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Charming Connecticut Home

Architect Thomas Kligerman embraces the episodic nature of a thrice-renovated colonial revival

Written by Jenny Bradley Pfeffer
  • William Waldron

    Sometimes three truly can be the magic number.

    When architect Thomas Kligerman took on a renovation in Greenwich, Connecticut, he hit the design trifecta. The Colonial Revival house had existed as three very separate entities. Originally built in 1898, the house had been added onto significantly—once in the 1920s and again in the 1980s. While still a handsome home, the property was suffering a multiple personality crisis. Its Colonial details didn’t dovetail with the large 1986 addition, and interior flow was nonexistent. “It was a beautiful house for the most part,” Kligerman says. “But it felt like a series of passageways that never arrived in any particular room.”

    Although the homeowners wanted to keep the original charm, they needed a home that would accommodate their family of six. And, believe it or not, Kligerman saw the episodic nature of the property as an inspiration. “I love the fact that this was three different houses in one,” he says. “It’s difficult to design a house with such a looseness and genuineness when you start from scratch.”

    To resuscitate the home’s once enchanting nature, Kligerman began by tackling the problem child—the 1986 addition. By retaining the footprint but removing the addition, Kligerman was able to design a new space that felt in keeping with the rest of the house.

    “The entry felt frail and fussy,” architect Thomas Kligerman says of its pre-renovation form. “Now it is more in character with the home’s history but stripped down and sculptural.”

    Photography: William Waldron

    Architect: Thomas Kligerman, Ike Kligerman Barkley, 330 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036; 212/268-0128; ikekligermanbarkley.com.
    Interior designer: Terri Ricci, Terri Ricci Interiors, 10 Knight St., Norwalk, CT 06851; 203/642-3202; terriricci.com.

    Fireplace tile “Lagos Azul” tumbled and honed pencil tile, discontinued, similar tile available: Urban Archaeology; urbanarchaeology.com.
    Mantel “Reclaimed White Oak,” console antique Belgian farmhouse table, rug runner vintage: homeowners’ collection.

  • William Waldron

    Cozy Kitchen

    “We honored the character of the Colonial portion,” Kligerman says. “But people live in different ways than they did then.” To address today’s style of living, he improved function without expunging the integrity of the home’s Colonial style.

    The kitchen, for example, would have been a utilitarian warren of rooms used to cook, never to dine, in its original form. Today, a corner window highlights hand-scraped hickory cabinets refined with contemporary hardware that nods to Colonial strap hinges. Cream-color quartz countertops temper the rustic cabinets and oak floors.

    Hickory cabinets and oak floors bring a sense of authenticity and warmth. Contemporized hardware draws from Colonial inspiration.

    Countertops “Honed Desert Limestone”: Caesarstone; caesarstoneus.com.
    Ceiling lights “Holophane,” pot rack integrated with lights “A-M Pot Rack” in Statuary Bronze: Ann-Morris New York; annmorrislighting.com.
    Cabinetry custom “Reclaimed Hickory”: homeowners’ collection.
    Stools “Natural Smart and Sleek Stools”: Wisteria; wisteria.com.

  • William Waldron

    Breakfast Area 

    A cozy breakfast area, enveloped in hickory and oak, opens to a lush garden. 

    Designer Terri Ricci furnished the space with simple forms—a concrete pedestal table, leather-clad dining chairs, and linen window treatments—paired with a vintage Tiffany pendant.

    Dining chairs “French Mid Century Dining Chairs” by Charles Dudouyt: Mise en Scene Design; misenscenedesign.com.
    Breakfast table, window treatments “Belgian Linen,” millwork “Reclaimed Hickory,” ceiling timbers “Reclaimed White Oak,” pendant at table antique Tiffany: homeowners’ collection.

  • William Waldron

    Beautiful Dining Room

    Throughout the house, designer Terri Ricci, who often collaborates with Kligerman, used a clean, Belgian-inspired palette—complementing updated millwork, vintage rugs, and a smattering of antiques.

