A Greenwich Home Gets a Sophisticated Update
April 11, 2022
Rather than downsize, a pair of empty nesters calls their designer back to give their Greenwich home a sophisticated new look.
Text by Paula M. Bodah Photography by Ellen McDermott
While many couples opt for a smaller house once the children have gone off on their own, this husband and wife decided to stay put. Their center-hall colonial
on a pretty piece of land in Greenwich still made them happy. Back when the kids were small, architect Thomas Kligerman and interior designer Terri Ricci had undertaken a thorough renovation. “The house had this episodic history, growing across the site,” Kligerman says. The original structure was a small, stone-clad dwelling built in 1898. Sometime in the 1920s, the two-story colonial-style part of the house was built, then in the 1980s another piece was added. The renovation brought the disparate pieces together. “We kept the general footprint,” Kligerman explains, “but we reworked the 1980s portion to be more in keeping with the 1920s part, changing interior moldings, redoing rooflines, putting on shutters, and replacing windows with ones that had better proportions.”
This time around, the house didn’t need any further architectural changes, so Ricci came back solo for a decorative refresh. “It started with a guest room that was part office,” she recalls. A plan to make a home office out of a room the kids had used for homework, music, arts, and play meant the guest quarters, situated in the original part of the house, could be dedicated to wrapping visitors in comfort and a bit of luxury. Rather than paper (“We didn’t want seams,” the designer says), Ricci brought in a decorative painter who treated the walls and ceiling to a faux finish in subtle hues of green, cream, and plum that echo the garden outside. “It feels really cozy,” Ricci says.
The new home office, also in this oldest part of the house, looks out onto an idyllic garden scene, too. It’s easy to imagine taking a break from work at the handsome table that stands in for a desk to lounge for a spell on the seat tucked into the bay window.
The expansive family room’s low-profile furniture keeps the focus on the pretty landscape outside the long wall of windows and French doors. Still, the classic, elegant pieces command their own attention, thanks to Ricci’s mix of interesting fabrics. “We wanted a clean look, so we worked with textures,” she says. She layered vintage toss pillows on the sofa and lounge chairs, outfitted the windows with gauzy linen draperies, set a vintage kilim rug on the floor, and added twin ottomans upholstered in woven braid.
The oak floors and hickory paneling and cabinetry of the kitchen and casual dining area, installed during the initial renovation, still suited both the home and the homeowners, so, Ricci says, “We just refreshed, replacing dated accessories and letting the woodwork do the talking.” The primary bath, too, had stood the test of time. Here, Ricci switched up
accessories, bringing in polished nickel and pewter as a counterpoint to the warm wood and shiny marble. No doubt, the kids will always be welcomed with open arms. But in their refreshed, grown-up new space, the homeowners are ready for life’s next phase.
Interior design: Terri Ricci, Terri Ricci Interiors
Architecture: Thomas Kligerman, Ike Kligerman Barkley
Builder: Frank Talcott
Landscape design: Robert Reimer, Chloë Bowers, Quaker Hill Native Plant Garden