athome in Fairfield County - Mar/April 2021

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contents MAR/APR 2021 vol. 16 | issue 1





PURSUIT OF JOY Checking in with Amy Vischio on her own frest start.



12 GET THE GOODS Color trend: Light Blue; Take It Outside; English Garden

A contemporary farmhouse receives an industrial spin.


NEW BEGINNING A custom home caters to a family’s active lifestyle and fulfills their wish list.


BUILDING CHARACTER A Southport home blends modern farmhouse and Federal details. i nt e rvi ews by l au re n fet ter man

Home of Elissia Sigalow, founder of STOWED.

18 SHOP TALK Local design news, the latest collections, haute happenings and more


84 LAST WORD Catching up with Homefront Farmers, plus landscape firms to follow

ATHOME IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY MAR/APR 2021, VOL. 16, NO. 1. ATHOME IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY (ISSN 1941-9503) is published four times annually (Mar/Apr, May/Jun, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec) by Moffly Media, Inc., 205 Main St, Westport, CT 06880. Periodical postage paid at Westport, CT, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes (Form 3579) to ATHOME IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY, PO BOX 9309, Big Sandy, TX 75755-9607. US subscription rates: $19.95/1 year, $29.95/2 years; Canada and foreign US$40/1 year, US$60/2 years.

on the c ove r am y a i di ni s hi rsch i nterior desig n | ph ot o gr a ph y a m y vi schio


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Tischler und Sohn (USA) Ltd. Six Suburban Avenue, Stamford, CT 06901 Telephone 203/674/0600 • Telefax 203/674/0601

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vol. 16 | no. 1 | mar/apr 2021


sales & marketing publisher, athome; greenwich; fairfield living


Jonathan W. Moffly

Lauren Fetterman

chief revenue officer

style director

Andrew Amill

Megan Gagnon

publisher, westport•weston•wilton

advisory editor

Donna Moffly

Gabriella Mays

contributing editors

publisher, new canaan•darien

Gina Fusco

editorial director

Cristin Marandino

publisher, stamford

Karen Kelly-Micka

editor, new canaan•darien

Julee Kaplan

account executive

Hilary Hotchkiss

editor, fairfield living; stamford; westport•weston•wilton

Diane Sembrot

account executive

Rick Johnson


partnership and big picture manager

senior art director

Kathleen Godbold

Garvin Burke events director

production director

Rachel Shorten

Tim Carr sales assistant

assistant art director

Lemuel Bandala

Taylor Stroili taylor.stroili business assistant


Eillenn Bandala

director of content strategy

Diane Sembrot

business president Jonathan W. Moffly

digital marketing manager

chief revenue officer Andrew Amill

Rachel MacDonald

editorial director Cristin Marandino director of content strategy Diane Sembrot

digital assistant

Lloyd Gabi

business manager Elena V. Moffly cofounders John W. Moffly IV & Donna C. Moffly

creative director-at-large, athome

Amy Vischio

TO SUBSCRIBE, renew, or change your address, please email, call 877-467-1735, or write to athome in Fairfield County Magazine, 111 Corporate Drive, Big Sandy, TX 75755. U.S. subscription rates: $19.95/1 year (6 issues); $34.95/2 years (12 issues); $44.95/3 years (18 issues). Canada and foreign, US $36/year. Prices are subject to change without notice. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without express permission of the publisher. ©2018 athome in Fairfield County Magazine is a registered trademark owned by Moffly Media. The opinions expressed by writers commissioned for articles published by athome in Fairfield County are not necessarily those of the magazine. FOR QUALITY CUSTOM REPRINTS/E-PRINTS, please call 203-571-1645 or email PUBLISHERS OF GREENWICH, FAIRFIELD LIVING, NEW CANAAN • DARIEN • ROWAYTON, WESTPORT, STAMFORD and athome magazines 205 Main Street, Westport, CT 06880. Phone: 203-222-0600; email: ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Lemuel Bandala: call 203-571-1610 or email


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From simple to intricate designs, California Closets systems are From simple to intricate designs, California Closets systems are

C O N N E C T I C U T 565 Westport Ave, Norwalk 203.924.8444 C O N N E C T I C U T 565 Westport Ave, Norwalk 203.924.8444 W E S T C H E S T E R 16 Saw Mill River Rd., Hawthorne 914.592.1001 W E S T C H E S T E R 16 Saw Mill River Rd., Hawthorne 914.592.1001 @ caliclosetsct @ caliclosetsct

Product availability may vary by location. ©2021 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Each franchise independently owned and operated. CT HIC #0657205 Product availability may vary by location. ©2021 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Each franchise independently owned and operated. CT HIC #0657205 CT037_GreenwichMag_PXWine_9x10.8_0121.indd 1 08_09_AH MARAPR 2021_Masthead.indd 9 CT037_GreenwichMag_PXWine_9x10.8_0121.indd 1

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editor’s note /MAKING CHANGE



fter spending most of 2020 in our homes, a fresh start sounds more appealing than ever. Maybe you’re contemplating a kitchen update, a bedroom redo or even a much-needed renovation. If change is on your to-do list, hitting refresh can help you fall in love with where you live all over again. The team behind athome is hitting refresh as well—after serving as the creative/editorial director since the magazine launched in 2006, Amy Vischio is embarking on a fresh start of her own to serve the design community she loves in a different way. Along with transitioning into the role of creative director-atlarge for athome, Amy is pursuing her photography and art full-time, and she fills us in on what she’s up to now (“Pursuit of Joy” on page 30). Amy’s creativity and forward thinking have left an indelible mark on athome, and as I take the reins as editor, I’m grateful and excited that she won’t be far away. In this issue, we’re highlighting three new builds that are fresh starts in different ways. First, we visit Elissia Sigalow’s Westport home, a contemporary farmhouse with an industrial spin that inspired the launch of Sigalow’s company, STOWED (“Home, Bestowed” on page 38). Next, we talk to homeowner Cheryl Huffman, who worked with Amy Aidinis Hirsch Interior Design and Daniel Conlon Architects to create a custom home that checks every box on her family’s musthave list (“New Beginning” on page 54). Finally, we stop by a Southport home by Bonnie Paige—she seamlessly infused the space with a blend of modern farmhouse and Federal details (“Building Character” on page 68). Lastly, though it’s always hard to believe, it’s time yet again to enter the 12th annual A-list Awards. This design competition celebrates our local design community and the creative work and collaborations that bring luxurious yet livable spaces to life. Our homes are our havens, and we’re excited to once again honor the beauty, comfort and connection found within them. Visit to enter!


Want to win? Take the first step and enter now!



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Tel: 203.489.3800 | @charleshiltonarchitects |

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goods/COLOR by megan




&TRADITION Topan VP6 pendant light by Verner Panton; $221. finnishdesign



KITCHENAID 4.1 cu. ft. gas true convection range; $4,299.99. Best Buy, Norwalk;

WOUD × STEFFEN JUUL Come Here side table; $404.


RYAN STUDIO Kingdom parade pillow; $247. Fig Linens and Home, Westport;

light blue is such a feel-go od c ol or, so refreshing and calming. it reminds me of the o cean, clear skies, summer breezes and snowcapped mountaint ops. it’s very versatile and uplifting.


COLOURFORM Two-seater sofa; $5,945.75. Design Within Reach, Westport;


SERENA & LILY Driftaway bookshelf; $2,498. Westport;


—lynn morgan, lynn morgan design


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It’s Time to Grow Your Own Food BECOME A HOMEFRONT FARMER



Victory Gardens provided Americans with homegrown

gardeners make weekly visits to ensure that your

vegetables during WWII, and the benefits of home-

garden is productive and beautiful. From April until

front vegetable gardens are equally relevant

November, your garden will yield the

today. Just-picked, organic produce can’t

delicious, organic vegetables that you’ve

be beat. Growing and harvesting favorite

selected. And if you don’t yet have a

vegetable varieties in your backyard is

garden, let us build you one of our hand-

empowering. Teaching a young child where

crafted raised bed beauties.

their food comes from is a gift of a lifetime! Now is a great time to plan for your own Homefront Farmers is here to help. We are

Victory Garden so you can experience its

the area’s leading experts in producing homegrown

many benefits this season. Give us a call — we’d love

fruits and vegetables. Our highly trained organic

to get you growing!

20 3 .470.3655 : : : Like Us on Facebook

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more and more, ou td o or spaces are bec oming extensions of our interiors, with a fo cus on rel axing and entertaining. my approach is t o create a set ting that extends the interior aesthetics t o those areas. i select furniture and fabrics that tr ansition the spaces seamlessly.


—linda ruderman, linda ruderman interiors, inc.


2 CB2




6 RH

Drop outdoor kitchen module; $4,695. danishdesign

Cement basket planters; starting at $29.95.

Evening path rug; starting at $175.

