Dotted along the New England coastline are cities and towns that play host to the numerous New Yorkers who escape the cramped hustle and bustle of urban life and retreat to quieter settings for their vacations and holidays. Ezra and Marlene Field are two such city dwellers, who found a place to call home away from home in the town of Southport, Connecticut.
During the summers, the couple and their three girls enjoy spending time at a century-old Colonial cottage located right on the beach. The family turned to interior designer Tina Anastasia and her team at Mark P. Finlay Interiors to make their vision for a luxurious and traditional home become a reality.
Gold and red was Marlene’s original idea for a traditional and elegant color scheme that would honor the age of the house. But she changed her mind when Tina introduced the option of paler shades, which are currently used throughout. “We moved the red to soft powdery blues and sage greens, and kept the gold for elegance,” the designer explains. “We chose lighter finishes for an updated look. We also wanted to keep the accessories light with glass, crystal and touches of gold.”
Unobstructed views of the harbor are the highlight of several rooms, so Tina drew inspiration from the seascape to decorate the home’s interior. The same shades of aqua, blue and white found in the ocean’s waves are also found inside the home. The muted tones maximize the sun’s brightness as it enters each room through mullioned windows, making the gold accessories glitter.
Metallics, particularly gold, can elevate any space when used properly. Careful to keep the decor from becoming gaudy, Tina uses gold just often enough that it acts as a neutral tone, but not so repeatedly that it overwhelms. In the living room, the designer’s foundation is the classic combination of white and blue; the addition of gold accents results in a look that is luxurious yet approachable.
Furnishings with French Flair
Curated furnishings in gracefully traditional shapes complement the airy elegance of the color palette. Bulky furniture in dark finishes would have been a burden on the vision they were working to achieve. “The views of the water are amazing, so we focused on choosing pieces that were not too heavy,” the designer says. Dark tones are at a minimum, which means where they do occur, they are even more impactful. The breakfast room benefits from the energy created by the contrast of the turquoise velvet upholstery against espresso-stained wood and the white walls.
Comfort is key in vacation homes, and pale shades help ensure a calm atmosphere. Tina incorporated pieces with ornate French influence, balanced by those styled in transitional simplicity for a sophisticated blend. In the family room, plush upholstery rounds out the mix, with an ottoman-style coffee table featuring tufting for refined texture.
Textiles with a Luxe Look
In addition to the plush upholstery, Tina strategically uses textiles to bring color and pattern into each room with old-fashioned refinement and fresh appeal. She pays special attention to the draperies, using the rich fabrics to frame the picturesque views and tie each room together. In the living room, the designer could not find the ideal fabric that incorporated touches of gold as well as the right shades of blue. The solution was to design a custom pattern that would exactly match her specifications for the formal space. Tassels and tie-backs complete the look.
Rich fabrics are not limited to the window treatments in this house, as Tina also uses elaborate canopies to crown the beds in the master bedroom and the children’s rooms. “Canopies over the beds add softness,” she says. Over the carved headboard of the master bed, intricate folds in the palest gold complement the gold shade found in the wallpaper. Likewise, the twin girls have white-and-pink canopies over their sage-green cribs that add to the old-fashioned femininity of the room.
Luxury requires impeccable attention to detail. In this Connecticut getaway, Tina has honored tradition, while infusing the space with concepts that are as fresh as a sea breeze.