When Janice Parker first stepped into her new home in Greenwich, Connecticut, she was overwhelmed. The landscape architect is an expert when it comes to refining outdoor spaces, but has no experience tackling interiors—let alone a 6,000-square-foot spec house with five bedrooms and six bathrooms spanning three floors. “It was too big and too bright. There were so many windows,” she explains. “I just didn’t know how to feel at home in it.”
Parker reached out to her longtime friend Jamie Drake, co-founder (along with Caleb Anderson) of the Manhattan-based firm Drake/Anderson. He was the only person she trusted to transform the cookie-cutter house into a place she and her husband, Jim, could truly call their own. “I needed someone who had a very good sense of my inner life,” says Parker. Channeling her lifelong love of plants and flowers, Drake and his team chose a fresh palette of organic and vivid hues so that the modern Shingle Style house would feel like a lush garden. “There are a fair amount of green shades, and purples like you might find in an iris or agapanthus,” notes Drake.
On top of that, the designer blended contemporary and vintage furnishings, relying on pieces by acclaimed mid-century innovators such as Warren Platner, Ward Bennett, and Mario Bellini. A few of his choices had the clients skeptical at first: a rustic stone table with “really rough legs,” Parker recalls, and a flea market lamp with an Old Hollywood vibe. But ultimately, says Drake, the couple trusted his instincts: “They said, ‘Go ahead—we’re going to take the leap of faith that you have the vision.’ ”
Thoughtfully chosen art—including a series of 25 black-and-white botanical prints by German photographer Karl Blossfeldt—further the floral theme, which spills into Parker’s favorite space: the library. “They both love books,” Drake says of the homeowners, who asked him to turn the formal living room into a place where they could showcase their extensive collection of new and antique gardening tomes. Custom green-and-gray shelving with gleaming brass picture lights illuminates all the titles, while an eight-foot-long desk is planted squarely in front of the shelves at Parker’s request: “I wanted a big, long table where I could work and just sit and look at all my favorite books.”
“It was inspired by the notion of a garden, of a landscape,” Drake says.
Wallcovering: Phillip Jeffries. Sofa: Richard Mishaan for Theodore Alexander. Chairs: Theodore Alexander in Holly Hunt fabric. Rug: Stark. Coffee table: Theodore Alexander
A pair of coffee tables with legs painted to resemble buffalo horns anchors the extra-large seating area.
Sofa: Baker Furniture. Pillow fabrics: Zoffany and Harlequin (striped). Armchairs, coffee tables, and ottoman: Theodore Alexander. Art: Ann Aspinwall. Rug: Edward Fields.
The artful space, which doubles as an office, boasts a custom two-tone lacquered bookcase by Ivy Square Woodworking. Table: Theodore Alexander. Chair: vintage Ward Bennett, 1stDibs. Rug: Stark.
The wall right outside the library showcases 25 black-and-white botanical prints by German photographer Karl Blossfeldt.
The design team selected Mario Bellini’s trademark Cab stools from the 1970s for the existing white kitchen.
Paint: Brilliant White, Benjamin Moore. Faucet: Kohler.
Drake designed both the buffet and dining table, with its cool twisted base, exclusively for Theodore Alexander.
Chandelier: Circa Lighting. Art: Barbara Takenaga, Shark’s Ink. Chairs: Theodore Alexander in Great Plains fabric.
“They wanted a place in the room where they could have coffee and a light breakfast,” says Drake—so he coupled a Hickory Chair table with reupholstered chairs that once belonged to Parker’s aunt.
Bed: Michael Berman for Theodore Alexander. Curtain fabric: Kravet. Art: Alexandra Penney (fireplace); Ernesto García Sánchez, Mindy Solomon (bed).
The vintage Oushak rug inspired the room’s flavorful color palette of “apricot, peach, and cinnamon,” says Drake, while a Stark carpet underneath makes the Oushak seem larger. Wallpaper: Holly Hunt. Art: William Tillyer. Bench: Theodore Alexander. Table: Worlds Away.
“I wanted every plant to look like it was trying to jump out and take over the whole neighborhood,” Parker says with a laugh.
Table: West Elm. Armchairs: vintage Russell Woodard (left); RH (right).
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