New England Home Connecticut NEXT 2020

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Forward-thinking Design from New England Home

good move

the great NYC migration

tasteful taskmasters

Home Style relax, recharge, retreat

mudroom + pantry inspo

animal attraction


Display until March 8, 2021

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IN E 2 01 9

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Make your happy place your home.

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Photo By Raquel Langworthy


Shop Tusk through the end of this year to make a donation to the Cancer Couch at register.

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Imagine the Possibilities‌ Barn constructed on the homeowner’s property as a space for entertaining.

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Kitchen Design

Smithouse Design Team with Bria Hammel Interiors. Photo by Jennifer Hughes


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Your Inspiration. Our Expertise.

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50  |  Diving In After a family tragedy, a mom seeks a cheerful refuge for her three small children.

58  |  Full House


departments Family Friendly

21  |  Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine A thoughtful kitchen renovation cleverly connects past and present.

24  |  Tough Mudders Two mudrooms balance form and function with bold design moves and clever storage ideas.

26  |  Pantry Power Stylish storage solutions for the family.

Hot Commodities

30  |  A Little Bit Country The Cotswolds meet Connecticut in designer Becca Casey’s retail and lifestyle site Ayr Barns. Where Next?

36  |  Living Large Seeking space and a simpler lifestyle, New Yorkers find havens in Connecticut. Last Look

72  |  In Fashion Roche Bobois and Christian Lacroix Maison collaborate for a second time.

Designer Angela Belt transforms a home from an empty box to fashion-forward fun.

64  |  The Art of Family Fiona Leonard helps a couple relocating from London create a functional home replete with memories.

special marketing section 41  |  Next Up

A resource directory for the latest in design connections. IN EVERY ISSUE

14 | Welcome 70 | Resources Cover photograph by Jane Beiles 2020 | next   13

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Design of the Times In 2019, the team at New England Home conceived of next to champion the “next” wave of residential design professionals. Not in our wildest dreams could we have imagined how intensely important our homes would become in 2020. And life at home has taken dramatic turns: Zoom is now a household word, our kitchen islands and dining tables host temporary classrooms and offices, and our outdoor spaces are treasured sanctuaries more than ever before. Many of us took advantage of prolonged periods at home to pull the trigger on renovations delayed by time and indecision, or to reconsider our location altogether. For those of you new to Connecticut— welcome! And for those firmly rooted here but who are now dreaming of a sparkling new kitchen or home office—nice to see you! The projects we’re sharing in this issue were curated with an eye toward how we’re living now. We hope you find inspiration and resources in the following pages. —JENNA TALBOTT @jennatalbott







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A Connecticut family business for over 50 years


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Forward-thinking design from New England Home Editor in Chief Jenna Talbott Editor at Large Clinton Smith Creative Director Robert Lesser Managing Editor Erika Ayn Finch Market Editor Lynda Simonton Copy Editor Lisa H. Speidel Senior Contributing Editor Paula M. Bodah Contributing Editors Karin Lidbeck Brent Stacy Kunstel Kaitlin Madden Contributing Writers Jennifer Carmichael, Marni Elyse Katz, Maria LaPiana Contributing Photographers Jane Beiles, Chinasa Cooper, Chloé Crane-Leroux nnn

Editorial Submissions Designers, architects, builders, and homeowners are invited to submit projects for editorial consideration. For information about submitting projects, e-mail ­ Letters to the Editor We’d love to hear from you! Fax us at 617-663-6377, or e-mail us at ­ nnn

Subscriptions  To subscribe to New England Home Connecticut ($15.95 for one year) or for customer service, call 800-765-1225 or visit our website,

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Forward-thinking design from New England Home Publisher Kathy Bush-Dutton Associate Publisher, New England Home Connecticut Roberta Thomas Mancuso Sales Manager, New England Home Connecticut Beth Emerich Executive Sales Manager Jill Korff Sales Managers Joyce Leavitt Kim Sansoucy Marketing Designer Jared Ainscough Production Manager Glenn Sadin Marketing Coordinator Emily Ediger nnn

Advertising Information To receive information about advertising in New England Home, please contact us at 800-609-5154, ext. 713, or Editorial and Advertising Office 530 Harrison Ave., Suite 302 Boston, MA 02118 617-938-3991, 800-609-5154 nnn

New England Home Magazine, LLC Managing Partners Adam Japko, Chris Legg Finance Manager Kiyomi DeBay Circulation Manager Kurt Coey Newsstand Manager Bob Moenster

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friendly family


Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine

The kitchen island is topped with leathered Nero Mist granite and painted Farrow & Ball Hague Blue. To seamlessly tie together the home, all the walls in the public spaces got a coat of Benjamin Moore Light Pewter paint.

