Get in the Christmas Spirit with this Connecticut Country-Style Home

Interior designer Laura Michaels gives this home a sophisticated update.
Home Exterior

Photographs by Coley Stevens

Searching for a new house is never easy. For this couple, however, it only took one look to know they found their new home. Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Richard Moisan, this particular Connecticut abode was just what they were looking for. With the parklike grounds, pool, spa and gardens, the couple found a perfect, full-time living retreat.

Interior designer Laura Michaels was initially brought in for a small job. But, the project quickly took on a life of its own. “I was introduced to this client through a stager, who first thought I would handle the window treatments and a little of this and that. However, it blossomed into working on every room in the house,” notes Michaels. “I finished the design of all rooms—including accessories and artwork—that had been started by the homeowner. I worked with what she had and enhanced it.”

Strengthening the design of an already elegant entry foyer was a natural first step. “When I first walked in, I felt that there needed to be a wall mural or texture, something subtle,” says Michaels. “I designed the pattern—an abstract tree of life effect—and worked with Deux Femmes Decorative Arts out of Westport over six months to get it right. They were incredibly patient and really visionary to be able to create exactly what I wanted.”

Presented with the interior’s palette of blue and white threads, Michaels merely enhanced the beautiful shades. She explains, “I tried to work with the existing palette and added metallic wallcoverings from Phillip Jeffries to the master suite.” In addition, the homeowner’s annual Christmas decorations flawlessly compliment the lovely hues. “The Christmas tree decorations and holiday decor are mainly from Nielsen’s Florist in Darien,” says the wife.

Dining Room

Photographs by Coley Stevens

In the dining room, pastoral wallpaper murals by Susan Harter create a “French traditional dining experience and a warm and relaxing atmosphere,” according to the homeowners. Window treatments in a Rosemary Hallgarten ombre fabric complement the space perfectly. “I added hurricanes from Simon Pearce and a lot of greenery, not only to make the table even more inviting, but also to bring the texture and scent of pine, which always makes me think of Christmas,” says Michaels. To complete the holiday ambiance, festive place settings from the homeowners’ own collection decorate the table.

The living room exemplifies the home’s aesthetic of a perfect marriage of old and new. “The traditional bones of the home pair beautifully with the more transitional furnishings,” says Michaels. “It borders on European transitional.” Nearby, the family room has a more casual vibe with an inviting Serena & Lily sectional. Cozy Rosemary Hallgarten throw pillows, fur throws and a collection of sculptural Guaxs glass vases tie it all together.

This Connecticut project had a storybook ending for homeowner and designer alike. “This experience shows that designers shouldn’t turn down a little job, because you never know where it might go,” says Michaels. “And I got to meet another great client along the way.”

The print version of this article appeared with the headline: Storybrook Ending. 
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