Interior Design

Local Events in Washington this Weekend!

If you have some free time this weekend and are looking for fun and educational events in Washington, check out these events open to the public!

Thanksgiving Floral Design Demonstration

On November 18th at the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, Loretta Stagen, a professional floral designer for over twenty years, will be giving a free lecture and demonstration on designing Thanksgiving centerpieces.

During the event Loretta will demonstrate her designs by creating 5 different Thanksgiving centerpieces with flowers, foliage, and vegetables.

Loretta Stagen's floral designs are described as lush arrangements that are both stylish and timeless. Her designs will bring joy to your Thanksgiving meal!

Friday November 18th at 10:00am (Free)

                                     

Evening Owl Prowl with Steep Rock Association!

Join Fran Zygmont and Rory Larson in search of Saw-whet, Screech, Barred, and Great Horned owls.

The event will start at the Macricostas Preserve parking lot, off Christian Street. There will be a 15 minute informative talk about the different owl species, then the group will go and search for them in the preserve and around Lake Waramaug

.

Participants are required to bring a flashlight and wear quiet clothing.

Saturday November 19th  6:30pm - 9:00pm (ages 6 and above)

Check out their website to register and for more information on the event!

 

 

Author Susanna Salk discovers All the Little Things in New Preston, CT

Author Susanna Salk seen in the Mirror at Privet House

The details are not the details. They make the design.
Charles Eames

Susanna is all about the details, those small exquisite touches that transform rooms into chic interior spaces. She has staged many houses for us and her design sense is further enhanced by her ability to create powerful vignettes with decorative items. 'IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS: Creating Big Moments in Your Home Through The Stylish Small Stuff' is her latest book published by Rizzoli New York. The book highlights how top interior designers like India Hicks and Bunny Williams make powerful statements with beloved objects.

The Book Cover

Recently, Susanna held a town wide book event in every design lover's destination, New Preston, CT, where each shop featured tabletop vignettes created by the author. The day concluded with a book signing at J. Seitz Co, the first design emporium to open on East Shore Road in the town. Below are the images of the carefully curated displays, each of which were in effect a miniature essence of the store itself. 

With a stunning neutral palette and beatuifully crafted antique furniture, Dawn Hill Antiques has fourished under founders John and Paulette Peden for over twenty years. According to a recent magazine article, “The store with its pale Swedish décor looks like a scene from an Ingemar Bergman movie with exquisite furniture and clocks in cool Gustavian shades of white and grey. “

The selection of utensils, ovenware and cooking accoutrements at New Preston Kitchen Goods would delight any budding or experienced chef. Owner, Marty Rook, is a food aficionado trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Marty furthered his experience at Picholine and La Grenouille in New York City. Marty's first-hand, real-world knowledge of what it takes to prepare, cook, and present the perfect meal for any season sets the standard for the store.

D.K. Schulman Design was opened in 2004 by Dana Schulman a well known model and fashion journalist in New York. The shop is a confectionary of sophisticated papers, cards, gifts and stationary collections. They offer everything for your social and special occasions.

Set atop the New Preston Falls, Pergola seamlessly blends natural living plant materials with weathered antiques, prints, books and containers to help you create the perfect indoor/outdoor designed environment. Both owners David Whitman and Peter Stiglin have a masterful eye for finding unusual items on their travels to Japan that cannoit be found in any other garden or design emporium.

Interior Designer Michael DePerno and Andrew Fry's Plain Goods Shop has a common thread throughout of simplicity, craftmanship and luxe materials. The store has a casual vibe and offers a curated collection of antiques, vintage finds, furnishings, textiles and clothing.

Susanna Salk at J. Seitz taken by Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence

J. Seitz & Company was founded by former magazine editor Joanna Seitz who was later joined by her husband Bill Seitz, a renowned interior design photographer at that time. This distinctive bastion of furniture, antiques, home decor, apparel, accessories, and jewelry has been housed in the same vintage building for over twenty-five years. Perched above a magical waterfall, it has long been a favorite destination for decorators, collectors, celebrities, world travelers and those who crave an uncommon shopping experience.

Privet House, featured in the opening image, is the fortuitous melding of the design sensibliities and style of Richard Lambertson (co-founder of Lambertson-Truex) and Suzanne Cassano (former product and concept guru at Calvin Klein). Unearthed French portraits from a barn in Provence find their place amond Morrocan linens, French Bergeres, Italian luxurious skincare and vintage fashion books. A must stop for any trip to New Preston!

Please click on the store links for addresses, phone contact information and store hours.

