Archive for the ‘New England’ Category

 

Introducing A Summerset Story’, a promised walk-through of the innermost design details going into our quaint cottage in the City-by-the-Sea. I’m not here to bore you with before-and-after photos, how-to’s or a laundry list of sources. Rather, consider this your golden ticket to 100% unadulterated inspiration. Drawing from the Newport tours that showcase our neighboring Bellevue beauties, an intimate look at my creative vision for the 1940-home (albeit on a much less grandiose scale and without those awful, pre-COVID communal headsets).

We start with what I’ve nicknamed ‘The Green Room’, a small open area directly off an even smaller (code word for tiny) entry – blessed with a cathedral ceiling, amazing afternoon light and a mood I fancy one part bucolic/one part botanical. My perception of palette isn’t one reserved for color, but an enlightened mix of paint, pattern, textiles and more. Those gosh-darn delectable details I’m forever championing? They’re here too, because like a great cocktail party (remember those?), the more the merrier.

If you’re captivated by the images I’ve included here, I’ve saved them all, along with a few extra servings, on a new story board. Feel free to beg, borrow and steal pin them to your own, or simply follow along, I fully embrace that approach too. Check out some of my other boards while you’re there, I’d love to have you.

Inspiration sources: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08

SUMMERSET SERIES | NO. 5

December 2, 2020

It’s been just shy of four months since our last Summerset Series post, to say we’ve come a long way would be an understatement. Our crew demo’d more than 50% of the cottage, peeled cut the roof off like a tin of sardines and in very Humpty-Dumptyish style, have spent every day since lovingly putting it all back together again. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know there’s a layer of humor woven into it all, because if one can’t find laughter in the wee hours while frantically taping holes in a giant tarp overhead at the mercy of a Nor’easter, what’s left but tears and a well-appointed bar cart?

Thankfully, we’ve rounded the corner on major construction – exterior framing complete, new roof installed, plumbing + electrical being layered in. And while there are still several more weeks to go, signs point toward project completion in early 2021. Attention has diverted from late night layout edits to full court press on the delectable details. Over a quiet holiday at home, I listened to the Calico Club’s conversation with British interior designer Nicola Harding – a lovely reminder why I so emphatically wanted to execute on the interiors of Summerset personally. Nicola opened the dialogue with a question, “What makes you happy?” as her lead-in to the evening’s theme, ‘How to make a house a home.’ In her words, “It is a place that fits you perfectly. It reminds you of who you are and it makes it easy to be the you that you want to be.” 

Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing snippets of the inspiration that’s got me wide-eyed and awake at night, day-dreaming about paint palettes bolder than I’ve ever dared implement before (yet secretly pin like a color hoarder), layering with textiles, furnishings and a dash of frivolity. Aligned with our TGL motto, I strive to serve the freshest catch of inspiration, occasionally golden, always deliciously creative. Be sure to join me here + here, and while my inspiration will be as Nicola referenced, perfectly suited to me, I sincerely hope via my journey, you’ll find the recipe to design your own house into the home that’s, as a wise Dr. Seuss would say, ‘youer than you’.

SUMMERSET SERIES | NO. 4

August 7, 2020

 

‘The value of time’, cliche yes, and yet, so undeniably true. The past several months, respectfully void of gilded getaways, world travel and general day-to-day distractions given the state of international affairs, have afforded us the luxury of time. Time to slow down, time to focus on the things that feed us creatively and and time to enjoy the bounty granted to us by a life near the sea (our hydrangea cup runneth 10x over this season).

With demolition scheduled to commence imminently at Summerset, it’s been pencil-to-paper in an all out effort to define/refine the necessary details for our upcoming renovation. While we worked with Cordtsen Design Architecture on all structural elements of the project, the interiors were a scope of work I felt confident to navigate. Full transparency folks – I am not an interior designer by trade, but know my way around a drafting table, have 15+ years experience in the field of design, and can manage a project from concept to execution well enough to know I wasn’t biting off more than I could chew. (Not to mention, we have an amazing GC who ‘gets me’ and my penchant for perfection.)  That said, I also know things almost never go according to plan, schedules run delayed and running a tight ship when it comes to balancing budget and beauty is nonnegotiable for a successful outcome.

In celebration of breaking ground (i.e. dumpster delivery + excavation), follow along at #tglsummersetseries and dive into the ‘avant’ highlights in our insta-stories for a sneak peek at the ‘before’. I promise, not a one-eye open sort of scary.

