Modern Yet Traditional on the Mianus River

A classic exterior gives way to bright, clean spaces.

Custom sofas, Crate & Barrel swivel chairs in a nubby bouclé fabric and woven poufs provide seating in the living room; the wool area rug is through A.T. Proudian; and the abstract artwork above the fireplace is by Katy Garry. Photography by John Gruen, Photography Styling by Corey Grant Tippin & Anna Molvik.

Year-round water views first attracted the homeowners to this Mianus River property, where they built a new five-bedroom home. “We envisioned a contemporary home, a bit traditional on the outside but modern, clean and spacious on the inside,” notes the homeowner. When it came time to furnish the interiors, they knew exactly where to turn. “Kim Caravella owns the cutest design store in our area—we love her style,” says the wife. “Besides, she was recommended by one of our daughters.” 

“They just love my shop, HabitatGreenwich!” says interior designer Kim Caravella. Her Cos Cob boutique—chockfull of artwork, furniture, textiles, accessories and gifts—showcases her talent at mixing Old World with New, modern with traditional. “I would describe these homeowners’ aesthetic as modern and fresh mixed with a respect for nature and natural materials, with a unique collected and traveled feeling.” 


Kitchen design and cabinetry is by Häcker Kitchens, Greenwich. Arteriors pendants hang above the quartzite-topped island. The counter stools are from Room&Board.Photography by John Gruen, Photography Styling by Corey Grant Tippin & Anna Molvik.

The directive from the homeowners included creating warm, functional spaces to enjoy with their family and for entertaining with friends. “They loved the idea of playing with neutrals— whites and woods—and how I mix modern pieces with organic shapes and natural materials,” notes Caravella. The designer started with a neutral palette to complement the river views, the clean-lined architecture and an extensive art collection. “The homeowners’ private artwork collection inspired my choices for living room pillow pattern and color choices,” explains the designer. “They have a pair of colorful works from Uruguayan artist Ruisdael Suarez that I am completely obsessed with.”

Caravella’s skill with scale and proportion also came into play in the living room. “It was such a large room, I found a wonderful one-of-a-kind plank vintage coffee table that was huge, and the homeowners were a bit nervous,” says the designer. “But I knew the scale and proportion, along with the patina, was absolutely perfect for serving and playing games too.” Handwoven poufs add a layer of pattern, texture and fun, “plus they’re functional for additional seating. And I added a slatted outdoor teak console into the scheme, which was unexpected,” says Caravella. “So much about this home is about the tranquil view and nature, and I love the idea of bringing natural elements in.” 

Textural moments continue in the kitchen with eye-catching rattan pendants. “I felt natural handwoven pendants would be a fantastic contrast to the modern clean lines, warm and visually exciting, juxtaposing the materials. The same was true in the dining room: Their artwork is so exquisite, plus the modern furniture they love, I felt vintage natural materials would marry well.” 


The primary bathroom design is by Porcelanosa; the tub and sinks are crafted from Krion; Porcelanosa porcelain tile lines the walls and floor. Photography by John Gruen, Photography Styling by Corey Grant Tippin & Anna Molvik.

A black-and-white abstract on vintage paper by Katy Garry inhabits a wall of the eat-in kitchen, where iron-mesh chairs are paired with a Saarinen table from Design Within Reach. “I am such a fan of texture,” says Caravella. “Used well, it can be so visually exciting and inviting. I knew this room would be used every day and wanted materials that felt comfortable to sit in and had a playfulness. Every seat can enjoy that fantastic water view!” 

In the serene primary bedroom, the clients’ artwork is complemented by handcrafted bedside lamps and handwoven baskets, while hand-painted pillows top the bed. The suite exemplifies the clients’ wish for warm, balanced and functional interiors. The homeowner concludes: “It was a pleasure working with Kim in all aspects—her positive energy, her ability to listen to our needs and ideas, and then transform them into something special and unique.

The print version of this article appears with the headline: River Run.