A thoughtful kitchen renovation cleverly connects past and present.  by LISA H. SPEIDEL

Cook and converse

When your youngest son is relegated to sleeping in a closet and both boys crave a backyard to run around in, it might just be time to trade the city for the suburbs. The 1920s Tudor the family found in West Hartford had the space they sought and the character they loved. A little tweaking would bring the three-story home to perfection.

Photograph by Jane Beiles

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family friendly

Pick a neutral palette

Like downsizing, upsizing brings its own set of challenges, as the owner can attest: “We had only lived in one- and two-bedroom apartments until we lived in this house,” she says. “That’s why we needed Georgia. We had no furniture.” Georgia, the namesake of West Hartford-based Georgia Zikas Design, is who the owners tapped to execute a whole-house reno that was family friendly at its core. As with any modernday update, the kitchen area was key. CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: A custom ottoman that rivals the size of a twin bed in the living room is a perfect perch for parents to rest feet (or little boys to use as a springboard to jump to the sectional). In the foyer, designer Georgia Zikas (pictured) alternated new two-by-two spindles with the original turned ones for a stylish—and safe—update. Down came two walls to create an open-plan kitchen, breakfast area, and family room.

“Because the kitchen was quite new, it pained us to tear it out,” says the owner. “So we were insistent on repurposing.” To minimize what was destined for the landfill, Zikas reused the Carrera marble from the original kitchen island, transforming it into the living room hearth and surround. “It wasn’t cheaper because we still had to fabricate it,” she says. “It was really about upcycling, in an effort not to be wasteful.” Likewise, they saved the handmade tiles and the fumed oak floor. “They didn’t want to replace life’s scars; that was a theme throughout,” says Zikas—“not erasing the past.” 22  next  | 2020

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The showstopping new island is “Frankensteined,” as Zikas calls it, completely from old cabinets. It meshes seamlessly with the family’s midcenturymodern aesthetic and the overarching premise of merging old and new. And speaking of new, both boys now have their own spacious rooms. One even has a desktop made from a reclaimed walnut countertop. Behold, his first lesson in upcycling.  n

Original fumed oak flooring

Interior design: Georgia Zikas, Georgia Zikas Design, Builder: Jason E. Levesque Construction, Photography by Jane Beiles. Georgia Zikas portrait by Nicole Bedard

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family friendly

Tough Mudders

Two mudrooms balance form and function with bold design moves and clever storage ideas. by LYNDA SIMONTON


Art everywhere

Wash hands or wash dogs!

Great fake

For a family with six children and two dogs, the mudroom is the hardest working room in the house. Interior designer Tori Legge made sure this room checked all the organization boxes and reflected the homeowner’s sophisticated design aesthetic. While the rest of the home features bright white walls, here, high-gloss navy blue sets a stylish tone—and it’s impervious to dirty hands and wagging tails. Architecture: Louise Brooks, Brooks & Falotico, Interior design: Tori Legge, Stirling Mills Interior Design,

Hydration station

A BRIGHT SPOT It was a daring move, but painting cabinetry a sunny yellow pushed this mudroom into the fun zone—and don’t we all need more of that? Thanks to designer Emily Fuhrman’s creativity, this room is more than just a pretty space. Family-friendly design packs every inch including a bench upholstered in highperformance fabric from Perennials, porcelain flooring that mimics parquet, and surprisingly washable vinyl wallpaper.

