Mar Silver Designs a Coastal Home That is Pure Zen
March 30, 2022
For six years, designer Mar Silver has tweaked this Darien home to make sure it always meets its owners’ needs.
Text by Erika Ayn Finch Photography by BjÖrn Wallander Produced by Anna Molvik
The best homes stretch and contract, change and adapt, to fit their occupants’ ever-evolving lifestyles. Exercise rooms morph into home offices. Formal chaises are traded out for comfy chairs. Teenagers seeking private nooks grow into coeds who want a sense of sophistication when they decamp to their childhood room for the holidays. Sometimes a gong finds its way into the mix.
In one riverfront Darien home, designer Mar Silver has shepherded it all, tweaking the space twice since the initial design and build six years ago. Family friends referred Silver, who came on board to tackle the architecture, interiors, and landscape of the six-bedroom, seven-bathroom home being built by Andy Glazer on Five Mile River. “The first time we met, I knew she was who we wanted to work with because what comes across in her designs—a Zen, peaceful energy—comes across in her personality,” says the homeowner. “With four tightly spaced children, we wanted everyone to come home from their busy lives and feel calm.”
In addition to a feeling of sanctuary, the couple told Silver they wanted a home that was contemporary but not modern. To that end, Silver and Glazer designed a structure that seems to float in the river, thanks in large part to a wraparound porch, deck, and dramatic infinity pool. Indoors, Silver harnessed the colors and fluidity of the river and nearby Long Island Sound through her use of color and texture. For instance, in the kitchen, the eye discerns a bluish cast to the backsplash, marble countertops, and lacquered ceiling. Even the bleached cabinets take on a silvery tone depending on the light. “It was a challenge to make sure the color was just right,” says Silver of the custom hue.
Wide-plank oak flooring, oak ceiling beams, and even wallboards in the daughter’s bedroom lend a beachy vibe without being too obvious. In the primary bathroom, a stone soaking tub that had to be brought into the house during the framing phase recalls tumbled river rocks, while a glass-cube shower offers views of the surrounding water. Walk into the adjoining bedroom, and your feet sink into a thick silk rug that shimmers from aubergine to silver depending on the angle of light.
In keeping with the times, last year Silver facilitated the transition of an exercise room into a home office for the wife, while the husband’s study grew to include a mini boardroom. “The house is a continuation of their life,” says Silver, “and I feel like I’ve been alongside as their lives have evolved.”
Meaningful accents—like black-and-white photography (the husband is partial to Terry O’Neill), a lifetime of collected art, and a recently added five-foot-tall gong from Nepal—tell the family’s story. Silver further added to that narrative when a trio of solid quartz-crystal logs that had been in her own collection wound up beside the fireplace in the living room. “I never wanted to let them go because they have such great energy, but when we placed them in the house, it was as if they had always belonged there,” she says. Kind of like the homeowners.