Tour a Multigenerational Connecticut Home Designed by AD100 Firm Carrier and Company | Architectural Digest

For a New York couple with a grown daughter, a weekend residence in northwest Connecticut had long been a place of quiet retreat. As this brood added a son-in-law—and welcomed plans for a grandchild—the family decided to expand their nest. After hearing rave reviews from a neighbor about a lakefront project recently completed by AD100 firm Carrier and Company and architect James Dixon, they invited the two studios to reunite—and to turn their hilltop Colonial into a family heirloom.

Jesse Carrier, who oversees Carrier and Company with his wife, Mara Miller, notes that the client fully embraced a collaborative process. “They were almost like partners in the project,” Carrier says of brainstorming sessions and design reviews. Besides infusing the project with a loving spirit, the group dynamic revealed solutions for the pending renovation. Lively meetings in the old kitchen, for example, proved that the room had to grow significantly to comfortably accommodate such cohorts.

Fresh air blows inside thanks to these glass doors.

Besides enlarging the kitchen, the Carrier-Dixon team duplicated other room types. The residence now encompasses primary bedroom suites on the ground and second floors, respectively, as well as a pair of laundries and separate living and family rooms. “There was a lot of sensitivity to nap times, multiple schedules, and different interests, so that everybody could be comfortable without overstepping or irritating other family members under one roof,” Carrier explains. The changes involved not only building onto the house, but also reconfiguring the existing floor plan. Where ground-floor common rooms once flowed into one another without interruption, today spaces for lounging and eating appear more discrete.

If this compartmentalizing of functions suggests formality, Carrier points to several techniques that prevent the home from feeling buttoned up. The all-new screened-in porch and a fully reconfigured attic host casual living vignettes. Throughout the house, walls not covered in millwork or wallpaper are finished in a rustic hand-troweled plaster.

The furnishings are a mix of existing possessions and Carrier and Company introductions. For these selections, the interior design firm leaned toward materials like wicker and painted wood that exude informality. Their finds also include a pair of 1940s-era Danish chairs that encapsulate, in Carrier’s words, “our approach of making a home feel like it’s been collected over the course of the homeowners’ lives. Here, we had two lifetimes of things to consider.”

A pale blue hallway adds another cool note to the mix. 

Seating options abound, especially in dining areas indoors and out.

A palette of blues is the unifying thread—between renovation and ground-up construction, formal and informal, parent and child, or between a familiar object and a new arrival. “It wasn’t necessarily our pitch,” Carrier says of the overarching hue. “Rather, it was something the family could always agree on, and often their vision was more powerful than my own. It was just beautiful to see it all come together.” Reflecting more broadly, he adds: “Mara and I are a family business, and it is kind of ingrained in us that certain design choices can correspond to where you are in your life.”