Holiday House Tour 2004 – Historic Italianate

Historic Italianate

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This 1884 antique built for Rufus Wakeman has been restored and renewed by the current owners, a young family with their own rich history of years spent living in Poland and China and a family connection to South Africa. They are only the third family to live in this jewel of a house, winner of the 2003 Westport Historical Society Preservation Award for the way they have meticulously retained original plaster walls, moldings, ceiling medallions, and wide oak floors.

Still, there is a sense of modernity and life throughout the home. The rooms are painted in glowing colors such as coral red, chartreuse, and lavender, which make the antique white moldings and trim stand out. Furnished with consignment finds, antique Chinese lamps, Tong Dynasty objects, and modern touches such as steel hued raw silk drapes, the mood is upbeat.

The walls are filled with captivating art work including huge Post-Communist Deconstruction oil paintings collected when the family lived in Poland. The many sculptures mounted on the walls and resting on tables, created by the husband’s artist-mother, are textural, organic and startling, yet fitting, in their historic setting.

The daughter’s bedroom, whose décor she chose, is a perfect example of the creativity and sense of fun in this house. The orange walls, leopard print fabric, Art Deco bed, and vintage art work create a fabulous African motif.

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All proceeds from the Holiday House Tour benefit the Westport Historical Society.