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Home Tour: Edie Parker Founder Brett Heyman’s Connecticut Escape

Home Tour: Edie Parker Founder Brett Heyman’s Connecticut Escape
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One very specific and unusual request led founder-designer Brett Heyman of accessories brand Edie Parker to the interior designer of her six-bedroom getaway in northwestern Connecticut. “I really wanted someone who had worked in a visual team at a fashion house,” she says. Having worked at Gucci as the director of PR, she’d learned that people who worked in visual departments “knew where to buy really good pieces and not such expensive pieces.” After inquiring with a few friends, one name kept coming up: Mark Cunningham. The Manhattan-based decorator had honed his knack for discovering rare gems while working for Ralph Lauren for years. “I met him and just connected with him right away,” Brett says.

Equally fortuitous was the way in which Brett became the owner of her weekend house. Living down the street in a smaller property with a baby girl, Brett and her husband, Gregory, regularly took walks to the orchard at the top of the street. “We would always pass this house and admire it,” she says. “It just sat really beautifully on the street.” Expecting their second child, the pair realized it was time to upsize. They met the couple who lived in the house, and it turned out they were quietly looking to move.

Though Brett handed over the design reins to Cunningham, she did have some top-level aesthetic goals. “In New York, we live in an apartment that is very midcentury, very bright, with tons of color and colorful art, and is just very, very, very loud,” she says. “For the country house, we really wanted something that was a retreat and opposite of that: muted, calm, and that really played well with the outside.” Functionally, she wanted to take advantage of the square footage and create different spaces—inside and out—where she and her family could be together or have privacy.

 

From a picture-perfect pool and a beautifully landscaped patio to a contemporary treehouse and an outdoor fireplace lounge, the home’s exterior is optimized for both entertaining and private time. As a foil for the house’s traditional colonial architecture, Brett and Gregory chose unexpected designs for their outdoor structures. “It occurred to us that we could do something really funky for our treehouse instead of just having our local craftsman make a little house for the kids,” Brett tells us. “We just started researching and found a great guy to build it. Unfortunately it doesn’t really get used… Our kids have no interest in it, but I love looking at it.”

The undeniably great outdoor space is used year-round. “In the summer, obviously, we’re in the pool, and we take hikes. There are all sorts of amazing land trusts in our area, part of what makes it so special,” she says. “We have apple trees in the orchards, so all fall we like to be outside, pick apple trees, eat in the orchard. In the winter, we make fires in the outdoor fireplace, and we cook in the pizza oven. It’s such a great antidote to being in Manhattan all the time and being inside.”

An antique dresser, a contemporary Craftsman-inspired chair, and a glamorous painted table lamp in the foyer set the tone for Brett’s home with a mix of old and new items.

An antique dresser, a contemporary Craftsman-inspired chair, and a glamorous painted table lamp in the foyer set the tone for Brett’s home with a mix of old and new items.

Wildflowers bring a bit of the outdoors in.

Wildflowers bring a bit of the outdoors in.

With a center table, a pair of antique chairs, and a lantern by Suzanne Kasler, the house’s grand entrance hall is airy and inviting.

With a center table, a pair of antique chairs, and a lantern by Suzanne Kasler, the house’s grand entrance hall is airy and inviting.

Brett tells us her expansive living room—which boasts dueling sofas—is her favorite: “The ceilings are high. There are windows and doors all around. I love every piece of furniture in it, and it’s just so comfortable.”

Brett tells us her expansive living room—which boasts dueling sofas—is her favorite: “The ceilings are high. There are windows and doors all around. I love every piece of furniture in it, and it’s just so comfortable.”

I feel like in New York, your formal rooms are never used, or at least in my apartment, they’re not. This room is just so spectacular that every time we have people over, we sit in that room as opposed to a more ‘casual’ room.

— Brett Heyman
The Frank Gehry waterfall cocktail table was one of Cunningham’s rare but affordable discoveries. “He found the table in a random shop in Florida. If it had been on 1stdibs or at auction, it would have been so much more expensive,” Brett says. “And I just love it.”

The Frank Gehry waterfall cocktail table was one of Cunningham’s rare but affordable discoveries. “He found the table in a random shop in Florida. If it had been on 1stdibs or at auction, it would have been so much more expensive,” Brett says. “And I just love it.”

