Connecticut Colonial

LITCHFIELD, CT

Connecticut Colonial

This early-19th-century house in Litchfield County, Connecticut, is located within the historic district of a small town. 

The homeowner, a long-time friend of Glenn Gissler Design, asked us to reimagine the exterior and interiors of their home. The client, who grew up in rural Kentucky, imagined a farmhouse reminiscent of her childhood but with a gracious update incorporating modern comforts and her sophisticated aesthetics.

Trimmed and globe boxwoods, along with two old-growth trees, create a symmetrical approach to the house. The new front porch, which we designed, features a pediment echoing the structure’s roofline. The front door is painted a glossy aubergine, which hints at what lies behind it.

Trimmed and globe boxwoods, along with two old-growth trees, create a symmetrical approach to the house. The new front porch, which we designed, features a pediment echoing the structure’s roofline. The front door is painted a glossy aubergine, which hints at what lies behind it.

We designed new paneling in the double-height entryway which is painted glossy aubergine – the homeowner’s favorite color. To make the space more accommodating, we removed a coat closet and replaced it with an Empire-period console decoupaged with antique calligraphic paper and an antique-painted Swedish chair. Two gilt-framed mirrors refract the ample sunlight to expand the space by day; by night, a crystal chandelier purchased decades ago by the homeowner illuminates the room. The striped stair runner strikes a balance between antique and modern sensibilities.

We designed new paneling in the double-height entryway which is painted glossy aubergine – the homeowner’s favorite color. To make the space more accommodating, we removed a coat closet and replaced it with an Empire-period console decoupaged with antique calligraphic paper and an antique-painted Swedish chair. Two gilt-framed mirrors refract the ample sunlight to expand the space by day; by night, a crystal chandelier purchased decades ago by the homeowner illuminates the room. The striped stair runner strikes a balance between antique and modern sensibilities.

Just inside the living room, a Duncan Phyfe-style side chair, one of a pair, is part of a tableau with a vintage Chinese apothecary cabinet, a 19th-century Christopher Dresser ewer, and a romantic black-and-white still-life photograph.

Just inside the living room, a Duncan Phyfe-style side chair, one of a pair, is part of a tableau with a vintage Chinese apothecary cabinet, a 19th-century Christopher Dresser ewer, and a romantic black-and-white still-life photograph.

The living room sofa is upholstered in a stylized botanical print, complementing the three club chairs in purple and a shade of fresh yellow-green linen to complete the seating arrangement. The bold silhouette of the Macau-inspired coffee table anchors the center of the room and sits beneath a vintage French ceiling fixture. The window mullions are painted dark to frame the views of the property.

The living room sofa is upholstered in a stylized botanical print, complementing the three club chairs in purple and a shade of fresh yellow-green linen to complete the seating arrangement. The bold silhouette of the Macau-inspired coffee table anchors the center of the room and sits beneath a vintage French ceiling fixture. The window mullions are painted dark to frame the views of the property.

A 19th-century library table displays an array of books and accessories illuminated by a celadon ceramic lamp.

A 19th-century library table displays an array of books and accessories illuminated by a celadon ceramic lamp.

We designed floor-to-ceiling bookcases to accommodate an extensive collection of literature. We also added ceiling beams, a newly designed colonial mantle, moldings, and a concealed television cabinet to make it a charming but multi-functional space.

We designed floor-to-ceiling bookcases to accommodate an extensive collection of literature. We also added ceiling beams, a newly designed colonial mantle, moldings, and a concealed television cabinet to make it a charming but multi-functional space.

A fresh coat of paint on the walls, beams, and ceiling boards integrated the kitchen into the adjacent dining room. We added a vintage-style ceiling fixture and a swing-arm sconce above the sink. For a naturalistic note, warm brown granite countertops complement the room’s crisp, clean lines.

A fresh coat of paint on the walls, beams, and ceiling boards integrated the kitchen into the adjacent dining room. We added a vintage-style ceiling fixture and a swing-arm sconce above the sink. For a naturalistic note, warm brown granite countertops complement the room’s crisp, clean lines.

We designed an entire suite of teak Anglo-Indian dining room furniture, including the massive table, sideboard, and 12 chairs. The room can host small gatherings and holiday dinners for as many as 14 guests. A trio of shaded pendant light fixtures provides appealing illumination.

We designed an entire suite of teak Anglo-Indian dining room furniture, including the massive table, sideboard, and 12 chairs. The room can host small gatherings and holiday dinners for as many as 14 guests. A trio of shaded pendant light fixtures provides appealing illumination.

A new staircase leads to the former attic, now a third floor with a bedroom and a half and extensive storage. The striped stair runner was meticulously mitered at the landings to great effect. Each framed artwork from the homeowner’s collection is a line from a poem, which can be read sequentially from top to bottom to complete the verses, lit by a charming chandelier purchased at auction.

A new staircase leads to the former attic, now a third floor with a bedroom and a half and extensive storage. The striped stair runner was meticulously mitered at the landings to great effect. Each framed artwork from the homeowner’s collection is a line from a poem, which can be read sequentially from top to bottom to complete the verses, lit by a charming chandelier purchased at auction.

