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May 2010


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FEATURES

Study in Contrasts
By Sarah Firshein
Photographs by Miki Duisterhof

LAYERED FABRICS, ANTIQUE COLLECTIBLES
AND MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY FILL A
ROXBURY COLONIAL

Click on any photo for a larger gallery view.

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LOVELY LIVING
(click photo for larger view)

PHOTOGRAPHY GEEKS SPEAK OF THE "decisive moment" with a veneration reserved for the most prodigious of feats—capturing something perfect on film at the very nanosecond of perfection. Often, these photos reveal happenstance of whimsy and contrasts—they're layered and complex, and they at once delight and surprise. It's fitting that Kathy Root, herself a photography geek who opened KMR Arts photography gallery in Washington Depot in 2007, would demand no less for her home. A former photo editor for national magazines such as Esquire and InStyle, Root has spent her career surrounded by artisanship. She wanted the interiors of her late-18th-century Roxbury Colonial with a center chimney to be layered and complex, surprising yet delightful.

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The shoo-in for the task was NYC-based designer Philip Gorrivan, whom Root met through mutual friends when she and her husband were still living in Manhattan and taking frequent weekend trips to Roxbury, the very same town where Root's husband spent weekends as a child. Gorrivan, who owns a second home in Litchfield County, presented just the mix of city and country sensibilities that Root desired, and his wizardry with colors and patterns promised dramatic results. "They're sophisticated people; they grew up with nice things and in homes that were decorated," Gorrivan says. "They both had ideas about what they wanted. And they came to me because I could introduce a twist on things."

With artwork, photographs, family heirlooms and furniture from the Upper East Side apartment in tow, Gorrivan set out to create a house that could accommodate two school-age kids, now 6 and 9, one Rhodesian Ridgeback, regular dinner parties and likewise quiet family time. "It had to be a house where no room is off limits," Gorrivan says.

[Image]
PATTERN POWER
(click photo for larger view)

The well-preserved shell came complete with millwork and other architectural detailing, uneven, wide-planked oak and chestnut flooring and a delicately carved living room mantel. But the imperfections, so to speak, were left as-is. "There's a lot of soul in this house," Root says. "The floors are still uneven, things aren't perfectly symmetrical, and there's not a 90-degree angle in the living room walls. It's pretty amazing!"

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