Experience The Rustic Grace Of This Riverside Connecticut Home

The picturesque, inviting and aptly-named “Riverside” family home in Connecticut is surrounded by the lush and tranquil beauty of nature.

The picturesque, inviting and aptly-named “Riverside” family home in Connecticut is surrounded by the lush and tranquil beauty of nature.

While determining the design aesthetic for “Riverside,” the aptly-named 1920s family home in Weston, CT, designer Heide Hendricks of Hendricks Churchill noted that inspiration began with the homeowners’ personal archived collection of cherished family keepsakes – some dating back to the early 1900s.

“The client approached us having recently purchased the home. They moved into this house from a midcentury modern home that was filled with many furnishings from their lives. For this new project, they wanted to work with a few key pieces with sentimental value. For example, his collection of antique carved ducks or her collection of textiles and small objects and art from her travels as a flight attendant. Oftentimes, the finishing layer
of a design scheme are the flourishes that we bring in toward the end. In this case, they wanted us to start with those pieces, then build the interior design of the home around them,” remarks Hendricks.

The result is rustic elegance: Hendricks features a treasure-trove of tastefully appointed animal prints and rich textures to perfectly showcase the owner’s personal flair, while simultaneously embodying the firm’s ethos to “create spaces imbued with beauty, comfort and individual character.”

A remarkable example of this unique collaboration in execution: a duck pattern headboard in one of the guest bedrooms was fashioned from curtains that once belonged to the client’s mother. It’s fun, fresh and an inspired way to give new life to old family heirlooms – all of which reflects Hendricks’ signature design style to a tee.

Hendricks and her team also prioritized complementing both the architectural work by Albert, Righter & Tittmann, as well as the home’s natural, pristine surroundings. In fact, Hendricks made the creation of a breakfast nook in a window-clad corner of the sunroom one of her first design decisions, and used soft, pale and nuanced paint by Farrow & Ball to create a sense of serenity and calm throughout the home to harmonize with the nearby river.

For smaller rooms such as the twin guest bedroom, darker walls and twin beds were utilized to embrace the intimacy of the space without feeling confined to it.

Perhaps in a nod to the homeowners’ wish to feel “rooted” in their new forever home, Hendricks selected and curated a number of striking wooden pieces among the carefully sourced materials. Most notable: an exquisite kidney-shaped, antique desk located in a workspace near the dining room, and a custom walnut dining room table from Get Black Inc., paired with one-of-a-kind vintage Hans Wegner chairs. “We wanted the space to feel as organic as possible. For instance, the custom dining room table has a simple oil finish on a live-edge slab of wood. Wherever we decided to use wood in the home, we went for pieces with character that had developed a rich patina over time, or new pieces with a natural oil coating,” recalls Hendricks.

Taking full advantage of its wall of windows and leveled views of the river, an inspired Hendricks applied a glossy white lacquer to the low ceilings of the basement-turned-den, creating what she describes as a “glamorous” effect. “We knew the more reflective surfaces we brought in, the more we could bounce the light around the space.” The team maintained the continuity of using organic materials such as linen for the furnishings, and added a bold, orange-accented bar with a hideaway Dutch door and artwork by Bryan Nash Gill to elevate the sophistication of what has now become a preferred gathering and entertaining spot for the client.

Offers Hendricks: “The homeowner was almost apologetic that we had to do a basement, but they believed it was the space that made the most sense for their TV den, and we were aligned with that vision.”

Photography by Tim Lenz.

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