Tour a Sophisticated Connecticut Home that Combines Tradition and Trend
Step inside Jaime and Jeff Overman’s home in Darien and you might feel like you’re not in Kansas anymore. The sleek and sophisticated space gives off more of a downtown New York City vibe than a traditional Connecticut one. With that in mind, the Overmans choice of interior designers—Connecticut design team Kristin (Reilly) Davidsson and Amy (Atkinson Phillipps) Walton of Atkinson Reilly Design—should not be all that surprising. The duo is known for their eye for unique, where-did-you-find-this pieces as well as their clever interweaving of tradition and trend.
“It’s a modern farmhouse,” says Jamie. “We wanted clean lines with a mix of new and vintage. We also wanted the space to be kid friendly and not fussy.” The house was built by architect/builder Renato Gasparian, and the designers, acquaintances of the Overmans, came on board the project to help with outdoor lighting. The project morphed into Davidsson and Walton creating a sleek interior that is cozy enough to handle a family of five. “They have three kids under nine and love to entertain. They wanted an environment that was warm and inviting; not too precious but presented beautifully,” says Walton. The designers kept the house light and bright, working with a black and white color palette as a theme, and layering in warm woods, brown and gray tones, plus cozy textures. “Each room has a personality, but everything feels connected,” says Davidsson.
In the formal living room, velvet mohair covers a pair of armchairs in the Milo Baughman style, while a curved sofa wears a sumptuous green velvet. “We wanted to offset the modern chairs and fireplace, and the sofa has the most unique curve to it,” says Davidsson. Adds Walton, “And mohair and velvets are those rich fabrics that you associate with comfort and warmth, like when you think about your favorite mohair sweater.” They found a vintage round table and paired it with Lillian August side tables. An oversized photograph by Roberto Dutesco adds a little touch of drama.
“It’s that right mix of the old and the new—that’s what Amy and I do: a lot of modern and vintage meeting together,” says Davidsson. “The house lent itself to being contemporary while also being warm and comfortable,” she adds. Less formal, but high on the cozy and sophistication factor is the family room, anchored by an RH Cloud sectional and a chunky wool rug. Another photograph by Dutesco hangs behind the kitchen table.
Just off the family room is one of the house’s unique details—a round sitting room with a glass floor that overlooks the wine cellar. “This room is a cocktail oasis,” says Walton. The designers found a perfectly proportioned vintage loveseat and covered it in black crushed velvet. “Amy and I are passionate about the special pieces in the house,” says Davidsson. “We get a lot of: ‘Where did you get that?’ This loveseat is the smallest sofa you would ever find, and it fits this room perfectly.” They paired the vintage pieces with a Chris Hardy Helix walnut, brass and glass coffee table and a walnut bar. “We love vintage mixed with more contemporary pieces,” she adds. “It’s like pairing classic Chanel flats with skinny jeans.”
“Darien has a certain style, and we wanted to do something very different,” says Walton. “The house was on the 2017 Darien House Tour [Homes With Heart], and everyone who walked through said this is so different for Darien, which is a big compliment for us. It definitely has more of an urban feel to it.” Adds Jaime, “They just have a great eye for special things. It’s the mix of the old and new and that it also feels so comfortable in every space. It’s everything I hoped it would be.”
A version of this article appeared in the September 2018 issue of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Sophisticated Style.