Visit A Sweet & Serene Coastal Connecticut Home
Steps from Long Island Sound and boasting views of the water, this century-old Georgian home in Connecticut has a distinct maritime feel. When its longtime owners decided to update the interior three years ago, they turned to Tommy Smythe and Lindsay Mens Craig of Sarah Richardson Design, whose work they had admired in the pages of H&H. The result is a refreshing take on classic coastal style.
Click through to see inside this delightful seaside home.
“The first time we walked the property with the homeowner, we fell in love with this house,” says Tommy (pictured with Lindsay). He was immediately taken by the century-old home’s white clapboard exterior.
Despite steering away from typical nautical themes, Tommy and Lindsay allowed themselves a gallery wall of seafaring prints along the stairway. In mismatched frames, these images add maritime atmosphere.
In the entrance hall, cloud wallpaper evokes the changing skies over Long Island Sound. An American flag adds to the sense of place.
In the sitting room, designers Tommy and Lindsay took inspiration from the home’s seaside location in Connecticut with textural elements such as an antique steamer trunk turned coffee table and soft furnishings in varying patterns and shades of blue and white.
Tommy and Lindsay scoured antique markets to source furniture and accessories like the living room’s bamboo armoire. The pieces are perfect in their imperfection. “They have a soul and a history, and it’s OK if they get more wear,” says Lindsay. “You don’t want to have to tiptoe around.”
Combining an eclectic array of classic furniture styles such as a gilded Rococo-style chair and tailored sofas delivers a refined yet easygoing feel.
“We were mindful of not over-renovating the house,” says Tommy of the decision to turn one small window above the kitchen sink into two larger ones, which opened up the wall space they needed to place the appliances in more logical positions. “Little things like that made big impacts.”
The butler’s pantry just off the kitchen features a handsome hutch filled with beautiful dishware.
To maximize the owners’ enjoyment of the space, Tommy and Lindsay divided one large formal dining room into two sitting areas, using contrasting rugs to give each its own distinct feel.
An antique carved wooden shell above the fireplace mantel in the den is a standout piece in a home full of one-of-a-kind finds. “It doesn’t just speak to the oceanside location but also to craftsmanship, age, soul and that kind of new nautical flavor,” says Tommy. Moody hues are a welcome contrast to the rest of the home.
The main floor powder room’s wallpaper and vanity are striking.
A charming guest bedroom is tied together by shades of white and blue inspired by the sea and sky.
The blue hue of the vanity in this second-floor guest bathroom complements the warm-toned mirror trim, hardware and faucets.
The principal bedroom takes its color cues from the garden. The floral linen drapery fabric was used in reverse, to give it a faded, watercolor quality. Because the bedroom has windows on three sides, the designers used cooler tones to balance the plentiful summer sunshine.
“Using brass hardware throughout the home was both fashion-driven and made sense for the style and age of the house,” says Lindsay.