The cocktail table is made of edge board, multiple layers of corrugated cardboard glued together for strength.

The cocktail table is made of edge board, multiple layers of corrugated cardboard glued together for strength.

Painted a Farrow & Ball green, the kitchen features a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a Wolf range, Perrin & Rowe sink fittings, and marble countertops and backsplash.

Painted a Farrow & Ball green, the kitchen features a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a Wolf range, Perrin & Rowe sink fittings, and marble countertops and backsplash.

In every home, I think, the kitchen is key. People hang out in the kitchen. It’s the happy place. It’s where people gravitate towards, so I would spend as much energy as you can on the kitchen.

— Brett Heyman
The breakfast area features a vintage Italian pendant light, an antique table, and Tolix-inspired galvanized-steel chairs.

The breakfast area features a vintage Italian pendant light, an antique table, and Tolix-inspired galvanized-steel chairs.

A cyanotype by Christian Marclay inspired the color scheme of the family room, which features pops of indigo and other blues, along with warm woods and neutrals.

A cyanotype by Christian Marclay inspired the color scheme of the family room, which features pops of indigo and other blues, along with warm woods and neutrals.

A collection of Edie Parker handbags and trays, which are emblazoned with colorful marbleized swirls and cursive lettering, are sprinkled throughout Brett’s home.

A collection of Edie Parker handbags and trays, which are emblazoned with colorful marbleized swirls and cursive lettering, are sprinkled throughout Brett’s home.

I think my personal style is totally schizophrenic, so sometimes I definitely do not relate to my interiors. I look out of place in the house. And then sometimes I feel like I want to be muted and quiet, and I do relate.

— Brett Heyman
Bookshelves store archives of Edie Parker’s sparkly box clutches.

Bookshelves store archives of Edie Parker’s sparkly box clutches.

Edie Parker recently ventured into home goods with a line of acrylic trays, coasters, place mats, and jewelry boxes.

Edie Parker recently ventured into home goods with a line of acrylic trays, coasters, place mats, and jewelry boxes.

The minimal and moody gray dining room is accented with edgy photographs of Kate Moss.

The minimal and moody gray dining room is accented with edgy photographs of Kate Moss.

I pick out all the art pieces. I don’t think I’m a collector. I think I’m just a person who really likes art. I fall in love with a piece and flip over it. I enjoy getting it, but I’m not a collector with a capital C.

— Brett Heyman
Brett’s masculine wood-paneled library is a quiet retreat for those occasions when one needs alone time.

Brett’s masculine wood-paneled library is a quiet retreat for those occasions when one needs alone time.

The airy master bedroom features a large lithograph by Ellsworth Kelly and a handmade quilt from Paula Rubenstein. A green velvet children’s chair serves as the perfect place to put on shoes.

The airy master bedroom features a large lithograph by Ellsworth Kelly and a handmade quilt from Paula Rubenstein. A green velvet children’s chair serves as the perfect place to put on shoes.

The sculptural treehouse was constructed by Roderick Romero.

The sculptural treehouse was constructed by Roderick Romero.

In addition to an orchard, the property has a vegetable garden.

In addition to an orchard, the property has a vegetable garden.

An outdoor fireplace is a beloved place to hang during chilly winters.

An outdoor fireplace is a beloved place to hang during chilly winters.

Brett worked with a local carpenter to construct her “bee house,” an elevated home for her bee hives. “He is amazingly artistic, actually,” she tells us, “so when we wanted to build the bee house, he was the one that was like, ‘Let’s do something a little bit unexpected.’”

Brett worked with a local carpenter to construct her “bee house,” an elevated home for her bee hives. “He is amazingly artistic, actually,” she tells us, “so when we wanted to build the bee house, he was the one that was like, ‘Let’s do something a little bit unexpected.’”

Not only is the elevated bee house an intriguing focal point, it also keeps the hives safe from bears.

Not only is the elevated bee house an intriguing focal point, it also keeps the hives safe from bears.

A prime summer destination, the pool is set a bit away from the house.

A prime summer destination, the pool is set a bit away from the house.

Related: Inside a Designer’s High-Style, Kid-Friendly Manhattan Apartment →

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