Bali swivel chair; $2,756. Schwartz Design Showroom, Stamford; schwartz designshowroom .com

Rumi outdoor dining table; $2,399. The SoNo Collection, Norwalk;

Balmain teak daybed; starting at $3,995. Greenwich;




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Create an outdoor space you love living in.


203.227.5181 BETHEL SHOWROOM


Exceptional Products, Personal Service

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1 DORIS LESLIE BLAU 19th Century Chinese Handwoven Wool carpet, 8’5” × 8’7”; $20,000. New York;

2 TERRAIN Dish towels; $20 each. Westport;


3 CURREY & COMPANY Agave Americana gold wall sconce; $1,950. Chloe Winston Lighting Design, South Norwalk;


4 DOCKATOT Tent of dreams in Strawberry Thief; $475.

5 SELAMAT Hyacinth mirror; $868.


6 GUCCI Floral wallpaper; $490 for two panels.

7 SCULLY & SCULLY Coasters; $65 for set of four.

—brooke crew, brooke crew interior design and decoration


i’m especially dr awn t o morris & c o. wallpapers with birds. for a more tr aditional approach, i l ove them paired with ticking stripe s and ikats, bu t they can also feel fresh juxtap osed with clean lines and bl o cks of c ol or.


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above: Named after the renowned street in Manhattan’s Little Italy, this Smallbone Mulberry kitchen design exudes clean lines combined with an eclectic mix of materials including sustainable oak with Calacatta Oro marble worktops.

Luxe Living


ith more than a forty-year heritage of British design and craftsmanship, Smallbone has added the new Greenwich Showroom to its roster. Known as a pioneer in cabinetry and kitchen design, the luxury lifestyle brand carries its attention to detail throughout the entire house and is ready to make its mark in Greenwich homes.

“With its magnificent homes and top-end industry professionals in design and architecture, Greenwich has always been a natural environment for Smallbone to work and thrive in. Our very first showroom opened in Greenwich in the 90s,” says Ronnie Shemesh, Lux Group Holdings President Value Creation Officer. “We are delighted to be back in the town and look forward to bringing our flair and style to upcoming projects.”




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“Understanding how one’s client enjoys living life is ultimately the driving force for any great design.” –RONNIE SHEMESH, LUX GROUP HOLDINGS PRESIDENT VALUE CREATION OFFICER

above: The new Icarus kitchen collection features floating, scalloped glass cabinets inspired by Greek mythology and a dramatic—and utilitarian—glass centerpiece. below: Smallbone offers whole-house solutions including bespoke wine rooms and dressing rooms.

MAR/APR 2021

From elegant wine walls, bedside tables, armoires and wardrobes to beautifully appointed dressing rooms, media rooms, home offices and studies, every project begins with the craftsmen in its Wiltshire workshop. The Greenwich Showroom presents the company’s whole-home furniture collections, including the newly updated Mulberry Collection featuring clean lines and strong color, as well as cutting-edge technology such as the Samsung AirDresser that uses heat, air and steam to eradicate germs. Every project has a dedicated design and installation team and is a close collaboration between designer and client. “Understanding how one’s client enjoys living life is ultimately the driving force for any great design,” says Shemesh. “For example, if you love to entertain a large group or family, with everyone engaging in the kitchen space, then we’ll create the ultimate lifestyle room—a space that allows for entertaining, cooking and socializing, often incorporating informal dining, a bar, TV viewing area and the increasingly popular multiple work-bays for that quick Zoom meeting. With rooms uniquely designed for each individual, they become a special part of how we live, and this is the reward of a personal client relationship.” 45 East Putnam Ave.;



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above: Double Saturn pendants from Bone Simple Design illuminate the display cases from above, and tall loveseats designed by Moss Design are covered in Rosemary

Hallgarten’s Wool Pique fabric; (from left) president and co-owner Greg French, store manager David Glucksman, and principal and co-owner Harry French; Benjamin Moore’s Polo Blue updated the exterior, along with outdoor sconces from Carolina Lanterns & Lighting and vintage planters from Outdoor Design & Living.



hen only the best will do, Henry C. Reid Jewelers always delivers. Offering everything from gorgeous diamond rings to beautiful watches to the perfect hostess gifts, the fine jewelry and gift store has been serving Fairfield County since 1910, and last year, the time was right to transform its more traditional-feeling retail space at 1591 Post Road in Fairfield into a fresh, transitional and chic design. But the redesign was about more than just looks—the store wanted to further enhance the elevated shopping experience the brand is known for, where every customer is treated like family. “We actually started planning this project a few years ago, but by the time we got through approvals and zoning, the pandemic hit,” says president and co-owner Greg French. “It was at that point that we decided to move forward with the renovation to give our clients and town an updated experience as well as contribute to our beautiful downtown’s evolving façade.” To take on the task and fulfill his vision, Greg turned to interior designers Meghan

above: Meghan De Maria (left) and Courtney Yanni (right) of Moss Design with Christian P. Árkay-Leliever.

De Maria and Courtney Yanni of Moss Design, who later brought hospitality designer Christian P. Árkay-Leliever into the fold. The design team already had a built-in rapport— the trio had become instant friends after meeting at Rooms With a View in 2019—and they brought a unique blend of residential and

hospitality design to the project. “Greg had a vision and so many great ideas, and he allowed us to just go for it, which was so exciting,” says De Maria. Working closely with Greg and his father, principal and co-owner Harry French, Moss Design homed in on the overall look of the store, including the finishes, color palette, ambient lighting and soft goods, and collaborated with ÁrkayLeliever to determine the optimal floor plan and layout. A gut renovation of the store ensued, and the jewelry shopping experience was reimagined from the inside out. The updated exterior, now painted a captivating blue and bearing the family crest, is illuminated by gas-lit lanterns from Carolina Lanterns & Lighting, while large windows showcase jewelry and flood the interior with natural light. Inside, customers are greeted by white oak flooring, rich blue cabinetry, sophisticated light fixtures and glossy white display cases arranged in an elegant horseshoe design. “The contrast between the darker exterior and the bright, light interior is transportive,” says Yanni.




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shoptalk TRUE BLUE

This beloved color features prominently in the redesigned space:

above: The bar and wall cases are painted Benjamin Moore’s Blue Danube. The vintage sterling silver displayed

on the bar was collected by Henry C. Reid and is available for sale. In the floor on the right, pieces of glass give customers a peek at goldsmiths working below. below: In one of the seating areas, a Tini VI table from Oomph Home, painted in Derbyshire by Sherwin-Williams, is topped with a floral arrangement by Diane James Home.

curvilinear line that hugs you together.” Customers can also stop by the chic, built-in bar and enjoy a drink while they admire the collections, or sink into one of the two comfortable seating areas flanking the entrance while waiting for a repair. Every design choice was carefully chosen to ensure the jewelry remained the star. “There is intentionally no hardware on the display cases—they’re light and clear, and the jewelry just pops,” says ÁrkayLeliever. And Greg’s favorite part? The four pieces of glass embedded in the floor, where customers can view jewelers at work below. “I wanted to break down the barriers and show people that we have talented goldsmiths right below our feet working while they watch,” says Greg. “This is the difference— we do everything in-house. It’s so much fun.” The new space offers customers a luxurious yet welcoming shopping experience that caters to their every need. “When you’re walking in downtown Fairfield and you see the Henry C. Reid storefront, you can’t help but go inside,” says Árkay-Leliever. Henry C. Reid Jewelers, Fairfield; 203-255-0447; Interior designer: Moss Design, Southport; 917-292-6153; Hospitality designer: Christian P. ÁrkayLeliever; 203-685-5177; Architect: Peter Cummings Inc., Fairfield; 203-767-0643;

top and middle: Ship’s Wheel pendants from Dunes and Duchess and the standing display cases are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Blue Danube. bottom: In one of the seating areas, chairs were covered in Designers Guild’s Marshall Aqua stripe fabric and Kravet’s Blue Velvet.


“It feels as sophisticated and elegant as the jewelry it showcases.” Special touches turn each shopping trip into a memorable occasion. While viewing the display cases, couples can cozy up in one of the tall custom loveseats by Moss Design. “Buying an engagement ring or anniversary gift is a very special moment that shouldn’t be rushed,” says De Maria. “The loveseats create that moment. They have a beautiful


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MAR/APR 2021



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Get to Work

Finding space for a HOME OFFICE

by diane sembrort


e’ve been working at home for a long time—and we need an upgrade. “Home offices need to work as hard as you do, meaning a home office should be more than a desk and a chair. The work area should be well-lit for virtual meetings, free from distractions and wellorganized for better productivity,” says Masha Alimova, Director of Information Technology and Marketing for CALIFORNIA CLOSETS. Known as experts in custom-design systems, their features are adaptable to each person’s unique working needs, including homeowners who don’t have space for a dedicated office. “The solution is to redesign an underutilized area to create a multifunctional space. Understanding that your needs will change over time, we can create a transitional solution,” Alimova says. “One client asked for a playroom for her kids that featured a reading nook, which doubled as a homework/workspace. Within the playroom, we installed floor-to-ceiling built-in storage for what now holds toys but can easily adapt to storage for office supplies or everyday items.” A clean aesthetic and plenty of storage are essential to maintaining a productive workspace, she adds: “Some simple adjustments you can make would be adding a keyboard tray, built-in drawer dividers and a slide-out printer drawer. Adding a keyboard tray and slide-out printer drawer declutters your desktop, instantly giving you more room to work without compromising the accessibility of these items. One of the best accessories we offer is the fusion track system. This system allows frequently used desk supplies to be wall mounted for easy access while preserving desktop space.” Making sure you get everything you need from a space, California Closets works with you on a custom-designed system.

