Monday, 5 July 2010

Retreat outside New York

We are going to visit a 10-room house in northwestern Connecticut belonging to literary agent Lynn Nesbit. Made from scratch by architect Calvin Kiiffner and decorated by interior designer Annabel Bartlett who kept things light and airy and used soft colours, such as restrained yellows, greenish grays and subtle celadons, that wouldn’t compete with the glory of what lay outside. The elements and furnishings came from a multiplicity of sources: auction houses, salvage yards, an abandoned Victorian building at the foot of the property that had had to be razed because it was about to cave in, and Nesbit’s own travels. From 17th-century Tuscan doors and 19th-century French terra-cotta floors to an antique Moroccan chandelier, this house, though newly built seems as if it has been here for ages.

Tour time!

Architect Calvin Kiiffner included an octagonal observation tower in the configuration of the clapboard-and-stone house, which stands near a field of wildflowers.

A series of double-hung windows and four sets of French doors allow light to flood into the high-ceilinged living room. Hanging above the fireplace is Western Skies, 1995, by April Gornik. The 19th-century child’s rocking chair, once belonged to Nesbit’s grandfather. Wood horses on mantel from Sotheby’s.

Two black-and-white digital prints by Robert Rauschenberg—Quiet House, Black Mountain, 1940, left, and Ceiling & Light Bulb, 1950—were placed in the entrance hall by Annabel Bartlett. In the den beyond lies a 19th-century Persian carpet that Nesbit bought in Damascus.

The Han Dynasty ceramic female attendant in the living room was found by Nesbit.

Painted faux-stone walls and massive antique wrought iron chandelier for the dining room.

A tapestry-covered settee faces the master bed, which has hangings made from saris Nesbit purchased in India.

The first-floor guest wing, one of three wings in the residence, is reached by a long corridor punctuated with window seats and shelves filled with part of Nesbit’s extensive collection of first editions and contemporary books.

A Louis XVI-style chair and an iron bedstead are paired in a guest room.

A paved patio off the kitchen. Low stone walls delineate the outdoor dining room and frame beds of perennials, wildflowers and herbs.

“It was important to me that the house be unobtrusive, that it look like it belonged on the land,” Nesbit explains.

Photography by Scott Frances
All images from Architectural Digest.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


  1. OMG I love this house!! Everything is perfect!!

  2. marvelous swimmingpool!! didnt know that new york have something like this!!!

    lovely post!!


  3. Hate to seem obtuse, but if you're going to have a custom home built and decorated, why would you chose to have the dining room walls painted faux field stone? Why not just use real field stone? Or even facing, if stone was architecturally a challenge?

    Then again, maybe it's me. I am a bit of a literalist. If I want the look of stone, I use stone. Why try to imitate nature when the real thing is always so much better?

  4. I was also disappointed when I realized it wasn't real stone. They seem to have spent huge amounts of money on this home so I don't think it was a matter of money. I cannot come up with a good reason as I too believe the real thing is way better, so I guess they just liked it this way!

    Thanks for the insight!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Widget By Devils Workshop