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A Connecticut Weekend Home, Made Modern for a Brooklyn Couple

 

Kitchen of the Week: An Imposing English Manor, Updated for Modern Family Life

 
 
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A Connecticut Weekend Home, Made Modern for a Brooklyn Couple

 
 

We’ve admired the work of New York/London-based designer Sheena Murphy of Nune Design for a while now (see Natural Instincts: An Interior Designer’s Weekend Home, Built for Tranquility), so we were curious to see how she would work her magic on a historical Connecticut weekend house for Lindsey Branca and Mike Grosshandler, the couple behind restoration and renovation firm Branca & Co.

The couple bought the house in 2017, and got to work remediating some later-discovered structural issues. When it came to the interiors, they called on Sheena, who has worked with them on other projects in the past.

“The architecture of the house, with its exposed wooden beams and columns, felt to us like it dictated something very specific in terms of its furnishings,” Sheena says. “We looked primarily to antiques and vintage rugs from the likes of Laserow, Morentz, Double Knot, and local and domestic designer/makers such as Materia, Fern, Ben & Aja Blanc, and Apparatus.

“We kept the palette restrained but seriously dialed up the mix of textures and finishes  to create a layered, collected feeling and a home whose age and character really shine.”

Join us for a tour:

Photography by Nicole Franzen.

 The 1790 Georgian Cape house, built by Captain John Bradley, a Revolutionary War veteran, is set on almost seven acres of lush land.
Above: The 1790 Georgian Cape house, built by Captain John Bradley, a Revolutionary War veteran, is set on almost seven acres of lush land.
Among the house’s many attractions, according to Sheena:: “Tons of period details and original wide plank floors.” The Sheffield Sofa is from Fern.
Above: Among the house’s many attractions, according to Sheena:: “Tons of period details and original wide plank floors.” The Sheffield Sofa is from Fern.
 The house functions as a second home for Lindsey, Mike, their two dogs, and a newborn baby.
Above: The house functions as a second home for Lindsey, Mike, their two dogs, and a newborn baby.
A corner of one of the three sitting rooms.
Above: A corner of one of the three sitting rooms.
 The house has five original granite fireplaces.
Above: The house has five original granite fireplaces.
 The dining room artwork is by New Mexico artist Benjamin Ewing.
Above: The dining room artwork is by New Mexico artist Benjamin Ewing.
“We collaborated with architectural designers Frances Mildred on the kitchen renovation, which is anchored by a Table Blanche by Ann Demeulemeester and dining chairs from Amsterdam Modern,” Sheena says.
Above: “We collaborated with architectural designers Frances Mildred on the kitchen renovation, which is anchored by a Table Blanche by Ann Demeulemeester and dining chairs from Amsterdam Modern,” Sheena says.
In the kitchen, the Eduard Sconces are from Schoolhouse and the Parq Deck-Mounted Bridge Faucet is from Kohler.
Above: In the kitchen, the Eduard Sconces are from Schoolhouse and the Parq Deck-Mounted Bridge Faucet is from Kohler.
The kitchen range is by Lacanche; the brick floors are original.
Above: The kitchen range is by Lacanche; the brick floors are original.
A narrow stairway leads to the second floor, which has four bedrooms.
Above: A narrow stairway leads to the second floor, which has four bedrooms.
In the master bedroom, a Temoaya  Blanket from L’Aviva Home serves as a floor covering and the window treatments are from Barn & Willow.
Above: In the master bedroom, a Temoaya  Blanket from L’Aviva Home serves as a floor covering and the window treatments are from Barn & Willow.
The simple bath is outfitted with traditional Waterworks fixtures.
Above: The simple bath is outfitted with traditional Waterworks fixtures.
A narrow space under the eaves serves as a home office.
Above: A narrow space under the eaves serves as a home office.
One the the three guest bedrooms.
Above: One the the three guest bedrooms.

See more historical house overhauls:

House Call: 50 Shades of Weathered White in Hudson, NY, from Zio & Sons

Saved from Abandonment: A Historic Hudson Valley Farmhouse Receives the Ultimate Makeunder

Hudson Eclectic: An Artist’s Circa-1830 Home in Claverack, New York

 

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Kitchen of the Week: An Imposing English Manor, Updated for Modern Family Life

 
 

Pevsner’s Architectural Guide: The Buildings of England details the style and history of every building of architectural significance in the country. England doesn’t suffer for lack of old buildings—there are 51 volumes in the series—but this manor still stands out. According to the guide on Lincolnshire, a county known for its rural beauty, “Few houses in the country fill one with such delight.”

When the new owners bought the historic property, they were intent on turning it into a warm family home without losing the grand proportions—including in the kitchen. To this end, they kept the oversized Gothic windows, the weathered limestone floors, an original fireplace, and the space’s dramatic loftiness. Then they tapped deVOL to supply them with their Classic English Kitchen cabinets. The result is a large, airy space that manages to be both fit for family life and respectful of its architectural pedigree.

Have a look. (For more on the renovation of this medieval manor, follow @the.history.keeper on Instagram.)

Photography courtesy of deVOL.

While the cabinets are traditional, the lighting, all by Original BTC, is thoroughly modern. (See High/Low: The Classic English Table Lamp from Original BTC.)
Above: While the cabinets are traditional, the lighting, all by Original BTC, is thoroughly modern. (See High/Low: The Classic English Table Lamp from Original BTC.)
Forming a low backsplash are deVOL’s Crackle Metro Tiles. The countertop is Silestone. (Love art in the kitchen? See The New Art Gallery: 12 Favorite Kitchens with Paintings on Display.)
Above: Forming a low backsplash are deVOL’s Crackle Metro Tiles. The countertop is Silestone. (Love art in the kitchen? See The New Art Gallery: 12 Favorite Kitchens with Paintings on Display.)
The cabinets are painted a custom peacock blue. The wall behind it is awash in the same color.
Above: The cabinets are painted a custom peacock blue. The wall behind it is awash in the same color.
The wall of cabinets ends with high cabinet doors that conceal the refrigerator and pantry. Kitchen linens hang from the Taffrail rack by Tom Raffield.
Above: The wall of cabinets ends with high cabinet doors that conceal the refrigerator and pantry. Kitchen linens hang from the Taffrail rack by Tom Raffield.
The kitchen island, painted off-white, is topped with oak. The Bum Stools are from deVOL.
Above: The kitchen island, painted off-white, is topped with oak. The Bum Stools are from deVOL.
Across from the island is a console set up for tea-making. Whimsical wallpaper by Little Greene Paint & Paper (in “Great Ormond Street” pattern) adds a decorative note to the original fireplace.
Above: Across from the island is a console set up for tea-making. Whimsical wallpaper by Little Greene Paint & Paper (in “Great Ormond Street” pattern) adds a decorative note to the original fireplace.
The past (Gothic windows and original limestone floors) coexist with the new updates.
Above: The past (Gothic windows and original limestone floors) coexist with the new updates.
The glass sideboard, for storing kitchen linens, is from deVOL’s Haberdasher’s Kitchen series. The Morvah Hanging Planters are by Tom Raffield.
Above: The glass sideboard, for storing kitchen linens, is from deVOL’s Haberdasher’s Kitchen series. The Morvah Hanging Planters are by Tom Raffield.

For more appealing English kitchens, see:

 

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