Step Inside a Stylish Westport Home Designed for a Young Family

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It has been years since Denise Davies moved from Manhattan to Fairfield County, but she remembers it like it was yesterday. “I had no idea what I was doing,” the founder of D2 Interieurs recalls. Her creative director—Kerri Rosenthal—another Manhattan transplant shared that lost feeling. “I remember wishing there was someone who could hold my hands and guide me through the process.” These days, Denise and Kerri specialize in doing just that—helping young families transition from apartment living into their first homes. “It’s D2’s sweet spot,” Denise says. “They look to us to guide them.”

“Our process helps them figure out what their aesthetic is,” adds Kerri. “We learn about their tastes and style, and pull things out of them they don’t even know.”

Case in point: a young couple with a two-year-old son who had bought a spec house built by Bluewater Home Builders in the Compo Beach section of Westport. The couple hired the D2 team in January 2015, when perhaps a quarter of the home was completed. With a target move-in date of June, Denise and Kerri set about customizing the entire space from the ground up, including millwork, built-ins, hardware and finishes. “We did very simple, square millwork in the ceilings of the family room and dining room,” says Denise by way of example. “Thirty years from now it will still be in style.”

Done in a neutral palette, with pops of color and texture throughout, the interiors have a modern, relaxed feel. “The homeowners are very laid-back, and the house reflects that,” Kerri says. The open plan is conducive to family living, as are the kid-friendly fabrics and furnishings. No room is off limits, not even the formal living room done in blues and grays. Custom sofas are covered in a textured wool that is virtually indestructible, and the lacquer coffee table has forgiving, curved lines. “Their little boy can feel comfortable jumping on the sofas,” says Denise. “And Mom can have peace of mind knowing he won’t hurt himself.”

In the family room, an espresso-stained oak coffee table is “one of the few things in the house that has a true contrast,” says Kerri. Here, fabrics in sun-washed tones lend an island vibe. French doors open onto the pool area; they are dressed with linen sheers that add to the indoor/outdoor feel. “In summer it has a great flow,” Kerri notes.

The dining room’s gray-washed oak table can seat up to 12 people. However, the family and visitors can often be found gathered around the breakfast nook with its Design Within Reach tulip table and chairs. A custom half-moon banquette sports a laminated linen by Quadrille; while an iconic Slim Aarons photograph of a Palm Springs pool adds a vintage touch. “When you are doing a house all at once, it’s important to bring in vintage elements, so the house feels perfectly layered and eclectic,” says Denise.

The master bedroom is serene and elegant: The designers covered the walls in a Phillip Jeffries Bermuda hemp grasscloth, and then painted the molding, trim and ceiling in the same color. They added a pair of fabric-wrapped, two-tone lacquer midcentury nightstands and placed a cut-velvet–covered bench with metal legs at the end of the bed.

Nothing says family like a finished basement complete with a mudroom, gym, media room and playroom. “We had to cover a few bases,” Denise notes. “And make them all live in harmony.” The playroom, with its bright primary colors, also serves as the entry to the pool area. “We wanted it to be fun, but have it so the bones of the room can be timeless and grow with the family,” adds Kerri. The media room is cozy and soundproof with grasscloth walls, a deep L-shaped sofa, and a custom ottoman that clicks into the sectional so it makes a huge bed. “Everyone jumps in there, and it’s movie night!” says Denise.

A version of this article appeared in the April 2016 issue of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Good Hands.

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Step Inside a Stylish Westport Home Designed for a Young Family

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