Modern Meets Traditional in a Coastal Cottage

Good interior design doesn’t draw a line in the sand between modernity and the past. While most of our younger clients are interested in a traditional style homes, they often tell us that their taste is more contemporary. We try and express through our work that great rooms successfully merge these two classical styles, whether subtly or dramatically. We accepted this challenge recently, when decorating an elegant pre-war Park Avenue apartment for a couple with three young children. It was such fun watching the rooms steeped in history come to life for this busy and fun-loving family of five. The photos are coming soon!One of our latest projects is an 1820’s federal style farmhouse in Southport, Connecticut. The historic home is relatively untouched in terms of its original footprint, which is what drove our attention to it. We’ll be making changes to the kitchen (largely cosmetic) and two bathrooms, but the bones are there. We started our quest for inspiration turning to the pages of architect G.P. Schaefer’s extraordinary new book  “A Place To Call Home.” We’re sharing just a few of the beautiful photos which spoke to us; and we look forward to continuing to share all of our motivations and inspirations for this project as it unfolds. We like to focus on the details of the interior doors and millwork first. Raised panel doors shown below, paired with simple moldings are a subtle nod to history. When changing the interior doors, the door hardware changes, and the hinges change. All of these elements add a richness, and what Gil refers to as masculinity.Painted white floors in a dining room, paired with a strong painted wall color introduce an element of light not coming from the outdoors — especially useful in a room where sunlight is at a minimum. In traditional homes, wallpaper and wooden paneling weren’t the only ways to decorate a room. Painted designs such as a stencil on the walls or a pattern on the floors is a wonderful way to add interest to any home. We’re excited to create a beautiful stencil for the entry walls for our project. Pairing painted or stenciled floors with natural fibre flooring in rooms or hallways, feels very contemporary.We hope to incorporate tall, linear painted bead board molding in the bathrooms, paired with a ceiling painted in a contrasting color. This photo incorporates many of the design concepts we’re looking to employ all in one: raised panel doors, simple but impactful moldings, painted floors, stenciling, natural carpet fibers, paint colors inspired by the proximity to the sea, and artwork, all coexisting in a fresh, modern way.
Congratulations, Gil, on an extraordinary book!