Out of the fray

Architecture: Teo Sigüenza, Teo Sigüenza Architect, Interior design: Emily Fuhrman, Sage & Ginger,

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Photography by Jane Beiles

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family friendly

Pantry Power

Stylish storage solutions for the family. by LYNDA SIMONTON

Yamazaki Tosca White Dual-Handle Storage Basket, $35; Crate & Barrel, Westport,

We love labels

Tyler Square Basket with Rope Handle Low, $89.95; Crate & Barrel, Westport,

For Christopher Peacock’s design-savvy and hyper-organized client, a functional and beautiful pantry was a must-have for her Greenwich kitchen renovation. So, instead of tucking it away from the fray, the Christopher Peacock team designed a broad-yetshallow supply pantry that allows for maximum visibility when the sliding doors are open. The homeowner embraced the KonMari Method by adding a stylish mix of jars and baskets—all labeled to meet her needs. Guzzini White Italian Pantry Bins, $12.99–$17.99; The Container Store,

Minimalist Pantry Labels, $12–$40; Paper and Pear,

Bare Lidded Vessels, $160–$200; DBO Home, Sharon,

Silo Crocks by Farmhouse Pottery, $46–$225; Kerri Rosenthal, Westport,

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Glass Slant Jar with Matte Black Lid, $14.99; The Container Store,

Hang on pegs

Onion Baskets, set of 2, $29.95; Williams Sonoma, Westport, Danbury,

Photograph (top left) by Kevin Nixon

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Hot Commodities

A Little Bit Country

The Cotswolds meet Connecticut in designer Becca Casey’s retail and lifestyle site Ayr Barns. by MARNI ELYSE KATZ

Becca Casey’s friends teased her when she and her husband up and moved out of Brooklyn before a baby was even on the radar. “We just didn’t feel like city folk,” says the designer, who is now mom to a one-and-a-half-year-old son and two dogs. That said, she did a good impression. Before landing in Wilton by way of Greenwich, Casey was a loft dweller who worked for New York City's Jenny Wolf Interiors, a follow-up act to her entry position at Robert Passal Interior Design. After college, Casey says she looked for work in New York and L.A., but the deal was sealed when Robert Passal responded to her resume “in a New York minute.” Now, the designer, who established her Norwalk-based firm, Becca Interiors, in 2016, is channeling her childhood with a new venture. In July, she launched Ayr Barns, a retail-and-lifestyle site that reflects her upbringing in the

ABOVE: The Seville Rattan Vase’s ample opening makes it easy to arrange an oversized display of branches; that's Ayr Barns founder Becca Casey wearing the Lottie Sun Hat. RIGHT: Candlelight is always a good idea. This sturdy glass votive holder does double duty outdoors or on your desk as a container for loose change and paperclips.

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It’s all about the details

Photography by Chloé Crane-Leroux

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Hot Commodities English countryside. “I enjoy the essence of modern silhouettes and celebrate rustica and patina,” she says. She points to the shop’s private label Farmhouse stoneware plates as the embodiment of her aesthetic. “They have clean lines, but the glaze has a rusticism,” she says. Ayr Barns sells wares from artisans Casey has loved for years, such as pieces from West Sussex-based Rebecca Williams Ceramics and Vermont-based Farmhouse Pottery. “I’ve always taken pictures of ceramics on my travels,” she says. Iron goods by Australian designer Sibella Court are another longtime favorite. A forged-iron bottle opener with rattan-wrapped handle is a top seller along with antiqued-brass wall hooks. Italian-linen bread sacks and striped-linen-ticking

This ice cream scoop has an old-timecreamery vibe

food covers are also popular. During the cooler months, look for boot racks and Wellies. “We draw inspiration from our British roots; you don’t see enough of that style here,” she reasons. There’s also a section for farmers’ market enthusiasts. Casey, an avid vegetarian cook, visits a local market weekly. “We love the whole festival of it,” she says. As for the future, the designer says a brick and mortar isn’t out of the question and alludes to having a secret project up her flowy, block-printed sleeve. In the meantime, she will continue showcasing her effortless curations to which there’s been a great response. “We love seeing people nurture their home habitats during this difficult time,” she says.  n Ayr Barns,

You can never have too many bowls

For the kitchen or the powder room

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: If the menu includes oven-fresh dessert, add a rush trivet under your skillet; this one boasts a leather strap for easy storage. Try the fringed Taos Kitchen Cloth as a hand towel in the powder room. Tuck the Orinoco Spoons Set into your apron pocket so they’re always at the ready. The forged-iron Keepers Bottle Opener sports a braided-rattan-wrapped handle. Handcrafted ceramic nesting bowls add an artful element to the table or prep space.