    An early-20th-century Tiffany turtleback tile Moorish chandelier feels right at home against the original dining room ceiling. Chairs dressed in velvet, Tiffany sconces, and an Arts and Crafts dining table feel as though they’ve witnessed many a Prohibition-era dinner party.

    Sconce “Double-Arm Wall Sconce,” chandelier “Turtleback Moorish Chandelier,” both antique Tiffany, area rug vintage: homeowners’ collection.
    Chair fabric “Eugene” in Rain: Odaka Textiles; odaka.co.
    Framed artwork flanking window: Toni Ross Studio; tonirossstudio.com.

  • William Waldron

    Sunlit Space

    “Clean lines and patinated wood tones work well with paneling to keep the rooms from feeling too formal,” Ricci says.

    A new window bay integrates flawlessly with the home’s original details.

  • William Waldron

    Barn Great Room

    With the home now representative of a single era, Kligerman had one more design challenge. Jumping headfirst into the 21st century, he designed a 3,500- square-foot barn to replace a similar structure too dilapidated to save. “The original barn was unsalvageable,” Kligerman says. “We did use the exact footprint, though, so in a way the new barn is locked into history.”

    Used as a guesthouse and as a venue for parties, the new structure feels as urbane as it does welcoming and bucolic. Large pocket doors with X-braced screens open to a great room with vintage French factory lights, reclaimed wood beams, and a weathered Connecticut fieldstone fireplace.

    Large-scale furnishings, layered rugs, and an earthy palette make for kid- and pet-friendly zones that still feel sophisticated enough for adult gatherings.

    Sofa and chairs custom: Verellen; verellen.biz.
    Console at sofa back custom: Terri Ricci Interiors; terriricci.com.
    Coffee table “Dutch Industrial Coffee Table”: RH; rh.com.
    Pendant lighting “Paris Halophane Spheres,” circa 1950: Avantgarden; avantgardenltd.com.
    Artwork on mantel: Bonnie Edelman; bonnieedelman.com.
    Petrified stump: Andrianna Shamaris; andriannashamarisinc.com.
    Blue pillows custom from vintage indigo fabrics, side table at sofa, and lamp on console all one-of-a-kind items, similar items may be available: Bungalow; bungalowdecor.com.
    Silver vessels and tray on table discontinued: Aero Studios; aerostudios.com.

  • William Waldron

    Outdoor Living Areas

    “We highlighted what people love most about barns—hand-scraped floors, high ceilings, timber—while having the coziness of a home,” Kligerman says. “The whole project feels consistent, but every building has a story.”

    Sofa and chairs Provence collection: RH; rh.com.
    Dining chairs “Folio Director’s Chair” by Christian Liaigre:Jerry Pair; jerrypair.com.

  • William Waldron

    Bedroom

    Exposed rafters and a whitewashed ceiling are balanced with “weighty Belgian furnishings,” Ricci says.

    Armoire custom and bed custom: Terri Ricci Interiors; terriricci.com.
    Area rug custom cowhide: homeowners’ collection.
    Framed artwork: Eve Stockton; evestockton.com.
    Chair custom: Verellen; verellen.biz.
    Side table “Hollow Zig Zag”: Tucker Robbins; tuckerrobbins.com.
    Window treatment “Linen” from the Great Plains collection: Holly Hunt; hollyhunt.com.
    Hanging pendant lights “Bocci Round”: Room; roomonline.com.

  • William Waldron

    Bath

    The classic lines of a clawfoot tub and a Barclay sink  up the charm factor in a guest bathroom.

    Sink “Versailles White Console Sink”: Barclay; barclayproducts.com.
    Faucets from the Highgate collection: Waterworks; waterworks.com.
    Tub antique, sconces flanking mirror antique, mirror, pendant light antique, towel shelving antique: homeowners’ collection.

  • Portrait

    Architect Thomas Kligerman.

  • Eric Piasecki
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