Nothing accelerates a home project quite like a new baby. Decisions must be distilled. Creative confidence brought to the fore. Concepts realised in record time. It’s the kind of urgency you’d never suspect of this gorgeous Cape Cod-inspired home, a layered and luxurious space that feels cohesive and entirely unrushed.
Owners Minerva and James had just welcomed their third child when they reached out to interior designer Kate Connors with a dilemma. “They contacted me after buying this house,” Kate says. “It was recently rebuilt and highly finished, but they didn’t want to bring any furniture with them,” she recalls. Fresh start indeed! So, with no window coverings and not even a chair to sit on, “everything had to be sourced and ordered – and time was of the essence.”
Having previously worked with Kate and her design studio Connors & Co., the couple knew this collaboration was a winner. With a condensed timeline in place (think weeks rather than months) the focus shifted to local suppliers and short lead times for priority items, with international orders to follow. Things moved swiftly in the right direction with Kate thankful to “inherit” quality key elements such as paintwork and flooring, together with a stunning kitchen. “The house is beautifully finished but has a lot of angles in the black window frames and decorative wall panelling,” she explains. “Combined with herringbone carpets and dark floors it all felt quite masculine. We felt it needed softening with more feminine curves.”
A refined monochrome base was selected to set the tone, with sumptuous patterns, blush highlights and pops of indigo designed to steal the show. A feeling of comfort was underlined by bespoke furnishings, created to complement rather than curb family living, and accents of timber and marble. Both designer and client share a love of boutique fabrics, with linen becoming a touchstone for the soft-furnishing choices. “Min loves fabric and fashion, and knowing her style meant it was easy to select prints I knew she’d love,” says Kate. “Most are from Christopher Farr Cloth with a few from Anna Spiro Textiles. Everything is printed on linen, and layers of subtle prints in different applications creates an understated luxury.”
In the open-plan living area, sunlight washes through the sheer linen curtains, softly illuminating this well-loved and hardworking family zone. “We allowed curtains to puddle on the floor for drama,” notes Kate. “These really elevate the light-filled space and create an elegance in each room.” A roman blind in Christopher Farr Cloth ‘Carnac’ Dark Indigo is a superb choice for the kitchen, complementing the basket-weave splashback and gently nodding to Hamptons style. An expansive 12-seater dining table provides a ready gathering place while a plush indigo rug invites playtime and helps define the living zone.
With three children and two dogs making up the household, practicality had an important part to play. “We selected appropriate fabrics that were removable and would launder well,” says Kate. “We specified a leather sofa — James was very specific about wanting something bomb-proof for the kids.” Even the Sidney coffee tables from Jardan “nest together and allow more space for the children to play in this area.”
As promised, playful feminine touches bring balance and beauty to each unfolding space. Round marble handles on the Halo drinks cabinet from Zuster are echoed in the master suite, where custom bedside tables serve a divine winged bedhead. Also sitting pretty in this room is a curvaceous Pearl swivel chair from Jardan, while handcrafted Lee Broom Tube wall lights in brushed brass and Carrara marble lend a luxurious hotel vibe. Kate admits the eye-catching lights were partly employed as a bargaining chip. “They were used to win James over on the bedhead fabric!” she laughs of the linear lovelies, sourced from Space.
With such a strong passion for pattern running through the project, decorating the children’s bedrooms was a special treat. “Min selected the bedroom wallpapers to suit each child and I then matched the curtain fabrics for her,” recalls Kate. “We selected soft pastel linen colours to coordinate with each paper and did soft wave blockout curtains in each room.” The results are rich, engaging and utterly delightful.
While many provisions were made for robust family living, one investment remains sacred: the Wilfred chairs in stone-washed linen with leather slings from Jardan. “These are Min’s favourite thing from the whole job,” reveals Kate. “And despite the covers being washable, they are a kid-free zone!”
Outside, classic Cotswold dining chairs and Adirondack loungers add another hint of upstate New York while the pool and cabana (also specified by Connors & Co.) formed the final fabulous phase of construction.
Now with curves in all the right places, the classic-contemporary home is testament to what can be achieved when everyone is on the same (very stylish) page. “I think working with a client the second time round means you know each other really well already,” says Kate. “Min invested a lot of trust in me (and the process!) and approved and proceeded with almost every selection we made.” For Minerva and James, this new beginning also feels immediately familiar, a perfect fit for their family of five. “They love that their new home is a true reflection of their own style,” says Kate. Just as it should be.
Words: Nicole Deuble | Photography: Pablo Viega