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where next

Living Large

Seeking space and a simpler lifestyle, New Yorkers find havens in Connecticut. by MARIA L A PIANA

Vanity Fair called it a buying frenzy, and real estate professionals in Connecticut wholeheartedly agree. The market for single-family homes (and condos) in the Constitution State is downright feverish; New Yorkers, in particular, are relocating here in droves. Since the COVID-19 shutdown in March, the United States Postal Service reported that some 10,000 New York City residents have completed Connecticut change-of-address requests and are taking up residence throughout the state—from greater Hartford to the Connecticut River Valley. During the same period in 2019, only 1,200 requests had been completed. 36  next  | 2020

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It’s really about rethinking where people want to bring up their families. “It really was the perfect storm,” says Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal and consulting firm. “The lockdown. No spring [real estate] market. The usual urban-to-suburban narrative.” Because of such a pent-up demand, says Miller, the summer-into-fall market swelled. Activity is still as high as inventory will allow in Fairfield and Litchfield counties, where many younger, first-time buyers are house hunting.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Families are flocking to Litchfield County for many reasons, including the town of Litchfield’s antique shops. Wayne Mattox Antiques in Woodbury is housed in a circa 1835 Greek Revival home. In the fall, apple pickers flock to Silverman’s Farm in Easton.

Photography courtesy of Connecticut Office of Tourism

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Riverfront views

where next

Here’s Why: $1,995,000

FAIRFIELD COUNTY Across the board, younger buyers—couples with and without children—are gravitating toward Stamford, says Tammy Felenstein, the Stamford executive director of sales for Halstead. Many simply want a city experience without the health risks. “There’s shopping, eighty restaurants within a sixteen-block radius, culture, museums, easy access to the city—and there’s the waterfront,” says Felenstein, who sits on the board of directors of the Connecticut REALTORS. The downtown and vibrant Harbor Point areas especially appeal to millennials, she says. “This is not to say homes aren’t selling in smaller bedroom communities like Darien or quaint little towns like New Canaan, but they tend to be larger and pricier,” Felenstein explains. In Stamford, a variety of condos, co-ops, and townhouses, as well as, according to Felenstein, “some very cute and not overly high-priced single-family homes” lure house hunters.



Contemporary and spacious LITCHFIELD COUNTY

Built in 1850





Litchfield towns offer homebuyers something quite different, says Elyse Harney Morris, owner of Elyse Harney Real Estate in Salisbury. “They want space. They want land, a rural environment, a complete lifestyle change,” she says. And many are on the younger side. “It used to be our average buyer was forty to forty-five, but that has dropped to the late twenties and thirties,” says Morris. There’s been a lot of activity in her northwestern neck of the woods: Salisbury, Lakeville, Sharon, and Cornwall. But more populated towns like Litchfield, Washington, and Roxbury are drawing buyers as well. “The beauty of Litchfield County is that it’s naturally socially distanced,” says Graham Klemm, president of Klemm Real Estate in Washington Depot. Also, the public schools rank high—and there’s no shortage of prestigious private schools. “In-town homes are popular because some just don’t want to give up walkability to restaurants, the coffee shop, the library,” says Morris. At the end of the day it’s really about rethinking where people want to bring up their families. “I had a New York buyer take note of apple trees in the backyard,” she says. “Delighted, they remarked, ‘You know, I’m not sure my kids know where apples come from.’ Imagine.”  n

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Special Advertising Section


Your Resource for Regional Design Connections





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Your Resource for Regional Design Connections

Special Advertising Section

Bill Charney

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Anthony Pippo

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Special Advertising Section


Your Resource for Regional Design Connections

Clockwise from top left:

Louise Brooks, Vince Falotico, Chuck Willette, and Michael Benjamin

Brooks & Falotico Brooks & Falotico is a residential architecture firm with offices in Connecticut and Palm Beach. With their team of over 20 talented professionals, founders Louise Brooks and Vince Falotico and partners Michael Benjamin and Chuck Willette have designed homes across the country. The firm is known for transitioning traditional spaces to suit their clients’ modern tastes and lifestyles.

Brooks & Falotico Associates, LLP Exceptional Residential Architecture

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Candace Pereira and Rina DiMarte

Chloe Winston Lighting Design With a combined 46 years in the lighting industry, Candace Pereira and Rina DiMarte created the awardwinning Chloe Winston Lighting Design featuring over 50 exceptional lighting brands in their stunning urban-chic showroom in the heart of South Norwalk, CT. Their unmatched experience and customer-centric approach make shopping for lighting a pleasure.

