another with a much steeper pitch, which provided the height needed for a new cornice. Also on the exterior, the added portico and trim around the doors and windows give the house that classic Colonial look, though, “It’s the detail inside that really makes the big difference,” says Hilton, who went through every room and replaced moldings, trims and even the fireplace mantle with much more substantial materials, making this house really feel like home.


Hilton-VanderHorn Architects 203-862-9011;



athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists renovations

Laura Kaehler Architects


hey wanted color and drama and fun,” says Laura Kaehler of the young couple who asked her to renovate this Westport home. The

property already had a great pool and beautifully landscaped gardens in the back, so Kaehler opened up the space to draw the eye through the house. The tall foyer is dramatic by itself, but the staircase is the real showstopper. “We treated it like a work of art,” says Kaehler, whose firm also decorated the space using colors like fuchsia and a shade of orange inspired by a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cup. They retooled the driveway, made a new courtyard, and in the back, enlarged the deck and added a second floor, which houses the master bedroom. A new balcony, accessible through the bedroom’s sitting area, overlooks the pool and also provides shade below. “You can tell it’s


the same house,” says Kaehler. “We just gave it a facelift.” ARCHITECT:


Laura Kaehler Architects 203-629-4646;

Devore Associates 203-256-8590;


Hoffman Contracting (Eddie Barbosa) 203-966-8000;

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finalists pool house

Karen Bow Interiors


wanted to bring the garden indoors,” says designer Karen Bow of this petal-pushing pool house. Looks like she succeeded, as evidenced by the fun florals inside. “Patience was definitely a huge part of this project,” says

the designer, who spent many hours cutting out over 200 appliqué flowers for


Karen Bow Interiors 914-953-1517

eight hours to affix all of the flowers, and for any white that showed through, Bow climbed a ladder with pink Sharpie in hand to perfect the petals. As timeconsuming and painstaking as it was, the designer laughs, “When I was hanging these flowers, I remember thinking, ‘There is no place I’d rather be at this moment than doing this.’” So how does she feel about the final arrangement? “I think they’re just perfect.”




the walls and ceiling of the space. It took her and her wallpaper hanger about

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011


finalists pool house

Saniee Architects


he client wanted something traditional and yet not traditional—something on the edge of traditional and modern,” says Mahdad Saniee. “It

needed to be a transitional space that worked.” So the architect created this open and airy pergola and sited it very close to the house, making it extremely convenient and accessible for the family. It’s an outdoor space that can be used all the time, whether or not the pool is in use. The parents can watch their two boys play soccer in the yard, the family can have lunch al fresco after a dip, or they can use the space for entertaining, which they do quite a bit. The covered section of the structure also includes a wet bar, bathroom, changing room, and storage, and conceals practical pool equipment. Comfy chairs



Saniee Architects 203-625-9308;

Sean Jancski Landscape Architects 203-625-9801;


from Walters Wicker complete the inviting look.

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finalists architecture: traditional (More than 7,000 square feet)

Hilton-VanderHorn Architects


riginally built in the 1920s, this home had received several not-so-great additions in the years since. Architect Doug VanderHorn stripped the building

down to just the original wing (now used as guest quarters), and with the original 1920s structure as inspiration, created a whole new house. VanderHorn decided on a linear layout for the home, and sited the breakfast and family rooms at the north end of the building to capture the best light and water views. The design also gives the towering tree behind the home some room to breathe. The striking exterior façade is covered in carved Indiana limestone, but has its own electrical generation system, which produces a significant amount of its power. The heat produced during the electricity-generating process also heats the domestic hot water and the swimming pool and spa. “It was a challenge to have an energy-efficient home at this scale,” says VanderHorn, but with smart solutions, this house is both efficient and beautiful.


Hilton-Vanderhorn Architects 203-862-9011; BUILDER:

Significant Homes 203-966-5700;




perhaps the most impressive feature of the house is that it

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists architecture: traditional


(More than 7,000 square feet)

Sean O’Kane, AIA


hough the scale of this house is quite large, architect Sean O’Kane kept it from looking bulky with a triple-gabled façade that looks out onto the street. The house is constructed in a “T” shape, but it took many plans and models

to decide upon that configuration. “The joke around the office was that we were going to run out of letters,” says O’Kane, who also proposed “H” and “I” layouts. The clients wanted an energy-efficient house, so a geothermal HVAC system, a first


Sean O’Kane, AIA 203-438-4208; BUILDER:

Fox Hill Builders 203-655-9046;

for O’Kane, was used, along with a high level of insulation. Off the family room, the home has a teen room for the family’s three children. “It brings the family together,” says O’Kane, since the kids can hang out and do their homework together, rather than in individual bedrooms. The lower level is entirely finished with a rec room, golf-simulation room and wine cellar, and can be accessed from the outside by a set of French doors, which also serve to let in light.

