3 Entertaining Spaces Guaranteed to Inspire

entertaining spaces

Sometimes the perfect setting—like a chic rooftop lounge area or a rustic game room—can bring everyone together, from family to friends. Check out these three unique and incredible entertaining spaces.

Outdoor Urban Retreat

entertaining spaces
This space—located on Fifth Avenue and 27th Street—is ideal for entertaining. Photo by Allyson Lubow

“The owners—a lawyer and construction company executive—often entertain clients at their home so it was important in warmer months to have an extension of the interior to entertain,” says Michael Wood, principal of Michael Wood Interiors. “The kitchen is fully outfitted with a grill, icemaker, sink and beverage fridge. The two zones—dining and lounge—function as one, or can be used independently.” The space has an  open area for kids to play, a fully outfitted kitchen for dining and entertaining, and a lounge with HDTV. There is comfortable outdoor furniture with a fireplace as well as a proper dining area with built-in bench. At the time of the renovation the client’s children were 1, 6, 7 and 9 years old.

“It’s interesting how it’s so easy to design for kids as all of the materials are so durable: We used ipé wood, which has a 30-year life expectancy, plus outdoor fabrics and solid surface materials,” says Wood. “The key, of course, was to integrate storage in the kitchen and bench seating in the dining area for toys and garden tools, along with blankets cushions and pillows.” The space is sophisticated enough to entertain clients, yet comfortable enough for a child’s summer birthday party.

“The goal was to add personality and dimension to a very warm but structured space given the uniformity of the ipé finish,” says Wood. “When properly balanced, a mix of old and new not only creates a unique mix but a timeless space that is a good investment as it won’t feel dated after a few years.”

Poolside Luxury

entertaining spaces
The spa is heated and can be used all year.

This Larchmont, NY, house, located on the Long Island Sound, feels like an elegant vacation home. “Even with the various sections, the goal was to create an open entertaining area that isn’t segmented,” says Cleo Abrams-Horsburgh of Conte & Conte landscape architects. Construction involved demolishing an existing pool and series of stepped terraces, followed by substantial regrading of the terrain to allow for the expansive lawn area.

The new, level yard provides ample space for the clients’ twin girls to play, complete with swing set and a much-loved tree swing near the firepit that gets regular use. Large shallow steps into the pool are ideal for lounge chairs or young children just testing the water. The laminar jets add extra splashing fun for pool playtime, but also look exotic and elegant when lit up at night (with options for light shows). The seating areas are combined with large umbrellas which  are inserted directly into the terrace surface—avoiding tripping hazards while providing ample shade. Substantial excavating of the property created a large, level lawn for the swing set and countless activities.

entertaining spaces
The fire pit is a lovely spot to cozy up to on chilly evenings. Photos by Juliana Louise

“Spaces are designed to provide for flexible use,” says Abrams-Horsburgh. The openness of the space and multitude of seating also allows for entertaining larger groups. The replete options for seating, shade, sun, and social or solitary relaxation provide a welcoming space for everyone. “Your landscape is an extension of your home,” says Abrams-Horsburgh. “This property has some of the best of views of the Long Island Sound, which are made better when shared with friends and family.”

Game Space

entertaining spaces
“We tried to incorporate the stable motif into each detail of the space, from the restored stalls to reclaimed antique pine sheathing,” says Charles Haver, partner at Haver & Skolnick Architects.

An antique Connecticut barn was turned into a billiards room for a family that wanted to create a comfortable space where they could spend the day relaxing. “It’s great for entertaining friends, without the worry of making too much noise,” says Stewart Skolnick, partner at Haver & Skolnick Architects. The project, which took six months to complete, included preserving the original timbers of the barn. A fieldstone fireplace was added along with the centerpiece of the room—a 19th century inlaid billiards table.

entertaining spacesA similar project undertaken by Haver & Skolnick Architects Architects—but at a different home in Connecticut—was turning a horse stable into a family pub and gaming arcade. “This family has four active children,” says Charles Haver, partner at Haver & Skolnick Architects. “The parents wanted a place away from the main house where the kids could be kids.” The space has turned out to be just as popular with adults as with children. “The tap room style bar is a great place to enjoy a glass of wine or a root beer and the nearby table is perfect for card games, puzzles or monopoly,” says Haver.

entertaining spaces
The massive billiards table draws people to the center of the room. Photos by Robert Benson

The vintage arcade games provide the whole family with hours of entertainment. “Since the stable is in a separate building, it makes for a fun destination for the family, almost a mini-vacation!” he adds. A vintage pinball machine and arcade games have replaced the former horse stalls. The birthing stall—the largest section of the stable—was repurposed as a bar.

