Updating the interiors of a traditional 176-year-old farmhouse can be tricky, particularly when it’s lived—and grown in size—across three centuries to become a sprawling amalgamation of additions that don’t retain the home’s original integrity.
Luckily, that wasn’t the case when the New York–based designer Thom Filicia’s clients asked him to reimagine their classic 8,400-square-foot Connecticut country house. “Occasionally these old properties grow and ramble, making the layouts incredibly challenging,” Filicia says. “This actually has a really nice flow, considering how it’s evolved.” While keeping the 1846 Greenwich home’s traditional vernacular and history intact, Filicia was tasked with making it feel fresh and young for these empty nesters, who spend much of the year at their downtown Manhattan pied-à-terre.
“A key thing people have to understand—especially when they have older homes with a lot of rooms—is that it’s really important to give every room a purpose,” explains Filicia. “By giving each space a distinct use, personality, and vibe, it becomes the place you go when you’re looking for a particular feeling or experience.” One such reimagining for the six-bedroom, seven-bathroom house included turning an unused closet in the couple’s library into a full-service bar. “Even before it was a closet, it was probably a doorway that went into another room. Now it’s a space that services the moment—a spot where they can enjoy a scotch or glass of wine without having to go into the kitchen to prepare it first.”
For Filicia, the nearly three-year redo—which began in fall 2019—could not have achieved a better result. “Their kids are scattered all over, so this is the place where everyone comes together—and I’m happy to say they use every room, and it’s a home that’s really loved.”
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