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King Size

Designing for the Man of the House

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Sunrises are likely sensational from this enviable two-acre spot across the road from the glinting surface of Long Island Sound and particularly from the master suite on the second floor where light bounces on every surface under a vaulted ceiling. There, from a substantial king-sized bed flanked by side tables and alabaster lamps, it would be easy to feel like the Sun King himself, minions scuttling in and out, serving your meals, pressing your trousers and busily tending to the fireplace surrounded in stone.

The suite is one of the few private spaces in the 5,200-square-foot, center-hall Colonial built in the 1970s and clad in white clapboard and topped by a shingle roof; otherwise it is dedicated to entertaining family and friends, a mission explicitly stated by the bachelor businessman and avid golfer who bought it as a homestead for himself and his two grown sons.

Meticulous and exacting by nature and frequently abroad for business, he was on a fast track to decorate his new home in a way that was welcoming, restful and suitable for entertaining. There would be minimal structural alteration, he decided. And he had a precise budget in hand—and a blisteringly fast timetable in which to work: two months in one hot summer.

His go-to partner in the Great Race to Decorate was Christina Lake, a partner in the Fairfield-based interior design firm of Forehand + Lake, formerly known as Raymond Forehand, where she has worked for the last twelve years. Lake led the design, procurement and installation effort for the project and was supported by a team of two from the thirty-year-old firm.

“This job was an exciting new challenge for us because of the compressed timetable,” she says, adding that her projects frequently take her as far away as Vermont, Sun Valley, Washington, D.C., Palm Beach, the Cape, Maine, Nevis and elsewhere. “So achieving our client’s objectives in this case gave us an opportunity to be really creative and resourceful.”

Among the novelties on display in this age of bespoke coasters and custom-tailored andirons are sections of broadloom carpet the firm bought in a series of colors and then had sewn together to effect the look of a color-blocked area rug.

“We gave it a Tibetan feel,” she says.

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