Susanna Salk's new book, 'IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS: Creating Big Moments in Your Home Through The Stylish Small Stuff' is a available at Hickory Stick BookStop, click here for their location.

 

 

 


 

 

Recent Editorial about Stacey Matthews and The Matthews Group

Recent Tabletop Styling by Stacey Matthews

We had two recent articles that appeared in Rural Intellegence and Happening in the Hills. One featured indoor plant design and the creative vision of Stacey as well as terrarium creator, Audra M. Viehland. Please find below an excerpt from the story:

"Gardeners might think that they are the caretakers of their plants, but there's another way to look at it. In some native languages, writes author Robin Wall Kimmerer, the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us." Two women in the Rural Intelligence region, Stacey Matthews and Audra M. Viehland, combine their green thumbs with an artistic aesthetic that incorporates nature into interior design. These plants, now works of art, become caretakers of sorts. Who's not happier surrounded by objects of beauty?"

Photo courtesy of Audra M. Viehland

A lovely Window Ledge in the Matthews Home.

To read the entire article in Rural Intelligence, please click here.

Edward Larrabee Platform House in Litchfield, CT

Happening in the Hills featured the significant Marsters home, an architectural gem and a perfect example of a platform house design originally conceived by Edward Larrabee Barnes. The design of the house and its provenance were the focus of this article. Below is the introduction to the story:

"The Marsters House, originally built in 1953, is a significant example of the 'platform house', a design conceived by renowned architect Edward Larrabee Barnes. Every detail stays true to early modernism with clean lines and an elegant grid of rectangular indoor and outdoor rooms. The provenance of the house adds to its interest as the home was designed for Ted Marsters, a classmate of Barnes at Harvard, and his wife Kathy who is the sister of Rufus Stillman, a patron and supporter of Marcel Breuer and modernist architecture in Litchfield at that time."

The Family Room of the Marsters House

Another View of the Exquisite Exterior

To read the entire article in Happening in the Hills, please click here.

 

Copper Fern Terrariums to Brighten the Home in Winter

Succulent Air Plant with Sea Glass

The Copper Fern offers the most exquisite terrariums created by Audra M. Viehland. She makes each one unique by sourcing vintage and antique pieces as well as distinctive objects picked up during her travels. As featured in the photo above, Audra sometimes uses sea glass that she has collected over the years from the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana.

Globe with Succulents, Air Plant and Turquoise

All my friends know my passion for indoor plants and incorporating them into interior decoration. Each terrarium created by Audra is a stunning blend of nature and artistic design, perfect to brighten the home during the winter months.

Arrowhead Plant with Shell

Above is a closed terrarium, the first of which was developed by botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1842. While studying insects, he left a jar with plants overnight and the fern inside grew to be a beautiful plant. These plant decorations became popular in the Victorian Era and were called Wardian Cases at that time.

Succulents with Toy Car and Fool's Gold

Open terrariums are best suited to dry plants such as succulents as they keep the air free from excess moisture. These also work work well for plants that need direct sunlight.

Chinese Evergreen with Brass Buttons and Red Air Plant

Audra has wonderful insight into the appeal of keeping a terrarium in the home, " It brings a bit of nature indoors year-round. And similar to keeping a garden, house plants, or flower arranging, caring for a terrarium can be a simple way to de-stress."

Rosemary and Lavender Blooming Air Plant

Audra in Bologna

Audra takes custom orders and uses a variety of plants from succulents to ferns. She uses closed or open containers and has even incorporated a vessel provided by a customer. She brings her artistry and unique style to each and every terrarium.

For orders and inquiries about Copper Fern Terrariums, please email copperfernterrariums@gmail.com

Please note: All terrarium images are the work of Audra M. Viehland

 


 


 

 

Roxbury Luxury Retreat on the Shepaug River

This exquisite family compound simply has it all with over 10 acres with Shepaug River frontage. This provides plenty of options for outdoor activities including tubing and fishing from your own back yard!

The Shepaug River is a 26 miles long river in Connecticut. The river begins in Warren and runs south through Washington, Roxbury, and Southbury, where it joins the Housatonic River at Lake Lillinonah. It is a pristine flowing body of water running through beautiful countryside such as this property.

Nature in all its Forms enhance the Grounds

The Stunning Poolhouse also serves as a Guest house

A view from above of the Poolhouse and Pool

Beautiful Landscaping around the Property

The interior is spectacular with a five bedroom main house that includes a gourmet eatin kitchen that opens to a family room with a cupola. There are main and second floor master bedrooms, formal living and dining rooms and a finished lower level with a gym and a sauna. 

