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The 2015 CTC&G Innovation in Design Winners: Interior Design

Innovator 2: Calla McNamara

Loft like surprises fill a traditional home

If there’s a trend emerging among young people making the migration from city to suburban life, it might be the desire to have their homes look like Connecticut on the outside while emulating the loft they’re leaving behind on the inside. Interior designer Calla McNamara for Able Construction helped create a spec home in Westport reminiscent of a sleek Manhattan apartment but with all the comforts of a sprawling New England home.

Starting with a traditional living room on the right, dining on the left floor plan, the house features light wood floors, dark framed windows and walls mostly devoid of moldings—the dining room’s sheetrock coffered ceiling being the exception. “It’s a contemporary take on that concept,” explains McNamara, who also introduced a fresh turn on the classic central staircase. “Instead of railings, we used glass so you could look right through it to the family room and to the outdoors.”

Lots of attention was paid to the kitchen where floor-to-ceiling Calacatta tiles provide the backdrop for seamless white lacquer cabinetry and quartz countertops. In the family room, a wet bar sporting an edgy black and white color scheme is cleverly concealed behind a sliding barn door. According to the designer, the space could have been a closet but a bar made more sense. “Because this is where entertaining happens in modern life,” she says.