“I like to use color in broad, obvious strokes.”
Michael Leva’s Connecticut home may be an old country dwelling, but that didn’t stop him from creating a fresh, wholly unexpected space. In the living room, a modern sofa and coffee table mix beautifully with traditional Louis and Klismos chairs. But the star is the oversized chartreuse table lamp. “I tend to like a single color per space. The lamp adds drama and elegance.”
“I entertain constantly.”
As co-author of a book on entertaining, Recipes for Parties (Rizzoli), Leva created a kitchen that is always ready to serve. “This is a working kitchen that happens to display my collection of glasses and dishware,” he says. The open shelving (“a must!”) meant Leva could not only admire his treasures but they were easily accessible when it came time to set the table.
“I love the idea of being surrounded by books.”
In the library, Leva had the bookcase built especially to complement the Gustavian sofa and house his personal creative library. “I have a terrific collection of design, art, and fashion books,” he says. As it turns out, the placement of the settee was as practical as it is beautiful. “You just have to reach behind for a good read,” says Leva.
“Pale colors, to me, symbolize rest.”
“After a colorful day in fashion, the absence of color is a treat,” says Leva when asked about the pale gray color scheme he chose for the bedroom (not to mention the rest of the house). His home provides Leva with a way to express a side that would surprise those familiar with his recent work at C Wonder. “Personally I am a minimalist.”
“This house needed pieces that show age.”
Given that this is his country home, Leva wasn’t interested in perfection but instead wanted to embrace details like chipped paint or slightly worn upholstery, which, for him, “add character and a kind of authenticity.” Pieces like his antique desk also speak to the joy he finds in collecting. “Even when there was nowhere to put something, it just had to be mine. I buy what touches me and then I decide where it belongs.”