11 Noteworthy Connecticut-Based Interior Decorators, Designers and Artists
Learn more about these innovative creatives in the home industry.
Art Privé—an extension of Sandra Morgan Interiors in Greenwich—represents award-winning, established artists and fosters the talents of emerging artists. Sandra Morgan and her daughter, Laird Tolan, possess a deep understanding and appreciation of art and how it enhances a home with color, energy and personality.
They curate exhibitions in a variety of mediums and genres and offer art consultation services. Shown here, NYC Strut with Swans by nationally and internationally exhibited artist Derek Gores, who creates collage images with scraps of recycled magazines, maps and advertisements with a “post-Warhol sensibility.”
Interlude Home’s contemporary furniture and home décor is designed at the company headquarters in Trumbull. Partners Carl Philips and Wendy King Philips work with artisans and craftsmen in the U.S. and abroad to create fashion-forward pieces—like the Sutton sofa shown here—wearing luxe materials in a sophisticated color palette.
Kate D. Spain and her husband, Pete, owners of Eye Heart Hand rugs, are all about authenticity. Each rug begins with the design, executed by Kate in her Bridgeport studio. Only sustainably-sourced wool from a single family farm on the South Island of New Zealand is used; then the rug is handwoven by GoodWeave- certified artisans in India. Each rug is hand-numbered and hand-signed by the designer, the shepherd and the rug maker.
Dunes & Duchess celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2020. Founded by interiors photographer Michael Partenio and stylist Stacy Kunstel, it all began with a candelabra fashioned by Partenio as a gift for Kunstel. Friends were so enamored with the creation that Partenio and Kunstel decided to present a sampling of their products at the New York Gift Show. Barneys New York placed an order, and the rest, as they say, is history. Over the years, the line has grown to include a full collection of lighting and custom furniture. Shown here, the Super Capstan oval table in maple with a dark walnut stain. Dunes & Duchess sources all its materials locally and builds and finishes each piece in its New Milford workshop.
Growing up in the South, Deborah Rhodes was taught the art of setting a beautiful table at an early age. Little did she know, she would one day be designing her own line of tabletop linens and accessories. Rhodes began her career as a fashion accessory designer, creating hats, handbags and scarves. Her business shifted when her client, Henri Bendel, approached her to design a placemat. Today, Rhodes designs her linens, placemats and napkin rings in her Bridgeport studio, but travels to exotic locales to find inspiration, artisans and unique materials.
Studio Ziggy’s furniture is a labor of love and a team effort with the help of two carpenter brothers, Ziggy and Tom Brodowski, and interior designer Emily Butler. The premise behind the brand—to create high-quality, customizable furnishings in non-toxic materials and VOC-free finishes. The hardwood Mulberry sideboard, shown here in a Juniper finish, is made in Ziggy’s Southington studio.
Designers and decorators love to accessorize with faux floral arrangements from Diane James Home. This bouquet of peonies, set in a cane-wrapped vase, is from the Gray Malin collection. Each couture creation is intricately crafted in the Norwalk studio. The company, established in 1988 by Diane James, is now run by her twin daughters, Carolyn McDonough and Cynthia Matrullo.
A newcomer to Westport, Unsubscribed opened in April, offering consciously-made clothing and accessories. The brand’s “slow fashion” concept promotes quality over quantity, expanding the use of vintage and recycled materials and selling socially and ethically produced items. Partnering with the community, the shop spotlights local artists’ work. Berkshire artist Charles Thomas O’Neil’s colorful and graphic paintings are currently on display.
Faye Kim Fine Jewelry has been serving up one-of-kind designs out of her Westport shop since 2003. Kim’s impressive resume includes positions as a pearl buyer for Tiffany’s and a fine jewelry buyer for Bergdorf Goodman. Her investment jewelry is contemporary and sophisticated, exhibiting superb craftsmanship. Services include custom commissions and converting outdated or unworn jewelry into timeless, wearable pieces. Show here, Diamond Bar Line earrings in 18k green-gold with diamond baguettes.
After a successful career in jewelry and fashion, Heidi Holzer discovered her true passion—creating decorative finishes for residential and commercial clients. Holzer has been at this for over two decades, working out of her studio in Redding. Her business has grown into a guild of highly collaborative and skillfully trained artisans creating custom treatments, including Venetian plaster, gilding, glazing and faux wood and stone for walls, ceilings and furniture. Similar techniques are used to produce bespoke, hand- rendered wallpaper for Holzer’s sister company Trowel & Paper.
Located in the GrayBarns enclave in Silvermine, the Mercantile is the place to shop for ethically-sourced goods. Co-owner of GrayBarns, Nikki Glazer has gathered a carefully curated grouping of products, many exclusive to GrayGoods and made right here in Connecticut. The homewares, linens, aprons, tote bags and picnic fare essentials are inspired by the homespun aesthetic of the once functional textile mill at GrayBarns. The apron, shown here, is made by an artisan in New Hartford.
The print version of this article appears with the headline: Out of the Box.
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