Creating the perfect home office is about custom choices.


Redesign an underutilized area to create a multifunctional space.


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Reimagined The Lloyd’s Harmonious Design Creates Inviting Spaces n at u r a l m at e r i a l s i n v i t e y o u t o s t ay RMS Companies recently unveiled The Lloyd, a premier boutique hotel located at the former Hotel Zero Degrees in the center of downtown Stamford. From the moment of arrival a sense of style and warmth unfolds. “My goal to reinvigorate this somewhat tired building and space was to stimulate the guest upon first impression,” said Bruce Beinfield, Principal of Beinfield Architecture. “By gradually introducing a layer of warm natural elements and striking geometric shapes consecutively throughout the guests’ journey, we provide an engaging experience.” A warm brown wall cladding system was added to the exterior of the building with an elegant vertical pattern to seamlessly

unite the exterior and interior spaces. Upon entry, guests are immediately overwhelmed with a sense of “getaway” from the abundance of organic materials that create an array of warm inviting nooks and intimate seating and dining areas. Honeybrown wood paneled ceiling boards were applied to canopy the large open space while cement board wall panels in natural gray tones provide a sense of stability and balance. Dramatic floor to ceiling drapery has been layered in throughout the entire lounge and library spaces in a soft sand linen texture while furnishings with natural elements such as woven jute, rattan, hair on hide and lamb’s wool were added as an extra layer between this cozy space and the busting city outside. Landscape Designer, Martha Baker embedded a row of tall fastigiate beech trees to beautify

the streetscape, which once pruned, will resemble evergreen columns along the front line of the hotel. Framing the entrance, oversized boxwood shrubs planted in horizontal wide planked Ipe wood boxes were positioned to harmonize the surrounding linear shapes. “The notable curbside entry design was intentionally curated with a combination of architectural and natural elements as a teaser for the interior feel,” stated Baker, Martha Baker Landscape Design. To set your expectations even more, an 8ft signature woven wood ball sculpture was commissioned by Brooklyn-based Baker Structures and centered around smaller complimentary boxwood shrubs with linear Hakone grass to create a known location to visit for rejuvenation and balance. Guest rooms are uniquely appointed with modern West Elm furnishings to offer a sense of style and the comforts of your own home. Saddle-brown tufted leather headboards are found in each room against a chic accent wall painted in rich green, creating a natural environment against the soft brown striations of the wood

floor. Hints of stone accents with strong charcoal black steel details were layered into the scheme to balance the subdued colors while framed art prints, by a variety of local artists, were selected to compliment the tailored grey herringbone upholstery and enhance the crisp white hotel bedding.

personalized services enhance guest experience Upon arrival, the guest-first ethos engulfs you from the warm hospitality team to the whatever-you-need mindset. Travelers will appreciate The Lloyd experience from the luxurious amenities including a 24-hour fitness center, Peloton bike, The Mirror, fresh healthy breakfast offerings, seasonal cocktails and bar bites to the personalized services such as complimentary shuttle service, valet parking, fresh brewed coffee delivered to your door each morning upon request and late night chocolates offered with nightly turn-down service. Altogether, hospitality is reimagined at The Lloyd.

t h e l loy d · 9 0 9 was h i n g to n b lv d · sta m f o r d, ct · t h e l l o y d sta m fo rd .co m · 2 0 3 . 36 3 . 79 0 0

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above: Clean-lined options include the Nixon stools (top) and the Matthew Kroeker-designed Marcel open shelf floating nighstand (bottom) in walnut.

Mark Letain, president

TOP PICK above: The Place dining table, available in an oak, ash or walnut base with a clear or brown glass top, surrounded by the Lyla armchairs in walnut.

interior designers a private look at the latest releases. Mark Letain, EQ3’s president, has worked at the business for eighteen years. Now, he’s expanding the business. As for bringing the store to Fairfield County, he says, “Following the successful opening of our New York City flagship store in 2019, we were excited to join a brand new space at the SoNo Collection. We believe the Connecticut market is ideal for our brand and are excited to bring the quality and incredible customization options that we’re known for to the community.” As Fairfield County has settled into another season of spending a lot of time indoors, it’s natural to think about changes around the house—to make it more comfortable and efficient. EQ3 hopes to attract both homeowners with an eye for home projects as well professionals in the trade to think of its line and services. “Our complimentary Design Services, which can be done at the store or virtually right now, is a great resource for our customers,” says Letain of one of his favorite EQ3 services. “We want our brick-and-mortar locations to offer customers everything they need all under one roof, from timeless designs to product placement to design advice.” 100 North Water Street #2400, Norwalk; 475-470-7614;

Company presidents aren’t supposed to play favorites, but we insisted. So here’s what Mark Letain shared: “One of my favorite EQ3 products is the Replay sofa, an original iconic design. It was first introduced back in 2001 and was remastered in 2018 with a lot of new innovations, such as seat construction component with memory foam and feathers. I also like our Oxford lighting collection, which customers can shop, grab-and-go style, for ease and convenience.”

above: The Replay two-piece sectional sofa with chaise combines foam and feather, with a flexible back frame. It comes in over 130 fabrics and and leathers.


Q3 comes from our friendly neighbors to the north. The modern-yet-timeless Canadian furniture brand has opened its newest store in Connecticut at South Norwalk’s SoNo Collection mall and is stocked with a line of furniture for the living room, dining room, bedroom and home office as well as lighting, rugs and accessories, from throw pillows to woven baskets. EQ3’s flagship store opened in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood last year, and now the brand is feathering its nest in Fairfield County. EQ3’s product design work, research and development and even custom upholstery manufacturing is all done at headquarters in Winnipeg. That way, when a designer has a brainstorm about a new side table or reading chair, he or she can see it made on the production line in the same building. Like to customize? Good. Have it your way. You can choose leather or fabric in lots of colors. Need help getting your own vision into focus? Lean on one of their designers to help. That’s friendly, eh? EQ3 also recently hosted a trade shopping event across all of its stores, giving


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the premier home design competition

Set your sights on a win in 2021! If you have a project or a firm in CT, go to and find out how to get on the A-list!


Sponsors >

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Q&A with Design Professionals

workspaces for everyone in the family. Design can elevate our mood and make us more productive, and with so much time spent at home, that is clearer now than ever before.

Christin Engh Mare Design Greenwich, CT 203-984-2230

What are clients requesting lately? Most of my clients are young families, and how they use their homes has completely shifted in the past year. With everyone working at home and children remote learning, I have been carving out

How do you use color to transform a space? A fresh, clean white backdrop is my go-to for bringing lightness and calm to a space. White is also the perfect backdrop to highlight art and make a statement with pops of colorful accents. It’s amazing to see how just a small dose of a bold color can bring life and personality into a room. What materials are you into right now? As a native Norwegian, creating warmth and comfort in the home has always mattered to me. The luxury of what it

Mare 1/2_Profile.indd 1

feels like to be in a space is just as important as how beautiful a space looks. My design is often restrained with color and pattern, and instead I use texture as the primary design element. Natural materials like horsehair, mohair and linen are embued with an organic quality and natural beauty that make for a comfortably luxurious home.

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I love finding undiscovered gems that make people ask, “Where did you find this?”

Barbara Lewis The Lewis Design Group Wilton, CT Glen Cove, NY 914-227-0016

What makes a room? A room should feel curated and collected with a design that is classic yet current. To achieve that layered look and timeless yet engaging beauty, I am always searching for unique design elements that make a statement.

What design trends are up-and-coming? Maximalist, classic design—which the next generation calls “Grand Millennial”—is having a resurgence, and I love it. The most interesting rooms are filled with color, pattern play and a mix of current and classic elements. My personal design icon, Mario Buatta, would enjoy seeing that colorful chintz, antiques and the “more is more” approach are having such a moment. How do you make a large room feel cozy? Rich, dark color and texture go a long way in making a space feel warm and inviting. I love to layer in velvet, alpaca and wool for a really cozy feel.

What material are you into right now? I love the unexpected mix of materials. For example, I found fabulous antique cocktail tables in Paris that layer the modern element of Lucite with traditional brass and tooled leather. These unexpected combinations bring an engaging twist to a space and make you look twice. Lewis 1/2_Profile.indd 1

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DESIGNER INSIGHT Q&A with Design Professionals

Ltd. projects are for repeat clients. I have done more homes for Tommy Hilfiger than I can count on two hands!

