An Artist’s Neutral Connecticut House
Painter Kerri Rosenthal eschews the vibrant hues of her work in favor of a more subdued palette in her intimate family home.
Kerri Rosenthal has a way with colorful brushstrokes. The prolific artist and creative director of the design firm D2 Interieurs creates abstract pieces that incorporate every hue in the spectrum, from soothing pastels to bold primary shades, all composed in the attic turned studio in her Weston, Connecticut, home. But while the painter’s work leaps off the canvas in kaleidoscopic tones, her house is a careful study in restraint. “I am immersed in color all day, both in my art and my work,” says Rosenthal. “I needed my home to be somewhat neutral.”
In fact, it was the bright white walls and double-height ceilings that first drew her to the space 14 years ago, paired with the kind of light that only an artist can truly appreciate. “It’s that exposure that dilates your eyes and makes you happy,” says Rosenthal. “Even when it’s dreary, the house lights up without any bulbs.” At the time, Rosenthal was living in New York with her husband, David, and had no intention of moving for at least another two years. But fate intervened when a broker ended a whim of a house-hunting trip at the quirky home with a London townhouse feel. “I felt this emotional connection to the house immediately," she says. “I told David, ‘I need to live here,’” says Rosenthal. With the house move-in ready, all that was left to do was infuse the intimate space with a little personality.
For Rosenthal, that meant creating a blank canvas that would allow a rotating collection of her work to shine in each room of the house. “My art is very colorful,” says Rosenthal. “The color needs to be in the art, not the furnishings.” So she opted for clean lines and various shades of gray, beige, and white throughout the home, from the linen Ligne Roset sofa in her living room to the Milo Baughman chairs in the library. After six years of living in the space came more significant renovations: she revamped all of the bathrooms, added a pool in the backyard, and converted an unfinished attic into a home studio. And it was only three years ago that Rosenthal performed what D2 Interieurs calls “kitchen Botox” to her cooking space. She dropped the soffits to sit flush with the cabinetry, added a marble waterfall island, and created a boxed stove hood. Rattan stools and a wood coffee bar add warmth to the modern embellishments.
The master bedroom and her children’s sleeping quarters are similarly subdued, with bright bursts of color coming primarily from Rosenthal’s artwork and a few key details (think throw pillows, lamps, and accent chairs). “I just felt like each room should have its own personality,” she says, one that is constantly evolving. The neutral palette makes it easy to swap out paintings as they’re sold—or as Rosenthal’s mood dictates. “My home is my inspiration,” the artist says. It has to be a refection of how I’m feeling, and that can change tomorrow. Ever-changing, ever-evolving—that’s what I want for myself, and that’s what I want for my house.”