A beautifully designed Master Bedroom

A light-filled Master Bathroom

Splendid Patios for Entertaining

Quiet Spots to sit and enjoy the Countryside

This Uber Chic Barns boasts a Game Room and a Guest Room

For more images and indormation about this property, please click on the link here.

 

Spectacular Designer Barn Sale In Roxbury, CT

1940's Green American Pottery

"The details are not the details. They make the design." This quote by Charles Eames resounds with all who love interior design. There will be exquisite details to add to your home including decorative objects, furniture, lighting and more at the Designer Barn Sale in Roxbury, CT. The event is next Saturday and Sunday, August 22nd and 23rd From 9 am - 5 pm each day.

The Buccolic, Beautiful Setting for the Barn Sale

Renowned interior designer Glenn Gissler is doing the sale in collaboration with his long-time friend Tom Luciano – who co-founded the now well-known antique store Historical Materialism in NYC before moving to a fabulous storefront in Hudson for many years. Between these two design powerhouses, there many stunning pieces in the sale from seating, floor lamps and table lamps, artwork, cabinets, iron pieces, ceramics, tables, antique textiles and curiosities.

19th Century Gothic Starburst Hat Rack

As confirmed by the host Glenn Gissler, the large barn is full and the delightful design pieces are spilling onto the lawn. We have our eye on several of the items but here is a taste of what will be in the sale.

Chipped Wood Bureau

Cobalt Blue Drip Glaze Lamp

Mid-Century Spider-leg Oval Chairs

To see more images and for more details, visit Glenn Gissler's blog by clicking on the link here. While you are there, subscribe to this fascintaing design blog that is always inspiring, informative and fun! For directions to the barn sale, please view on Google Maps here.

We are thrilled to have know Glenn as a client and a friend many years and to have introduced him to the lovely home that he has transformed so beautifully.

A Lovely Property in Roxbury, CT

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
 

 

Day of Design at The Mayflower Grace

Design by Justin Shaulis

Interior Designers, Architects and Industry Experts return to The Mayflower Grace for a 'Day of Design' on Saturday, June 13th. These design experts and industry gurus will discuss their inspirations, style secrets and design aesthetic. We are thrilled to be a sponsor of this event which introduces another stellar group of panelists to the area. There will be an al fresco lunch provided by the restaurant ‘Muse by Jonathan Cartwright’ and a VIP ‘Meet the Designers’ cocktail party with a book signing with Robert Couturier and Susanna Salk

Stacey Bewkes, Robert Couturier and Susanna Salk at last year's event.

Alan Barry Photography

The first morning panel, ‘Styling the Collection’ will bring together Kathryn McCarver Root of KMR Arts Gallery with designer Alan Tanksley and the Editor in Chief of New England Home Magazine, Kyle Hoepner to discuss how to curate, style and display your collections.

A styled collection by Alan Tanksley

The second morning panel is ‘The Narrative of Wallpaper’. Our friend, dynamic interior designer Philip Gorrivan and Fromental North America Director, Melissa Mittag will give an informative talk on how wallpaper can transform a modern interior.

Exquisite wallpaper from Fromental

The first afternoon talk covers ‘Bold Moments in Design’ a subject that examines what are those elements of design that make the strongest statement. The three panelists have rich backgrounds; Stacy Kunstel is a designer, stylist and a writer for national magazines who also founded the design company Dunes and Duchess with her partner, photographer Michael Partenio. Katie Curtis and Justin Shaulis are young energetic interior designers with an eye for what is fresh and exceptional.

Design by Kati Curtis

Following this panel is a discussion of ‘Designing Paradises’ with internationally renowned Robert Couturier who is included in Architectural Digest’s prestigious annual list of the best decorators. From Morocco to South America to the Litchfield Hills, the residences that Couturier has built and decorated are the houses of dreams.

Design by Robert Couturier

The moderators for the panels are two of the most preeminent style setters and design mavens in the industry. Susanna Salk, a Litchfield County resident is a prolific author of highly regarded design books including her latest publication, ‘Decorate Fearlessly!’. Stacey Bewkes, founder and writer of Quintessence, has a mantra to ‘Experience, inspire, inform – it’s all about living well with style and substance.’ After 17 years as an art director in New York City, she left the corporate world for Connecticut. She adds, “It is a continuing love of design that led to the creation of this lifestyle blog, a discerning online guide to those special discoveries that make life just that much better.”

