Creating a Home that Combines Natural Elements with Family Practicality

Formal Dining Room

When interior designer Carey Karlan of the Darien, CT-based Last Detail design firm was hired to furnish this 6,800-square-foot Darien home, she knew her clients had specific tastes that would inform the entire project. The owners lead an active, family-oriented life with three young children and three dogs. They also have a beloved vacation home in Colorado and an affinity for natural, organic elements and artisan-crafted pieces with a story behind them.

Family Room
The family room is accented with energetic pops of orange. A Romo fabric was used for the pillows, stools and the trim on a Lee sofa. The lamps are from Wakefield Design Center in Stamford, CT, and the plaid throw is from The Linen Shop in New Canaan, CT.

Sofa DetailDarien architect Bo Malpass of Warrington Homes, who designed the house, is known for big rooms, open sight lines and expansive windows to connect the interiors with the outdoors. The Peartree Point home has views of Long Island Sound and his style capitalized on those. Malpass incorporated a cascading rock water feature off the dining room, as well as unexpected glass ceilings in the art gallery. Light and nature take center stage throughout the residence.

The kitchen is hardworking and practical with oversized industrial light fixtures, stainless steel countertops and a wipeable, vinyl wallcovering in a silver grey.
Entrance Hall
The entrance hall features a faux horn Bernhardt console and a rustic wooden starburst mirror.
Kitchen Dining Area
The kitchen dining area features floor-to-ceiling windows, a patchwork rug from Palace Oriental Rug of Wilton, CT, and chairs upholstered in a Threads fabric.

The clients wanted the home to be comfortable and practical with an earthy feel and nothing fussy. Karlan acheived this by incorporating handcrafted materials, reclaimed woods and natural textiles such as grasscloth, mohair and wool. She called on Woodland Furniture to provide custom pieces such as the muscular table in the dining room and the wood coffee table with iron legs in the family room. Colorado-based Matt Downer Designs was tapped to create a dramatic black walnut mobile-style chandelier with an industrial pulley system. A polished Precambrian quartz stone (retrieved from an abandoned mine) is suspended from a hand-forged iron hook and acts as a weight to raise and lower the fixture. Pops of color such as orange and bright blue are used throughout the home to provide a counterpoint to the earth tones.
Ultimately, the house is highly functional and a perfect reflection of the owners’ style—a rugged, outdoorsy look with a vaguely Western vibe.

Sofa Pillow
A geometric blue Lee Jofa fabric used on the pillows inspired the overall design scheme in the living room.
Living Room
The approachable living room doubles as a music room and contains a piano and guitars. The tête-à-tête loveseat is covered in a blue Duralee fabric and the striped mohair/wool rug is from J.D. Staron.

Photographs by Paul Johnson


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