Take a Tour of Fiona Leonard's Animal-Loving Home
A seasoned designer will tell you to work with—not against—the form and function of a space. So when designer Fiona Leonard of Fiona Leonard Interiors set out to refresh her family’s Darien home, she took one look at the two dogs, two cats and five chickens that rule her roost and thought, “why fight it?”Animals, then, became the design code at the heart of the scheme for the entire home—including an addition and renovation of existing spaces.
Leonard has told her clients one thing often enough to know it’s true: Indeed, it is possible to have a beautiful space that stands up to children and pets. She knew the philosophy would be tested to the max by her three children and the above-named pets (outdoor-living chickens notwithstanding), so the house is filled top-to-bottom with performance fabrics, wipeable wallpapers and durable flooring.
The animal references in the scheme are more quiet bark than bite: a neutral animal-pattern rug here, a vintage egg poster there. And each family member has a space that feels authentically their own while nodding to the family’s shared love for animals.
“People tend to notice that when they walk into our home, they’re immediately surrounded by children and pets,” notes Leonard. “But the new design feels much more subtle—the animals are definitely there, but it’s a theme that’s deconstructed and imagined differently from room to room.” All told, it’s the new definition of Animal House: a comfortable, beautiful family home that celebrates the furry friends at its heart.
A version of this article appeared in the October 2019 issue of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Animal House.