Reservations are required and can be booked by calling Christine Afiouni at The Mayflower Grace 860-868-9466
 

 

 

Designer of the Month: Linda Zelenko of York Street Studio

Linda has been a friend and neighbor for many years. She has a great design sense and really understands luxury materials and products. She made my kitchen table (see below) which is truly my favorite piece of furniture. I am thankful for it every day. She can custom make anything. I have also enjoyed seeing her take a room that is blah and transform it with her chic touches into something special. The custom leather walls that they make are really astonishing.

Design is at the heart of York Street Studio. Concepts, visual narratives incorporating leather walls and other custom treatments, bold luxe accessories and hardware are all part of the company's exquisite design aesthetic. Linda continues this tradition of forward-thinking product development and pairs it with her extraordinary sense of style.

We recently had a chance to catch up with Linda to ask her about her work, background and design inspirations. Below is one of our favorite photographs of a York Street leather wall treatment. Talk about chic!

How would you describe your design style?

Intuitive modern sensibility with great attention to architectural details. In sleek contemporary spaces as well as in antiques filled environments, an aesthetic that mirrors today's lifestyles in a luxurious yet natural, subtle way is always the goal. With unusual juxtapositions of remarkable materials and textures, my design style in every project, from start to finish, provides a singular vision that encompasses the individual clients needs aesthetically from a functional point of view.

What are the most important elements in design?

Proportion, scale, materials and ight. The proportion of the room dictates the scale of everything and anything that comes in to the space...from architectural details to the scale of paneling.

Your Harry's Chair featured above has an interesting history, would you share it with us?

The chair we all call "Harry's chair" was designed by my father Harry in the mid 50's for my parent's design office.  There was a fire in that office (which had been featured in House and Garden) which forced them to move into the newly built Seagram's building. The chairs were reupholstered in the early 60's in the calf they are still covered in today and were located in my father's office. Those chairs made their way to Connecticut and have been in my dining for the past 20 years! I still produce the chair along with a version for outdoor use as seen below.

Your custom leather walls are the ultimate luxury, do you have a favorite installation that you have done?

All the leather room installations are the ultimate luxury, they take a tremendous amount of foresight and skill to produce. Some may have been more challenging or more intense to produce, like the octagonal leather man cave that was a spectacular project rendered by Stephen mostly or a recent man cave in LA.

As with most other artists and designers, we all have to keep moving forward with our vision and implementation of that idea. In looking ahead, over time, my process may become more refined combined with my approach. I have had to evolve to keep it alive, fresh, and innovative. The project I would reference as the ultimate luxury with the most innovative assembly is a hand stitched leather library I am working on now in Chicago.

Can you tell us a little bit about the background of York Street Studio?

York Street was established in Brooklyn in 1988 by Stephen Piscuskas, my late husband. We relocated to Litchfield County in the 1990's. York Street has always maintained making product here in the USA. York Street progressed from a fine craftsman wood shop to an established brand in high end home furnishings, lifestyle products and increasingly, luxury interiors. The transition began with the development of decorative hardware, leather tiles and selected pieces for production furniture derived from some of our most relevant custom work, the company's root. Having left my career as a footwear designer, we combined the woodworking with leather craftsmanship integrating and combining those techniques into architectural details. This led the company into developing products like leather tiles and leather rooms in libraries, man caves and powder rooms. Our projects span across the country. The goal for York Street is to continue collaborating with artists and craftsmen, keep developing new ideas and continue to stay as innovative as possible as we design new products and interiors

You attended the Rhode Island School of Design, what did your education there teach you that is relevant now?

Attending RISD was being among top tier talent on a day to day basis from students to faculty to the rawness that Providence had at that time. Being among that talent there was an endemic pressure to keep up and surpass, it was top tier problem solving and being able to communicate that message in drawing 2-D or 3-D format. Striving to do your absolute best, combined with honing the fundamentals and the key elements of design: scale, proportion, form follows function. The process was the key part of how we developed our concepts giving a strong foundation to generating lots of ideas and taking those concepts in any direction to finite solutions.

This approach and skill set works well for interiors and product development, if something does not work one way it can be worked out a different way, its about finding the solution either interpreting precisely what the client wants or collaborating with them to achieve what they are looking for.

When you design a room, where do you start and where do you finish?

The scale, the proportion, the light are the most important to assess. A room should be able to stand on its own and then one can build layers to create an in depth interior.

Is there an interesting current project that you would like to share with us?

We are presently completing an exceptional interiors project which encompasses the property formerly known as The Birches. This large scale private residence which faces Lake Waramug is a tremendously exciting project presenting many unique and extraordinary design opportunities that attune the York Street Studio aesthetic to the owners' lifestyle.