 

Many people and cultures believe ‘7’ to be a lucky number, and while most would contest these beliefs to be purely matter of opinion, in the context of today’s note, I’ll roll the dice and happily join forces with Camp Seven. 2020 is our seventh ‘season’ in Newport (note: loose use of the word season because we spend considerably greater time here than between the bookends of Memorial and Labor Day). Our first Summerset Series post was just about seven years ago and today welcomes the month of July, the seventh month and the peak of prime time to be enjoying the City-by-the-Sea.

Looking back on that first post in 2014, a glow sweeps across my face remembering the feeling when we took ownership of the property, fell in love with her original floors every time we crossed the threshold (which based on this photo, many of you would back us up on that one) and embarked on the journey of turning a quaint little cottage into a coastal abode. In the years since, we’ve lovingly dressed her in all our favorite shades of blue, filled her with precious treasures and most importantly, welcomed countless friends + family into every cozy corner her 1,040 square feet would allow.

Later this month, we’re scheduled to break ground on some significant renovations at the Gilded Getaway House. In 2018 we worked closely with a local Newport architect to reimagine the 1940’s house and breath new life into the space we plan to love for many more ‘seasons’ to come. After months of zoning board meetings, negotiations with neighbors and honestly, a much-needed break glass of wine to recoup from the exhaustion of it all, the time has arrived to transition from plans-on-paper to something tangible we can physically see + touch. I know many of you reading have a keen interest in design – join me as I make a brave attempt at sharing snippets of the delectable details through the process. Follow along with #tglsummersetseries for pint-sized servings, or, if like me you’re hungry for more, stick around here at Around the Pound for larger portions. Regardless where you choose to follow along, I promise the content will be occasionally golden, always deliciously creative.

Driving the back country roads and rolling hills of Litchfield County, one might pause to question if the view ahead is truly a slice of the Nutmeg State or the backdrop from a picturesque European postcard. Dotted with farms enveloped in fences and colonial homes clad in clapboard, the scene feels serendipitously set in a time-lapse somewhere between The Patriot and The Sound of Music.

Nestled in the tiny hamlet of New Preston, Plain Goods is a destination not only for Connecticut locals, but Manhattanites looking to trade cityscapes for landscapes, and vacationers passing through as they either enter or depart New England from the nearby state border. Originally located in a postage-size storefront on the edge of the village’s rolling waterfall, co-owners Michael DePerno and Andrew Fry had grander plans for their growing retail business, their sight set on a historic landmark a stone’s throw away that came on the market in 2018. Pavilion Hall, constructed in 1897 as a concert hall and celebration space for the Litchfield locals, had fallen into disrepair after sitting vacant for several years. A massive restoration ensued, not only expanding the team’s creative endeavor from a 700 sq.ft. cottage to a 6,000 sq.ft. hallmark for bucolic bliss, but earning the duo a 2019 Award of Merit from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

Immediately upon crossing the threshold, visitors are welcomed into a two-story forum of meticulous merchandising. Delicately curated vignettes set the stage for DePerno and Fry’s vision, to celebrate impeccable craftsmanship, purity of form and nature’s ever changing palette. That vintage brass pillbox you never knew you needed wanted? A hand-sourced assortment to select from. Antique china you thought worthy only of Sunday dinner at your grandmother’s? Suddenly, a desire to eat every meal, maybe even Kellogg’s, from hand-painted porcelain patterns. It’s the kind of storytelling that makes everyday living feel elevated. At times like these, when our homes have become havens from the outside world, who isn’t in need of a little less chaos and lot more cozy?

Since moving into the larger space, the offering has expanded to include a broader assortment of men’s, women’s + children’s apparel and accessories, and even accessories for the furriest of four-legged friends. Looking to stock your pantry? There’s options for your larder too – Plain Goods Provisions, a range of delectables guaranteed to ensure that artisanal loaf is loaded with the loftiest of jams and your brioche french toast is dappled with nothing less than Grade A Vermont Maple.

Brick + Mortar needs us more than ever right now, so while the doors of Pavilion Hall are currently closed, Plain Goods virtual storefront is always open for window shopping, or for those in more dire need during these anxiety ridden times, unabashed retail therapy.

Plain Goods | 17 East Shore Road | New Preston, CT

All images via Plain Goods.

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