A Downsizing Couple's Gorgeous Townhouse with Waterside Views
Interior designer Tim Button insists that a view of the estuary at a recent townhouse project is far more compelling than that of whitecaps on an ocean or the more-serene surface of a lake. “I’ve been in houses that look out on what I call the ‘relentless horizon’ of an ocean,” Button, a partner at Stedila Design, explains. “This house experiences a landscape that changes twice a day with the tides.” Having seen it firsthand during his work on this four-story residence near downtown Greenwich, he notes that the estuary is populated by different birds and animals at certain times of day, and at other times, filled with a contemplative vista of water, beyond which lies the open expanse of Long Island Sound.
“Water was essential when we were looking for a new home,” says the homeowner, who downsized with his wife from a much larger house in Westchester. “Before we had this townhouse constructed, I spent a lot of time at the site during low tide, just to make sure there wasn’t that smell that can come with it. It smells fine here, fresh, maybe because the tide goes in and out so fast.”
This is Button’s third project with these clients, having designed the interiors for their former house and another residence in Florida. “I love new clients, but there’s nothing like having clients who’ve been through this routine before,” says Button. “It’s always much more collaborative the second or third time around. It can be totally fun.”
“For Tim, the keys to this project were that it needed to accommodate our art collection and the scale of the furniture from our other house, and take advantage of the water,” notes the homeowner. According to Button, “We literally designed the structure itself and the arrangement of rooms around their art collection—wall space and sight lines were critical.” The collection is notable for its dichotomy: Two genres seemingly compete for attention, yet ultimately complement one another. Pre-Columbian textiles, many easily a thousand years old, juxtapose with photorealistic paintings so eerily precise they appear to be photographs. “I’m always amazed that what looks modern—the textiles—is old, and what is modern—the paintings—looks more traditional and realistic,” says Button.
A version of this article appeared in the June 2018 issue of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Tidal Pull.