• Rough-hewn timber beams and a bluestone floor impart an authentic feeling to this country French-style potting room.

    Credit: Woodruff-Brown Photography

    Rough-hewn timber beams and a bluestone floor impart an authentic feeling to this country French-style potting room.

The judges called this little Connecticut potting room “beautiful” and “pretty swell.” The space is part of a larger renovation undertaken by architect Charles Hilton for a longtime client. Hilton researched the original building and learned that it had been designed in the 1920s by a local architect known for French country-style work. Armed with this information and doubly inspired by a visit to Marie Antoinette’s Queen’s Hamlet at Versailles, Hilton incorporated rural French detailing—such as rough timbers, stone floors, and old-fashioned plaster walls—into the project.

The additional efforts of specialty finisher Steven Gamble and interior designer Isabelle Vanneck help the potting room achieve an unusual degree of authenticity. “The whole thing came together,” Hilton says. Added a judge: “This is a renovation that has instant history.”


Entrant/Architect: Hilton-VanderHorn Architects, Greenwich, Conn.; Builder: Home Construction, New Canaan, Conn.; Landscape architect: Charles J. Stick, Charlottesville, Va.; Interior designer: Davenport North, Greenwich; Specialty finisher: Stephen Gamble Signature Finishes, Norwalk, Conn.; Living space: 3,600 square feet; Site: 4 acres; Construction cost: Withheld; Photographer: Woodruff-Brown Photography.


Resources: Bathroom fittings/fixtures and kitchen fittings: Waterworks, www.waterworks.com; Dishwasher: Bosch, www.bosch-home.com; Doors (interior): Fontrick Door, www.fontrickdoor.com; Greenhouse: Private Garden Greenhouse Systems, www.private-garden.com; Kitchen fixtures: Elkay, www.elkay.com; Range: Bertazzoni, www.bertazzoni.com; Refrigerator: Blomberg; Roofing: Evergreen Slate Co., www.evergreenslate.com; Windows: Artistic Doors & Windows, www.artisticdoorsandwindows.com