A Look Inside a Luxurious Empty Nest

A faux strié finish lends depth to the melon walls in the dining room. Antique lamps wear dressmaker-quality shades. The glass-topped table lightens the formal mood set by the French antiques.

Photography by Tria Giovan

In the design world, phrases such as “casual elegance” and “family-friendly” are often used in describing magazine-worthy homes. This is not one of those homes. It is formal and traditional in the strictest sense, with fragile porcelains and fabrics that render a red wine spill a crisis. “It’s not the way most people live these days,” says designer Susan Lapelle. “The owners had raised two rambunctious boys, and once their children were grown, they saw the opportunity to live the way they wanted to without worrying about durability.”

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