If you would like more information about Linda Zelenko and York Street Studio, please click here.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Designer of the Month: Susan Bednar Long

Our 'Designer of the Month' is Susan Bednar Long, Principal of S.B. Long Interiors. If you are planning a project, please check out her top quality work showcased in this post and on her website. Sue has been a great friend for over ten years and has one of the best design senses of anyone I know. I also really respect her ability to multi-task, nothing slips through the cracks with Sue in charge! In addition, I relish her blog posts, they always have great design ideas so everyone should subscribe to her blog!

Susan Bednar Long honed her distinctive style during her tenure with two renowned luxury brands including Ralph Lauren where she oversaw the decoration of their flagship retail stores. She was a creative dynamo when at Coach where she spearheaded the launch of their new store prototype and furniture line. Her take away from these projects was clear. "My experiences taught me to layer all of the elements - wallpaper, artwork, furniture, fabrics, accessories, and lighting. Without layering, rooms aren't done."

Sue also spent over ten years running Tocar Interior Design in New York City. Her time, traveling for business and pleasure, became the muse and design inspiration on many projects. I love this quote from her website, "You never know when you'll see something special - from a row of cabanas on an Italian beach to a lobby of a small inn in the Alps - that can provide a novel inspiration."

The first three images in this post feature a chic weekend getaway that appeared in CT Cottages and Gardens.

I had the chance to catch up with Sue and chat with her about design, her style and her recent coverage in Connecticut Cottages and Gardens

What inspires you in your designs?


I love the graphic quality of stripes and often like to incorporate them in my designs in both classic and modern ways. I also like to mix modern and traditional elements in each room.


What past interior designer do you most admire?


I am a huge fan of Bill Blass and all his interiors. His classical and masculine interiors are lovely. I love the mix of dark wood
antique pieces set in a light, neutral setting - the contrast is beautiful.


What do you take into consideration when designing a country home or a city apartment or house?

With a country house I like to know how the clients want to feel in the space and who they will entertain and make sure
the materials are durable and conducive to the season or all year round use. In the city its important to maximize space
and light.

What three words would sum up your style of interior design?

Tailored, modern, traditional.

Tell me a little about your project that was in CT Cottages and Gardens.

The client wanted colorful spaces to contrast their all grey Tribeca apartment. It was fun to consider the colors and how
they ran from one room to the next. I also loved mixing in more modern furniture elements in the classic shingle-style home.
The house was used all year round, so we wanted it to feel inviting in any season. The client wanted a house that was
very kid friendly too - so we used a lot of durable materials.

       

What is your dream client or project?

Someone who lets me design whatever I want!

S.B. Long Interior's projects have been featured in design publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Luxe Magazine, CT Cottage and Gardens among many others. The firm has a diverse portfolio that includes distinctive residential apartments and townhouses in New York City, country estates in Fairfield and Litchfield County, Connecticut, luxury residences in Highland Park, Texas, resort homes in The Hamptons & Rocky Mountains, personal luxury yachts & cruise ships and prestigious corporate & hospitality properties.


To learn more about Susan Bednar Long and S.B. Long Interiors, click here.

Find deign ideas and inspirations on Sue's blog here.

                                                            

 



 

 

Two Editorial Features on Vaillant House!

 

Vaillant House is showcased in both Passport Magazine and online in Connecticut Magazine. The article touches on the history, renovation, interior design and charm of this one-of-a-kind luxurious property. Here is a fun excerpt about the renowned architect Ehrick Rossiter.

"Ehrick Rossiter, though long dead, remains one of the most famous boldface names in Washington, Conn., in which far more than a shaker’s worth of notables are salted among the verdant hills where Bill and Hillary sometimes spend weekends, and where The Rolling Stones famously came to rehearse for the “Steel Wheels” tour.

The Clinton family may yield the nation’s next president and the Stones are as eternal as their namesake—but in Litchfield County the brand name Rossiter trumps politics and rock n’ roll."

The stunning showroom appears as an example of the tasteful, elegant restoration.

Stacey Matthews is quoted on the unique, sumptuous wine cellar:

“An exceptional example of the renovation is the basement which was dug out to create a truly remarkable wine cellar,” Matthews says. “This space is a wine connoisseur’s dream, featuring rough-grouted brick walls, a unique waxed oak raised panel ceiling treatment, and full temperature and humidity control for 1500+ bottles. Wide board chestnut planks found in the attic were repurposed to create the shelving. Along with a bar, 1/2 bath and media center, it is the quintessential man cave.”

The article in Passport Magazine, published by the Litchfield County Times, is available on newstands now.

To read the entire article in Connecticut Magazine, click here.