Talking with Greenwich Hospital’s President Norman Roth

norman roth president greenwich hospital

It has been over three years since Norman Roth took over as president at Greenwich Hospital. And since that time, he and his team have made a number of changes and updates to the over a century old hospital. We recently talked with Roth about that, what initiatives he’s working towards now, and what’s on tap for the future.

You’ve been at the helm of the hospital since 2015. How have things changed during your tenure? 

We are seeing tremendous growth in our outpatient services and not just in Greenwich, but in surrounding communities as hospitals seek to keep patients healthy and provide that care closer to home. We opened an outpatient facility in Stamford in 2016—a collaboration with Yale Medicine and our physician group Northeast Medical Group. The site offers musculoskeletal care, radiology, physical therapy, infusion services and primary care physician offices. It’s a great formula to bring comprehensive outpatient care to patients in a comfortable accessible location. Earlier this summer we expanded to another outpatient location in Rye Brook, NY to provide pediatric and primary care, walk-in services as well as radiology and lab services.

In addition to those outpatient facilities, we have increased the number of cardiologists on staff from two to seven. Last year, we opened an outpatient women’s cardiology center in collaboration with Yale Medicine to house all the relevant providers in one location. The goal is both to help prevent problems before they happen and treat any concerns women might have about their heart health. In 2017, we opened Yale Medicine Neurology at Greenwich at 55 Holly Hill Lane to bring a broader range of neurological subspecialties to surrounding communities at a time of growing demand from an aging population.

Our pediatric patients now have expert emergency care if they have to come to the Emergency Room. Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital pediatric emergency physicians are now onsite during those critical hours when pediatricians’ offices are closed. Parents can be fully confident coming to Greenwich in an emergency that we will have the expert care they need. In addition, we have pediatric hospitalists who specialize in inpatient care for children who have to stay overnight in the hospital. A pediatric patient isn’t just a small adult and these experts ensure that our young patients get the expert care they need.

Are there specific initiatives you are working on or towards? 

A significant objective of mine has been to bring more specialized services to the Greenwich community. It is so important that patients have access to top medical specialists near home and, thanks to our affiliation with Yale New Haven Health and Yale Medicine, we are delivering on the promise to grow Greenwich Hospital from a small community hospital into a regional medical center. More than a dozen pediatric specialists from Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital now provide expert sub-specialty care in areas such as pediatric endocrinology and gastroenterology. This complements our ability to provide a higher level of care for our pediatric inpatients.

We are making a large investment in the area of neurosciences, including advancing stroke care. In the past, if someone needed critical clot extraction intervention, they would be transferred to New Haven. Soon we will have the ability to perform that care at Greenwich Hospital when medications alone are not effective.

We will be expanding the current urology and surgical oncology programs to increase their clinical complexity and provide a wider range of services. In cardiology, we will be opening a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) clinic to evaluate whether a patient will need this procedure performed at our partner organization, YNHH (TAVR is a less invasive procedure for patients with severe aortic stenosis and avoids open heart surgery.) We will also soon have a post-cardiac surgery clinic so that patients who must undergo open heart surgery can get their post-operative care in Greenwich rather than traveling to New Haven.

What are some ways the community can continue to be involved? 

We are very fortunate to be a part of the Greenwich community and beyond. As evidenced by our wonderful turnout Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Annual Gala for Greenwich Hospital, we receive tremendous support from the community. Not only did we raise nearly $1.1 million from that event, but we were able to honor some of our dedicated supporters: the Bennett/Kanarek Families, the Greenwich Hospital Auxiliary and the O’Malley Family.

We invite anyone interested in volunteering to contact Stacey Green, director Volunteer Services (Stacey.Green@greenwichhospital.org), or Noël Appel, chief development officer Greenwich Hospital Foundation (Noel.Appel@greenwichhospital.org), for opportunities to assist patients in the hospital or plan an important fundraising event. Another way to volunteer with the Foundation is to join the Women’s Health Initiative Advisory Board to provide health education for women and their families.

