Part of the Connecticut in Style lifestyle blog includes giving glimpses into beautiful CT homes and gardens. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Aidinis Hirsch, an award-winning Greenwich, CT based interior designer. When asked how she became an interior designer, Amy laughed and said “I don’t want you to think that I was one of those kids that moved my parent’s furniture around – that’s not how it started at all.” Although her passion for design did start at an early age, it came about in a rather unconventional manner. Her father, a plumber, would bring home building plans from the projects he was bidding on and she’d go into his office and unroll the massive blueprints and study them. Noting his daughter’s interest, her Dad would occasionally bring her to construction sites he was working on. This experience heavily influenced her design approach which is all about creating the right space. “I relate much better to floor plans and scale and getting the foundation right for the home” she said.
A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Amy studied under Penny Drue Baird, one of Architectural Digest’s 2014 Top 100 Interior Designers. Ten years ago, she branched out on her own. Her mantra is to design for the client. She said “No one can say, ‘this is an Amy Hirsch house’ because no two client projects are ever the same.” She treats each client individually and loves that she is always doing something different. “It makes everyday a pleasure because I am always doing something new and exciting.” We talked about her design process which begins with meeting the client to get a sensation of who they are. She said “The vibe is very important. You have to gel because there is a lot of communication required. We have a long journey with each other and it can be an intimate process because they are entrusting me with creating their living space.”
The photos from this renovated 1920’s Dutch Colonial were taken by Neil Landino and are a perfect example of how Amy treats each project individually. A couple from New York bought this Connecticut home and selected Dibico Construction for the renovation. They stripped it to the studs and went through the process of re-building it. The result is a completely original space, designed to meet the client’s needs. The above breakfast nook features a cozy built-in banquette, her clients were not interested in cavernous spaces.
The kitchen was a complete refurbishment from top to bottom, even the windows were re-located. The kitchen is highly functional – every element in the kitchen has a purpose that is used daily.
The Calcutta marble counter tops were a labor of love – they spent hours walking in a 8,000 square foot facility in New Jersey. Each piece was hand selected to ensure that they all matched perfectly.
In the mudroom, the idea was to create a downstairs dressing closet. Her clients prefer to go barefoot in the house and Amy was challenged with creating a space for all the shoes, coats, outerwear, sport equipment and also have drawers for gloves, mittens and hats.
Needing a surface that would stand up well to the test of two young boys, she installed a lot of bead board in the mudroom because the client didn’t want to be concerned that walls would be damaged. She wanted it to be aesthetically beautiful but functional as well.
The master bedroom is a jewel box! The client didn’t want carpets, so there is a two-tone painted floor. It is a geometric pattern inspired from a coffered ceiling Amy had seen.
Always interested in hearing about color trends, I asked Amy what her clients are asking for. “Many people like to be safe, so we hear a lot of blue, beige and taupe. Our clients want a serene environment to come home to after a long day at work – but they also want some element of color.” She solves this by working closely with her clients to choose artwork that adds pops of color. When asked about some of her favorite jobs, Amy enjoys working with clients that have a second home because they tend to be more playful and adventurous with color. A second home is typically their getaway home and the interior design is a reflection of the more laid-back mood that they want while on vacation. For more information on Amy and her 2014 HOBI Award winning design firm, visit Amy’s website.