Step Inside the Swanky Bachelor Pad of A Suburban Single Dad
A fashion-forward father's New Canaan home overflows with high-impact design.
Weekends at Rob Sechan’s New Canaan residence often include get-togethers of dressed-to-the-nines guests gathered around the baby grand for a sing-along in the home’s music room. “He loves to entertain with a capital E,” says designer Cami Luppino about the financial advisor and single father of four children who relocated from New York City two years ago. He wanted his kids to be able to walk to school. That Rob grew up in the idyllic community was another driver. But while the locale of the traditional Colonial worked, the overall ambience clashed with his bachelor lifestyle. “The stately home had great bones, but Rob, who is very fashion forward, wanted high impact drama and something a little more rock’n’roll,” adds Luppino, who joined forces with business partner Alana Irwin to give the homeowner exactly that.
Attaining that goal meant effectively erasing any hint of the dark, muted colors and ornate finishes from the structure’s previous life and replacing them with a brand of high-style elegance they dubbed “cheeky glamour”. In the aforementioned music room, for example, existing paneled walls now sport a lacquered glossy French gray finish. An evocative Jamie Nelson photo of a red-lipped woman peers through an opening in the adjacent home office. “Everything was selected to help keep a certain rhythm going,” Luppino explains. The resulting lounge-like space is reminiscent of a swanky jazz club where the homeowner himself is often found at the keyboard.
Meanwhile, a streamlined palette of neutral walls and matte black floors allows the artwork and carefully curated furnishings to shine. In the dining room, the leather chairs with delicate brass legs provide sculpture. The gilded brass and smoked-glass starburst chandelier is an edgy element in keeping with the owner’s vision. “Rob wanted everything to be sculptural or high shine, and a little risky,” Irwin explains.
In the newly-renovated kitchen, they started with “that sexy marble,” says Irwin. High-gloss lacquered cabinets and black leather stools held up by polished metal frames continue the bling, while the stove hood trimmed with polished nickel has an automotive quality. “Rob is into cars, and he likes fine things, so this was perfect for him,” adds Luppino.
Not surprisingly, things settle down in the primary suite. A slate-colored mohair bed, cascading antique brass chain pendant, and smoky blue-gray rug create a sultry aura. “We chose very luscious, luxe fabrics to engage the senses,” Luppino says.
In a natural contrast, things amp up in the kids’ quarters—located on the second and third floors of the house. His teenage daughter, the only child still living at home, got to weigh in on the design choices. Irwin says, “Rob wanted a place where all the kids would want to come and hang out, so making things light, bright and colorful was important.” After a graffiti artist used bold hues to bring an old Ping-Pong table back to life, the vibrant result dictated the color scheme of everything else.
And while the upper levels pulse a bit more energetically than the rest of the house, the orange molded plastic chairs and bright fuchsia and turquoise surfboard art keep with the overall excitement that defines the entire project. “That sense of tension isn’t for everyone, but when you have the ability to make someone feel something, even if it’s a little bit of discomfort at first, that’s a good thing,” Irwin says. “We know people will leave this house feeling a sense of wow.”