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A pair of Swedish-inspired cabinets doubles as bedside tables and coveted storage in the primary bedroom. Matching mercury-glass lamps add to the symmetry and three 19th-century framed botanicals that add a historical charm.

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In the primary bedroom, we stained the floors a rich dark brown, added v-grooved planking to the ceiling, and painted everything one color for a calming effect. The upholstered headboard tucks into the eave, with a bench upholstered in block-printed cotton sitting at the foot of the bed and another antique Swedish chair.

We carved out an extra sleeping space at the top of the stairs – a half-bedroom – on the new third floor; a favorite spot for the client’s grandchildren. The wall sconce and toss pillows’ playful colors add a bit of whimsy, with the diminutive painting by the client’s mother adding a nostalgic generational note.

We carved out an extra sleeping space at the top of the stairs – a half-bedroom – on the new third floor; a favorite spot for the client’s grandchildren. The wall sconce and toss pillows’ playful colors add a bit of whimsy, with the diminutive painting by the client’s mother adding a nostalgic generational note.

The original structure from the nineteenth century is married to the relatively new back addition by the raised-ridge copper roof we specified to reinforce the character of this historic home. On the axis from the home’s back porch, a stone pathway and mature arborvitae lead to a new ‘paddock-style’ enclosure for the pool, recalling the client’s rural Kentucky heritage.

The original structure from the nineteenth century is married to the relatively new back addition by the raised-ridge copper roof we specified to reinforce the character of this historic home. On the axis from the home’s back porch, a stone pathway and mature arborvitae lead to a new ‘paddock-style’ enclosure for the pool, recalling the client’s rural  Kentucky heritage. 

A cluster of globe boxwoods creates a visual counterpoint to the strict linear pattern of the home’s clapboard siding. In the summer, Boston ferns and mature hydrangeas add to the garden’s quintessential New England sensibility.

A cluster of globe boxwoods creates a visual counterpoint to the strict linear pattern of the home’s clapboard siding. In the summer, Boston ferns and mature hydrangeas add to the garden’s quintessential New England sensibility.

The back porch is part of an addition to the house that dates to the twentieth century. It is just off the dining room, with views of a pond and the bucolic Connecticut countryside beyond. Vintage rattan furniture and a porch swing provide al fresco seating for morning coffee or post-dinner conversations.

The back porch is part of an addition to the house that dates to the twentieth century. It is just off the dining room, with views of a pond and the bucolic Connecticut countryside beyond. Vintage rattan furniture and a porch swing provide al fresco seating for morning coffee or post-dinner conversations.

Senior Designer Craig Strulovitz
Photos by Gross & Daley

1st Dibs – Heads Up!

1st DIBS MAGAZINE

HEADS UP!

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Heads Up! Wallpapered and Painted Ceilings are Trending, As These 14 Rooms Dramatically Reveal

by Laura Hine
Photography by Gross & Daley

Glenn Gissler has called Brooklyn Heights home for more than 12 years, so when he was chosen to decorate the living room of the first Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse, he was thrilled. “It’s a grand 19th-century townhouse,” he says. “We decided to honor the architectural history while making it a relevant room for 21st-century living.”

The shimmer of gold on the ceiling comes from Farrow & Ball’s Bumble Bee wallpaper. Its design was inspired by the pattern adorning silks in the bedroom of Joséphine Bonaparte, the first wife of Napoleon I.

Gissler reached out to several New York dealers — all of whom are on 1stDibs — to furnish the space. In keeping with the wallpaper’s French origins, he included a circa 1960 Jules Leleu desk and a pair of circa 1950 Jacques Adnet armchairs, all from Maison Gerard. The desk is adorned by a modernist lamp from Karl Kemp Antiques. A 19th-century Khorassan carpet from Nazmiyal fills the space while allowing the original Greek-key floor inlay to be seen around its edges. The English Arts and Crafts armoire is from Newel.

Read the full Article on 1stdibs.com

 

Glenn Gissler has called Brooklyn Heights home for more than 12 years, so when he was chosen to decorate the living room of the first Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse, he was thrilled. “It’s a grand 19th-century townhouse,” he says. “We decided to honor the architectural history while making it a relevant room for 21st-century living.”
Gissler reached out to several New York dealers — all of whom are on 1stDibs — to furnish the space. In keeping with the wallpaper’s French origins, he included a circa 1960 Jules Leleu desk and a pair of circa 1950 Jacques Adnet armchairs, all from Maison Gerard. The desk is adorned by a modernist lamp from Karl Kemp Antiques. A 19th-century Khorassan carpet from Nazmiyal fills the space while allowing the original Greek-key floor inlay to be seen around its edges. The English Arts and Crafts armoire is from Newel.

Design Leadership Network

Design Leadership Network

FALL 2023

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At Water’s Edge: Glenn Gissler Turns a Steep Bank Into a Backyard Escape

by Glenn Gissler

This was a newly built Colonial Revival with almost no landscaping on a three-quarter acre property on the Hudson River. At the back of the house was a very steep, sloping yard to the river and a rickety narrow metal stairway leading to the dock. Our clients were looking to build a sizable pool and cabana, set into the steep slope going down to the river, with stairs to the river’s edge and the dock, and a level yard near the house.

