Inside the Governor's Residence: Guest Cottage Living Room, Power Room, Hall, and Study

Check out Catherine Cleare's redesign of the guest cottage.

guest cottage
living room | powder room | hall | study

catherine cleare
Catherine Cleare Interiors, LLC

Granted full authority over the living room and the study, plus the hallway and diminutive powder room, Westport designer Catherine Cleare’s first thought was “to get rid of every piece of furniture,” in order to make everything fresh and current. As it turns out, she didn’t need to. “I recycled every piece, actually.”

Her success hinged on a trip into the basement of the Residence. “It was a goldmine of sofas and chairs. If you can sit on it, that’s where it came from,” says Cleare. The living room was a mishmash of traditional tables that Cleare painted high-gloss white “to create visual continuity,” she explains. She toned down the scheme with sea-glass turquoise and citrus greens, and created two distinct seating arrangements. But the crowning jewel of her subterranean excursion was the Chinese model junk she scored. “When I spotted it high up in a dusty corner, I couldn’t believe my luck,” she laughs.

In the neighboring study, wooden paneling with a worn-out dark finish that Cleare found suffocating in such small quarters was painted a snappy bright green. And the old-fashioned “Pepto-pink” powder room lacked even the most basic amenities: “There wasn’t a place for soap or hand towels,” Cleare says. All plumbing and fixtures were replaced and a new countertop, vessel sink, toilet and tile floor were installed.


♦ for color boards with specifics on catherine cleare's guest cottage living room, powder room, hall, and study click here