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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  • (I really can’t get used to your new way of browsing pictures… The arrow buttons alwasy moove following the picture size, and it’s less more comfy than scrolling… I really tried to like it but can’t at all after several weeks)

    • hi jub

      just use your arrow keys on your keyboard. i’ve explained this a few times on the site already, but you don’t have to click on any of the arrows ever.


  • Perfection! What color whites were used on the walls and trim (dining room, living room, entry way, etc.)?

  • Annie’s style strikes the perfect balance between classic cool. I’ve been following her for years, since before she moved to Connecticut and have always found her to be such an inspiration! Loved seeing these never seen before pictures of her house.

  • I’m with Jub. I really miss the scrolling photo displays. I used to look at every tour, but having to click so much is a deterrent. Not exactly easy to use arrow keys on an ipad.

  • I have been endlessly inspired by Annie’s incomparable and inventive style on her gorgeous “Most Lovely Things” Instagram page. What a sheer delight it is to have this inside peek into her home and to hear about the backstory of it beautiful design evolution. Just gorgeous Annie!

  • OMG, my favorite Monday read showing one of my favorite bloggers/designer/Instagrammer/chef and all around woman of style Annie Diamond?

    Priceless. Almost makes me forget the endless winter.

  • Gorgeous pictures! I have to say, when it said “black and white spin” I was expecting something more modern and minimalist… but this has such a cozy look and feel to it! I am just loving it.

  • The front porch is gorgeous first off with the pale blue paint and the lights on both sides. Plus the little hello on the door. Then the fire place! Wow! The kitchen is another beautiful space with lots of white, the wooden island and the lovely see through fridge. The black and white photography in the master bedroom is stunning too. Great place!

  • What is the source of the lovely pots on the front porch on either side of the door? Thanks for sharing photos of this beautiful home!

  • I second the comment where did you get the roman shades? I love them against the black trim.

  • Fantastic remake!(and I love the giant roll of paper!)
    I also like the new photo setup.

  • I would also like to know the source for the shades – the ones in the kitchen. Thanks.

  • L.O.V.E. Annie’s panache! How beautiful is that fireplace painted white…and the graphic punches everywhere? I feel lucky that I have seen her stylish and warm home in person…but this makes it fun to savor. Thank you Design Sponge!!!!

  • I love how cute and well-planned everything is. I am not sure of the Italian chairs decision as they don’t seem to go but hey, not my home. : )

  • What a beautiful house! Is the paint on the front door the same black paint and finish as in the bedroom? I love the black paint on the doors! Also, do you happen to know the source for the paper roll? Thank you for sharing!

  • Lovely. Please source the black door and trim paint and finish. Thank you!

  • Lovely! The black and white theme works perfectly in this space. I am wondering about the source of the piece of furniture that “holds the family’s huge platters, serving pieces and stacks of dinner plates”. Where did it come from? It’s beautiful! Thanks for sharing your home :)

  • what a brilliant decision to paint everything black and white…such a great way to create a cohesive look especially if you are renovating long-distance. love all the warm woods layered in. beautiful home!

  • Lovely east coast home … also (just some positive affirmation here) I love the new layout. It’s modern, beautiful, and perfect.

  • This home is wonderful. A brilliant mix of modern and traditional. The ghost chairs really sit perfectly next to the distressed heavier unit and the vintage mirror on the white wall is so pretty. The black and white decor is striking and stylish, I love the vibrant red and black bedroom too, still very chic, but playful too. The rustic tones soften the look and add warmth. Love it

  • Would you be willing to share the paint color used on the stones around the fireplace?? I would be sooooo grateful!

    • Hello,

      I really love your fireplace! If possible, I would like to know How did you paint your fireplace? which kind of paint did you use?thank you for the information !

      I will be awaiting your answer
      Thanks again

  • I really enjoyed this home tour! The mix of modern and farmhouse style is great, especially in the black and white palette. Nice to see some brighter colors incorporated in the bedrooms, too. My favorite photo might be the front door. Nice job!

  • Good Evening, I too am wondering what kind of paint was used on the fireplace? Was it Benjamin Moore and do you happen to know the color? I know it has been a few years, so I understand if that information is long gone! ~ KC