Explore a Serene Greenwich Colonial

This abode gracefully compliments its bucolic setting.
Jamie Garcia Interior Designer

Interior designer Jamie Garcia is backed by silk Robert Allen drapes. Photography by Trisha Estill

In the 1960s, German psychologist Erich Fromm introduced a theory known as biophilia that suggests human beings possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other life forms.

A Greenwich Colonial recently refreshed by interior designer Jamie Garcia more than supports his hypothesis. From the brilliant green leaf pattern on the sunroom pillows, to the paintings of daffodils in the kitchen that mimic the thousand-plus varieties that bloom every spring on a nearby hillside, to a color scheme dominated by blues referencing everything from robin’s eggs to the sky, the house is a testimony to the human desire to form an enduring relationship with the world beyond our doorsteps.

“When we moved into the house in the 1990s, yellow was trending and I thought it would make the house sunnier and brighter,” the wife shares about the home’s previous dominant background color. “But Jamie saw all this gold and yellow and thought it sucked the light out of the room.” Coupled with Persian rugs and mahogany accent pieces, the interiors were the antithesis of light and airy.

To achieve the ambient shift inside the Greenwich colonial, Garcia started the do-over with a wallcovering of sky-colored branches on a white background. “The dining room is rather shady, so we went light with the paper,” the designer explains about the aptly named Twiggy Paperweave selection.

Next came new chairs, and when the wife, an avid gardener, spied the cornflower blue seats and embroidered silk flowers on the backs, the floodgates opened. “I loved the transformation so much, from there we decided to go room to room,” she shares about the resulting domino effect.

Moving to the sunroom, the more intense natural light mandated saturated colors like Capri blue—reminiscent of the Mediterranean—for the cushions on the rattan furnishings topped with the aforementioned verdant pillows.

blue and white floral dining chairs

Cornflower-blue velvet chair seats complement the sky-colored botanical silhouette wallcovering, both by Schumacher. The floral-patterned seat backs are Cowtan & Tout silk, and the polished nickel and crystal chandelier is by Aerin. Photography by Trisha Estill

“The backdrop out the window is an intense green, so lighter tones would have just faded away,” says Garcia, who introduced coffee and side tables wrapped in woven linen for contrast and textural counterpoints.

According to the designer, the use of texture and pattern—the subtle her-ringbone pattern on the sofa and cut velvet on the club chairs in the living room, for example—are part of an overall theme that establishes what she calls the home’s “ebb and flow.”

“Whether it’s the fabrics or the artwork, every room has a character of its own that comes to life when you enter, but each space is also peaceful and calming,” she explains.

handprinted Paul Montgomery wallcovering

Handpainted silk wallcovering by Paul Montgomery establishes a serene setting in the primary bedroom, where the bedding is Matouk and the lamp is by E.F. Chapman.Photography by Trisha Estill

Nowhere are those words more evident than the primary bedroom, where the handpainted wallpaper—depicting pale pastel flowers and birds that seem poised to burst into song—is the essence of serenity.

Throughout the Greenwich colonial, shades of sand and taupe—like those seen on the breakfast nook chairs and on the seating in the family room space above the garage, where the homeowners head for TV and movie viewing—are consistent background players.

“All the rooms are so inviting—my husband and I rotate using them throughout the day,” enthuses the wife, adding, “The overall visual impact of lightening and brightening everything is incredible. We got a brand new house without having to move.”

The print version of this article appears with the headline: Natural Connection.
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