Designer Lynne Scalo Gives a Westport Home Glamorous Interiors
“I’m always flattered and pleased when someone allows me to do a project for them,” says Greenwich–based interior designer Lynne Scalo, whose clients turn to the designer for her background in fine arts and her eye for fashion. “Homes need a soulfulness, and they need their own point of view. This is why it is important to click with a client completely, and we are clear on what direction they want to take the house in.” So when a Westport couple approached Scalo to collaborate on their interiors, she knew it was meant to be from the beginning. “We met and it was magic,” says the designer. “They have a strong art-history background and are world travelers. I love working with people who appreciate other artists and the art of collaboration and interior design.”
The clients came into the project with an impressive collection of art that Scalo was to weave throughout the interiors. She was also tasked with creating a modern interpretation of classic, timeless design that was sophisticated yet functional for a family. “Interior design is not a singular artform, it is more like a film set. The star is the client. I want to use the clients’ point of view and translate it into something better,” explains the designer. Her approach was methodical (“interior design is not a frivolous pursuit,” she says) and each room was treated as a separate work of art while relating to the spaces around it.
Objects, Scalo says, can be functional and also a work of art. For instance, in the foyer, a lacquered Bombay chest pops against crisp, bright Benjamin Moore Brilliant White walls. In the living room, Scalo created a salon feeling but in a fresh, modern way. The colors are subdued and informed by prominent artwork: a piece by Jeannie Motherwell and Leombruno-Bodi’s Dining with Cheetah photograph. Phillip Jeffries Glam Grass covers the walls, and a sisal rug—a nod to the nearby ocean—covers the floor. A Mongolian fur covers a brass chair, while a modern wingback wears a lush teal. “Layers don’t have to be jarring,” explains Scalo. “This room looks like it is understated, but so much is going on.”
In the adjacent dining room, Scalo continued the sisal flooring and added another Phillip Jeffries wallcovering, this time a faux bois metallic in ice blue, to set a tone of relaxed elegance. A colorful piece by Francine Tint adds drama and glamour. Scalo took cues from the artist’s colors and upholstered the dining chairs in a raspberry crocodile, while antique Chippendale chairs sit next to a more modern brass and parchment sideboard. “The clients wanted to have a cool and well-edited, art-gallery feeling, but not so stuffy,” notes Scalo. “They wanted approachable glamour. The dining room looks like a piece of artwork itself.”
In the pool room on the first floor, Scalo has created yet another experience. “People want to use their homes in the way they are really going to live in them,” she says. “This could have been used in a more traditional way, but we turned it into a pool room. It’s a sharp contrast from the rest of the house and has a different energy.” Scalo took a nod from the pop of teal in the living room and turned it up to maximum voltage. Curtain panels in a silk velvet teal from her own fabric line drape over Phillip Jeffries navy lacquered strié wallcovering. A custom rug in various shades of electric blue covers the floor. “Silk velvet is dreamy,” says Scalo. “But would I use it on a chair? Not even if you begged me. Most of my homes are for families with dogs and cats, and I know what products to use where. It’s about creating environments that are livable, but also have a wow factor. Interior design is about more than just shopping and throwing objects in a room. My job is to inspire. That’s what I am good at.”
A version of this article appeared in the December 2018 issue of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: House of Style.