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The Connecticut Home of Juliska Founders David and Capucine Gooding

A close-knit family pays tribute to its European heritage, creating a home with a casual country-French vibe and a young, upbeat spirit 

Written and produced by Amy Elbert
  • John Bessler and Jonathan Wallen

    Bare feet and imaginations run wild at the home of Capucine and David Gooding and their three daughters—or “scalawags,” as Capucine lovingly calls them. Lily, 11, Bliss, 10, and Daisy, 7, bound through their home’s spacious rooms, sharing with their parents their latest books, scientific experiments, and backyard discoveries. Wood bowls and glass jars on tables and mantels are heaped with objects that serve as inspiration—bits of fringe, a few links of a chain, delicate feathers, shells, and handwritten children’s wishes and love notes on tiny scraps of paper. 

    These are the things that fuel Capucine and David’s creativity. As founders of Juliska, a luxury tableware brand, the high-octane couple fill their days with everything from designing new lines of glassware to overseeing product quality to devising ad campaigns. Yet, each morning they round up the family for breakfast in the big French-style kitchen of their Stamford, Connecticut, home. And evenings are reserved for family dinners, followed by cuddle and catch-up time, with the whole clan piled on the blue mohair sofas in the living room.

    “My muse is family,” says Capucine, who was born in France of a French father and an all-American Texan mother. Capucine’s name is the French word for nasturtium, says her mother, Victoria Cameron, who lives nearby. David is English; his mother lives in Surrey, England, and the family visits her and other relatives in Europe at least once a year. “Our families are spread out all over the world, but we stay very connected,” Capucine says. So the Goodings surround themselves with reminders of those connections. 

    Photography: John Bessler and Jonathan Wallen

    Architect: Dinyar Wadia, Wadia Assoc., 134 Main St., New Canaan, CT 06840; 203/966-0048, wadiaassociates.com.
    Interior designers: Susan Hurwitt, Victoria Cameron, and Capucine Gooding.
    Kitchen designer: Sarah Blank, Sarah Blank Design Studio, 21 W. Putnam Ave., Greenwich, CT 06830; 203/655-6900, www.sarahblankdesignstudio.com.  

    Flooring: reclaimed hemlock.
    Pedestal table; hanging lantern; mirror to left of door; sconce: owner’s collection.   

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    Young Family, Casual Lifestyle

    “Generations of family stories inform all my present design decisions,” Capucine says. Never more so than during the renovation of their home, a three-level structure on a wide lot with a swimming pool, stone terraces, a tire swing, a trampoline, great views of Long Island Sound, and space for the family’s mini-barnyard, which includes a chicken coop and a rabbit hutch.

    While the architecture of the 1950s mock Tudor-style house left much to be desired, the potential was great, says architect Dinyar Wadia, whom the Goodings contacted shortly after buying the property several years ago.  “I went out to see the house and fell in love with the site and with Capucine,” Wadia says, adding with a laugh, “and David is very nice, too.”

    The Goodings’ vision for a country-French-inspired home—elegant on the outside, casual and open on the inside—informed every design decision, Wadia says. “This house is all Capucine and David. From the moment you walk in the door, you know just what kind of people the Goodings are—a young, lovely family with an informal, casual lifestyle.”

    Not ones to be overly serious, the Goodings strike a pose on the front steps with their pets.

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    Blue Living Room

    Spaces are filled with rich, warm colors—deep blue, coral, and gray—inspired by a kimono fabric Capucine found. “Beige is lovely, but we love color,” she says. Windows in the living room are lavished with coral-colored silk taffeta draperies as generous as a fairy-tale ball gown. Sink-in sofas are covered in an easy-care royal blue mohair and accented with coral and blue-striped pillows that often end up on the floor after a family frolic. 

    Wall paint (“Normandy” #2129-40): Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com.
    Mirror over fireplace; sofas; art; area rug: owner’s collection.
    Sofa fabric (“Melrose Mohair,” by S. Harris); sofa pillows: through Top of the Line Drapery & Upholstery, 203/348-0000.

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    Game Area

    In a corner of the living room, upholstered wing chairs and coral-topped ottomans provide cozy seating around a pedestal game table. “I particularly love fabrics,” Capucine says. “Miles and miles of silk taffeta” were used to drape the windows.

    Floors in the main living areas were replaced with reclaimed whitewashed hemlock planks with a worn patina. 

    Pair of chairs: owner’s collection.
    Drapery (“Outstanding”/Cherry from Michael’s Textiles; striped seat cushions on chairs (“Saddle Stripe”/Indigo #31511.516, by Kravet); pillows on chairs (“Kimono Inspired Haute Red” #32257.1216, by Kravet): through Top of the Line Drapery & Upholstery, 203/348-0000.  

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    Studio

    The antique French monastery table in the studio was Capucine’s great-grandfather’s desk. “He was a gentleman farmer in France, and he would sit at the center to conduct business with those who came to see him.” Today the table is likely to be spread with Capucine’s design sketches and binders filled with photos of china, glassware, and flatware collections.

    The light fixture above the monastery table is made from parts of an intricately carved French oak oxen yoke. “It was used on the farm, and then my grandmother had it made into the chandelier in the 1950s,” Capucine explains.

    Architect Dinyar Wadia created a sight line that spans the entire length of the house—from the studio through the foyer, blue living room, and kitchen to the cheery coral dining room.

    Wide doorways, some with pocket doors upholstered and trimmed with nailheads, link rooms on the main level, creating an easy flow. The doors also allow Capucine and David to close off the studio work space for a business meeting or phone calls.

    Flooring: reclaimed hemlock.
    Monastery table (French); chandelier (oxen breastplate, French): antique.
    Pair of chairs; bench: owner’s collection.

