FACED WITH THE CHALLENGE OF DESIGNING A GREENWICH HOME OF A SINGLE DAD, DESIGNER KERRY DELROSE SAID PHOOEY TO THE 'MAN PAD,' CHOOSING SUPPLE TEXTURES AND SOPHISTICATED DETAILS INSTEAD
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WHEN ONE HOMEOWNER DECIDED to remodel a classic center-hall Colonial on four wooded acres with a coveted Greenwich address, he knew what he didn't want. "I didn't want riding prints on the walls and things that you see in a true traditional, but I didn't want a super-modern SoHo-loft interior, either," says the owner, general counsel for an investment company and single father of three boys. "I wanted something livable and I wanted balance."
To achieve that equilibrium, he hired interior designer Kerry Delrose, principal of Delrose Design Group, with whom he had worked previously and who he trusted with his evolving aesthetic. "Kerry would always bring three design ideas to the table: one conservative, one edgy and one totally far out. Slowly over time, and with his help, I moved away from typical Greenwich to something more edgy and sophisticated," he says.
For his part, Delrose, a fan of modernist giants like Mies van der Rohe and Charles Eames, relished putting a contemporary twist on the ailing 1960s architecture. "The house was in poor condition but my client wanted to salvage it. We worked within the existing 3,600 square feet, but took it out of its Connecticut box," says Delrose, who started by stripping the walls and floors throughout to establish a blank canvas.
In the living room, new red oak floors with a deep Jacobean stain were just the beginning. The room sorely lacked a focal point—"There was no fireplace, no windows, just a pair of French doors falling off the hinges," says Delrose—so two large windows and a white limestone fireplace were introduced. "A typical home in this area would have a wood mantel with dentils, but this surround has clean lines and no mantel to discourage knick-knacks," he adds.
In one corner of the room, a custom cabinet featuring shagreen leather doors, handcrafted nickel handles and a glass top defines what might be the neighborhood's hippest bar. "Instead of a silver ice bucket and martini glasses, we have green leather, a concealed wine fridge and floating shelves," says Delrose about the piece that mimics midcentury-modern furniture. And in lieu of a classic crystal chandelier, a carved, weathered wine barrel with bronze strappings provides overhead lighting.