Formal Meets Playful in Westport
Designer Amy Coe incorporates family favorites with contemporary pieces.
I’m so lucky because I have a client who is a friend,” says Westport-based designer Amy Coe, founder of Amy Coe Home. “This project was about having fun and working as a team.” Coe had met the homeowner more than 14 years ago, and when the client decided to build in Westport, she called Coe right away. “I had been working with Amy for almost five years at my other house, and she almost died when I told her we were going to build,” explains the homeowner. “I knew Amy would be the right person for this. Translating key pieces to the new house from the old was key in this project, and I knew she could do that while making it feel like a true, comfortable family home.”
Coe approached this project with the goal of creating spaces that were cozy and timeless with a modern bent. “It’s always about getting to know the client—and I had a leg up on this one—there are two dogs, three kids and two adults here. That’s a lot of movement! I wanted clean lines and no clutter.” Coe used a neutral light blue/gray paint color to unify the downstairs and multiple shades of soft blues and greens with pops of true navy, deep marine blue and pearl gray as threads throughout house.
In the entry, a cerused-oak table holds the client’s collection of chinoiserie, and a custom navy-and-white area rug grounds the space. “I love how Amy took some of my more traditional pieces and bridged them with more contemporary ones. I have a lot of antiques from my family and didn’t want anything to look too fussy or precious,” says the homeowner. “Everything is very luxe meets humble and formal meets playful,” adds Coe.
Coe makes the case for texture being about more than textiles in the kitchen where marble tile mixes with honey-colored cerused oak and metal. Off the kitchen is a sunroom/breakfast room. “The flow between the kitchen and sunroom increases the living potential, and we wanted this room to make a bold statement.”
Coe took Galbraith & Paul’s classic Lotus print— that the homeowner had in a powder room at the old house and loved—and papered the walls. She added a pair of oversize lanterns in a custom color. A nubby blue performance fabric on the chairs has a soft hand, but stands up to spills. “Nothing is too precious,” says Coe. “I wanted this family to really live in this house.”
Two deep sofas in the living room invite you to dive in and a wooden Tritter Feefer coffee table is sturdy enough to put your feet up on. Above the molding is an installation of ceramic disks by artist Lisa Carroll. “We needed something spectacular but not formal to bring this double-height ceiling down to earth,” says Coe. “I wanted to put more navy in the room and the client knew the artist.”
The family’s favorite part of the house didn’t happen overnight. “Originally, it was supposed to be a bedroom,” says the client, “but that’s what is great about Amy. She said, ‘let’s take our time and see what this house is missing.’” They ended up creating a bunk room with various bed nooks to sleep friends and family who come to visit. The client had seen a glossy blue floor in Florida and wanted to re-create it here. “We added all these different layers and nooks to make it feel cozy and warm,” says Coe. The designer adds, “We wanted to make sure that each piece we selected has the ability not only to look great but also to function.
Part of our job is to bring the client the best of the best, even if it takes a while. Otherwise you could walk into a showroom and have any old stuff arrive.” Concludes the client: “We took so much time designing what we wanted, and there are so many personal pieces. Add to that having my friend come and do the installation. It makes it special.”
This print version of the article appeared with the headline: Tried and True