Our biggest challenge was incorporating the engineering and structural aspects of the retaining walls needed to support the pool and house on a steep, sloping yard while maintaining a graceful appearance. This undertaking required a team including a landscape designer, engineer, the pool company, and architects.

The entire process took about a year: We broke ground in the late fall after a few months waiting for permits, had to take a long pause during the harshest days of winter, and started right back in the early spring. The pool and landscape were finished just in time for an early August swim.

Now, the pool area has become somewhat of a private resort; it’s the focus of almost all summer activities. All told, the yard now includes a pool cabana, an infinity edge pool, a variety of covered and open porches and patios, a barbecue area, flower garden, water’s edge walk, a big dock into the river, and a swing all overlooking a spectacular view of the Hudson.

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Reinvented Tradition – Park Avenue

Upper East Side – Park Avenue

Reinvented Tradition

This expansive Carnegie Hill apartment, just steps from The Guggenheim Museum and Central Park, is owned by a couple who have called it their home for nearly four decades. They raised their two children here and have entertained a multitude of friends and family over time.

With the children grown and having moved on to create their own lives, this couple was ready to redecorate the public and private rooms. With a penchant for traditional design and an interest in having their home feel fresh again, they contacted Glenn Gissler Design.

In our initial meetings, my clients shared their appreciation for jewel tones, which informed our palette, as set against warm and cool neutrals that serve as a backdrop. And while virtually all the furniture and furnishings–new, vintage, and antique–were fresh acquisitions for this apartment, we chose pieces that echo our clients’ taste for classical aesthetics.

When the installation was complete, one of my client’s longtime friends came to visit, offering her the ultimate compliment: “It’s beautiful, and while everything is different, I see YOU in all of it!” Glenn Gissler Design considers it a compliment, too.



Glenn Gissler - Sharpe Nyack - New York State

A vibrant canvas by the late American abstract impressionist painter John Opper takes pride of place in the apartment’s gracious living room. Two deep-seated sofas are upholstered in lush blue velvet, with a pair of club chairs covered in a Zak & Fox textile and two Regency-style benches covered in paprika-hued velvet. The curtains were tailored from a Cowtan & Tout floral fabric.

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In the living room, a custom basketweave pattern area rug carpet in shades of sandstone grounds the space with a subtle rhythmic geometry. In the foreground, a ceramic vessel by Pablo Picasso rests atop a Paul Frankl table from the 1930s. The cheerful brick-colored glazed ceramic lamp, one of a pair, is mid-20th century from France.

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Across the entry gallery, we placed an Aesthetic Movement console table, replete with Wedgewood cameos ringing the apron. The gilded Neoclassical mirror was part of the homeowner’s collection. A pair of mahogany side chairs flank the console, resting atop a custom carpet with a stylized double–helix border. The pale blue ceiling balances the warm tones perfectly.



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On one side of the entry gallery, a pair of lyrical metal sconces recall the work of Alberto Giacometti, bathing the space in an amber glow. Hanging between them is a minimalist work on paper by Ellsworth Kelly. The bench is a custom piece Glenn Gissler Design created for the room; it is covered in a Studio Four fabric and is detailed with brass sabots capping the legs. A small ball-and-stick Aesthetic Movement table from the late 19th century completes the tableau.

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A handsome console table and a pair of vintage chairs greet guests in the apartment’s elevator vestibule. The framed vintage black and white photographs of life in New York City in the late 1940s are by Arthur Leipzig are from the client’s collection.

Divers, East River, 1948
Chalk Games, 1950
Stickball, 1950.
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The dining room walls, and adjacent seating area, are upholstered in a cabbage rose-patterned fabric from Cowtan & Tout; the walls absorb noise and provide perfect acoustics for lively conversations. The wall pattern informed the color choices for the cabinet insets and the upholstered dining chairs, which are backed in a Venetian-inspired textile from Le Gracieux. The Regency-style dining table, which we restored, expands to accommodate larger parties.

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The curious, almost Aztec-like face on Pablo Picasso’s “Visage dans un carré” plate, 1956,  peers into the dining room from the center of the built-in cabinetry.

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Across from the dining room is an informal seating area with gracefully tailored upholstered pieces covered in textured neutrals. A built-in desk at the far end provides space for writing notes or answering emails. Sheer Roman shades diffuse the afternoon light.

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A charming home office was fashioned off one corner of the blue bedroom, stylishly defined from the larger space by a portiere curtain. The striped Roman shade, desk chair, and window seat are all made from Cowtan & Tout fabrics.

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A shade of barely-there blue paint wraps the perimeter of this peaceful bedroom. The photo by Mary Ellen Bartley sets a calming aesthetic. The undulating chandelier provides overhead light, while a pair of crackle-glazed lamps perched atop a pair of mahogany nightstands, illuminate for pre-slumber reading. The decorative pillows are covered in textiles from Kravet.

Senior Designer Craig Strulovitz
Photos by Gross & Daley