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finalists architecture: traditional (Less than 7,000 square feet)

Austin Patterson Disston Architects


ased in a suburban community of quarter-acre lots in Greenwich, the design for this home needed to make clever use of space. “Our goal was to main-

tain the best scale so it didn’t feel like it was an oversized house on a tiny lot,” says architect Mac Patterson, who worked to keep the home in scale with the lot and the neighborhood. He kept the face of the house small, and tucked much of the structure behind to get the most out of the small lot. The family needed a storage area for athletic equipment, but there was no space for a boot room, so in the first-floor hallway that connects the front of the house to the back, a series of cupboards and cabinets was built, and dressed up with smoked bamboo woven mat detailing on the panels. “I feel we achieved the scale of the suburban neighborhood, while getting as much space as we could for


the family,” says Patterson.


Austin Patterson Disston Architects 203-255-4031; BUILDER:

Wernert Associates 203-869-1110;



athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists architecture: traditional (Less than 7,000 square feet)

Milton Development


o suit the wants and needs of the young families moving into Westport today, Milton Development created a spec home perfect for easy, elegant liv-

ing. Architect Mary Beth Woods, who helped with interior design and selections, was instrumental in creating a home that incorporates all the little details these families appreciate. Many of them are coming from New York City and accustomed to a certain way of living. “A lot of people are doing away with living room space, because they’re spending a lot of time in the kitchen, breakfast and family rooms,” says Gina Braun, Milton’s vice president of marketing and client services. They’re also getting rid of extraneous details and opting for simpler transitional homes that suit their chic design tastes and family-oriented lifestyles. With primary architect Robert Storm on board to make their vision come to life, this team was able to create a space where simple, easy living takes center stage, and where young families can live and grow in style.


Milton Development 203-441-8385;, with Robert Storm Architects and Mary Beth Woods, Architect

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011


finalists landscape

Devore Associates


e essentially had four different spaces to work with here,” says Diane Devore of this landscape project in Darien: the European-style front lawns, the pool area, the stepping-stone path, and the rear yard that

includes the wetland area. Zoning restrictions left the only place for the pool adjacent to the house, so Devore gave it a more formal design to match the formal living room that overlooks it. The stepping-stone path had to be a transitional space between the pool area and the wetlands, and the homeowner really liked a mix of red and purple flowers, so Devore stuck to that color palette, adding shades of maroons and violets. “It’s fun,” she says of the color combination. In the wetland area, the town required a buffer of plants, so Devore used native wildflowers and a bamboo fence, which looks great and also prevents the Canadian geese from camping out on the lawn. Taking four very different landscapes and creating one cohesive design is no easy task, but for Devore, it all came together—naturally. LANDSCAPE DESIGN:


Devore Associates 203-256-8590;

Pompa Development & Construction 203-552-5236;


Signature Pools 203-866-7665;




Environmental Site Developers 203-438-2300

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists landscape Doyle Herman Design Associates


ames Doyle faced some serious challenges while designing this four-acre estate in Greenwich. Right after creating the site plan, the team found out the

septic system had to be redesigned, which changed their whole plan, and they also had to work with the largest stormwater system they’d ever encountered on a residential property. “We always strive to be creative with our designs,” says Doyle. “These challenges actually made us come up with even more creative solutions.” The landscape, designed to complement the Tudor-style home, features an allée of white flowering magnolias at the approach, and in the arrival courtyard, imported English lead urns which Doyle had made into water features. Structural sheared hedges break up the property into formal and informal spaces, and in the entertaining areas, which include a swimming pool and terraces, softer and more colorful plants are used to decorate the space. As many of our AList finalists have asserted, Doyle too says that it was ultimately the client who made the project a success. “All great projects start with a great client,” he says. “They were very trusting and allowed us to give them a wonderful project.”


Doyle Herman Design Associates 203-869-2900; LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR:


Roberto Fernandez Landscaping 203-869-3171; MASONRY:

Goncalves and Alves Masonry 203-576-8700 POOL:

Signature Pools 203-866-7665;

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finalists bedroom


Amy Aidinis Hirsch Interior Design 203-661-1266;

Amy Aidinis Hirsch Interior Design


hough the main part of this home features a more formal look and a darker palette, Amy Aidinis Hirsch was able to spice things up in this guest

bedroom. Since the room is in a remote area of the house and not used on a daily basis, “It can be a little more theatrical in a way,” she says. “We were able to play with it a little.” The design started with the wallpaper, something the homeowners had purchased but never used. “Then I built off of that,” says Hirsch, who layered bold patterns that play off each other for an unexpected look. A dark sisal rug grounds the room, and a patterned duvet adds a layer of zesty color. The antique chair and pair of lamps which look made for the space were both one-offs that happened to fall perfectly into place. The crowning jewel of this room, though, is the antique bamboo fourposter bed, which Hirsch found at United House Wrecking. It was too big for the small space, so the designer had it “totally reconfigured” to accommodate a queen-sized bed. “The hunt was absolutely rewarding since the piece PHOTOGRAPHS BY NEIL LANDINO

makes the entire room,” she says.



athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists bedroom Cobble Court Interiors


he whole design was about the water,” says designer Robert Rizzo, who calls this bedroom “sophisticated beach.” A circle motif repeated on the pillows, bedding and artwork

gives the room some movement, and faux bois wallpaper from Nobilis adds texture to the space. The moldings and trim were kept very simple to make the overall look less formal, and though everything else in the room is new, Rizzo used the client’s own antique brass lamps to finish off the look. “They help keep the room from looking too designer-y,” he says. The French white oak floors were acid-washed to deepen the color and wire-brushed to give them a more rustic look and texture. Originally intended to be a grayer color, the acid-washing left the planks a little darker than planned, but it seems the hue was meant to be, as it grounds the space perfectly. “It ended up working


really well,” says the designer.


Cobble Court Interiors 203-972-7878;

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athome magazine A-List Awards 2011


finalists pool design

Sean Jancski Landscape Architects and Wagner Pools


etting the pool to look truly organic was the major challenge of this project. “It was a difficult site,” says Sean Jancski. “It’s on a hill basically, so a free-form shape was the best fit for the space.” To keep the look natural,

Jancski used a mix of black-eyed Susans, hydrangeas and coneflowers, as well as smaller shrubs and trees around the pool’s edge. The client also wanted a water feature to hide the sounds of the street, so the design includes a waterfall with a bench underneath where swimmers can sit. A generous-sized spa and built-in outdoor barbecue on the deck are perfect for parties, and tree and path lights create a pretty look in the evening as well. “It’s great that they’re enjoying it,” says Jancski of the naturally inspired space. The organic look will get even better with age. “We only built it a few years ago, but it looks like it’s been there a long time.”


Sean Jancski Landscape Architects 203-625-9801;




Wagner Pools 203-655-0766; wagnerswimmingpools. com

athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists pool design Devore Associates


his project posed a significant challenge: a twenty-foot grade change from the house to the water. The homeowners were able to get to the deck and swimming pool from a basement

walkout, but needed more accessibility. Designer Diane Devore created this three-tiered deck so the family could go through separate terrace “rooms” as they made their way down the steps for a swim. Though the styles of the house and deck are different, Devore was able to incorporate a contemporary feel into her design, while still acknowledging the traditional architecture of the house. “We had to combine all of the elements,” she says. The design includes a dining terrace that overlooks the pool, and a waterfall feature with a submerged bench underneath, which Devore suspected the children of the house would especially enjoy. “I just thought it would be fun, that it would be kind


of magical,” she says.



Devore Associates 203-256-8590;

Joeb Moore + Partners Architects 203-769-5828:



Shoreline Pools 203-967-1203;

Prutting & Company Custom Builders 203-972-1028;

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athome magazine A-List Awards 2011


finalists living space

Carrie Miller Interior Design


his active family with three children wanted a room where they could feel comfortable spending time with family and not worry about delicate fabrics or fragile accessories. De-

signer Carrie Miller, a close friend of the homeowners, gave them a room with a “very easy, casual feel” with colors that complement the water views of Long Island Sound, and a built-in window seat across from the fireplace where family members can curl up with a book or just enjoy the fire. Instead of starting from scratch, Miller re-covered several pieces from their Riverside home (which she also decorated) in great fabrics, like the blue-and-white zebra print from Travers on the chairs, for a new look. Many of the antiques were purchased at The Yellow Monkey in Cross River, New York. “My client said it’s her favorite room in the house,” says Miller. DESIGNER: 

Carrie Miller Interior Design 203-708-0095;



athome magazine A-List Awards 2011

finalists living space Muse Interiors


auren Muse designed these two contiguous rooms as adult spaces for a family with three children. The wife “liked a very soft palette, so you can see the sandy tones and blues in the liv-

ing room,” says Muse. “The pillow fabrics were the jumping-off point. They were the inspiration for the rest of the room.” While in the living room, designed for entertaining, Muse was more subtle in her color choices, she used a darker palette in the library. “I love all the contrast,” she says, specifically the pops of sunny ikat pillows against the chocolate brown sofa. In the evenings, the couple can go to this room and light a fire, read a book or watch the news. It turns out that athome had a hand in inspiring the project: The client first saw Muse’s work in the magazine a few years ago, and held onto the issue until she bought her new home. “Now we have come full circle,” says the designer.



Muse Interiors 203-344-9444;

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athome A-List Awards 2011  

See the winners from the 2nd annual athome A-list Awards

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