The Blue and White Interiors of this Darien Home are Far From Ordinary
Vivid hues, fun patterns and clean lines shine throughout.
We bought the house and quickly realized everything we had in our prewar apartment in the city was not going to work,” says the homeowner of their 1930s white-washed French Normandy-style house in Darien. “We brought some things we had, but knew everything needed some freshening up.”
Researching designers, the couple came across Connecticut-based designer Lynn Morgan. After seeing her work, they were smitten with her crisp interiors and use of coastal blues. Says Morgan, “She [the client] walked into my office one day, and we hit it off beautifully.”
The house had been previously renovated by architect Christopher Pagliaro. So, Morgan was tasked with creating livable and durable interiors for a family of five that respected the architectural elements of the house. “They loved the 20th-century character but wanted to bring it into the 21st century,” notes Morgan. “We wanted the architecture to sing, so we didn’t want to touch it all,” she says. “It’s part of the background. We painted nearly everything white, which made the 1930s architecture look beautiful and crisp. We enhanced everything with paint and fresh furnishings, and—since it’s on the water— brought in all these blues with pops of red.”
“I’ve always liked good rich colors and my husband prefers things more simple,” says the client. “We want to acknowledge that this is our primary residence and wanted something that is a little more formal, but we do have kids and a dog and wanted to keep it clean, uncluttered and unfussy.”
Soothing blues with accents of red run throughout the interiors, especially in the living room. The original fireplace and carved plaster detail above the mantel sit comfortably against the simple color palette. Tufted red chairs and a lacquered red console table came with the clients from their city apartment. Velvety chairs and a sofa in a soft blue plus stools wearing a zebra print keep it fun, while a wool-sisal blend on the floor keeps the room from feeling too stiff.
The client’s own modern art balances the more traditional details. “It’s not too much of a departure from our NYC apartment, but we certainly didn’t have all of this light,” says the homeowner. “It’s also a lot less formal.”
The sunroom looks out to a terrace with views of the Sound. “This was their only big room,” says Morgan. “Right off the kitchen, it has incredible light, and we wanted a huge sectional to make it a gathering point.” A custom navy sectional wraps around the room and two blue and white ottomans move around easily for extra seating. “Everything in this room is high performance,” says Morgan.
Blue and white continues in the adjacent breakfast nook, where a funky print covers custom chairs designed by Morgan surrounding a tulip table. “The house is so architecturally beautiful and then you have these amazing views,” says Morgan. “We had to keep it simple but fresh. Clean lines and a simple color palette keep you interested but is not overwhelming.”
“Lynn is so good because she has her style—and I love her style—so that made it pretty easy to agree on direction,” says the client. “She kept after me on things that would make a difference.” The paneled bed nook in the master bedroom is not made for today’s king-sized mattresses. Morgan insisted on leaving it and simply putting a bed in front of it. “We kept the decorating simple so the architecture and the views could be the stars,” says Morgan.
The master bathroom, which was done when the house was previously renovated, was left unchanged. “The best piece of advice Lynn gave was that you cannot fight this bathroom, and that’s how we settled on the seafoam color palette,” says the client. “Lynn really thought of things we never would have. I love that half the house is indoor/outdoor. We really live here.”
The print version of this article appears with the headline: Keep it Simple.
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