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Your Resource for Regional Design Connections ➊ Architect Peter Cadoux and builder Hobbs, Inc., created a custom blend of square- and strip-cut building stone veneer for the main part of the home. ➋ For the fireplace, Beinfield Architecture, Clarity Home Interiors, and Artisan Builders used a custom blend of square cut veneer. The paving is sandblasted Jerusalem Grey Limestone. ➌ Created by architect Peter Cadoux and builder Hobbs, Inc., this exterior gourmet kitchen combines veneer with two-inch-thick Honed Absolute Black countertops. ➍ The Jerusalem Grey Sandblasted Limestone that was used for this pool coping and paving creates an anti-slip texture that stays cool in the summer months.

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Special Advertising Section

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Your Your Resource Resource for for Regional Regional Design Design Connections Connections

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Fresh Start

This family home radiates optimism and playfulness. See page 50.

whimsical yet elevated

Photograph by Jane Beiles

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diving in After a family tragedy, a mom seeks a cheerful refuge for her three small children.


t’s safe to say that every homeowner wants a design that’s conducive to happy memories, especially when growing children are in the picture. But for one mom in suburban Connecticut, building a cheerful environment took on a whole new meaning after the sudden death of her thirty-something husband. Instead of relocating her three children—all under the age of six—to a different home, she decided to continue building a foundation in the space she and her late husband had moved into only a few months before he passed. “It was the home he and I wanted, in the town we wanted Text by ERIKA AYN FINCH | Photography by JANE BEILES

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Marcie 1, a photograph of a rescued alpaca by Joel Anderson, hangs above the living room fireplace. The animal theme continues with the cowhide under the Creative Metal & Wood coffee table, a Precedent sheepskin ottoman, and an accent chair covered in a blue zebra print from Thibaut.

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to be in,” she says. “I wanted to stay here and make it a happy place for our children.” That meant turning to Christin Engh, owner of Greenwich-based Mare Design. The homeowners had first enlisted Engh’s help while remodeling the existing kitchen before even moving into their ranch-style 1960s-built home. Engh had also applied her deft touch to the family room, which the husband insisted have a neutral gray palette—and incredibly soft rugs. (He may or may not have trod across several rug-and-rugpad combinations before finding one that met his standards.) The homeowner

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: A pair of playful vintage monkeys from Trovare Home keep the formal dining room, with its Visual Comfort chandelier, from looking too serious. A neighbor with a penchant for antiquing sourced the dining room sideboard— Christin Engh painted it high-gloss orange to tie in with the painting by Reagan Geschardt. The homeowner calls her late husband “the ultimate entertainer;” the kitchen was the first remodeled room in the house. FACING PAGE: The kids work on art projects at the banquette and custom SDS Design zinc-topped table that divides the kitchen and family room.

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laughs when she recalls their obsession with neutrals. “I’m in finance—I think my brain just functions in a quantitative way,” she says. “Christin had to teach me that everything didn’t have to match perfectly.” When Engh returned to the home four months after the husband had passed away in 2017, it was because the homeowner’s friends and family nudged her to turn her bedroom into a sanctuary. Since the couple had only recently moved in, the room was a blank canvas with very little furniture. “I didn’t want it to be feminine necessarily, but I was looking for a serene retreat,” says the homeowner. But when it came time to move on to the living room, dining room, and powder room, Engh convinced her client to take a chance with some color, Hermés orange to be exact. The unmistakable hue shows up in the form of pillows, accessories, and one sideboard discovered in a neighbor’s collection and reimagined with a high-gloss lacquer. The buffet brings color to the formal dining room, which boasts a showstopping Visual Comfort chandelier that hangs above the Baker table like an eye-catching cocktail ring. (A smaller version of the chandelier illuminates the adjacent butler’s pantry.) Playful touches appear around every corner, even in the more formal rooms. Witness Marcie 1, a black-and-white photograph of an alpaca that hangs above the fireplace in the living room and elicits greetings from the kids each time they pass by. An accent chair that was in the homeowner’s previous space was reupholstered in a blue Thibaut zebra print, and the family plays games and browses picture books on top of the Creative Metal & Wood coffee table.

