i first saw the house featuredas this issue’s cover story almost a year ago on a beautifully clear and warm day in late spring. I had seen pictures of the property and heard much about its daring architecture and stylish interiors. Even so, what a statement it made in person, perched high, tucked into two hills, so inviting yet so dramatic. “No doubt this place is a showpiece,” I thought then. In the words of Judy Ostrow, who penned the text, this home “delivers an exemplary taste of what contemporary design philosophy can create.”
But after a short tour with the proud home owner, I realized this house was more than a model for forward-thinking design. “This house is a home,” I wrote in my notes. The vast modern and tribal art collection, warm color schemes, soft textures, crisp lines, natural materials, open-air flow—all of it painted a picture of family life. Each item had a story behind it, often attached to a personal predilection, often a memory.
I would visit several times after that—to tour the property more extensively, to scout it again with Stamford Magazine art director Garvin Burke, and once more for the shoot that produced the images photographer Stacy Bass captured here.
So it was with shock that we recently learned that there was a fire at the house on Christmas Day. At the time the family was enjoying an annual dinner tradition with family and friends. Thankfully, no one was injured, but the structure and some furnishings were damaged.
“Everything was so special to us,” the home owner said with a note of sadness when I called. Still, he assured me, his family was fine, the builder and architect had already been out to begin the rebuilding process and much of the artwork was in the hands of restorers. “We plan on keeping it the same way,” he told me. Changes might result in areas where unique materials or one-of-a-kind pieces had been used, but otherwise, “it will be ninety-five percent the same.”
Indeed, this family is moving forward, and with that in mind, we present to you the story of their home as it was planned originally, not only so you can see what I saw on that first visit, but as a tribute to their creative process and an expression of neighborly solidarity.