Cindy Rinfret Rinfret, Ltd.

What are clients requesting lately? Most of our clients come to us because they know our style from my books and want that for their home. We are known for timeless transitional interiors that stand the test of time. The vast majority of Rinfret,

Greenwich, CT Palm Beach, FL 203-622-0000

What inspires and influences you? My biggest influence is travel and history. I am always on a perpetual treasure hunt for new resources and places to inspire my design work. Over the decades, I am proud to have built valuable relationships with antique dealers and vendors who are integral in bringing my visions to life. What is a piece of advice you always give clients? It is wise to be honest about how you live and what you desire from your home. When I first meet with a client, I ask them if they have a casual

or formal lifestyle, do they collect, what colors do they gravitate to? We present very complete presentations down to art and accessories with renderings, budgets and concepts. Of course, there is still a leap of faith involved, and it’s important to remember that the designer has a vision beyond your imagination, and trust is critical in executing that.

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Our May/June Make It Yours issue! Highlighting custom designs and kitchens! Designers, Architects, Builders and Landscape Pros: BE SEEN RESERVE YOUR SPACE NOW. Contact Gabriella Mays at or your Account Manager. MAR/APR 2021



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Amy Vischio shares THE STORY behind her NEXT CHAPTER with editor Lauren Fetterman Lauren Fetterman: You served as the creative/editorial director for Moffly Media for many years. What inspired you to start this next chapter? That’s a loaded question with a loaded answer…

opposite page: Amy Vischio at home in her Connecticut art and photography studio.

hmm, make yourself comfortable! [laughs] Sometimes it takes something really big to shake up your perspective. In my case, it was the loss of my dad and then my mom in short succession. My mom and closest confidant (aptly named Joy) had always been a driving force in my life, and she had an understanding of me that few do, probably due to the fact that I am just like her! For years, she had been telling me to stop and smell the roses, to pause my busy life, to spend time in my art studio, to make time to travel. She’d say, “Go more places, see more things and take beautiful pictures!” In response, I would think, There will be time for that. It was her sudden illness and passing in 2019 that made me fully understand we are not in control of our time. In the eight weeks my mom and I had left together after her diagnosis, we talked a lot, and she told me I would need to do something big when she was gone; she instinctively knew my life would not be the same. It turns out, she was right (and she always is!). After she passed, I felt trapped by the grip of grief, and I tried to work through it all. That meant spending more time in my studio—it became a place where I could be alone to sort things out while getting lost in the process of painting and making beautiful images. I felt like I was in a snow globe—I had been harshly shaken up, but after everything had settled, I had somehow remained in the same position yet saw the world outside the glass completely differently. I wanted to change my perspective, and I felt the need to live life in a different way. On a whim, for my first Christmas without both of my parents, I escaped with my husband to a place my mom had planned to winter with a best friend: Naples, on the Gulf Coast of Florida. As real estate addicts, my husband and I looked at a few houses there and poked around. I then came upon a house that had a good shell, and I saw potential: the location was terrific, and the vibe was chill. The interior walls were vast, and I envisioned artwork and photography all over them. Something told me this was the “big thing” my mom had envisioned for me. We spent a whole 22 minutes looking at the place, yet that was long enough for me to realize that I needed to move forward. I devised a very fast plan to create an oasis (dubbed the House of Joy) in Naples. It combines all of the elements that I feel drawn to: sunshine, art, new scenery and big, blank walls to fill. My snow globe now included sand, and it felt like it was what I needed to shake up my long-established and well-loved routine. As time went on, without completely knowing what was ahead, I felt compelled to take a leap and try new things, and I just believed a net would appear. >>


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above: In Westport, the Lee Dylan two-piece sectional is covered in the Maui White fabric; in Nantucket, Verellen’s Paola club wing chair is upholstered in the Kalahari Oatmeal fabric. right: Edie van Breems and Rhonda Eleish

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this page: Vischio has been painting for nearly fifteen years and feels so fortunate to have her artwork displayed in beautiful homes across the country. “It is one of my life’s greatest thrills to see my art hanging in a space that I was brought in to photograph—I derive so much happiness from seeing how it lives in a home. It never gets old,” she says. Pictured are a few of Vischio’s pieces installed in several different homes that she has photographed.

What will you be focusing on? What are your plans? You will find me


behind a camera or an easel, either here in Connecticut or in Naples (hopefully with my toes in the sand at times), and I will still be moderating panels and participating in industry events. I adore the design and building community, and I will be supporting them in a slightly different way now. Not to mention that my passion for creating is alive and well, so I want to hone my abilities, live deliberately and slow down time enough to savor new experiences with good people. I’ve learned that this is what truly matters. I am setting out to make beautiful and inspiring things—and to make things more beautiful and inspiring. It’s what fuels me. >>


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Your photography is very familiar to the readers of athome. Walk me through your process as a photographer—how do you approach each project? What is your end goal with every shoot? Athome has been my vision, my passion and my only child(!). Just as new moms find their parenting style, I developed my own unique process and style of storytelling as I created the magazine. My approach is always to see spaces in their best light, to find the best shots and edit them properly to ensure the viewer sees and feels the vision behind the design. Photography is a wonder—doing it well requires a deft combination of artistic composition, light and technical prowess. When it all comes together, it’s magical. In the end, I want to make sure that the thousands of design decisions that went into creating a space come through when I shoot. I have deep respect for the craft and for those who are dedicated to making life better through design. I am thankful to those who trust me to capture the result of their hard work. What inspires your creative process as an artist? My studio is where I learn (well, more like practice) humility. When I paint, I draw upon my formal education, hand skills and how I view the world, and then I question everything I know, see and do…often. [laughs] There is a constant dialogue in my head that swings between happiness and elation (as I see the vision I’m creating come to life) and disappointment and borderline despair (when, suddenly, there is one stroke too many). Art is a fluid process that takes courage and a sense of knowing when to quit. Stylistically, I’m always exploring, and what hits the canvas is often an expression of what I’m experiencing personally. What message does your artwork convey? Emotion. Energy. Joy. For me, art is a form of communication, a form that I hope invites personal interpretation from viewers. My work often reflects the passage of time and seasons and how light casts shadows, or it’s a celebration of shapes, objects and forms that surround us. Sometimes, my art can begin as a color study, and then the shapes and strokes determine where they want to go with their intensity, texture and saturation. I rely on my understanding of composition to get me started, but the organic evolution of my art is the antithesis of my photography. I simply don’t have the same control over a large canvas as I do the photographic process. It is both freeing and terrifying. I play music when I work in the studio, and the energy I feel from that music directly influences my hand and mark-making when I paint. My work needs to hold my attention in the end, and if it does, I call it complete. If it doesn’t, well, that’s where the humility kicks in!

been years in the making, and it is something I cherish. Times have changed for all of us so much in the last year, and I’m looking forward to discovering the new definition of home and the best it has to offer.

You’re also serving as the creative director-at-large for athome. What can readers expect? A continued partnership with YOU (my interviewer)!

We’ve been a great team, and now, as I hand over the reins to your capable hands, I’ll be your feet on the street looking for great projects to feature. I’ll still be contributing to the magazine, just in a different way. I hope to always maintain my connection with our design community—it has

You can find Amy (with a camera or paintbrush in hand) splitting her time between Fairfield County and Naples, Florida. Visit to learn more.


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above: Vischio lives surrounded by neutrals but adores using color (often inspired by runway fashion) in her artwork. “I love all four seasons in Connecticut—and the changes they bring. They also inspire me to explore new directions and try new things in the studio. The result is that I have amassed a body of work that I often equate to having a closet full of separates! But, that also means there’s something for every room, mood and person.” MAR/APR 2021



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The nominations are in! Now it’s time to

VOTE for your favorite local businesses for Best of the Gold Coast BESTOFGOLDCOASTCT.COM Voting ends MARCH 15

BECOME A SPONSOR: Contact your Moffly Media representative

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this page: A STOWED brigette chair in black wood/natural paper cord is tucked under the stairs. opposite page, left: STOWED’s bette chairs and elise chairs, all in black, surround the dining room table; an elegant Ochre light fixture is above. opposite page, right: Specialty painting by Flo Painting refreshed a set of vintage French doors and the family’s existing pool table. A STOWED brigette chair in natural wood/natural paper cord stands guard.


