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January 2010


FEATURES

Lady Be Good
By Sarah Firshein
Photographs by Keith Scott Morton

ECLECTICISM REIGNS IN DARIEN, WHERE A HOMEOWNER AND HER DESIGNER FRIEND DRESS A FRENCH COLONIAL WITH ABSTRACT ART, PERSONAL PIECES AND A LITTLE BIT OF '20S GLAM

Click on any photo for a larger gallery view.

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THEY MUST HAVE BEEN CERTAIN of their good taste, if they—an ex-jewelry designer who had once worked in public relations for Tiffany & Co., and her friend, an ex-buyer and product developer for Barneys—were coveting the same piece. L'objet du désir, in this case, was a 1920s Italian mirrored sideboard that a mutual friend, a local antiques dealer, had purchased from Pierre Anthony in West Palm Beach. It's an intricately carved, shimmery confection—so utterly glam and gorgeous that you wish someone would turn it into a cocktail dress.

This good-natured pickle was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as they say, between the owner of a French Colonial in Darien (the ex-jewelry designer) and Sarah Kaplan, the fashion-industry veteran and owner of Dovecote, a Westport home-décor shop. The homeowner became a fast and loyal Dovecote customer when Kaplan opened it seven years ago. "Sarah and I have always been on the same wavelength of design," she says.

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WHITE OUT
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She shares her waterfront house with her husband, their four kids (ranging from 4 to 14), two dogs and two cats. She stumbled upon the property one day a few years ago when a lost dog wandered down the street to her previous home, which Kaplan also helped furnish. She returned the dog and left a note—if the owners ever wanted to sell, they should call her. "It's at the end of the road, and it's kind of hidden," says Kaplan. "The feeling in many of the rooms is that you're in a tree house."

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As for that sideboard, the owner exclaims: "Sarah almost bought it, but I bought it out from under her nose!" Kaplan says that such a play befits her client's character. "The great thing about her is that she's ultra decisive. She either likes it or she doesn't," Kaplan says, laughing. "She knows immediately—and she has a great, evolved taste level."

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