A Connecticut Colonial Gets a Glow Up

January 17, 2022

Plans to enlarge a bedroom lead to a renovation that takes a colonial from demure to dazzling.

Text by Paula M. Bodah    Photography by Laura Moss    Produced by Ashley Bastow

Interior designer Jeffrey Butler Haines’s clients, Kimberly and Chris, loved their classic center-hall colonial, but they wanted to give it a brighter look and feel. “I kept telling Jeffrey I wanted sparkle and shimmer,” Kimberly says.

To tell the truth, the couple wasn’t planning a major remodel. For the most part, the house was perfect for them and their three boys. They really only intended to enlarge their second-floor bedroom suite. They called on Jeffrey and Christine Mose, the husband-and-wife team at Mose Associates Architects. Jeff Mose had designed the house in 2005, then worked with the second owners on some renovations, and he was happy to undertake a third set of tweaks.

As so often happens, those “tweaks” turned into something considerably more. “The bathroom renovation became a bathroom addition, which triggered a new plan for the whole suite,” says Jeff Mose.

The new suite is an oasis of luxury in a palette of rosy hues that begins with a small sitting room that opens to a spacious new bedroom, a large, spa-like bathroom, and his and hers closets.

Because the remodel called for some fairly extensive structural changes, including breaking through the ceiling to give Kimberly a two-story closet/dressing room, the design team and their clients found themselves taking a second look at the flow on the entire left side of the house.

On the first floor, they decided, the smallish living room and a screened sunroom should be combined to create an expansive gathering spot, an undertaking that meant removing the large wood-burning fireplace in the middle of the space and enclosing the sunroom. “We have a lot of family in the area, so we wanted a bigger room to congregate,” says Kimberly.

The library, a handsome room that Kimberly confesses no one ever used, would become a sophisticated bar and lounge. And then, relates Jeff Mose, “As typically happens, there’s an inflection point where you realize the rest of the house isn’t going to keep up.” So the team turned their attention to the right side of the home, where the great room, dining room, and kitchen reside. Luckily a few cosmetic fixes brought things up to snuff.

Haines warmed up the great room by outfitting the walls with shiplap and adding furnishings in shades of blue, oatmeal, and cocoa. Christine Mose reworked the kitchen, replacing two islands with one larger one that encourages gathering and laying out an efficient plan that includes two refrigerators. “I have three boys, who are constantly eating, so I need a lot of fridge space,” Kimberly says.

Once the structural work was complete, the architects went through the house, switching out weighty colonial-style moldings and trim for architectural details in a lighter Regency style.

To achieve the fresh sparkle Kimberly sought, Haines introduced a palette of blues and greens paired with cloud-white woodwork and neutral furnishings and fabrics. The entry hall’s walls and ceiling wear a sky-blue lacquer that lets the wainscoting and trim pop and feels as airy as a summer sky. The living room’s apple-green walls continue the cheerful theme.

Opulent touches like the foyer’s quartz chandelier, the living room’s beaded chandeliers, and the dining room’s metallic chinoiserie wallpaper lend an elegant look. “I like to say it has a bit of a Park Avenue feel,” Haines says. “It depicts an era of glamour and style.”

The house now holds the best of old and new. “It’s a very traditional home,” the designer says. “But it also feels very youthful.”

Project Team
Architecture: Jeffrey Mose, Christine Mose, Mose Associates Architects
Interior design: Jeffrey Butler Haines, Butler’s of Far Hills
Builder: Joseph Mirra, Pyramid Custom Homes
Landscape design: Craig Studer, Studer Design Associates