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HOME, BESTOWED The founder of stowed gives an industrial spin to her contemporary farmhouse interview with elissia sigal ow, stowed | phot o gr apher amy vischio

How did your home inspire the launch of your company? In my previous life, I worked as a lawyer

on Wall Street. I had always been interested in entrepreneurship, and after I had children, I started getting into new businesses. When I began building this house in Westport, I took it on myself. I worked with my builder, whom I adore, and we did it together. I had all of these crazy ideas that you don’t typically see in this area, and after putting in the nuts and bolts of the house, I got into the décor and furnishings. I couldn’t find anything domestically for the aesthetic that I wanted. There were a few companies that sold Nordic furniture, but nothing that I truly loved, and nothing at an affordable price point. So, I began buying a lot of my furniture and fixtures from Europe and importing them, and it dawned on me—because I always have my “start my own company” hat on—that there must be other people looking for this aesthetic but can’t find it. MAR/APR 2021



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above: Thanks to two islands, the kitchen is equipped with plenty of counter space, and the lack of hardware ensures an uncluttered look. Vintage Turkish rugs sourced by STOWED provide a soft landing underfoot. far left: An office nook, opposite the butler’s pantry, is outfitted with a STOWED brigette chair in black wood/natural paper cord. near left: From the butler’s pantry, the pool room can be spied on the other side of the dining room. opposite page, top row: In the mudroom powder room, a Kohler sink and faucets were paired with bright electric light pendants; a set of metal lockers graces the mudroom entrance; a LePage window in the kitchen. opposite page, bottom: In the great room off of the kitchen, a STOWED ami modular sofa offers a plush perch for the entire family.


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“My house was really the genesis of stowed ,

and it’s why it’s so significant and continues to evolve with the company.” —elissia sigalow


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this spread: A row of STOWED stella stools in white wash is pulled up to one of two spacious islands in the kitchen. The counters are topped with deep gray concrete or reclaimed wood, and the glass refrigerator contributes to the industrial feel of the space. The custom cabinets are by Silva Woodworking.

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above: The sun-filled breakfast room features a set of STOWED ava chairs in natural wood/black leather. opposite page, top: Barn light electric light pendants and a vintage Turkish rug sourced by STOWED accent the formal powder room, where a wall of pine paneling was left primed. opposite page, bottom: Two STOWED macee accent chairs in cowhide flank the fireplace in the great room.

What did you do next? I flew to Sweden and met with some designers,

together and taken apart like Legos, no tools required. We’re able to offer high-end furniture with a luxurious feel, using all-natural fabric blends, at much more accessible price points, and we source all of the materials ourselves. We’re simultaneously doing the same with our wood— we think the wood and upholstery pieces complement each other in a very organic way. They’re elegant yet casual, practical and usable. So, my house was really the genesis of STOWED, and it’s why it’s so significant and continues to evolve with the company. They ping-pong off of each other, and I’m the guinea pig for everything. If a prototype doesn’t work, it’s ending up at my house! [laughs]

furniture stores and furniture designers to get an idea of how they created their products. A lot of the Nordic design that we see here isn’t manufactured in Europe because it’s too expensive, but I wanted to do something other than serve as a conduit to import brands that aren’t sold here. After flying out to Asia and doing more research, I determined that the workmanship and craftsmanship in Indonesia were what I was looking for to manufacture the aesthetic I was after. I wanted to specialize in one area, so I homed in on seating as the category for my company, STOWED. Cross-country shipping is the most difficult problem to solve for furniture companies in this country. To maintain a certain price point, I had to use an express shipping company, and I developed a great relationship with FedEx. Due to the size constraints, I knew I couldn’t sell huge pieces of furniture, and while a dining room chair can ship in a small enough box, upholstery was a very different project. We designed our upholstery pieces so that they can be put

How involved were you in the design/build of your home? I was 1,000

percent involved, from the accounting to the design to the sourcing to the ordering. The only thing I didn’t do was install the stove myself! [laughs] I would define the design as a contemporary farmhouse, and I gave it an industrial spin and used raw materials. Like the I-beams, whether


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“I love the combination of wood and metal, particularly the harshness of metal against the softness of wood.” —elissia sigalow

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opposite page, top far left: In the sitting area outside of the primary bedroom, a STOWED ami modular sofa is seated next to a floor lamp from Holler & Squall. A STOWED mohair rug is on the floor, and a sliding barn door leading into the bedroom was treated to specialty painting by Flo Painting. opposite page, top center: At the vanity outside of the bath, sconces by Ochre bookend a mirror from Hay. above: The bedroom floor is covered by a soft STOWED mohair rug. A STOWED accent lounge chair is paired with a Muuto floor lamp, and a Skagerak Georg side table finds its spot under a bank of windows.

they’re structural or ones we added, give more of a raw edge to the home. Similar to STOWED, I like to show the different wood types and have an organic feel to the house. I love the combination of wood and metal, particularly the harshness of metal against the softness of wood. I used a lot of oak and concrete, and there is reclaimed barnwood all over the house—it’s on countertops and used for shelving. For wall paneling in some of the rooms, I used pine, and when my painter was priming it, I said, “Stop! I like that—let’s just leave the prime.” I love the way it makes the wood look. In addition, I wanted the look to be less of an American contemporary farmhouse and for it to feel more European, and that’s when I started importing pieces. The pops of color I used are inspired by the beaches in Europe, a very southern Europe/Mediterranean vibe, and the outdoor area outside of the kitchen has a southern France feel with all of the cement. It’s hard mixing all of these elements together to achieve the style, and it’s not exactly one style. While the skeleton of the home is a contemporary farmhouse, I wanted all of these other flavors inside, along with large windows, plenty of natural light and a very, very organic feel.

What colors make you feel most at home? I have always gravitated to a very monochromatic palette and leaned toward cooler tones. For whatever reason, I don’t find warmer tones as peaceful, and I’ve always had an obsession with blue. For me, it would be too much to do an entire room in blue, because I love white linens and light gray tones. I think it’s inherent in a minimalist, uncluttered space to exclude color, because I think it gets a little too complicated with a lot of color. I don’t tend to use wallpapers or anything super heavy. It’s also apparent in the architecture of my home— I wanted a very open floor plan, a kind of “what you see is what you get.” And the walls aren’t covered in a ton of artwork. For instance, the dining room is a fairly large room, and there are four pieces of art in there, but they’re intentionally small because I wanted the space to speak for itself. How important was natural light and an indoor/outdoor flow to you?

Very important, so much so that for the first two years, I didn’t put screens on the windows. My husband got really mad at me when I would open the windows, but I was like, “No, no, no, you can’t see outside!” And he

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below: The primary bath features clean lines, soothing neutral tones and a patterned floor. right: Watermark plumbing offers a touch of sophistication.


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was like, “But there are bugs in the house!” [laughs] Sliding doors line the entire back of the house, and I wanted everything as open as possible to sunlight. The floating stairs in the foyer aren’t attached to the wall per se, so from the top floor of the house, you can see all the way down to the basement. On the side of the house where the stairs are, the height of the home is lined with windows, so from the outside, you can see the

staircase going up and down. If I could make my house into one big room, I probably would! Did your dining room get a lot of use? Before Covid-19, we would often host dinner parties and have family and friends over. The dining room faces the backyard, so we would open the sliding doors and put the kids

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this spread: In one of Sigalow’s children’s bedrooms, a playful mural was added to the wall by Flo Painting. In the corner, a STOWED ami club chair in concrete linen is a comfy spot for reading, and a Jack-and-Jill bathroom connects to another child’s bedroom.


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on the patio while we would eat in the dining room, and it has a great flow. The room was designed to be formal yet not formal. I bought the raw-edge teak table years ago, and it happens to be from Indonesia. I whitewashed it, and I like the starkness of the black wood chairs juxtaposed with the table. It has a Scandinavian feel. What were the priorities for your kitchen? I wanted a lot of counter space, so the kitchen needed to be large enough to host all of it. For a more dynamic look, one counter is reclaimed barnwood, and the rest are a deep gray concrete. To maintain the industrial feel, the appliances are stainless steel, and I like the commercial look of the glass refrigerator. I excluded hardware on the cabinetry for a smooth and uncluttered look. And my upholstery is in the kitchen. I wanted it to be super comfortable, and there’s a large TV and a cement fireplace. We hang out there all the time. I love how the breakfast room feels. When designing that space, I wanted

there to be as much light in there as possible. I love the metal legs of the table topped with oak, and the light fixtures were imported from the UK. We spend a ton of time in there, and it’s where we eat most of our meals. What was the concept for your bedroom suite? I really see bedrooms as

just sleeping areas, so I didn’t want the bedroom itself to be enormous. I wanted the room large enough so that I didn’t have a ton of extra furniture and other things that were exposed. There is a seating area right outside of the bedroom, and the closets are organized and compartmentalized so everything is as uncluttered as possible. In the bedroom itself, there is a mohair rug that I make for STOWED on the floor. On the wall behind the bed, electrical was put through for sconces, so I turned the vintage pendants I bought into sconces with metal piping that juts out of the wall. The same metal/softness feeling continues in this room, with the metal light fixtures and the mohair on the floor. MAR/APR 2021



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this page: In the connecting bedroom, STOWED’s bria ottoman in natural wood/black leather offers an additional seat when needed, and a STOWED audra chair in natural wood/natural paper cord is pulled up to the desk for homework time. Another wall mural by Flo Painting is a fun point of interest.

