Interiorssneak peeks

A Connecticut Home With a Black-and-White Spin

by Grace Bonney

Buying a home can be an exciting but terrifying process. The ups, the downs, the financial stress, the endless possibilities of a fresh space — all of them are wrapped up into one big leap and one giant contract. Now imagine going through all of that from almost 3,000 miles away with at least a year between your contract signing and your actual move-in. That’s what happened with Annie and Brent Diamond when they moved back to the east coast after years of living in California.

Annie and Brent wanted to move back to the same town where they had raised their children, Patrick and Madeline, now that both were nearing college age. During college scouting trips with Madeline, Annie would sneak in a few home visits in New Canaan, CT, but nothing ever felt quilt right. Then, just after returning home to California, Annie’s agent called and said, “I think I found your house.” Brent was able to visit because he was on a trip nearby with Patrick, but all Annie saw was a series of photos via email. The next day they bought their home and it would be an entire year before the family would step foot inside their new house.

From the west coast, Annie oversaw the makeover of their new home, from removing wallpaper and light fixtures to redesigning their kitchen and making a major design decision throughout the house: everything was painted white and black. The stark contrast between black and white defines the space, creates a modern feel and adds depth and weight to the architectural details of the home. My favorite design decision the family made was to expose the original brick behind the stove in the kitchen, but the overall look of everything is fantastic. Now that Annie, Brent, and Patrick are home they love their new space and being able to be close to and visit Madeline, who is now a student at Bucknell. Thanks so much to the whole family for sharing a peek inside their beautiful home today. xo, grace

Additional Sources and Paint Colors:

Kitchen-1 & 2
Paint-Benjamin Moore Cloud White
Marble and reclaimed wood island- Williams-Sonoma
Refrigerator- Subzero 30”
Open Shelving and hood-Custom by cabinet maker
Trash can- Wesco- Crate and Barrel
Countertops- Black honed granite
Small framed art to right of stove- Lisa Congdon
Red and white checked dish towels- IKEA
Hooks added to island- School House Electric
Pendants over island and above sink- Schoolhouse Electric
Living Room
Armoire-RJ Imports, San Juan Capistrano, CA
Chairs-Irving swivel chairs- Pottery Barn
Table between chairs- Saarinen black top marble
Sofa- Mitchell-Gold, Dovecoat, Westport, CT
Louis Ghost Chairs- Kartell
Four-door distressed cabinet- RJ Imports, San Juan Capistrano, CA
Lamps on Cabinet- Jamie Young, Juxtaposition, Newport Coast, CA
Lamp behind sofa- Simon Pearce
Pillows on sofa/fireplace- Pottery Barn
Black cashmere throws on sofa- Nordstrom
Mirror-vintage-  Elizabeth’s, Lewisburg, PA
Master Bedroom
Paint- Benjamin Moore Graphite
White linen coverlet and Euro Shams- West Elm
Stripe pillows- Pottery Barn
Monogrammed pillow- BDG Embroidery, Fairfield, CT
Tan quilt and shams- Room and Board
“D” Giant Letter- Dan’s Parents’ House
Cloth Cord bulb sets- Lighting Plus, NYC
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
Annie and Brent painted their home's exterior white and the glass door black - a color theme throughout the home. They'd always wanted a house with a front porch, so this was a real treat to find. The lanterns are original to the house - all they needed were Edison bulbs. Annie and Brent added modern house numbers for the final touch.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
In the home's entryway, Annie and Brent added hooks to the wall but they fell off one by one, leaving huge holes in the wall. To cover the holes and fix the problem, they used a piece of salvaged wood from Brooklyn to create a sturdier coat rack.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
The view from the main living area into to the dining room. In the center of the room between the two sitting areas was the perfect spot for a large armoire that Annie uses as her desk storage. This is the area the family finds themselves in the most, so it's a mix of cozy and practical (with spaces to relax and watch TV or host guests).
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
The family's TV, opposite the fireplace, rests on top of an antique armoire.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
Annie and Brent searched for a vintage mirror for this space and found one last fall while visiting their daughter at Bucknell. Elizabeth's, a restaurant on the main street in Lewisburg, PA, has mirrors as part of their decor and they are all for sale. So after a little lunch, the family walked out with a mirror.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
Brent built the family's dining room table 25 years ago while they were living in California. Annie wanted a farm table made from reclaimed barn wood and went all over LA looking for a source for barn wood. It turned out it was near impossible to find barn wood in the late 80s in Southern California, so they used reclaimed scaffolding. Annie said of her dining room's chairs, "These chairs have been painted at least 10 times and we keep thinking we'll get something new and modern, but they are so comfortable."
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
Annie explained that she feels it's necessary to have furniture that doubles as storage. This piece holds the family's huge platters, serving pieces and stacks of dinner plates.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
Annie renovated the kitchen, but kept the original layout. They added an island, custom cabinets and open shelving.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
Annie added a gas Wolf range and in the process discovered that most of the kitchen's original brick was in pretty bad shape. Instead of replacing it, Annie painted it white and added open shelving. The first two shelves hold everything the family uses on a daily basis and the top is perfect for extra storage.
The home's original kitchen had a huge desk when Annie first saw the house. She had it removed before they moved in and replaced with this Saarinen table and corner bench. They purchased the Enzo Mari print just for this space and thought it was perfect for the space and color palette.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
The left side of the kitchen counter was left open for everyday appliances and a large paper roll for grocery lists and menus.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
The upstairs hallway is filled with black-and-white family photographs and echoes the black-and-white paint theme throughout the home.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
The master bedroom is painted a bold black hue, Benjamin Moore Graphite, that creates both a modern and cozy feel at the same time.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
The master bedroom is painted black and Annie and Brent hung their wave and pier photographs on what turned out to be the PERFECT size wall between the bathroom and closet doors. Brent received these photos from surf photographer Tom Servais when they worked together at Surfer Publishing. They've always found a place for them wherever they lived, but never on a black wall. Annie like them best in this house, even if it's not a beach house, because they really stand out against the dark wall.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
Patrick's room continues the home's black paint theme. The wall to the left has an arrangement of crates Annie found at flea markets that hold baseballs, souvenirs and trophies. The "Endless Summer" poster is a nod to the family's years and summers spent living in California.
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge
Madeline's room might be on the small side, but it contains a huge array of artwork. Of her NY posters, Annie said, "Madeline was born in California, but considers herself just as much an east coaster as she does a California girl."
Annie Diamond's Home Tour on Design*Sponge

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