The family room was designed before the homeowner’s husband passed away, and he played a big role in choosing the Lee Industries sofa and Vanguard Furniture chairs. “His touch is on this home, but we only had one holiday here, so it isn’t filled with a lot of memories, which I think would have made it a challenge to stay,” reflects the homeowner. 2020 | next   55

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The homeowner says her favorite spot in the house is the banquette that separates the kitchen from the family room. Her children eat all their meals and finish their homework at the custom zinc-topped table, and from the kitchen, she can see the kids playing on the patio outside. But it’s a piece of artwork depicting a diver that hangs in the office nook of the main bedroom that seems to sum up this moment in time. “I found that at One Kings Lane and immediately thought of my client,” says Engh. “I told her, This is you, bravely diving into the future.”  n EDITOR’S NOTE: For details, see Resources.

LEFT: The homeowner (left) with designer Christin Engh. BELOW: The mother of three takes advantage of rare moments of quiet time in the main bedroom, which includes a LexMod desk, RH chair, and artwork from One Kings Lane. FACING PAGE: Engh designed the room to be spa-like and soothing with Bungalow 5 nightstands, a Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams bed, and linens from Serena & Lily.


found the artwork [of a female diver] at One Kings Lane and immediately thought of my client. I told her, This is you, bravely diving into the future.”

—Interior designer Christin Engh

PROJECT TEAM Interior design: Christin Engh, Mare Design Renovation: Joe Thomas, JT Construction

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A trio of black-and-white prints featuring Elle Fanning, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Vanessa Paradis from Chanel’s Little Black Jacket exhibit bring a timeless and chic vibe to the dining room. The homeowner was happy to incorporate her fashion career into the home’s decor.

full house

Designer Angela Belt transforms a home from an empty box to fashion-forward fun. Text by JENNIFER CARMICHAEL  | Photography by CHINASA COOPER

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ometimes a blank slate is intimidating—or just what’s needed to bring a vision to life. A young couple, new homeowners who moved from a two-bedroom apartment in New York City to a four-bedroom home in Westport, furnished as many rooms as possible with what they already owned, but the living and dining rooms remained empty for more than a year after moving in. Between hectic work schedules and parenting a toddler, they were crunched for time.

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Michael Anastassiades floor lamps and contemporary, colorful art add verve to the minimalist aesthetic. In the entryway, one of the husband’s favorite artists, Gerhard Richter, references the Lincoln Center and the couple’s many years living in New York City. An oversized Bottega Veneta fashion book takes center stage on the coffee table alongside a pair of Eva Zeisel vases. Block-print linens layered with gold flatware add glam to the table while a single thistle stem gives it a foraged feel.

“I definitely had an idea of what I wanted but wasn’t sure how to implement it,” says the wife, who works in the fashion industry and had been commuting into New York City and travelling internationally pre-COVID. A stark entry and empty rooms surprised West Hartford-based interior designer and stylist Angela Belt. First, she listened to her clients, wanting to understand their tastes. The husband, who had been reverse commuting from New York to Westport for fifteen years, worked in finance yet appreciated abstract art. That’s where he expressed his opinions; otherwise, he opted to stay on the sidelines. So, Belt

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PROJECT TEAM Interior design: Angela Belt, Angela Belt, Art & Style

focused on translating the wife’s fashion style to the interior, while also striving to achieve a minimalist, clean design. Knowing that her clients hadn’t been entertaining yet love to host friends, Belt aimed to make the spaces party friendly. In the living room, she sought to maximize seating without overcrowding the space. Sourcing Danish-modern styles, she selected two white sofas from Design Within Reach, one a settee and one full scale, both of which pair nicely with two wood-frame, midcentury, black leather accent chairs. A bar cabinet allows the budding entertainers to easily serve drinks without leaving the room. 2020 | next   61

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Belt had the owners’ collection of abstract artwork, previously tucked away in a closet, framed, and added plants to make the room feel fresh. “She had beautiful fashion books and magazines in drawers,” remembers the designer, who couldn’t wait to comb through the collections and give them center stage on the bookcases and accent tables. Also in storage were three large prints of actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Elle Fanning and French singer Vanessa Paradis that the homeowner had procured from an art exhibit years prior. Perfect conversation for the dining room, the prints complement the original Serge Mouille ceiling lamp—a must-have for the wife due to the fixture’s unfussy lines and big impact. The aesthetic leans Danish again in the selection of the Sami Kallio table and chairs. To highlight the curvature of the 62  next  | 2020