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this page: In the baby’s room, a STOWED ami modular sofa in blush linen rests on top of a STOWED New Zealand wool rug, and a Random pendant light by Moooi presides over the room.

Did you have to overcome any challenges when designing your home?

What do you love most about this house? I love that it completely blends

Oh, a million! It was a steep learning curve, as I had never built a house before. Yes, I had my builder, but I was asking him to step out of his comfort zone and think outside of the box, and he was amazing. We overcame a greater majority of the challenges. I still get really excited when I look around, and the house is ever evolving because of STOWED.

into our neighborhood, yet it’s also unique to this area—when people walk in, they do a double take. Once you start looking at all of its details, this house feels different and special to me. I’m proud of it. —interview by lauren fetterman Resources:

Is there a room you’d call your favorite? I’d say the dining room, because

Designer: Elissia Sigalow, STOWED, Westport; 917-902-8022;

it’s the prettiest, in terms of the aesthetic. The whole room is grounded by the Indonesian table and the minimalist art, and I love the way the Ochre light drapes across the table. Since the room gets sunlight from both sides of the house, it’s bright throughout the day, and I also love the feel in there at night. It has a good energy to it.

Builder: Jamie Duggan, Braydan Construction, Darien; 203-655-1881;

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New Beginning Amy Aidinis Hirsch Interior Design and Daniel Conlon Architects create a custom home that caters to a family’s lifestyle and fulfills their wish list interview with cheryl h uffman, homeowner | phot o gr apher amy vischio


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this image: In the dining room, this chandelier was the first lighting option interior designer Amy Aidinis Hirsch showed the Huffmans. “At first, they thought it was too abstract. I showed them tons of lights thereafter, and in the end, they came back to this one, which was a lovely surprise. I think it makes the house.” Embrace chairs from Suite NY sit at either end of the table, and Barnaby Lane’s Tanner chairs in White line the sides.

right, top: “When you walk inside, you don’t see the stairway; you find it. It’s a space unto itself,” says architect Dan Conlon. “The stairs are constructed of a selfsupporting metal carriage with thick wood treads; it’s contemporary materials and engineering with the warmth of the wood. The stairs also offer beautiful views of wetlands that the Huffmans restored with their landscape architect.” Holland & Sherry’s 100 percent silk Hinterland rug covers the floor. right, bottom: Most of the artwork seen throughout the home is from Diehl Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming.

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Cheryl, what made you start fresh with this home? My husband Ted and

served it up in the first draft; it was incredible. The details he incorporated to make living everyday life easier were amazing. We then found Amy Aidinis Hirsch through Dan, and we worked very closely with her, too. Amy was phenomenal as well because, number one, she really listens; and number two, she takes your ideas and makes them a thousand times better. She communicates the feeling you wanted so much more than you ever anticipated.

I actually tore down our existing house and built this home on the same lot. We have nearly two acres close to town in Darien, and it’s ideal for our three teenage sons and our younger daughter. While we really wanted to save our previous home, so many elements were inefficient—from the windows to the insulation to the materials—that it made the most sense to start over. We wanted to build more of a green home, and the overall goal of the new house was to promote an active, outdoor lifestyle for our family. We were making the transition from having small children to having older children, and focusing on simplicity.

What were some of your must-haves? One of our children is in college,

and another will be going next year, so our family is actually shrinking. Knowing that, we didn’t want the house to be too large. Not every bedroom has its own bathroom, and that was intentional. We would have enjoyed having more space in certain areas, especially with everyone living at home right now, but we were trying to be green and mindful of the future. I would also say the room we call the “adult room” was a must-

How did you assemble your project team? Our neighbor had used Daniel Conlon Architects for a renovation project, and the working relationship was wonderful. Dan was remarkable—we explained to him how we wanted our home to feel and the way we wanted to live our life, and he


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opposite page: Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg Blue paint on the cabinetry was a driving force behind the kitchen. The doorway and the opening between the kitchen and dining room can both be conveniently closed when needed. “The pocket door is finished like the cabinetry, so it creates a solid paneled wall when closed,” says Conlon. A Waterstone faucet from Torrco overlooks the backyard, and the cabinetry was built by JA Custom Woodwork. above: “I love the breakfast room, with Marthe Armitage’s Jungle Birds wallpaper and that beautiful color on the mullions,” says Hirsch. “We clad the ceiling with antique beams. The room wouldn’t feel as warm and comfortable, or have the age it has, without that.” The custom table and banquette are by Hirsch; the clay pottery is from Bungalow. right: The “business wall” of the kitchen, shared with the family room behind it, hides cooking activity from those watching TV. The Eddystone pendants are from Urban Electric. MAR/APR 2021



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have. When we began this project, our kids were at the age where our house was so active, and we wanted a place of peace for the adults. People laugh at us for calling it the adult room, but that really was a must-have, especially with the kids taking over every TV in the house! What are some of the ways your home meets your desire for simplicity?

I can give you a few. There is an opening between the kitchen and the dining room, and when needed, that opening can be closed. A pocket door can also close off the doorway there, so you can be in the dining room and not see into the kitchen. The family room is also intentionally not open to the kitchen. The design of the family room is for community, so when you’re in there, you’re either visiting or watching TV, but you’re not seeing the activity going on in the kitchen. I know that’s counter to what many people do these days, but we really wanted to be either in the kitchen, cooking and spending time together, or in the family room, hanging out, and not have people spread out doing two different things in the same space. The family room sofa is a big U—it’s literally the size of the entire room, and Amy had to push me on that! [laughs]—and we love it so much because with six people in our family, everyone has a great spot on it. And when we were talking about living simply, the adult room


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opposite page, top: The family room ceiling is covered in Studio Moses’s Diamond Cut wallpaper in Jade. “The family is in this room constantly, so why not show it off? Why not use something whimsical and energetic?” says Hirsch of the selection. A large, U-shaped Restoration Hardware sofa surrounds the room, and the concrete coffee table is a custom design by Hirsch. opposite page, bottom: The sconces are Gwenwood Wall lights by Urban Electric, and a mohair Moroccan rug from J.D. Staron is underfoot. this page: An Uma side table from Arteriors sits in front of a striking treelike light, one of many tactile elements in the home.

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left: Seated in front of a buffalo painting by Douglas Schneider, a Penelope sofa from Verellen is upholstered in Pollack’s King Mohair in Peacock for the exterior body and C&C Milano’s Ernesto woven fabric in Lake for the channeled cushion. In this living room, “nothing competes, and that allows the most important moments to speak for themselves,” says Hirsch. “For instance, you don’t notice that the buffalo artwork is there until you’re physically in the room; you have to engage with the space to really understand the magnitude of it.” below: The walnut and dovetail custom built-in by JA Custom Woodwork was designed by Hirsch. The wing chair fabric is a Nobilis deconstructed linen. opposite page: The orange vinyl artwork in the entry is by Derrick Velasquez through Nelson Macker Fine Art.


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was a place we could go for some quiet. It’s almost like a separate cabin for entertaining, and it has a historic feel with the large posts and beams from a 200-year-old barn in Pennsylvania.

have. Real estate agents told me, “Everybody wants a white kitchen.” But I said, “I’m not building it to sell it; I’m building it to enjoy and live in.” A lot of designers would talk you out of that color, but Amy said, “I think we can really work with that.” When it went in, I was unsure at first and thought, Ooh, that’s really blue, but Amy gave it life. The color went into the breakfast room, into the family room on the ceiling; she did a phenomenal job of tying it all together. The family room ceiling was one of Amy’s “trust me” moments during the project—when she first suggested the wallpaper, I said, “I’m not doing that!” But Amy said, “Out of all of this, this is my ‘trust me’ moment.” From the minute it went up, it was exactly what we wanted. Everyone is blown away by how beautiful that ceiling is and the way in which it connects to the reclaimed wood ceiling in the breakfast room.

How does your home encourage you to be outside? From the front door,

you can see all the way through to the backyard. Along the back of the house, several sets of French doors provide opportunities to step outside. The breakfast room “juts” out into the backyard, with glass on two sides and this beautiful wallpaper with birds and butterflies, and it brings the outdoors in. There are also so many windows in the house—for example, the adult room is connected by a bar to the rest of the house, and across from the bar is this large, floor-to-ceiling storefront window. It’s like a wall of glass, and the stair hall has the same feel. Everywhere you look, you’re encouraged to be outside.

What drew you to mix rustic touches with more modern elements? I’m from Kansas, and Ted is from Arkansas. We wanted a modern home that illustrated the simple, active lifestyle we were after, but we also wanted the house to feel warm, not sterile, and we felt the wood really warmed it up.

