A Rowayton Home Maximizes Farm Creek Views

Turning the Page

For their next chapter, a couple looks to Krista Fox to reimage their Rowayton Retreat

INTERVIEW WITH KRISTA FOX, KRISTA FOX INTERIORS // PHOTOGRAPHER NEIL LANDINO

The story of this home is about connections to both nature and the views, as well as the community just outside their front door. Light flows through the open shelving, finished with decor from Westport’s Bungalow.

Tell us about this client.
They are a lovely couple. They had sold their big family home in New Canaan and relocated to Rowayton to connect with a different, next chapter, but were still wanting a different kind of family home as their kids get older. We’re doing a fair number of homes like that right now—Rowayton in particular, seems to be a place where this is happening—and it’s great fun to see people looking to create new spaces for a different kind of family dynamic. This home is still very welcoming, very connected, and speaks to their aesthetic, but it’s different. We used this new space to dive into what they wanted home to feel like, especially after not thinking about that for a long time. It’s not about downsizing but rethinking, transitioning, especially as needs change.

left: Fox wanted to capture the serenity of this shaded spot, a perfect place for relaxing or reading. Great Blue Heron is a commissioned piece by artist Mary Morant. right: An Eames chair by DWR and Alpaca fur chairs by Four Hands create cozy seating in the living room.

What was their vision for this project?
They didn’t want to leave their past behind. It wasn’t about going out and buying everything new. They wanted to incorporate some of the pieces from their previous home, like antiques and furniture that had a resonance with them. They wanted to grow into this space and celebrate the layers as they came. They loved the bones of the home: the family space, more of an open plan with the connection of the kitchen to family room, the connection to nature. They’re big on taking walks, they have pets. It’s a beautiful place to have coffee or a cocktail in the evening.

How much did the waterfront location inform your design plan?
It’s always something that informs us as far as nature in general. For well-being, as creatures, it’s always been a drumbeat for our work. For the main spaces, looking out on the water, it’s so dynamic. It could be the grayest of days, and it has this moody wonderful feel to it, or its bright and sunny, and there’s a lot of activity. We kept the palette natural, not trying to compete with it. The husband is a bird person, and we had that heron artwork custom done for the living space. It’s a wonderfully quiet room. The back of the house gets more sun, but this is facing south and the street, and it’s more shaded. That’s where they want to read and relax.

left: Each change in season or time of the day has a beautiful effect on the palette of the room, something Fox wanted to capture. right: The clients’ custom table was refinished for this dining space, which looks out onto the ever changing backdrop of Farm Creek.

With a limited color palette, how important is texture in the way you look at the layering of design elements?
It’s totally important, just as it is in nature. You can look out on a gorgeous spring day, and everything is green, but the texture is what makes it all sing. The wife was not afraid of color, she wasn’t the one saying stay away from it. But it became more about bringing it in with flowers or things that felt more seasonal. And again, I think this was different from their previous place.

What were their priorities for the kitchen space?
The kitchen was mostly there. They didn’t want it to be unapproachable. It’s not supposed to be something that is just passed by. They use it. They Tell us about the kitchen space.
They didn’t want it to be unapproachable. It’s not supposed to be something that is just passed by. They use it. They love it. It’s connected to the family room and very communal. It’s very connected to the water that’s right outside. It’s definitely integral to the home.

This area is all about texture. The clients use it for everything from coffee in the morning to movies and entertaining at night. Fox used the soft natural textures of wool, alpaca, linen and cotton as well as a custom live-edge coffee table to be the center of the room. Rough-hewn beams create a warm canopy above the communal spaces.

With a limited color palette, how important is texture in the way you look at the layering of design elements?
It’s totally important, just as it is in nature. You can look out on a gorgeous spring day, and everything is green, but the texture is what makes it all sing. The wife was not afraid of color, she wasn’t the one saying stay away from it. But it became more about bringing it in with flowers or things that felt more seasonal. And again, I think this was different from their previous place.

Do you have any favorite features of the finished project?
I like the dialogue of textures for sure. I think that worked out really nicely. The space is elevated and sophisticated but in a casual environment. Even the barn-type finishes don’t smack of industrial or country. You just can’t help but relax there.

left: Armchairs with curved shapes invite guests to sit comfortably. The open layout encourages easy gathering while allowing for visual space. top right: Textured walls and layered materials add depth to the neutral palette. bottom right: A soft custom Moroccan style rug woven in natural undyed wool grounds the room.

How would you describe your style?
What I’d prefer to say rather than a style, is more of a way of working with clients. It’s listening. It’s listening to the space. It’s listening to the surroundings. We start there. If people don’t really know what they want, it’s about asking the right questions. What we do is try to discover what you want in a space and elevate that experience, for you. We bring the design tools and experience but the thing that always compels me and lights me up when it comes to this business is that you’re creating a place for someone to celebrate every day. It can’t be one style because it so depends on that.

The important things right now in this field is it’s gone from something where a designer just comes in and makes their mark, to something where the importance is in how a space feels to you. There is scientific research of how a home and environment has such an impact on you. What we try and do is discover that, develop that and then celebrate it.

Professionals:

Interior Design: Krista Fox Interiors, Norwalk; 203-912-3103; kristafoxinteriors.com

 

 

 

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