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How a pair of real estate pros transformed a somewhat cramped cottage into an ideal waterfront home
When this Wilton resident couldn’t find the quaint New England home of his dreams, he built one — and included the modern conveniences his lifestyle demanded.
A landmark Victorian Queen Anne gets the restoration of its life, down to every last detail — with a few modern conveniences, too.
Being eco-friendly isn’t just about solar panels and insulation anymore. New home construction features an astonishing array of tools for energy conservation.
Chester Burley III is one popular Fairfielder. This seems especially so when he hosts a strolling party on his beautiful property.
Spring is more than fresh colors and fragrances. It is also a chance to spend more time outdoors. I’ve been getting into gardening in the last few years, including a little patch of herbs and vegetables — all this even though I was sufficiently warned that the pastime can cast a spell. I find it time well spent. One of the best reasons is that I get to teach my children about the earth. When they grow their own tomato plants, secure the growing vines and anticipate the first fruits, we’re sharing a bit of real magic. They’re giddy when they finally get to pluck ripe red produce and bring it into the kitchen. There are also lifetime memories being made — of them watering the hydrangea and astilbe or, my favorite, bringing me a fresh bloom for the little vase on the windowsill. The garden has become my place to relax. There is hard work, of course, pulling weeds and replanting sections, but it’s therapeutic after a stressful day. I didn’t see it that way until I talked to Janet Christie of Fairfield. She has a huge garden that she and her husband have designed and fostered over many […]
Beautiful and peaceful, Janet Christie’s gardens are also filled with plants and flowers that remind her of good times with family and friends.
As far as I’m concerned, spring hasn’t come a minute too soon. I celebrate every green shoot and sunny yellow bloom that bursts from the ground. I appreciate the seasons of New England as much as anyone — and “there’s a season for everything,” yes, yes — but I am euphoric that the wind has shifted. Spring is like finishing a marathon. You start off the cold season (your endurance race) with gusto and hearty determination to plow through with attention to the good things along the way. By the end of it all, though, you’re ready to weep for some cushy comfort. The whole spring renewal phenomenon affects us all. Every year I see people here shaking off winter and looking a little livelier than they did the month before. Spring is more than renewal and reinvigoration — it’s hope. The promise of continuation … the start of a new cycle. And, frankly, with everything this country is facing — the war in Iraq, health-care and energy costs rising, the mortgage crisis (and all that goes with it) — we could use a little good news. When Managing Editor Jim Mauro started out the assignment on the State of Real […]
Don’t want to be another tear-down statistic? Neither did this Westport homeowner. Here’s what she did instead.
The headlines from around the country are certainly scary, but the actual data about our towns? That’s the good news.
Westport Magazine tours a beautiful area home that was destined to draw a lot of attention.
A Better Buzz While I’d like to say that I’m known around the office for being level-headed or a master communicator or an inspiring motivator (any of these will do), it’s far more likely that I am known for being constantly attached to a medium for caffeine transfer — coffee, tea or a perfectly chilled Diet Coke. Bzzz, bzzzzzzz … Health concerns float off into that cushy world of denial, while I dive, headlong, into a bath of chemically produced rush. It’s not one of my more admirable traits, I admit. It dawns on me that a cheap frenetic zap is just the opposite of the feelings the rooms featured in this interior design issue evoke. Such vistas indulge viewers with a sublime serenity. Take, for example, the cover image — it’s of a foyer in a Sasco Hill home that overlooks the golf course and the harbor. It’s the kind of view that makes time itself pause. In fact, it’s what brought the homeowner to a dead stop one day. He was driving through Southport and suddenly found it — the property of his dreams. Love at first sight, he eventually bought it and set about fulfilling the […]
These days, showing off one’s artwork is no longer a matter of a strategically placed nail, a gilded frame and a clip-on picture light. As art prices have climbed, so, too, has the demand for professionals who know how to install and present these works with style and impact. For anyone who has a piece worth flaunting — whether a priceless Picasso or simply a treasured family photograph — there’s a good deal to be learned when it comes to framing and installation. We dropped in on a few local experts to learn some pointers that will help anyone with collections to display, and walls to fill. The Frame Up Walk into any frame shop and you’ll see row upon row of “corners” — right-angled segments that, when held against the corner of a piece of art, give you an idea of how the finished frame will enhance the piece (or not). However, getting your eye to quickly discern the right frame for a painting, print or photograph is not so easy. In fact, when you’re surrounded by hundreds of choices, it can be downright frustrating and a bit intimidating. What’s needed is a professional who knows how to sort […]
Westport Magazine tours a beautiful Southport home decorated by interior designer Kat Burki
Westport Magazine, March 2008, focuses in elaborate, personalized home studios for artists.