Tell me about the color you used for the kitchen. I loved that Duck Egg

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“When you walk inside, there’s a collected, softer approach with the tactile selections we made. You might expect to see a white kitchen, but it’s not—it’s this really soft, luscious color . The artwork is stunning, and their antique pieces are a nod to their past and a way to bring in things that felt not-so-new. All of these elements are somewhat unexpected behind the door.” —amy aidinis hirsch

top left: A bar, facing a large storefront window, leads into the “adult room.” A Burton James Orion sofa through Schwartz Design Showroom is covered in Fox Linton’s Albemarle fabric in Charcoal. near left: “The adult room is a separate volume pulled forward from the house, with its own fireplace and antique beams,” says Conlon. “It’s at the quiet end of the house, all by itself, and it’s a little sanctuary. The Huffmans have a house full of teenagers, so it’s a good thing to have!” The window treatments are crafted from TylerGraphic’s Snakeskin fabric in Azure, and the shiplap and trim are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green. right: In one corner, CR Laine’s Brantley armchair in de Le Cuona’s Warrior Cloth fabric in Jungle cozies up to the fireplace.


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above: “This bar is a real jewel, partially by our layout and partially by Amy’s work with the wallcovering and finishes,” says Conlon. The de Gournay hand-painted Fishes wallpaper in Blue Pearl on Lead Grey dyed silk with pearlescent antiquing was originally slated for the dining room but was moved to the bar to great effect. “The movement of the fish, how they travel from one space to another, leads you down this path,” says Hirsch. Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue, applied to the cabinetry in a car finish, plays off of the cabinetry color in the kitchen and provides a transition into the moodier adult room. “Everything has this intensity of color, but it’s all from the same part of the deck,” says Hirsch.

Did you incorporate any of your existing furniture? We didn’t start

always hold an extra person or two. Amy sourced the table from Fallen Industry, and we love the story behind it. When there’s a big storm and huge, 100-year-old trees fall down, this company removes the trees and slices them up. You then choose your slab, and they create the table. It’s a live-edge table that is truly reclaimed, and it goes with the theme of the house, keeping it organic and green. This particular tree had been hit by lightning, and the crevices were filled in with resin, so you can see down to the floor in certain parts. And the chandelier above is so perfect for the space—the first thing anyone says when they come into the house is how much they love the chandelier.

completely from scratch—we wove in a lot of older pieces, but we modernized them, whether by reupholstering them in a new fabric or changing up the cushion a bit. Ted’s parents had a house filled with Southern antiques, and we incorporated a few of them. A lot of the pieces we have are from his mother. For instance, in the living room, the chest in the corner and the coffee table were his mother’s. In the adult room, the tall secretary came from his family. We also re-covered some of the upholstered pieces, such as the wing chairs from his family that are in the living room. In pre-Covid times, did you entertain a lot in your dining room? We did, and the sad thing is our house was finished right when we had to stop entertaining! The table is super long, and we love the size of it; it can

Tell me about the artwork—you have some really great pieces. Our art

consultant was Mariam Diehl of Diehl Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming. She consulted on most of the art in the home, and it came from her

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“Everything in the house has a true meaning and connection to the family, whether it was from their past or due to an appreciation for the artisan. ” —amy aidinis hirsch

this page: In the Huffmans’ bedroom, painted Benjamin Moore’s Van Courtland Blue, their existing black iron canopy bed is flanked by perfectly scaled nightstands. “We created these beautiful bleached walnut nightstands,” says Hirsch. “We continued the walnut from downstairs up here, but we stripped it. It’s the same language with the material but used in a different way.” The settee, which has been in Ted Huffman’s family for generations, was updated with new fabric, and a Hunt Slonem piece from Diehl Gallery presides over it. A Bandelier armchair from Safavieh is seated at the desk.


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above: “What’s really pretty about the Huffmans’ bath is the floor tile, which looks like an old Turkish tile,” says Hirsch of the Elyse Teal #28 tile from Greenwich Tile & Marble. “We brought up that color from downstairs, so that common thread traveled. The bathroom is very simple in many ways, but the tile makes such a statement.” Watt sconces from Waterworks illuminate the vanity, and the couple’s existing needlepoint antique slipper chair is an elegant perch next to Penhaglion’s The Wokingham 68 cast iron French bateau tub in polished stainless steel.

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this spread: In the rear of the house, a screened-in porch, with both seating and dining areas, connects to the outdoor living spaces and beyond. “What’s great about a space like this is that when you’re entertaining, you don’t have to go anywhere,” says Hirsch. “You can travel back and forth between the porch and the outdoor seating area. It doesn’t have just one purpose.” Says Conlon, “An indoor/outdoor flow was a constant goal from the beginning, and it all extends out to the beautiful landscape, pool and pool house.” The Restoration Hardware Havana sofa in Chalk features back cushions reupholstered in Pindler’s Noland fabric in Grotto and is topped with a pillow in Peter Dunham’s punchy Bukhara fabric in Blue/Green. Restoration Hardware’s Havana classic swivel lounge chair in Chalk offers additional seating, and the family enjoys a meal around Gloster’s Raw split dining table whenever the weather permits.

gallery, including the sculptures in the adult room. We did it all virtually, and each piece was chosen for the location that it’s in. It’s a wonderful collection with some newer artists and some more established ones. The more modern staircase Dan designed is almost like a gallery as you go up and down, so it was intentional that the stair hall be a separate space. The buffalo painting by Douglas Schneider in the living room was part of our existing collection, and we had gotten it from Mariam about nine years ago. Dan created the nook for it, and Amy designed the cabinetry. The book-matched walnut panel behind it was designed to best showcase the painting itself; that area was built for that piece of art. It all flows and connects, and it was built by this amazing carpenter. Mariam really pushed me on the art in a lot of ways, and she was such a pleasure to work with. We didn’t view the art so much as an investment, but more as pieces we truly loved and would appreciate on a daily basis.

we added a desk in here for me. The Hunt Slonem, sourced by Mariam, is such a happy painting and fun to wake up to every day. The sofa underneath the Hunt Slonem has been in Ted’s family for 100 years— we took off the English chintz and re-covered it in a very modern way, yet you still enjoy the antique aspect of the piece; it’s lovely. Everything isn’t all sterile and new, as if you could go buy it all; each piece in the house was thought out.

Your bedroom suite looks so calming and peaceful. It’s just a wonderful,


relaxing space. The iron bed was a wedding present from Ted’s family. It’s fairly large and high, so Amy designed the nightstands to be a bit larger so they would be the right height. Ted doesn’t have his own office in the house, so after he took over my office downstairs due to Covid,

Interior designer: Amy Aidinis Hirsch Interior Design, Greenwich; 203-661-1266;

How does your home make you feel? It’s welcoming, and it gives me a

sense of family. And the simplicity of it—there is a lot going on, but not in a busy sense. A lot of thought went into every piece of furniture and every piece of art, and it’s so meaningful to us. It’s such a change from the way we lived before—we’re in a new phase of life. —interview by lauren fetterman Architect: Daniel Conlon Architects, Wilton; 203-544-7988; Builder: Paul Lima, L&L Builders; 203-794-1311


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opposite, top row: Yanni’s dog, Millie, takes a nap near artwork by Fred Weiner; in the master bedroom, a desk from Interlude and a lamp from Schwartz Design Showroom are paired with artwork by Emma Kohlmann—purchased through Betsy Biscone Art Advisory—and the ombré alpaca throw is from Rosemary Hallgarten; a chair from Interlude, a side table from Schwartz Design Showroom and an Aerin lamp from Circa create the perfect reading spot in the master. opposite bottom: The duvet cover fabric, ivory alpaca back pillows and the throw on the bed are all from Rosemary Hallgarten; a soft Phillip Jeffries wallcovering evokes a sense of serenity in the space. this page: A vintage bench sits below artwork by Fred Weiner in the upstairs landing, and the rug is from Flor; a firepit from CB2, with chairs from Target, is a popular destination for Yanni’s children.

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this spread: In the entry, a wall of glass underneath the stairs extends the front hall and offers a glimpse of the steps down to the mudroom.


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BUILDING CHARACTER This new home is a mix of modern Federal and farmhouse details and furnished with the perfect pieces

interview with b onnie paige | phot o gr apher amy vischio

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above: Glass panels separate the library from the foyer while contributing to the open and airy feel of the house. opposite page: All of the windows and doors in the house were custom and supplied by Northeast Lumber. The interior white paint is Simply White by Benjamin Moore.

How did you find this project? For the past thirty years, I’ve been buying

fireplace, so my goal was to tear off the back, have the fireplace be the back of the house in the family room and then move the entire house forward so that I could have a backyard. I was also going to fix up the small garage and turn it into a pool house, exercise room or office space.

houses that nobody else wants. Rather than tear them down, I renovate them and bring back the character of what they were, but for today’s lifestyle. I’ve done an 1800s house in Greenwich, a 1920s one in Fairfield, a 1919 home in Southport—the list goes on and on. The backstory on this particular house is crazy—I was actually looking at something else, and I drove down this street in Southport and saw this house, and it had a “For Sale” sign out front. I’m in real estate as well, so I thought, “I can’t believe this is for sale. I’ve always wanted this house.” I ran home and looked on the MLS, and there it was. I called and made an offer, and I ended up getting it.