What is next on the agenda for the hospital? 

Next on our list is to create more private hospital rooms. We are among the top 5 percent in patient satisfaction and patient experience in the country, but where we get lower marks is from patients who receive care in a semi-private room and have a roommate. No one wants to share a room when they are sick. To address this, we will begin renovations within the next several months to move departments around, including Administration, and give patients the space and privacy they deserve.

We want to expand further on our oncology care. While we have outstanding breast surgeons, medical oncologists and radiologists, in the near future we will expand our services to add more specialty oncologists and diversify the kinds of cancer we treat. We will do this aligning more closely with Smilow Cancer Hospital. We also plan to expand upon and open additional outpatient locations in Fairfield and Westchester Counties.

Anything else you’d like to share? 

I would like to thank Serendipity for their continuing support of Greenwich Hospital—and especially to Suni Unger who served as our master of ceremonies at the recent Gala.

Oomph Greenwich Hosts Book Signing with Designer Amanda Lindroth


To kick off the fall event season, oomph Greenwich went “island hopping” with a book signing by designer and author Amanda Lindroth. Lindroth’s book, “Island Hopping,” highlights the designer’s work in homes up and down the East Coast and in the Caribbean—many of which feature oomph designs. The event brought together oomph’s clients and friends, as well as fans of Lindroth’s work. Guests also got in the spirit with an oomph signature tequila cocktail.

Photographs by Emily Masino

Is This Mattress the Secret to a Good Night’s Sleep?

hastens mattress

I haven’t had a really good night’s sleep in 18 years—basically, since my children were born. I’m a fully-functioning happy person. But I’m anxious. I have a child or two with the same affliction. Needless to say, it all adds up to a lot of lost sleep. When I received an invitation to visit the workshop of the world’s best-made, most meticulous handcrafted luxurious mattresses, I thought, yes, please and thank you! Soon after I was on an overnight flight (don’t ask how I slept) to Köping, Sweden, to visit Hästens, Sweden’s oldest and most luxurious handmade bedding company (which happens to have a store right here in Greenwich, CT).

Hästens has been hand making bespoke, all-natural beds of horsehair—literally with a needle and thread—since 1852. The company has a rich history of handcrafting beds for royals and celebrities alike and is known for making one of the most expensive mattresses in the world—the jaw dropping $149,000 Vividus.

hästens mattress
Cutting fabric for the iconic blue check cover.

The factory is an hour and a half outside of Stockholm. I was surprised to see burly, tattooed men handstitching mattresses with a needle and thread. The delicate, exacting work did not seem possible from them, but when I was given a chance to try doing it myself I realized it takes incredible strength to make even one stitch through the layers in the mattress. Many of the craftsmen we met represented multiple generations of families that have worked on the beds in a tradition that has been passed down.

Every mattress for every person with every possible sleep situation is made-to-order. I could customize a mattress to be firmer on one side for my husband and softer on my side. Even more, these skilled craftsmen could tailor the mattress to our exact body compositions and temperature choices. Because as we all know, someone in a relationship always runs hot and the other one cold. Each bed takes about 320 working hours by four certified craftsmen to create.

hastens mattress
Hästens mattresses are filled with hypo-allergenic horsehair.

After lunch with sixth generation owner and chairman Jan Ryde, we were brought to their flagship store where we were encouraged to get under the covers and try out the different beds. Like Goldilocks, we sampled bed after bed. Yes, the $150,000 Vividus was sublime, but the less expensive models were equally heavenly. Why? It probably had something to do with the fact that the newest Vividus features increased pliability to contour to the body better. As it releases tension points, it also pinpoints every part of the body in order to keep the spine completely straight while sleeping. The bed’s construction features an improved spring system in the base and a new layer of hand-teased horsehair to ensure higher springiness that also absorbs moisture. Absorbing moisture helps keep the body cool to reduce tossing and turning.

hästens mattress
The brand’s signature gold label.

Basically, you sleep more soundly and wake up pain-free—sounds like a dream, right? To my utter delight, the hotel we stayed in had Hästens mattresses in each room. Lying on a Hastens mattress felt like I was being held and that my entire body was evenly supported. Because of that I did not have my usual urge to toss and turn. No exaggeration: the night’s sleep I had was one of the best I’ve experienced in 18 years.

