Explore a Greenwich home with just the right touch of blue
When the owners of a large two-story Georgian in backcountry Greenwich decided it was time to downsize, they turned to James Schettino Architects and Lynn Morgan Design.
When the owners of a large Georgian in backcountry Greenwich decided to downsize, they knew they wanted something that suited a less formal lifestyle. They turned to architect Jim Schettino, who had designed their original home, to help bring their vision to life.
“We had purchased a beautiful in-town lot with a lovely old house in 2006,” recalls the wife. “We weren’t sure what we would do with it.” While they considered their options, they rented it out for three years. “The house’s siting didn’t take advantage of the beautiful setting, and it was in need of so much work that once they moved out, we decided to start over,” she says.
Driving the design was their desire to have the master bedroom on the first floor. “The house I did 20 years ago was more traditional,” says Jim, whose son James, a partner in the firm, collaborated on the home’s design and construction. “This house is tailored to how they live now.”
The clients wanted an open floor plan with rooms that flowed seamlessly, while still maintaining a country-house feel. “We kept the profile low,” says Jim. “The second floor is under the roof with eaves that come down to the first floor.” Though technically a center-hall Colonial, the front stairs are off the great room, which is a little unpredictable, according to Jim. Also unexpected, a covered breezeway from the back door to a dwelling that looks like a guest cottage but is actually a three-car garage.
Inside, a three-foot-wide recessed arch in the foyer opens into a spacious great room. To the left is a master suite with his and her dressing rooms and bathrooms, to the right is the kitchen, mudroom and family room. The doorway between the dining room and family room is a prime example of the bold but simple design elements. “Instead of an eight-foot door, we did a seven-foot door with transoms above it. That keeps the low profile and the open feel,” notes James.
When it came time for furniture and accessories, designer Lynn Morgan was mindful of the homeowners’ desire to keep the palette clean and simple. “I wanted to get rid of all the clutter we’d lived with for 21 years,” the wife says. Now, for instance, instead of having curtains with tassels, windows are dressed simply with panels or nothing at all. Instead of having silver-framed photographs covering the foyer table, it is graced with an antique ginger jar. Natural hardwood floors are covered with neutral area rugs; walls are painted white with high-gloss white trim. Knowing the client’s love of blue, Morgan introduced variations on the hue for visual continuity. “It’s really one big room,” she says. “I wanted to keep everything in proportion. The whites and blues are restful but crisp and clean, traditional and elegant.”
To underscore the casual chic style, most of the furnishings are covered with indoor/outdoor fabrics. “Nothing about the house is precious,” says Morgan. “Every room is used.” The couple’s collection of maritime art fits the decor perfectly. In fact, it was a wooden half hull that set the tone for the family room, where the palette is a bit warmer and cozier than in the rest of the house, with grasscloth-covered walls and geometric print drapes.
As for the collection of photographs from the old foyer? The designer had them blown up, framed and hung on the walls of the master sitting room. Nearby, the master bathroom is a study in serenity, thanks to the marble floor and shell scallop chair. “We kept it very reflective and about as simple as it could be,” says Morgan.