When the editors first talked about pulling together a luxury issue, some staffers wrinkled their noses: Isn’t that just a little … much? If what they meant was “showy,” then, yes, luxury sometimes can be too much. I, however, like to think of it as sugar: if you don’t overdo it, life’s simply sweeter. So, in this issue, luxury is about appreciating the finely made, the unique, the stylish or otherwise precious possessions in life, be it a motorcycle designed as the CEO’s dream bike, the crisp line of a well-made suit, or a watch box designed by an Italian watch collector. In the details of materials and construction, produced by a true professional, these items become art. I know, for instance, that I will never live in a house like the one we feature on our cover. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good, long look at every detail there. It gives me a moment to think what fun the architect had designing this home; what a treat for the builders who have the know-how to execute the project to such exacting standards; what a pure pleasure for the homeowners every time they cross the threshold. Of […]
This transformed landmark estate in Southport makes the most of its waterfront views.
When the editors strolled up to Gerard Pampalone’s beautiful Fairfield garden, we were simply wilting in the summer sun. I know, I know … I’d like to say his gorgeous grounds took our breath away (and they did), but we were momentarily transfixed by the ice cold lemonade on the table. Cooled and refreshed, we were then ready to regain the manners our parents had once worked so hard on and take in the view. Few things make us speechless, even fewer things make our jaws drop in disbelief. Walking Pampalone’s grounds, though, is like being on a movie set — everything looks too perfect to be real. And yet proof of reality is abundant: petals soft to the touch; bursts of color; fresh, sweet scents. Astilbe, iris, clematis, foxglove, Russian sage — every tree, bush, border plant and flower we had ever heard of is here. Truly, a masterpiece. Pampalone, of course, is rightfully proud of his creation and welcomed us in over the past year while we worked on this story, even generously providing a list of every plant specimen that grows here. We learned a lot from Pampalone, especially me. I wasn’t born with a green thumb, […]
Gerard Pampalone transformed his Greenfield Hill property into a garden-lover’s paradise. Drama, color and attention to every detail abound.
Green Day Spring is the most optimistic season. It’s all about renewal. You can see it — people are happier, kids are playing outside, gardeners are busily tending to their plants and vegetables. But there’s more this spring: Westport itself is undergoing renewal by going green. It’s understandable if you haven’t noticed the silent green eco-revolution. It’s been more of a culmination of efforts over the years than one big change. Westport is now one of twenty municipalities in the state to earn recognition from the Connecticut Clean Energy Communities Program, a partnership between the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and SmartPower. How’d we do it? First, we committed to purchase 20 percent clean energy by 2010; second, we signed up more than 100 residents and small businesses for the Clean Energy Options program. The reward? A $20,000 two-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system that can be installed on any municipal building. That’s “free” energy for twenty-five or more years. On May 15, Westport Fire Headquarters will install solar panels, making it the first Clean Energy project on a Westport municipal building. There’s word that as more residents and businesses sign up, the town will earn more panels, which may be “stockpiled” […]
Want to make a simple change? Here are twelve eco-friendly steps you can take right now.
A tribute to the eighteenth century, Tom and Nancy Grant’s house and garden are as authentic as they are stunning.