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Interior designer Angela Belt focused on translating the wife’s fashion style to the interior, while also striving to achieve a minimalist, clean design.

lines of the accent chairs, emphasize the taper of the legs on the table, and allow the Serge Mouille fixture to shine, Belt purposely kept the walls light with no foliage or window treatments. The scope of work expanded to the entryway and an empty guest room, which the wife wanted serene and white. In the latter, Belt mixes styles—a Hans Wegner wishbone chair paired with a sleek, modern desk—to lend interest. The project required careful curation with an eye toward pieces that would make the biggest impact in order to achieve the homeowners’ vision, says Belt. Ironically, all of the editing led to a welcomed addition: The couple had their second child the following year, making their home and family truly complete.  n EDITOR’S NOTE: For details, see Resources.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A print from a Louis Vuitton exhibit in Los Angeles adds a splash of color to the guest bedroom’s white backdrop. Designer Angela Belt used the homeowner’s collection of fashion magazines and books for inspiration. With its upholstered headboard and yellow-green blanket, this bed both softens and energizes the bedroom. Photos from a fashion campaign offer pops of pink and personality. A white leather chair from CB2 and floor lamp from West Elm sit in the corner in that same room.

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the art of family Fiona Leonard helps a couple relocating from London create a functional home replete with memories. Text by MARNI ELYSE KATZ   Photography by JANE BEILES Styled by SUSIE CATLIN

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An abstract print by Mary Gaspar shares the living room mantel with Seaglass Compo, an original painting by Weston artist Lisa Kennedy. “Bringing in the artwork so they can see it in the space makes all the difference,” says Fiona Leonard about her process of finding pieces that resonate with clients.


relocating from a modestly sized terraced Victorian on the outskirts of London to a fivebedroom home in Fairfield County, one freshly minted East Coast family arrived at their new home with few worldly possessions. Over time, interior designer Fiona Leonard helped them transform it into a comfortable home with furnishings that can withstand life with four kids and artwork that infuses personality and meaning. Leonard’s clientele routinely lists durable materials and rounded corners as priorities, but not everyone wants to incorporate art into their homes. “Young couples tend to put family photos everywhere,” the designer says. “[This particular couple has] a nice assortment of original paintings and photos, vintage posters, and prints.” Phase one was about acquiring the basics. A hand-knotted wool rug set the stage in the family room for an indestructible ottoman and sofas that Leonard pulled 2020 | next   65

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LEFT: Photographer Mark MacKinnon custom sized the image of Herne Bay beach huts for the mantel in the family room. The Lee Industries sofa is upholstered in performance fabric, which has become more important since the arrival of Teddy, a bernedoodle puppy. BELOW: Like the house, the breakfast nook table seemed large at first but now feels just right. “We came with two kids and now there are four; we’ve definitely grown into it,” the homeowner says. FACING PAGE: Over the island, Leonard replaced traditional light fixtures with acorn-shaped pendants from Circa Lighting.

PROJECT TEAM Interior design: Fiona Leonard, Fiona Leonard Interiors

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“We’ve learned that art is about the emotions it evokes,” the wife says. “It helps us achieve comfort for our family.” away from the wall to create paths for little people to run around. The photograph of English bathing huts, a later addition, makes the mantel feel more integrated with the chimney and reminds the homeowners of a cherished holiday. “It gives the room’s coastal feel an English spin and is very calming because it triggers memories of home,” the husband says. The adjoining eat-in kitchen, which Leonard freshened with dust-camouflaging seeded-glass pendants and peppy geometric window treatments, boasts newly

framed photographs of London landmarks hung gallery style opposite the breakfast table. The images were table markers at the couple’s wedding and as such invoke demands for stories from the kids. “Fiona taught us that art should be personal,” the husband says. Leonard leaned into abstracts for adult-oriented areas. While performance fabrics ensure that the living room is not off-limits, black-and-white prints and a painting by a local artist imbue the room with sophistication. She followed a similar 2020 | next   67

