When Purvi Padia’s clients snapped up an 8,000-squarefoot home in Westport, CT, they gave the Manhattan-based interior designer a massive task. Could she transform this traditional house, decorated with ‘80s stalwarts like murals, brass lights and crystal chandeliers, into a fresh, modern home? “The aesthetic was so far from what they envisioned,” says Padia. “The bones were good but everything inside had to go.”
By everything, she meant lighting fixtures, carpets and even built-in bookshelves so that she could start with a blank slate. Although Padia’s clients were leaving Manhattan for the suburbs, they wanted to take a New York look with them. They wanted a chic, modern home, but one that could withstand the family’s two young children. Padia achieved this by using plenty of texture and unusual materials.
“I don’t tend to use a lot of color,” she explains. “For me, it’s all about incorporating texture to give a space loads of depth, interest and luxury.”
The dining room had been painted with a grape-motif mural and featured a crystal chandelier and heavy brocade curtains. It all got ripped out, and Padia added layers of texture. She papered the room in a metallic jute wallpaper and added a custom credenza made from leather, wood and antique mirrors.
“The dining table is the real showpiece though,” she notes. “It’s made from reclaimed wood, and although it looks sleek, it’s not perfect, so it feels organic and unique.” Overhead lighting is provided by a series of three simple, vintage pleated shades, and the dining chairs, upholstered in Holly Hunt leather, offer contrast to the cotton side chairs from ABC Carpet & Home. To give the room a light, airy look, lightweight linen replaced the heavy brocade curtains.
The living room also had been painted with a mural and featured built-in bookshelves. “My vision was to make the living room feel open and chic but also very functional for this family,” recalls Padia. “I had to give it an air of sophistication and elegance while still exuding a sense of comfort.”
Padia’s client was adamant about having a large, comfortable sofa in the room. To prevent it from looking too casual, she chose a strong silhouette with tailored arms. For the couch to endure the daily rigors of kids, Padia used a durable gray microsuede.
“I always like to add a touch of glamour with a metallic or fur because it enables a space to feel luxurious without being overdone,” she says. There is sparkle in the room but it’s subtle. The armchairs have a bit of shimmer in the fabric, while the metal legs on the side tables offer a bit of shine.
The standout feature in the room is the back wall, which is covered in oversized textured tiles from the Geology Collection by Phillip Jeffries (each tile is honed slate in a flexible panel format). “They just anchor the whole space,” notes Padia.
Padia used a similar color palette and blend of textures in the master bedroom. The showpiece is the custom-made sleigh bed, which is upholstered in a glazed lizard skin (Padia calls the material a “recent obsession”). A touch of glamour is brought in by the bedside lights.
The Lillian August piece has gilded wooden doors and features antique hardware.
To offset the modern elements, Padia used a vintage kilim rug. Apart from the bed, the other standout feature in the bedroom is the credenza, which sits underneath a flat screen television.
All in all, Padia created a living space that would look just at home in Tribeca as in the suburbs of Connecticut
Text by Christina Valhouli
Photography by Scott Jones Photography
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