Take a Tour of Fiona Leonard's Animal-Loving Home



Fiona Leonard 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. 

Fiona Leonard Home Tour

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.

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Architect Spotlight

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Property of Note Listing

15 Kings Dock Road, Garrison, NY
Enjoy the best that the Hudson Valley has to offer at this 9-acre estate offering awe-inspiring vistas, stunning passive architecture and a unique private deep-water dock on the Hudson River. Sited to take full advantage of the amazing scenery, the three-bedroom residence is a triumph of modernist design featuring airy open-plan living spaces and vast window walls that dramatically frame the blissful water and mountain views. The setting, boasting ¼ mile of frontage along the river, also hosts a two-bedroom guest house, a striking Greek temple/playhouse overlooking the river and a detached garage.



View more details about 15 Kings Dock Road
Nautilus Architects
Christopher Arelt’s practice, Nautilus Architects, involves collaboration and interpretation, with each design evolving in its own way in response to the site, context and client. Chris’ work is seen as a continuation of but also a response to Modernism; or, more specifically, a return to regionalism and artistry, where clients’ projects are developed with the “head, hearts and hands” of all those involved. All of our buildings explore the use of natural light, reveal the inherent beauty of the materials being used, and bring the outdoors in.


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Architect Spotlight

Laura Kaehler Architects
Laura Kaehler Architects is an Award Winning Architectural Firm. Along with Laura Kaehler, AIA, we have a talented staff of 5 architects and designers who create new homes, renovations and additions and apartment renovations. Designing a smaller footprint while obtaining a "big look" with an open floor plan design, better craftsmanship and detailing and richer materials is what we call "Responsible Luxury" and is a key element of our design philosophy.

Laura Kaehler

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Designer Spotlight

Fiona Leonard Interiors
Fiona Leonard Interiors, LLC is a full service design firm that specializes in making a client’s home unique and custom tailored to the owners taste and lifestyle. Projects are personally supervised from initial consultation to installation. Strong relationships with carefully selected creative artisans, highly skilled craftsmen and subcontractors ensures that your project will be in good hands. With over 20 years experience working alongside well established design professionals in Connecticut and Manhattan, Fiona Leonard Interiors, LLC was established.Fiona designs interiors with a casual elegance and timeless approach. Inherent in all her work is Fiona’s passion to combine clean lines and an artistic use of color that is comfortable for the client and reflects their personal lifestyle.

Fiona Leonard Interiors

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Architect Spotlight

Daniel Conlon Architects
Wind and weather, the ebb and flow of the tide, changing color and light define the rhythm of coastal living. This recent home embraces the idea with light-filled spaces , expansive views , cozy niches, and outdoor living environments. Landscape terraces and stonework ground the building to the site, while respecting all current building codes. Daniel Conlon Architects, based in Wilton CT, has designed numerous waterfront homes throughout the Northeast.

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