Charming in Connecticut, by Elena Phillips

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that Gracie Studio is one of my favorite accounts.  Because of the endless colors and patterns from which to choose, I never tire of hand-painted Chinoiserie wallcoverings. When Gracie posted this dining room by designer Elena Phillips, I simply had to see the rest of the gorgeous home. Elena graciously provided additional images for today’s tour along with additional details on this gorgeous home!

The house was designed and built in the early 20th century by the renowned architect Cameron Clark for the VanSinderin family in New Canaan, Connecticut. “Woodley,” as the house was originally called, was enjoyed as an equestrian country retreat. The property included the main house, stone and carriage barns, chauffeur quarters, and a secret sunken garden. Renamed “Treetops” after the long driveway studded with majestic trees in 1925 by Walter S. Hutchinson, then-Washington Post editor of the Sunday magazine section, the home has endless stories and a colorful history. Photography by Jane Beiles unless otherwise noted.

The hand painted scenic wallpaper panels from Gracie are truly a work of art. Colors were pulled from the wallpaper to create the custom tassel trim along the leading edges and bottoms of the curtain panels.
The Louis XVI style dining chairs, upholstered in a pale, celadon horsehair, are placed around the oval, mahogany parcel gilt dining table that expands to seat twelve. The main access to the formal dining room is through a pair of French doors from the main stair hall. Flanking an antique George III sideboard, two doors open into the butler’s pantry and kitchen/family room beyond.
This dining room is an intimate and special place to gather with friends and family.
Although the client fell in love with the entrance hall’s “bee” wallpaper when they purchased the New Canaan Colonial Revival house, Elena recreated the paper as the plaster walls had to be restored. The marble floor is original, as are the side lights and pilasters at the front door. The entrance hall opens up into a large stair hall which is awash with natural light.
A Venetian stucco stripe extends up the main stairs, along the second floor bedroom hallway and down the back stairs, integrating the first and second floors. The paneling on the stairs and the “wave” detail are original. A custom hand-hooked Elizabeth Eakins runner follows the stucco stripe throughout the house.
The expansive living room is a bright and welcoming environment with windows on three sides. The original early 20th century bones of the room remain untouched, although the mantel was recreated to fit in with the style of the home. The overall feeling is elegant, with silk cream curtains accented with a custom tape trim and cream, taupe and pale green upholstered furniture.
The paneled walls have a soft, off-white glazed finish and the oversize painting above the sofa offers a pop of color. Satinwood antique side tables add warmth and richness to the space contrasting yet complementing the contemporary reeded brass and glass coffee table.

The master bedroom suite is a calm and tranquil retreat. The bedroom suite includes a generous master bathroom and two dressing rooms. A neutral palette throughout, with added blue accents through shagreen lamps, a cashmere throw and artwork.
Above the wainscoting in the master bedroom, walls are upholstered in a luxurious wool fabric defined by a custom tape trim. The alabaster pendant and gilt sconces add a soft glow of light in the evening. With the curtains drawn, one can lie in bed and watch the pop-up television that is hidden within the ledge opposite the bed.
The deluxe master bathroom has two vanities, a spacious tub, a steam shower for two and a separate water closet. The walls are finished in a pale blue Venetian stucco that coordinates with the blue celeste marble in the mosaic tile border. The polished nickel lighting and hardware add to the crisp, clean feeling of the bathroom.

This home actually sold last fall, and these last three images are via the MLS listing…

So beautiful, yes? You know I have a passion for old homes, especially ones with a story! They just don’t make them like they used to. To learn more about Elena Phillips and see more of her incredible work, please click here.  Thank you, Elena for today’s fabulous tour!



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