Busy mothers with a passion for modern home décor, Anne Carr and Connie Dirvin launched blinkdecor.com last fall after each successfully completed her own home renovation in Darien. Determined to find unique and stylish resources that were easily accessed via the Internet, they created a website for people looking to decorate or renovate their homes in the “blink of an eye.” The site features a well-edited mix for the fashionable home, including links to modern, contemporary, antiques, and eclectic vendors. Freshen up the den, office or guestroom with a bold design statement from the multifunctional Twilight Sleeper from DWR. This modern piece ingeniously serves as a single-person daybed or unfolds easily to accommodate two sleepers. With casters for movability and slipcovers for easy cleaning, this cheery, contemporary sofa can transform any room. Design Within Reach, 36 Elm Street, Westport, 227-9707. Westport-based interior designer Melissa Makris, of Diluca & Makris Design, says spring is all about bringing in the outdoors with natural furnishings, such as this antique barnwood table, and zippy chartreuse accents, like these placemats and graphic leaf pillows. She finds inspiration from seashore to backyard by incorporating accessories with shells, starfish, coral, silvery weathered woods, vines and branches, Birch […]
There’s nothing like first love. It’s just as they say, you never really recover from it, no matter how good or how torturous the ending … the dream lingers somewhere inside. Mine, at first glance, might seem an unexpected choice, especially around here. You see, my first love is common, modest, and small — specifically, less than 2,000 square feet. Yep, your everyday cape; so, let’s just say it, pedigree is not what captured my heart. What’s remarkable is that the one house that makes my heart swell, and for which I would pay unreasonable amounts of loot to own, is “flawed.” It has been painted the same noncommittal shade of grey since it was built in 1920 (a fatiguing matter — to this day, I simply cannot “attach” to grey houses), though still not a deal breaker. The yard is so narrow it nurtures only two trees, the neighbors are overly close, and the house cannot even offer a finished basement (only an old-fashioned cellar, which, against my better judgment, I like). And, yet, this house has been my dream for years. Seriously. So where’s the love come from? Most of the allure has to do with its perfect […]
When it comes to defining the hottest trends in design and amenities, one Westport home has them all
Artie Weigold is a New Yorker, through and through — and, yet, he finds himself surprisingly at home in his Fairfield Beach house
Interior designer Anna D’Onofrio and her architect husband Ken Kraus created their dream home: a modern house, in the midst of Colonials, and made sure it was warm, airy and filled with personal reminders of their travels and friends.
Neighborhoods change. It always happens.
I like people who notice things. As a lifelong reporter, I prefer to think, of course, that I possess a keen eye for details. But then some artist or actor will show off his or her powers of observation, and I will suddenly feel as perceptive as a walleyed lungfish.
With all the charm of a proper English garden, Dwight and Martha Gesswein’s Sasco Hill
property enchants and delights.
Would you rather be working in the garden this month or working on your golf game? The two endeavors share a few glowing commonalities. Either task requires sweat and strategy, and both pay off with inspired moments and sunshine. Our Puritan forebears might have offered a different opinion, but the poor souls never buckled on any golf cleats, did they?
They are part of our agrarian past and key structures when it comes to the quintessence of Connecticut – barns. Now they stand defiant against a changing landscape.
For many golfers, the love of the game is evergreen. So why not indulge a bit at home? Meet those who opted to bring part of the golf course with them by constructing their own greens.
If you ask anyone how the promotion agency business began and soared, you’re likely to hear the names Glendinning and Marketing Corporation of America. Here’s a look at Westport as the unofficial capital of sales promotion.
A peek inside some of the area’s most charming rooms for children.
Before Feng Shui there was Sthapadya Veda. This not-so-simple home-design philosophy brings tranquility to one Weston family.
These charming potting sheds are a must have for anyone who’s got gardening in their blood. No matter what the temperature outside, inside spring blooms eternal.
Like an objet d’art that has lost its luster, Route 7 doesn’t draw the crowds of antiques hunters it once did. But now it seems poised for a comeback.
Take a stroll through one Westport woman’s amazing oasis that’s bursting with flowers of every color, accented with charming stone pathways and dappled with water gardens.
Eco-friendly options for your home are now friendlier than ever — to your budget and your sense of style.
Is your home worth putting in heated floors, a media room, a wine cellar? See which neighborhoods are
When the Hansons moved to Westport, they knew they wanted a home with lots of space — without overpowering the neighborhood.
Lillian August — we know the landmark store in Westport. Now we meet the design diva behind this powerhouse family business.
Now that you have the perfect house. How do you turn it into a warm, inviting home? Area home owners and interior designers open their doors and share their secrets.