Luxury Living on the Hudson in Yonkers, NY

river club apartments

Address: 63 Wells Avenue, 3rd floor
Bedrooms: 1
Baths: 1
Square feet: 740
Price: $2,595/month

Luxury Living on the Hudson River

Sitting on the Hudson River in Yonkers waterfront neighborhood, River Club at Hudson Park (pictured above) is a new luxury rental tower. This particular unit, “the Palisades,” is on the third floor of the 24-story building.

“Yonkers is becoming a destination,” says Phillip Gesue, Chief Officer of Development at Strategic Capital. “It’s cultivated its own artistic and creative communities, welcomed great restaurants and created an award-winning brewery. The recent influx of luxury residential real estate, such as River Club, is making it a very attractive place to call home.”

The River Club building offers views of the Hudson River, New Jersey Palisades, and New York City skyline. It’s location, just steps from the Yonkers train station, makes it a great choice for commuters, or anyone looking for easy access to Manhattan.

The Palisades apartment, like all of the units in the building, has updated finishes. White oak floors run throughout and floor-to-ceiling windows allow for an abundance of natural light as well as views of the river and New York City skyline.

river club apartmentsThe kitchen is styled with dark walnut cabinetry, granite countertops, and a subway-tile backsplash, and features top-of-the-line Energy Star Whirlpool appliances and Kohler fixtures.

river club apartmnetsBathrooms are equipped with a marble vanity and dark walnut cabinetry. Each apartment has a washer and dryer in unit.

river club apartmentsApartments are outfitted with the latest in home technology, including an automated package concierge locker system for deliveries, a Butterfly MX smartphone video intercom and real-time transportation information provided by Transit Screen.

river club apartments
Photos by Donna Dotan

Units are also pet-friendly, smoke-free, and include a 24-hour concierge service. The building itself offers a state-of-the-art fitness center with touch-screen equipment and an indoor swimming pool with lounge seating.

Residents can also enjoy the roof-level River Club Bar and during the colder months, the ground floor River Club Lounge offers warmth from a large fireplace with walnut mantle.

River Club Hudson Park
1 Alexander Street, Yonkers NY 10701
631-253-8588; info@riverclubhp.com

The Audubon Center in Greenwich Celebrates 75 Years

audubon greenwich gala

The Audubon Center in Greenwich held its “Into the Woods” celebration, commemorating Audubon’s legacy of 75 years of leadership in “inspiring a sense of wonder” for all. Guests witnessed the release of a rehabilitated barrel owl on Hawk Watch Lawn and, after being greeted by live birds of prey from the Sharon Audubon Center, headed “into the woods” on a lantern-lit path walk. Audubon Greenwich Board Chair Jennifer McCarroll welcomed the attendees and was followed by remarks by Audubon Center Director Michelle Frankel as well as Ana Paula Tavares, Executive Director of Audubon Connecticut and Audubon New York. Connecticut State Senator Scott Frantz was in attendance and First Selectman Peter Tesei added his congratulations and shared a proclamation from the Town of Greenwich, declaring October 16 as Audubon Greenwich Day—which is also the date that the Center first opened its doors in 1943.

Photographs by Emily Masino

Light The Night in Fairfield County Raises Money to Fight Blood Cancers

light the night fairfield

Survivors, families and supporters enjoyed a tremendous night at the 2018 Light The Night in Fairfield County. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night campaign raises funds to help improve the lives of those with blood cancers, and funds research to find a cure for these types of cancer, as well as to providing advocacy and patient funding. Originally scheduled to be held at Calf Pasture Beach, the event was moved to Sono Field in Norwalk, CT on account of the weather. Jean (Gia) Bonenfant was the event’s honored hero: Last year, Bonenfant lead her team, Gia’s Bunnies, but soon after lost her battle with blood cancer. Gia’s Bunnies came in first for fundraising at this year’s walk. Fairfield Light The Night is well on its way to reaching its 2018 goal of raising $500,000.

Photographs by Emily Masino

Fofie & Mia: Remaking and Reinventing Furniture and Accessories

fofie & mia

At Fofie & Mia, which opened in September in Larchmont, NY, you’ll not only find a variety of home accessories and housewares like furniture, bedding, rugs and vases, but lots of one-of-a-kind pieces—many of which were refurbished and remade right in the store. And if you don’t see a piece that works for you, the team can create something to complement your style.

