Fashion & Function Meet in Greenwich
Every room in this chic and sophisticated home exudes welcoming vibes.
All the kids want to play at this house. The homeowner has often overheard the friends of her three children say, “Please, please can’t we go to your house?” And while those friends of her twelve-, ten-, and seven-year-old children like to sit at the expansive kitchen island or at the cozy windowed banquette of the lounge or in one of the colorful bedrooms, there is one problem at the house. “I’ve heard that we don’t have good snacks here,” says the homeowner. “After all, we go organic, and the kids want Oreos.”
Despite the healthful snacks, though, both children and adults like to socialize in this Greenwich house, not only because the homeowners are welcoming, but also because the rooms are so bright and colorful, with multiple seating areas to accommodate them.
When Monica Fried was commissioned by the homeowners to design the interiors, a prime directive was to make every room welcoming, certainly for the family members but also for the company they would host. The house was built in 2018 and had been lived in by only one other owner. “It’s essentially brand new, with a beautiful layout and scale,” says Fried, “but it still felt like a spec home—very white, very basic in its finishes.” The homeowner concurs by adding, “The place was a white box, very vanilla, and while we knew it was a great house, the perfect one for us, what we first encountered didn’t completely speak to us.”
She and Fried collaborated on making the house, as the homeowner says, “warm, cozy, inviting and livable, but also chic and sophisticated. Monica blended that aesthetic very well.”
Within a six-month period during the height of Covid, Fried and her client were able to expedite the move from the family’s smaller home in Bronxville, New York, to this house, filling it with new furnishings and accessories. “They brought very little, actually nothing, from the former house,” recalls Fried. “They wanted a whole fresh start and, in doing so, to create a cohesive vibe throughout. The client is super decisive, with great taste, so we were able to easily source products and meet regularly, albeit with masks on at opposite ends of a room.”
While the original ceiling moldings were kept, dated shiplap boards in the family room were removed, bathroom hardware was replaced, and in the kitchen, Fried configured a new stove elevation and stainless-steel-and-brass hood. “We took the kitchen up a big notch, making it a standout room, with Waterworks fixtures, Calacatta marble surfaces and a marble backsplash behind the stove,” says Fried. Indeed, many of the childrens’ friends like to sit at the kitchen island to watch the homeowner cook and prepare (hopefully, nonorganic) snacks for them.
Fried, who typically prefers a more monochromatic palette, gladly responded to the client’s wish for multiple hues. “I’ve become more of a colorist because of the client,” she says. “I’ve learned to love color because of her love of it.” Much of the home’s more vibrant color schemes appear in the bedrooms. “It’s important to harmonize colors,” Fried notes, “and to establish a flow in the house so that it never feels jarring to go from room to room. The colors we used are in the same family of tones, yet bright and energetic.”
The homeowner admits to being a bit of a “wallpaper fanatic,” the best evidence of which is seen in the childrens’ bedrooms. “Each of the kids had a role in choosing the colors for their bedroom,” the homeowner explains. “My oldest daughter said, ‘No pink! I want green or teal,’ while the youngest wanted an explosion of pink like something out of Candyland. My son chose something more muted, skewing to taupes and blues. But in every room, the wallpaper pattern that Monica found is magical.”
So well and so collaboratively did Fried and her client work together that the homeowner is reluctant to call it complete. “I’m happiest when I have another project to do at home,” says the homeowner. “I’m looking at other places in the home now to attend to. Monica understands me and I under- stand her, and I just don’t want this project to be over.”
The print version of this article appears with the headline: The Gathering Spot.