5 Small Inspirations Behind Grand Projects

True luxury lies in the details

It is our belief at Christopher Pagliaro Architects that true luxury lies in the details. Our ability to transform spaces into extraordinary works of art is sourced directly from our clients and the history and environments of the very homes they trust us to build or remodel.

Some of our most recent projects showcase how minor design inspirations can have a major impact. Whether it's a cherished personal item, a beloved family tradition, or even a childhood game, these small touches can profoundly influence the overall design.

Here are five examples where minor inspirations led to magnificent transformations:

Round Hill Estate

Industrial-inspired elegance shines throughout Round Hill Estate. This project blended natural beauty, outdoor living, and industrial-inspired elegance into a truly exceptional architectural masterpiece but like many of our designs it was something very simple that inspired pieces of the project to make a big impact. While it required a special order from Ferrari, we could not resist extending the silver paint from the owner’s personal vehicle to the kitchen appliances. The result was a truly custom space.

Yellow Staircase in Edgartown Martha’s Vineyard

Edgartown Martha’s Vineyard has a rich history, even hearing Frederick Douglass speak over the years, but the property was dated and in disrepair. When it came time to make the updates we turned to tributes to its past for inspiration.

The spiral stair is the integral feature of the interior of this former schoolhouse, built in 1836. Our client wanted the interior of the home to be “art gallery meets boutique hotel” and the only way to preserve the exterior volume of the home – and to access its top story – was to utilize a very figural spiral stair painted yellow as an homage to the homeowner’s father’s yellow Porsche.

Board Game Inspiration at Locust Hill

Locust Hill

Would you believe that the entire idea behind this four-home modern farmhouse development was inspired by a board game? The design moment for Locust Hill can be traced back to playing Monopoly. Christopher Pagliaro played with the “hotels” to create eight gabled masses and bent them toward the angle of the circular landscape of this Darien, Connecticut cul-de-sac. The goal of the architecture was to maintain a slender, vertical language of geometry. Two gables per dwelling, each angled inward at the entry–thus spreading their breadth toward the more private rears–connected by a magical flat-roofed void of glass. The result is an elegant arrangement of masses that speak to each other.

Darien Clock Window

While designing this complete renovation in Darien, the clients took a family holiday card photo at the famous clock at Musee d’Orsay and thought it would be a lasting tribute to their family vacation in Paris. We designed smaller replica for their octagonal kitchen tower – with the leaded glass by legendary Rohlf’s.

Seeing More than Sunglasses

Inspiration often comes at strange times. Concerned about his dislike of the grain in maple as it turns, Chris Pagliaro grabbed a pair of classic Persol sunglasses, admiring their famous polished metal hinges. Alas, the maple issue was resolved by the use of polished chrome to secure and turn the railings at the main stair of this Westport, Connecticut home.


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