These Mar Silver interiors boast luxe layers of textures and neutrals
The inside of this Westport Colonial is anything but traditional. Mar Silver took a spec house that a young family had lived in for a few years and turned it on its head.
Art Appeal Sculptures (left) soften the hard lines of the modern artwork in the master bedroom. Gather Round In the family room (right), an architectural, laser-cut coffee table designed by Mar Silver dictates the style of the room. A custom sectional is covered in a Holly Hunt velvet.
Sensual and luxurious rarely come to mind
when considering a Connecticut Colonial. But, in the hands of designer Mar Silver, the inside of a Westport Colonial is anything but traditional. Silver, known for her luxe, minimalist interiors with mega-watt sex appeal, took a spec house that a young family had lived in for a few years and turned it on its head. “I knew the couple through another project, and, with this one, they were ready for a fresh, contemporary update,” says Silver. “They gave me carte blanche to do what I love to do, which is create a clean, effortless, sexy environment.”
Kitchen Cachet A Calcutta marble backsplash stretches to the ceiling and continues along a wall of open shelving in the kitchen (top left and bottom right). Mid-century Danish chairs around the breakfast table add warmth and color. Design Within Reach Cherner stools provide seating at the island. Outside In A bay window was removed and replaced with a floor-to-ceiling casement window (above right) that frames the view perfectly. Wooden table is from the MSD collection.
Silver took advantage of the house’s high ceilings, changing the moldings and modernizing the traditional tray ceilings by squaring them off. She grayed out the wood floors and changed the doors, creating a loft-like feel that became a clean slate for new furnishings and art. The two-story foyer, with its stately staircase, is a rare space that hints at the house’s traditional beginnings. Lacquered spindles respect the intention of the house, while at the same time elevating it to a more sophisticated level. An etched Italian glass lamp sits on an old worktable—a combination that, with Silver’s hand, seems effortless and not conflicted. Through the foyer lies the kitchen, which was perhaps the greatest departure from the house’s origin. Heavy oak wood paneling, upper cabinets and a butler’s pantry were removed and replaced with open shelving displaying white dishes and a to-the-ceiling backsplash of Calcutta marble for a monolithic and dramatic effect.
The breakfast table is surrounded by mid-century Danish chairs that add warmth without adding a big splash of color. “I don’t do color,” says Silver. “The graining of the wood is just so rich and warm and is a nice bridge between the grays and the blacks.” A dark corner with a lazy Susan and a bay window was replaced with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame a lush view. “Once we removed everything, we saw how stunning the view was and had to take advantage of that. Iron casement windows highlight it perfectly now,” notes Silver.
On the Surface Lacquered spindles (left) add a modern spin to the front hall staircase. Totally Floored Silver replaced the original flooring with gray boards with a slight purple cast (middle top) that adds richness and warmth. Opposites Attract A teak bench (middle) was cleverly designed to run through a guest bathroom shower wall. Wine and Dine In the dining room (right), a custom wine rack with a mirrored back stretches from wall to wall showing off the clients’ impressive wine collection. A custom chandelier (middle bottom) hangs from the lacquered ceiling. Flexform chairs surround the table.
The kitchen flows into the living room, where Silver’s signature serene palette reigns amid layers of texture on texture. A low sofa swathed in a soft linen opens up to the original stone fireplace. A wood and glass table from Silver’s furniture collection sits on a custom silk-blend rug; a fur throw rests on a linen chair. “Mixing materials gives off a certain sensuality. You can have glamour and comfort at the same time,” says Silver. The designer’s hard-edge-meets-soft approach is evident in every corner: a teak bench runs through a flat glass panel in the shower of a guest bathroom; an iron light fixture with metal shavings glows in a music room against diaphanous window treatments and a silk rug.
A wine cabinet in the dining room, however, serves as one of the house’s biggest showstoppers. Walnut shelves with a mirrored back stretch from wall to wall, showing off the clients’ impressive wine collection, as well as an assortment of artifacts and Old World pieces. A purple lacquered ceiling furthers the reflective quality of the room, while a massive piece of three-dimensional artwork gives off both a feminine and masculine edge. “Everything in this house has such a beautiful energy,” says Silver. “When I walk in, I get a calm and serene feeling. It’s like it was always meant to be this way.”