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January 2007


FEATURES

Ancient Mariner

(Page 2 of 3)

"I've actually lived in grander places, but this house is so full of character, it seems more warm and special. The antithesis of a center hall Georgian or Colonial, there's nothing symmetrical about it; instead, it's full of quirky angles," she says.

Typical of the custom-designed pieces this singular setting called for is a multi-sided settee, covered in celadon green velvet, which anchors a trio of seating areas in a peculiarly shaped living room. "This settee alludes to the Victorian era, when this house was built," Rinfret observes. "It gives you the glamour of the old, great salons."

Elsewhere, Rinfret installed choice pieces from the client's vast array of decorative objects. "Something might have worked in an earlier house, but not this one," she says. "Basically, I would go 'shopping' in my client's basement, and I always found the best antiques there!"

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Next was the challenge of finding a color palette and fabrics to accentuate views of the sea that each room offers. "With the Sound so visible, I wanted to bring the outside in and evoke the water's ever-shifting colors," Rinfret says.

Thus, in an entry hall the ceiling was painted a soothing, pale blue-gray. At the room's center is a stone table that might typically sit in a covered porch outside, but here is used to balance higher-end pieces such as a crystal chandelier from Charles Winston—brother of Harry, the diamond legend.

"My client likes fun, and isn't at all stuffy," Rinfret explains. "She wants to mix things up."

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