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    Inspiration Wall

    Working in concert with her mother (“She has a great eye and does the best floral arrangements ever!” says Capucine) and Connecticut designer Susan Hurwitt, Capucine filled rooms with family antiques, dozens of framed photographs, her daughters’ artwork, and accessories that tell stories of past trips and family outings.

    An “inspiration” wall in the studio is filled with family photos—grandparents, siblings, parents—as well as fabric swatches, paint chips, magazine pages, and the girls’ artwork. These snippets of Gooding life hang above an old railway station bench.

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    Rustic Dining Room

    A hand-embroidered tablecloth from Portugal drapes over the dining room table. Walls are “Raspberry Parfait” from Benjamin Moore. 

    Wall paint (“Raspberry Parfait” #2172-40): Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com.
    Dining table; dining chairs (family antiques): owner’s collection.
    Striped fabric on chair back (“Giacomo”/Rose, Yellow #ZS 0002 GIAC, Old World Weavers Collection from Stark); fabric on chair front (Promessa”/Buckwheat, Ultraleather by Tapis Corp); drapery (“Marmont”/Lacquer #11129-03, by Cowtan & Tout): through Top of the Line Drapery & Upholstery, 203/348-0000.
    Tablecloth; tapestry over mantel: owner’s collection.
    Soup tureen on console (“Country Estate”): Juliska, juliska.com.
    Flooring: reclaimed hemlock.

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    Table Details

    Juliska’s “Country Estate” dinnerware in Delft Blue on “Classic Bamboo” serving plates are accompanied by hand-pressed “Delft Blue” glasses, and “Bamboo” flatware.

    Bamboo-trimmed chargers (Classic Bamboo”); dinnerware (“Country Estate”); flatware (“Classic Bamboo”); napkin ring (“Caning Napkin Ring”); napkins (“Pumpkin Josephine Napkin”); glassware (“Colette”): Juliska, juliska.com

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    French Country Kitchen

    The interiors of the Gooding’s home were reworked to open up the floor plan, and the old kitchen space behind the dining room was converted to a laundry, mudroom, powder room, and back entry. A new kitchen, with an adjoining dining and sitting area, was added next to the existing living room. 

    “Before, the house was bifurcated, with the living room on one side and the dining and kitchen on the other, but that’s not the way people live anymore,” Wadia says. “The Goodings wanted to have the kitchen, eating area, and living area all together.”

    Concrete tiles from Peacock Pavers with in-floor radiant heating provide the groundwork for a cozy family kitchen where everyone gets involved with the cooking. A two-level island allows space for meal prep and dining. Custom casement windows, a La Cornue range, and rough-sawn, whitewashed planks on the ceiling give the new addition the look and feel of a vintage French kitchen.

    Flooring (concrete): Peacock Pavers, peacockpavers.com.
    Range: La Cornue, lacornueusa.com.
    Sink: Elkay, elkay.com.
    Dishwasher: Miele, mieleusa.com.
    Bar stools: owner’s collection.
    Hanging pendants (“Amalia Column Pendant”); glassware on island (“Isabella Tulip Goblet”); silverware (“Villandry”); bowl with strawberries (“Isabella”): Juliska, juliska.com.

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    Pendant Detail

    Delicate mouth-blown Juliska “Amalia Column Pendants” hang above the island. 

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    Hardware Detail

    The refrigerator door is upholstered in sisal and, like many of the pocket doors throughout the house, defined with nailhead trim. 

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    Kitchen Hutch

    Cabinets with wire mesh door inserts display dishes, silver pitchers, and other serving pieces.

    Cabinet: owner’s collection.
    Serving pieces (“Country Estate”): Juliska, juliska.com.  

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    Master Bedroom

    Soft ivory and blue-gray hues keep the master bedroom feeling serene, but it’s not only a couple’s retreat. “Everything in it is meant to be soft—the colors, the furniture, and especially the bed, so all five of us can squeeze into it and have Daddy read Harry Potter,” Capucine says. (With his elegant British accent, no less.) The “Helena” upholstered bed is from Oly. 

    Bed (“Helena”): Oly, olystudio.com.
    Tufted loveseats: owner’s collection.
    Nightstand; lamp on nightstand: owner’s collection.  

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    Master Bedroom

    A feminine tufted loveseat resides in one corner of the master bedroom.

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    Upstairs Terrace

    The two-story addition allowed for expanding the master suite above the kitchen, which now includes a covered terrace with fireplace, where the Goodings can enjoy views of Long Island Sound. Capucine designed the bird-and-branch iron railings skirting the terrace. “I have always loved birds, and the idea of nesting was a theme in creating our home. This gives our otherwise classical architecture a gentle whimsical wink,” she says. 

    Area rug; chandelier; pedestal table; rattan furniture: owner’s collection.  

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    Master Bath

    The custom wood vanity is topped with marble.

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    French Tudor-Style Home

    Wadia gave the exteriors a French makeover, too, removing pseudo-Tudor brick and half timbers and cladding the house in stucco painted a taupe-tinted gray. Windows and doors were trimmed with cast stone that mimics hand-cut limestone blocks. New custom-designed casement windows that swing inward and floor-to-ceiling French doors were installed throughout the house. The large-paned windows with horizontal muntin bars are “typical of what you might see at a Paris apartment,” Wadia says. 

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    The Gooding Family

    “Our home is the center, but not the boundary, of our love, creativity, and strength. Like a nest, it’s equal parts structure and softness.”

    The Goodings: David; Lily holding a pet rabbit; Bliss with the dog, Winston Churchill; and Capucine seated with Daisy.  

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