For Connecticut designer and artist Kerri Rosenthal, this Westport home was a dream project. The clients, Sherri and Jayson, purchased the brand new, 4300-square foot modern farmhouse in the Saugatuck area. Creatives themselves, they previously owned and designed homes in both Philadelphia and New York City. With their keen eye and strong point of view, they’d never sought out the help a designer before. However, with the amount of space they were acquiring and two kids in tow, they reached out to Kerri at the recommendation of a neighbor. She recalls, “I’m so grateful they did, because from the moment they wandered in that first Saturday afternoon, it was love at first sight. Sherri and Jayson turned out to be nothing less than the most awesome and COOLEST clients ever!”
Jayson is a commercial producer by day, but also integral to his identity is that he is a DJ. Music plays a major role in the family’s life and would need to be a key focus in their home. “From the start, Sherri and Jayson communicated that they wanted to create a gorgeous space, one that was both high-style but also accessible, and it would need to incorporate lots and lots of records,” Kerri smiles. “When I explained to them that like each painting, every home I design is collaborative, instinctual and comes from my gut, they were beyond excited. This way of working isn’t for everyone but it’s a very special process and each time the outcome is inevitably a home full of love and so much happiness.”
Since another facet of Kerri’s business is her home decor collection, XOKR, many of her pieces are in the home’s final design — vibrant pillows, floor poufs, and beanbags all make an appearance. The couple loves and embraces color, but also requested balance. To make this work, they decided that all base colors would remain neutral. “The fabric we used more than any other is called Studio Floor,” Kerri says. “This print is a shot of my art studio floor at one moment in time, which we then transferred onto linen. It has turned out to be one of my most popular designs.”
For many people, the inclusion of color or pattern can be intimidating, yet Kerri makes it work with ease. “The number one rule for me, as far as color and patterns go is that there are NO rules – nothing is linear, it’s all in my gut! My process start with finding a foundation print that my client is organically drawn to. That anchor pattern will then inspire and lead us to the next pattern and color and so on. The key is making sure the palette makes sense, and sometimes what doesn’t seemingly make any sense, makes the most sense because it makes me and them happy and at the end of the day — it’s all about HAPPY!”
Much of this technique is innate to Kerri, as she is an artist first. “As a painter, specifically, I see each wall as a blank canvas. Each room is a unique artistic creation. What I select is inspired by the home itself, the family who lives there and their stories, and this was no exception.” Her art helped define many of the rooms. “When I install a piece of art in a room it has the power to change that space; to create depth, feeling and emotion. Sherri and Jayson are my kindred spirits in that way. They purchase a piece because it speaks to them, they instinctually love it and it feels right in a particular room. Unique though, is that they move their art. It may feel right in a room at one time while in another one later on. As they evolve as collectors so too does their art.”
With 2018 a few days away, Kerri fondly looks back on projects like this one while simultaneously looking forward towards fresh and exciting endeavors. “We are always working on new and innovative ways to take the painting off the canvas and bring it to life. Now in particular is a very exciting time for me and for XOKR. We are moving into a new larger local flagship space in January. What that means for us is that there will be more opportunity to grow the XOKR brand, introduce new categories, and spread the HAPPY. 2018 will also be about focusing on a larger trade program as well as a few select wholesale partnerships. Stay tuned for much much more love and happy in the coming year!”
Start the slideshow for a tour of the home and links to shop the space!