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September 2006


FEATURE

Comforts of Home
by Jane Garmey
Photographs by Micheal Partenio

A NEW YORK CITY COUPLE FINDS THAT A QUAINT CONNECTICUT COTTAGE IS JUST WHERE THEY WANT TO BE

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For the Gorrivan family, the biggest difference between life in the country and life in city is the notion of permanence. "In our city apartment, Philip is always changing things around," confides Lisa Rossia-Gorrivan, wife of interior designer Philip Gorrivan.

"Furniture comes and goes with such regularity that I have to put a 'Darling, please do not remove' sign on the lamps I really like." So far, she explains, "this has not been a problem in the country. I think Philip understands that I might give him a lot of trouble if he were to change anything here. I like my cottage just the way it is."

Six years ago, when their daughter was just a year old, Philip and Lisa set out to find a country refuge within reach of New York for weekends and vacations. A friend told them to consider Connecticut, and almost from the moment they crossed the state line they realized this was where they wanted to be. The countryside reminded them of Maine and Vermont, where they had both grown up, and since good friends had recently bought a house in Washington, they began their search there and were lucky enough to find exactly what they wanted.

"This was a cottage," Lisa recalls, "and we really mean a cottage. We weren't the kind of people who say 'cottage' but were actually looking for something larger. Since we already had a big apartment in New York, our aim was to find something small, simple to maintain and easy to shut the door on and forget about." And this is exactly what they have. The house they bought had originally been built as a small hunting lodge in the 1880s and was later moved closer to the road. Although it isn't large, the Gorrivans, who now have two children and an oversized poodle named Clovis, find it suits them.

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