‘Traditional design sensibility with a twist’

FAIRFIELD — Kate Smith knows all about making a house feel like a home. She’s done it for many clients throughout her career as an interior decorator, and she’s done it for her own family in the Dutch colonial house at 126 Jackman Ave. in Fairfield’s Stratfield neighborhood.

Smith’s website says she is “Influenced by her time in the fashion industry … (bringing) a keen eye to every room she touches; focusing on color, texture and balance … As a mother, she understands the importance of creating multi-functional spaces that work well for the entire family in both style and practicality. Her own home reflects her love of traditional design mixed with a touch of whimsy, humor and playfulness.” In other words, “traditional design sensibility with a twist,” much as the house itself is; a blend of traditional structure with modern functionality.

The work she did to decorate her family’s own residence attracted the attention of various design publications, which featured this home in its pages.

Throughout most of the nine-room house Smith used blue and white as a color story, beginning right in the oversized entrance foyer and continuing to the second floor landing, where the walls are covered in Persepolis by Quadrille wallpaper. “It’s a classic motif, but I love using it in ways that feel fresh … It’s the perfect roadmap print for all of the other rooms to flow from,” Smith said.

She and her husband fell in love with the charm of this 2,469-square-foot colonial, which was built 101 years ago.

“Between the moldings, the millwork, the high ceilings, it just exuded character of a bygone era. Throughout the design process for the home, I wanted to make sure I was respecting the age of the house, while still making it adaptable for a young family in the 21st century living,” Smith said.

The charm includes the green shutters with cut-out designs of fleur de lis and the unusual roof line. Even the detached two-car garage has shutters and a window flower box. It sits on the side of the large backyard that features flower beds brimming with perennial gardens. The opposite side contains a shade garden that helps make the yard feel private, she said.


ADDRESS: 126 Jackman Avenue

PRICE: $799,000


FEATURES: 0.67-acre level lot, stone patio, flower beds, exterior lighting, extra insulation, one fireplace; walking distance to Lt. Owen Fish Park, Fairfield Warde High School and Brooklawn Country Club and golf course; short distance from the Park City Disc Golf Course, Discovery Museum, Sacred Heart University and Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course, close to shops and restaurants, natural gas heat, solar panels, detached two-car garage, full basement waterproofed by CT Basement Systems, walk-up attic, four bedrooms, two full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Stratfield Elementary, Tomlinson Middle, Fairfield Warde High

ASSESSMENT: $474,180

TAX RATE: 26.79 mills

TAXES: $12,703

The modern function and practicality are represented by the solar panels on the roof and a recently renovated powder room with a bold floral wallcovering.

“Powder rooms are the perfect little jewel boxes to have fun with. This floral print makes me smile every time I see it,” Smith said. This space highlights her design philosophy. “I’m a firm believer in making a bold statement within a small space.”

In the formal living room, where the walls are painted in a neutral white, there is a fireplace and built-ins. The formal dining room has a pop of blue on the upper walls as well as wainscoting on the lower walls and a built-in corner cupboard. From there, a café-style door swings into the butler’s pantry and kitchen, which features ample cabinets and counter space and a built-in desk area.

“The sunroom is my absolute favorite room in the house. I designed it to feel like springtime year-round. The three walls of windows flood the room with natural light making it the perfect spot for lush greenery inside. I love how the wallpaper feels like a trellis; it gives you the sense of being outdoors,” Smith said, even when homeowners are hunkered down for the harsh Connecticut winter, which brought more than a foot of snow this week.

On the main level there is also an office and one of the four bedrooms. The remaining three are on the second floor.

The spacious master suite features grass cloth on the walls for “textural detail without overwhelming the space,” and a French blue ceiling to “draw the eye up (to) help highlight how high the ceilings are.” Smith said she was aiming for an understated space with a peaceful feeling. The room features a walk-in cedar closet, en suite bathroom, and a large window seat that looks over the garden below. The bonus space could serve as a nursery, office or another large closet.

Two additional, sizable bedrooms and a bonus sitting area finish the second floor, according to the listing agent. The walk-up third floor offers additional office or study space – which could come in handy in this age, or it could be a playroom with plenty of storage.

For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house contact Annie Kruger of William Raveis Real Estate at 646-712-4461 and [email protected].

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