May 14, 2015

Before and After: Designing a Home in Darien, Connecticut (Part 1)



Three years ago, I was asked by my clients to visit this home with them in Tokeneke (Darien) Connecticut. With a very distinct architecture, and gorgeous sprawling backyard, this was the perfect setting for their growing family once they would decide to leave Manhattan, and move to the suburbs to raise their children with more space and comfort.

Tasked with making this feel more like a young family home, we decided early on that there needed to be plenty of color and patterned papers and textured elements to help achieve that very desired end result. We needed to take into consideration that for now, this was to be their second / weekend home, and for that we needed to be considerate of making as many cosmetic changes that were necessary to make it feel like home, without taking on the bigger more structural renovations such as the Kitchen and Bathrooms which we would tackle once the move to the burbs was a more imminent decision.

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the Before and After shots of my interior design for this home, to show just how much can be achieved with the direction of an interior designer on your project. 



Beginning in the Kitchen and Great Room, we knew that we wanted to complete a total gut renovation in this space, but for the time being, as the family used the home we decided that simply giving it a fresh coat of paint, including the island and bar area would help tide us over until we were ready to make that final decision.

Not a modern kitchen by any means, I was very happy with this compromise.



The original home owners used this room with a very different layout. However, we wanted to maximize causal seating for great TV viewing and eating all centering around this Great Room.


Again, we wanted to respect the original architecture and maintain some of those elements in the design even if only for the time being, but still allow for the family to make use of the views to the gardens from every window and feel very child friendly.



With an eat in kitchen. living combination.. this room allowed for the family and friends to be together while entertaining throughout both the winter and summer months.





We included the desk area off the kitchen with the same tones of yellow, 
so that all the areas worked together and became one happy room!




From the desk, you would walk through into the Dining Room ..


With some vintage finds, such as the crystal chandelier which was taken from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel before the remodel of this landmark began .. two sconces and my favorite pieces in this room, the pineapple alabaster lamps that we found on a trip to an antique store in Stamford.

The antique rug was a perfect fit from ABC Home and brought in many colors that we needed to soften the existing wood floor which would otherwise be slightly overwhelming and not provide the "beachy" feeling my clients desired.






Not to be forgotten.. the Powder Room is another key area, albeit small, that we had some fun in.


We were able to use the existing wainscoting and fixtures, but by adding this Cole and Son wallpaper, we brought some color and playfulness to this powder room.



I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of this Before & After series of my clients home in Darien, Connecticut.


Please come back in a few days, when I will take you upstairs into the bedrooms to share some more of the fun we had here.


All images: John Gruen - Styling by Raina Kattelson


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