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July 2008


FEATURES

Sea Worthy

(Page 2 of 2)

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She added interest to the subtle tones by playing with what she casually calls "positives and negatives." In the dining room, the walls are a cream color while the floors and furnishings are dark, rich tones. Across the hall in the library, where brightness is avoided in this quiet room, the scheme is flipped and walnut-paneled walls surround beige and taupe furniture. "I think it makes it interesting," she explains.

The dining room, one of the most exciting rooms to create, is one of the most enjoyed. Sawicki found about 50 antique hand-painted prints of fish, framed them with gesso mats and museum-quality acrylic and devised a plan with the architects to build each one into the wall. The effect is magical, as described by the designer, architects and residents, as though you're sitting underwater—one angled wall faces the sea—encircled by swimming fish.

The rest of the room was kept simple, with chairs loosely draped in linen slipcovers and fastened with vintage mother-of-pearl buttons Sawicki bought from eBay.

Hand-finished details like these were important to the Finks. "They love when they can get things from craftsmen," says Sawicki. "When you see that someone's heart has been put into something, it's more personalized." For the entry, she commissioned artist Eduardo Garza to finish a bombe chest with shells of various textures and tones; for the master suite, he integrated fossils into the fire surround. Paris-based embroidery artist Miguel Cisterna was tapped to incorporate shells and raffia into his designs for some of the pillows. He also designed a chair for the master suite.

The Finks are enjoying the up-close accents as much as they're enjoying the expanse from the porch, another family favorite. "There's a huge fireplace and sofas that are like beds for the kids and their friends," says Jesse. "We often fall asleep there." Says Betsy, "We're outdoors people."

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