A subtle blend of traditional forms—many with a contemporary twist—makes this Connecticut home a harmonious backdrop for daily living.
He’s a merger & acquisitions specialist, and she’s a stay-at-home mom. They knew what they wanted: comfortable décor in a basically traditional vein. And they knew what they didn’t want: fussiness and clutter. With that simple brief, they handed the reins to the mother- daughter design team of Denyse and Missy Rinfret.
Their rooms are a subtle, sophisticated blend of traditional forms that often have a contemporary twist—a skillful merger of old and new. Consider the living room, anchored by a decidedly modern glass-top coffee table, and note how the interplay of curved and straight lines is echoed by the two honey-colored end tables. These yew-wood tables themselves are fraternal twins—one being square and one circular. Atop the tables are identical lamps, a composite of pineapples (there’s the 18th-century touch) floating on clear acrylic pedestals (a 20th-century foundation).
Other “marriages” in the room speak in such a whisper that they can be difficult to spot: A plaid pillow is at home on a floral-print chair because the colors of both are so perfectly united.
The formal dining room is kept from being a historical set piece by idiosyncratic touches—upholstered dining chairs (so comfortable for guests!), a chandelier made of wire and crystal beads, an abstract oil painting.
While the front of the house, in architectural terms, is rigorously traditional, the rear features an airy open plan. A large sectional sofa defines the family room. It’s fronted by a coffee table and backed by a sofa table, both of which have bulbous turned legs characteristic of Spanish baroque furniture. Abstract sculptures sit atop both pieces. The table legs speak of 1716, but the overall effect is definitely 2016.
Upstairs, the scheme is more pared down. There’s an abundance of natural light, which really showcases the forms of the furniture. In the master bedroom, the roll arms and curved back of an upholstered daybed contrast with the straight lines of a diminutive candle-stand in the Chinese Chippendale style, but both pieces are united by their creamy finishes. No detail is too small here: Striated fresh tulips in a vase on the candle-stand echo the tiger-striped throw pillow on the daybed.
“These subtle details aren’t fussy,” says Denyse Rinfret. “They’re a small reward for the homeowner or guest, and they provide a harmonious backdrop for daily living."