What with the stacks (more like towering Gothic skyscrapers) of magazines building up that I haven’t had a chance to read, threatening to topple over and pin me beneath my desk or recamier, I finally made the time to delve into the stacks and devour some of their inspirational features, homes, people and trends. One in particular that caught my eye, because of its wonderful combination of elegance and simplicity, of formality and easy grace, was the stunning home of Designer Victoria Hagan featured in Architectural Digest. A sprawling multi page spread fit for a sprawling home, rich with intrigue, passion and life.
I enjoyed the shared history of how the home came to be (read the article for the full story) and particularly enjoyed Hagan’s anecdotes about the renovation, her Design process and how she came to be in Southport Connecticut What followed suit was an in-depth, nearly year long renovation in which Hagan transformed nearly every aspect of the house, converting it from an 80’s McMansion into something with heart, passion, history and an effortless sense of livability. Gone were the 12″ by 12″ marble floors (replaced with wide-plank wood), countless small rooms were opened up to create several large rooms more suited for entertaining and family events…. Rooms that while beautiful and inspirational, are all usable, functional and livable. The key to Hagan’s home away from home is livability, albeit on a grand scale.
Quiet, spare and elegant with an element of rusticity added, the Entrance Hall is a study in white on white with white (much like the rest of the house) but the reason the ALL white palette works here is because of the underlying purpose being to create a refuge for Hagan and her family when they escape New York. I love the warm wood of the Jean-Michel Frank style stool nestled beneath the elegant yet clumsy painted table. Fresh flowers keep the space alive and draw attention to the layering of visual textures and finishes.
The breakfast room is spare, light and functional… yet is still imbued with a sense of elegance. The wall sconces and pendant are vintage finds from Ann-Morris Antiques; the botanical prints are antique originals and the rich dark plank style flooring and east coast style bead board was all installed by Hagan.
By far my favourite room featured in the delightful article is the Family room. It embodies all the goals outlined by Hagan in the article… a space that is warm, tactile, elegant, uplifting, casual, warm, usable and FRESH. The cocktail table is from the Victoria Hagan Home Collection and in keeping with the retreat theme, the palette of white is punctuated with a variety of seaside blues to pick up on the stunning waterfront location and views.
The perfect spot to curl up and read the latest tome about Diana Vreeland… the library is a wonderful homage to a period style room with an updating of soft modern furnishings and accessories. I particularly ADORE the 1940s armchair by Jacques Adnet. The room feels both visually and conceptually warm and touchable. (The purple mohair on the sofa is exquisite)
The Dining room is calm yet ready at a moments notice for guests… the dining chairs are velvet-clad (again from the Victoria Hagan Home Collection) giving a visual warmth and softness. I personally enjoy the original 19th-century Swedish brass chandelier and the historic neoclassical prints. The seaside theme is continued with the layering of creams, whites and a variety of pale fresh blues.
The massive, airy and zen like Master bedroom represents Hagan’s own escape with her escape. The room’s bedside tables are again by Victoria Hagan Home Collection … (and you KNOW how obsessed with bedside tables I am).