An Eclectic Home in Coastal Connecticut
June 13, 2018
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I first spotted Erin Kestenbaum's home while binging on instagram and double fisting a big ole glass of red wine. I am constantly amazed at the rabbit hole of incredible bloggers that one can go down and how long I can actually make said binge last (not so much on the vino), finding one beautiful home after another. Anyway, it was this first image below that I fell in love with. The gallery wall just seems like the perfect way to move art in and out and really play with making your home look different. Well guess what? As it turns out, Erin's entire home is as pretty as this image...and then some.
From Erin...My husband and I purchased our house a year and a half ago and have been remodeling it room by room ever since. It’s a 1940s colonial in a small coastal town on the shore in Connecticut. 
Our home is defined by a love of hunting for vintage finds and a fearless approach to hands-on upgrades, where our goal is for our DIY work to always look professional. Stylistically, our house has traditional bones, so we’ve been infusing a modern, fresh perspective that serves to highlight the classic styling in an unfussy way. 
The living room is constantly in a state of change: pillows are always in circulation, and the art on the gallery wall is always refreshed. Every time I find a new artist I can’t not have in my home or a vintage piece, it often finds its first home on this wall of gallery ledges. The space is anchored by a teal over-dyed vintage Turkish rug that adds color without overwhelming
With the bathroom on our main floor, I knew we had the opportunity to go bold and surprise (and delight!) guests. To make the most of the existing bead board, I gave it a fresh coat of white paint and added contrast by painting the walls above it a deep, moody black.
Since this is an old house, the ceiling line isn’t the most squared off, so I took the black paint up to the ceiling. The effect is a deceptively expansive ceiling. We also painted the vanity a high gloss black, swapped in a (new to us) faucet off Craigslist, added a bold sconce and a brass pivot mirror. Now, the vintage black and white floors feel fresh in the space.
The sunroom was previously dingy, functionless and sported rundown beige carpeting. With the three walls of sunlight, I knew this room could be a gem in our home with a little "zhushing." We pulled up the carpet and replaced it with peel and stick tiles in a bold black and white pattern, built out the window seat to mask the radiator and create more function in the space, and painted the walls a bright white. We also sewed the custom French mattress for the window seat from scratch and hung new lighting throughout. This room is now one of our favourites in the house - particularly on weekends, thanks to the bright light and cozy vibes.
When it came to our guest room, we wanted to create a relaxing and inspiring vibe that was reminiscent of a luxe, boutique hotel that guests would want to enjoy. To accomplish this, we first had to address a wonky layout in the room by removing (not original!) basic built-in bookshelves that spanned one of the walls and reframe the doorway to the closet for a smaller opening to allow for a layout that actually worked in the room.
We also added all the trimwork and painted it a handsome all-over grey to match luxe velvet curtains. We added an iconic overhead light to the room and sconces to flank either side of the bed, freeing up limited nightstand surface area. The nightstands were a flea market find of plant stands, that always remind me that sometimes an unconventional furniture choice can be so right.
The guest bathroom was formerly a bland, builder-grade bathroom that had a bizarre layout that allowed for almost no surface area at the vanity. We took this bathroom down to the studs and unlocked so much space by swapping the sink and toilet in the space, doubling the size of the vanity. In keeping with the modern-classic vibes we’ve been adding throughout the house, we tiled all four walls in a classic subway tile and contrasted that with an ornate, elegant Venetian mirror.
We also hung French-inspired globe pendants from the ceiling and capped the space off with a vintage rug. We aim to take risks in areas that can easily be updated later down the road, like in the mirror and pendants that can easily be refreshed, and keep the hard finishes classic choices.
The dining room was one of the first spaces we completed, where before we even moved into the house, I had stumbled upon this vintage Milo Baughman dining table and matching brass cantilevered chairs, which we proceeded to stash in our 700 square foot apartment for two months in advance of our move. The dining chairs were one of our first projects in our previous apartment, which were vintage cane chairs that we reupholstered in this iconic David Hicks La Fiorentina linen fabric. The chandelier was another addition that grounded the space alongside the bold rug. The art was a piece I commissioned from Zoe Pawlak as a gift from my bridal shower.
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Coming from years of urban living, the patio off the side of our house was one of the spaces we were most excited about. When it came to decorating the space, I used a black, white and blue palette to keep the focus on the greenery and outdoors. We built the massive 10-foot long dining table from scratch and it allows us to host big dinners and weekend BBQs with ease. We created a seating area for drinks and appetizers and recently added a potting bench to serve as the bar and buffet. The most magical moment is when I turn on the string lights and there’s instant ambiance.