Were you able to do what you wanted? I worked with my architect, Paulo Vicente of Vicente-Burin Architects, on some preliminary plans and brought them to the town. The town said, “You can’t just keep a fireplace, Bonnie.” They know me really well! [laughs] We later found out that there was no foundation, not even under the fireplace. It was basically built on stone, and it was only about a foot deep. So, I had no choice—I had to tear down the house. This was my first-ever teardown, and it was hard for me; I really wanted to keep that fireplace.

What did it look like when you bought it? It was built in the early 1900s.

It had been added onto in the front and in the back, and the garage was falling down. It was really set back on the property, so it had a big front yard and no backyard. When you went inside, the focal point was this gorgeous fieldstone fireplace. It took up an entire room; it was probably in what was the original part of the home, right in the center. I really wanted to keep that

How did you approach the new design? My first thought was, What am

I going to build here? I wanted the house to be keeping within the street, the neighborhood and Southport, and it wasn’t historic, so I was a little


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“The home’s design is true to the tradition of the coastal Shingle style in a Classical Revival form, away, but the overall “Right when you walk in lighter . It’s a feels effect is the front door, the house subtle difference.” open, airy and elegant . —douglas vanderhorn

It’s a feel-good house.” —bonnie paige

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above: Large windows allow plenty of natural light to flood into every room, and roller shades provide privacy while keeping the focus on the home’s architectural elements. The black interior paint is Benjamin Moore’s Black Panther.

lucky there. I designed the home in collaboration with Paulo and his team, and I made it a modern Federal farmhouse. For instance, the front porch is Federal, the center hall is Federal, the really large windows would be Federal, but the farmhouse is the two-over-two. I did a whole combination, inside and out, of Federal and farmhouse, but for today. It’s light and open inside, and the wood beam accents look like they were really there and part of the house, especially in the primary bedroom and bath. I added touches of bleached oak so you always felt the character of a farmhouse throughout the home, but it wasn’t so literal. My houses aren’t spec houses; they’re truly custom homes.

do this, so can I do this instead?” And he would shoot me something back right away. He’d say yes or no, or we would run over and take a look. We did this project in ten months—from the day we started tearing it down, to the day we finished—which was crazy, and it was also during the pandemic, but fortunately, everyone stayed healthy. Were you designing this home to live here yourself? That was my original

plan, and I did move in for a period of time. But, when push came to shove, the real estate market was insane, so I decided to put it on the market, and that was it. The people who bought it are the nicest young family, and they’re living here while they renovate their existing house.

Did the interior design evolve over time? Completely. The very first thing I How would you describe the feel of the interior? Right away, when you walk in the front door, the house feels open, airy and elegant. It’s a feelgood house. The light was really important—the first thing I said was, “I’m going to need really big windows and a lot of light.” The front door is all

work on is the front of the house, what I want it to look like, what I need to get out of it, the bedrooms and bathrooms, and then the floor plan. While you definitely have a floor plan in place, questions do come up. It was great working with an architect like Paulo, being able to ask him, “I don’t want to


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this page (clockwise from top left): All bathroom fixtures in the house are from Waterworks, including the one in the dark and moody powder room. The kitchen, with appliances from Aitoro Appliance, features a spacious island, floating shelves and ample storage. A pantry (top right) houses the wine and hides the microwave, toaster oven and coffee maker so the kitchen counters stay clutter-free.

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“The light was really important —the first thing I said was, ‘I’m going to need really big windows and a lot of light .’” —bonnie paige


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left and above, top: Custom floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and large windows surround the kitchen and family room, bringing the outdoors in. The dining area was designed to host both everyday meals and more formal dinner parties. above, bottom: Light fills the hallway upstairs.

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this spread: To evoke a serene feel, the primary bedroom offers just the necessities, including a gas fireplace, artwork and a bit of greenery. An exposed beam runs across the ceiling, and the bed area is framed with the oak. In the en suite bath, a soaking tub is flanked by a shower on the left and a water closet on the right for a pleasing sense of symmetry.

glass, and so is the mudroom door. The sun is constantly shining inside, and it’s very cheerful. In the entry, the library on the left is see-through but separated, so you can enjoy the room but not be closed off by solid walls. On the other side of the glass wall on the right is a staircase that goes down to the mudroom—the glass wall provides an extension of the front hall yet still creates separation. I also do roller shades everywhere. They offer privacy without taking away from the architecture. I’m not as much an interior decorator as I am an interior designer. I like to use the elements of details, the windows, the trim, the beams, the flooring, as the design, and not necessarily the fabrics and window treatments and upholstery. That’s why everything is really clean with minimal color. There is symmetry everywhere, and nothing is jarring to the eye; it feels peaceful and calm. I love the darker spaces in the home, too. I always like a dark, moody

powder room for entertaining. It just feels special, like you’re in a really high-end hotel or restaurant. I always like that on a first floor rather than your standard light-colored bathroom. I also love a dark library. Instead of a dark gray, I went for black here. I continued the black, just touches of it, from the outside of the house to the inside, and then really no other color.


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“Everything is really clean with minimal color. There is symmetry everywhere, and nothing is jarring to the eye; it feels peaceful and calm .” —bonnie paige

top left and right: The primary en suite bathroom, with wall-mounted fixtures from Waterworks and black-and-white photography by Joan Bennett Photography, continues the home’s peaceful vibe. The exposed beam that matches the one in the bedroom can be seen in the mirror’s reflection. left: Covered in floor-to-ceiling tile, the second-floor laundry room has plenty of built-ins, including an upper drawer that pulls out to reveal steel rings for hanging, and a bottom drawer that holds three clothes bins. opposite page: Paige always creates special spaces for her grown children in her houses. The inspiration for her daughter’s room was pulled from the Gray Malin prints, now hanging over the bed, and the color of the Brooklinen sheets her daughter loves.


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above: An existing one-car garage was rebuilt into an outbuilding that could function as a future pool house, exercise room or office. The space includes a kitchenette for entertaining, and the loft upstairs, accessible via a sliding ladder, is just the spot for midday naps or overnight guests.

How did the kitchen and family room come together? I love a really

the furniture in the house as semi-custom contract grade furnishings. They’re all my designs, and I made everything to fit with the house the way I saw it. There aren’t a lot of pieces, but they’re the perfect pieces.

open space. The floor-to-ceiling, 10-foot custom sliding doors back here open up to a porch with an outdoor fireplace, so the idea was to see the outdoors, to be inside/outside and in touch with nature. In the kitchen, I like the access to dishes with the floating shelves, and there are large pantries on both sides for storage. We also built a pantry to house the wine, and to the left, tucked away, is a cabinet with the microwave, toaster oven and coffee maker. It’s meant to feel like a scullery, and it keeps the kitchen counters clear. Because there is no dining room, the eating area had to be a space that could transition either way. The base of the kitchen table is an 1800s pine base that I’ve had forever—I’ve used it in a laundry room, in an office—and it really worked with the floors. I actually designed and made nearly all of

The primary bedroom also feels really serene. Definitely. I like

fireplaces in bedrooms, and this is a gas fireplace that provides a nice, instant ambience. I have Sonos speakers everywhere, and with a fire going and a candle lit, it’s just comforting. The room isn’t too big or cavernous; it’s really just what you need. There are two nightstands, two lamps, some nice artwork, a bit of greenery—it’s just the necessities. The exposed beam provides a hint of oak to show how the house was made, and there’s a matching side to it in the bathroom. We also framed the bed area with the oak, for a small take on the beams. We didn’t do this


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above: The outbuilding offers a full bath if future pool parties or workouts are on the agenda; the modern Federal farmhouse style begins on the exterior, with elements such as large two-over-two windows and a Federal front porch.

everywhere, just in the primary bedroom to give it a bit more character. It’s like art in itself; it lets you breathe.

Was it hard to leave when you sold the home? I love this entire house,

and I always miss my houses. But the perfect people go into them— I don’t know what it is, but everything is always so nice and friendly. I sold this house furnished, and there were a lot of pieces I was sad to give up. So, who knows, a retail storefront may be in the future for Bonnie Paige!

Tell me about the separate loft space. This was a one-car garage, and the

roof was pretty much not there. The building was grandfathered and couldn’t be torn down, so I rebuilt it. All of my houses have had outbuildings, and I love them as an extension of the home. This was meant to be a future pool house, exercise room or office, and while you can’t live here, it can work as overnight guest quarters, too. We put in a full plate glass window so you can see into a small secret garden with a built-in fire pit, and there’s a shower behind it. There is also a sink and a refrigerator here for a pool house or for entertaining with the fire pit. I would come in here and do yoga, I worked in here for a while, I even took naps in here!

—interview by lauren fetterman Resources: Design/build: Bonnie Paige, Southport; 203-331-7512; Semi-custom contract grade furnishings: BPI, Southport Architect: Paulo Vicente, Vicente-Burin Architects, Fairfield; 203-319-9571; Carpenter: Ozyp Fine Carpentry, Fairfield; 203-615-8917

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