MEET THE DESIGNER
A CT DESIGNER MIXES THE 'AHHH' WITH THE 'AHA!' IN HOMES AROUND THE COUNTRY
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What defines your signature interior aesthetic? There is always a sense of order and calm, but there is no predictable look. I love walking into a room and feeling an ahhh—but also an aha! The ahhh comes from a careful floor plan and color scheme, and the aha! comes from a variety of materials—shagreen, bone, lacquer, sea grass, linen and silk. What's inspiring your work these days—any artist, designer or fashion fad? I'm inspired by the collaboration that happens with the designers in my office and our clients. The more we understand what a client wants, the more interesting the house is.
What is no room complete without? Great lighting from different sources. Complete this sentence: "The secret to a happy home is ." A home with soul, where everyone feels comfortable and welcomed. What's your favorite room in your own home? We live in a small 1890s house and we actually live in our living room. I love the sunlight throughout the day, its view out to the garden, the warmth of the fieldstone fireplace, the comfortable chairs for friends or reading, the stacks of books, the zebra rug, the landscape paintings and my family's treasures from around the world.
What do you need to take into consideration when designing a client's vacation home? First I study the locale and see how people live there. Then, I select the materials that are suitable. And because the whole point is to have a great time, I keep it simple—out with the formal and in with the fun! Tell us about a vacation home you've recently worked on. We recently finished a house in Watch Hill, RI, with great views of the ocean—the previous owner had done everything possible to obscure the outside from the inside. We opened up the windows, covered the furniture in summery cloud hues and blended the paint colors with the landscape. When the house embraced the sea and the sky, it was sublime!
Here's a box of crayons. Choose three colors that you'd love to put together in a room. I would love to create a new box of colors that includes Belgian Linen Gray, Robin's Egg Blue and Appletini Green. These work anywhere. If you could take a weeklong vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? I love hiking almost anywhere remote. My husband and I plan to walk across Scotland this spring on a dramatic and unspoiled route called The Southern Upland Way. You've got a dinner reservation for a party of four. Name your three companions. My husband, and Barack and Michelle Obama.