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LEFT: Embroidered drapery adorns the Palladian window in one of the girls’ bedrooms, while the walls are painted Benjamin Moore Marshmallow Bunny cut with 50 percent white. BELOW: Leonard added a built-in window seat to the eldest daughter’s bedroom and painted the space Benjamin Moore Spring Iris. The couple purchased the colorful abstract painting by Westport artist Yvonne Claveloux at a local fundraiser last year. FACING PAGE: A tufted bed from RH was the starting point in the couple’s bedroom, which now boasts a silky custom-fit rug. “The mottled design is a nice contrast to the linear patterns in the public spaces,” Leonard says.

formula in the couple’s bedroom suite, where an abstract canvas in the sitting area coaxes blush tones from the handpressed botanical prints above the bed. “Clients have design fatigue by the time they get to their own room,” Leonard says. “We chose neutral furnishings that didn’t dictate a direction, then added pieces with color and character later.” Pleas for pink and purple drove the schemes in the older girls’ rooms, though a few years in, the eldest is on to turquoise. The couple, who have started browsing for art on their own, recently hung a vibrant abstract scored at a charity auction in her bedroom; the piece introduces new hues without the application of a fresh coat of paint. Having assembled the goods needed for a well-functioning household, collecting art has reinforced the idea of home, past and present. Art not only instills a sense of place but sets the tone. “We’ve learned that art is about the emotions it evokes,” the wife says. “It helps us achieve comfort for our family.”  n EDITOR’S NOTE: For details, see Resources.

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“We chose neutral

furnishings that didn’t dictate a direction, then added pieces with color and character later.”


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resources A guide to the professionals in this issue’s featured homes

Family Friendly: Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine Pages 21–22

Interior design: Georgia Zikas, Georgia Zikas Design, West Hartford, 860-904-5902, Builder: Jason E. Levesque Construction, Simsbury, 860-724-6925, Cabinetry: Dean Cabinetry, Bolton, 860-643-1501,

Diving In Pages 50–57

Interior design: Christin Engh, Mare Design,

Greenwich, 203-984-2230,

smarthome Kitchen renovation, dining room and living room millwork, and living room fireplace: Joe Thomas,

JT Construction, Wilton, 203-515-1658 Kitchen architecture: Lynne Persan, Building Designs, Ridgefield, 203-457-6230, Cabinetry: Henry Agudelo, Henry Agudelo Architectural Woodworking, Stamford, 914-804-1920, Family room millwork and fireplace:

Jose Scarceno, Northwood Construction,

Stamford, 203-536-3804, Window coverings: Paul Guzzetta and Philip Short, Interiors Haberdashery, Stamford, 203-969-7227,; The Shade Store, Greenwich, 203-987-3080,

Full House Pages 58–63

Interior design: Angela Belt, Angela Belt Art &

Style, West Hartford, 202-422-2142,

The Art of Family Pages 64–69

Interior design: Fiona Leonard, Fiona Leonard

Interiors, Darien, 203-662-0857,

Next, 2020 © 2020 by New England Home Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint or quote excerpts granted by written request only. Editorial and advertising office: New England Home Magazine, LLC, 530 Harrison Ave., Ste. 302, Boston, MA 02118, 617‑938‑3991.

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look last

In Fashion

Roche Bobois continues its tradition of collaborating with luxury fashion houses (think Jean Paul Gaultier, Kenzo Takada, and Missoni Home) for its third collection with Christian Lacroix Maison. Bois Paradis includes furniture and accessories featuring three striking prints: Bois Paradis, Cueillette, and Eden. You’ll find the patterns printed on upholstery used to cover sofas and armchairs; digitally lacquered

onto cabinets and double-sided screens; and mixed with solid and patterned fabrics, various woods, and metal on furnishings and decorative objects. Seen here, the collection’s eponymous design features a menagerie of animals and plants. Roche Bobois and Christian Lacroix Maison’s first collaboration was released in 2016.  n Roche Bobois, Greenwich,

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Master Planning

Download our “Project Planning Packet” at



A-List Finalist HOBI Award Winner Innovation and Design Awards Greenwich | Westport 203.222.1222 |

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Curated by Designers for Designers. T: 203.358.0818 | | @wakefielddesign Wakefield_NEXT20_1.00_v2.indd 1

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