An example? A client was looking for a piece for her kitchen that would work as a dining buffet, but also have enough room to store her kids’ arts and crafts projects. After checking their inventory for a piece to fit the bill, the team created a sleek and stylish hutch/buffet that was polished and practical, but also served as a conversation piece. Another example: The Wine Barrel Vanity, made from a barrel imported from France, was designed to complement the owner’s wine cellar—and uses a copper basin and contemporary hardware to give it a unique and useful touch.

fofie & mia
Dresser (updated version seen above) before being refurbished by Fofie & Mia.

The store works in a variety of styles, from midcentury to transitional to their favorite: modern farmhouse. Along with furniture and accessories, Fofie & Mia also offers design services and can work with clients in store or in their home to help create a style and vision they’ll love.

fofie & mia
Table before being refurbished by Fofie & Mia.
fofie & mia
Table after being refurbished by Fofie & Mia. Photos by Elle Katsaros

Fofie & Mia: 2417 Boston Post Road, Larchmont, NY, 914-275-0375

Connecticut Stone: Creating an Outdoor Entertaining Space in New Haven County

connecticut stone outdoor entertaining

The exterior of this New Haven County, CT home was in need of an update: the landscaping was overgrown, the siding and trim had to be fixed, the roof was ready to be replaced and the whole area had an 80s feel to it. The owners—busy professionals with a young family—and architect and builder Robert M. Berger, AIA decided that low maintenance materials with a new and fresh look would be the way to go. Berger reinvented the outside: a front porch, pergola and outdoor kitchen were added and a putting green was removed to make room for an outdoor fireplace.

connecticut stone outdoor entertaining
New Haven County home before Connecticut Stone updated.
New Haven County home after Connecticut Stone updated.

Connecticut Stone, which has been in business for almost 70 years, supplied the Liberty Hill stone, which was incorporated in a number of ways: polished slabs were used to create the outdoor kitchen counters, thinstone was used for the front of the home and full veneer was used for the custom-made doorway arch. Personal touches were added, like in the fireplace, which features a piece of stone made to resemble an African mask in a nod to the couple’s South African honeymoon and a stone-made library that reflects the family’s favorite reads. Together, these elements produced a bright and modernized look with lots of space for entertaining friends and family.

connecticut stone outdoor entertaining
New Haven County home before Connecticut Stone updated. “Before” photos by Rob Berge
connecticut stone outdoor entertaining
New Haven County home after Connecticut Stone updated. “After” photos by Paul Johnson

Connecticut Stone: 138 Woodmont Rd., Milford, CT, 203-882-1000; 39 Larkin Street, Stamford, CT, 203-967-2937


Connecticut Stone: Quality Products & Craftsmanship

Fire Pits: The Perfect Outdoor Addition for Spring

Rinfret, LTD: Updating an Outdated Interior in Greenwich, CT

rinfret ltd updating outdated interior

While the bones of this 17,000-square-foot home in Greenwich, CT were in great shape, the interior was decidedly lacking. At the start of the project, the home was stuck in the 80’s, with lots of loud colors and out of date décor. It took two-and-half-years to renovate the space—but Rinfret, LTD was up for the challenge. That’s thanks to a team of designers and an in-house architect, led by principal Cindy Rinfret, who has been transforming homes in Westchester and Fairfield Counties—including for clients such as Tommy Hilfiger and Regis Philbin—for nearly 30 years. She and her team created a home that was both calm and welcoming, while also showcasing the client’s extensive art collection.

rinfret, ltd updating outdated home greenwich
Greenwich home before Rinfret, LTD. renovated.
rinfret, ltd updating outdated home greenwich
Greenwich home after Rinfret, LTD. renovated. “After” photos by Neil Landino.

Certain rooms, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, required a full-scale overhaul, while others, like this family room, were simply in need of a facelift. In this room, the client was looking for a space that was comfortable, but also elegant and sophisticated. By mixing new pieces with vintage designs—and putting the art prominently on display—Rinfret created a room that seamlessly brings together the classic and current. This feeling continued throughout the home, giving the space a cohesive feel, with a sense of depth and timeless style that makes it all its own.

Rinfret, LTD.: 39 Lewis St, Greenwich, CT, 203-622-0000


Cindy Rinfret’s Easy & Elegant Style