Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Liberty Belle

A dated nineties manse gets a much-needed facelift



Jane Beiles

Born and raised on the Upper West Side, Rebecca Hickey is a New Yorker through and through. At least, she was until she gave birth to daughter Morgan and realized that living in a very small two-bedroom apartment with her husband, a baby, and a dog just wasn’t cutting it. The suburbs, often disdained by Manhattanites, suddenly seemed very appealing. And they had a lot to offer a growing family: more living space, close-knit communities, and an abundance of green.

Having grown up in Wethersfield, a picture-postcard Colonial town just outside of Hartford, Rebecca’s husband Kevin was no stranger to the lure of Connecticut. The couple scouted a handful of towns in Fairfield County, but Wilton’s low-key, family-friendly personality, coupled with a doable commute and a high-quality school system, ultimately won them over. 

To get a better feel for the town, the Hickey family camped out for six months at the Avalon Apartments. During that time, Kevin and Rebecca previewed many properties, including a five-bedroom house on three flat acres on Liberty Street. Built in 1999 the house had good bones, but was also dated and needed cosmetic work. They were intrigued, but not smitten.  “The previous owners had a different style than us,” says Kevin diplomatically. “It was very bold.” 

“Lots of red and gold,” Rebecca adds. “We loved the flow and the light, but I got cold feet,” she admits. “We decided if it was meant to be, the house would still be available when we were ready to buy.” And thankfully, it was. Even though it wasn’t love-at-first-sight, the Liberty Street property made enough of a lasting impression to eventually win the Hickeys over. 

The couple took the plunge, and committed both to Wilton and to a major overhaul of their new home. Both busy professionals, the Hickeys realized they needed an experienced designer to help bring their vision to life. They knew they wanted a big family, so renovating the kitchen and adjacent family room were a top priority.

A search through the online design site Houzz, led them to Jill Kalman of Westport-based Jill Kalman Interiors. “I really connected with her,” says Rebecca, “…and she was a great communicator. We had a strong vision of what we wanted and she understood that.” 

“The layout and the size of the rooms were really good, so massive construction wasn’t needed,” says Kalman. “But the previous décor was very ‘Vegas’—lots of gilded decorative paint, dark colors, and dark wood. There was an enormous cascading crystal chandelier in the foyer. We’ve changed every fixture in the house.” 

The couple also wanted all the floors redone and much of the cabinetry and millwork replaced. Kalman introduced them to Thomas Talak of TT Woodworking in Norwalk, and the team was in place.

The original kitchen had a massive island, which took up too much space. It also housed the stove, a feature that Rebecca was not comfortable with given the young ages of her children. The room was completely gutted allowing Kalman to improve the flow and made it more family-friendly.

Now the room has a timeless white cabinetry, marble countertops, and a farm sink. Adding upgraded appliances and high-end features like a pot-filler and fridge drawers makes the space even more functional. Now the island is a great place to sit on one of the chic French bar stools to enjoy a glass of wine, to have a casual meal, or for the kids to snack or do art projects.

The previous owners’ more over-the-top colors and features have been literally neutralized. Now, the look is classic and transitional. “Kevin and Rebecca love blues,” continues Jill, “so some rooms are blue gray, and neutrals are layered throughout the house.” The new palette incorporates pops of color such as chartreuse, orange, aqua, and navy so the design can be easily updated along the way by simply changing out home accessories. 

At Jill’s suggestion the couple opted to buy artwork for the living room before any design choices were made. They selected a seascape by Westport-based artist Kerri Rosenthal, and the coastal palette of the painting ended up being the inspiration for all the fabrics and furniture in the room. 

The seaside is evoked again in the master bedroom, which features three original watercolors by Connecticut artist Nell Waters Bernegger that hang over the bed. The room’s décor is neutral and complementary, and features a headboard upholstered in champagne Belgian linen, two custom swivel chairs covered in a graphic gray and white blossom print, and an end-of-bed bench upholstered in a dove gray velvet chenille.

The entire house was refreshed and refurbished in phases over a two-and-a-half-year period with pauses along the way to add new family members Madeline, and twins Logan and Connor, to keep big sister Morgan company.

As far as the Hickey family is concerned, they have found their forever home and community, and couldn’t be happier. “I like that it’s a simple, easy lifestyle,” says Kevin. “It’s not pretentious here and that was really important to us. I love the Village Market and tapping maple trees at Ambler Farm. We’re close to town and the NRVT trail, which we use all the time.”

Rebecca chimes in, “I love all the people that we’ve met. We’ve made a lot of friends in not a lot of time. There’s a good mix here and I don’t feel displaced as a New Yorker.” 

Sounds like little old Wilton just took a healthy bite out of the Big Apple. Their loss, our gain.

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

               

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

See this weekend's events in the area!
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Low Tide Island Design––Making a Difference

Beautiful jewelry with a beautiful purpose––to employ developmentally disabled adults

The Art of It: A Colorful Quartet

Wilton Out & About - July/August

Surf Taco

Baja Cocina is beach causal meets fresh, authentic Mexican

G’Day Gourmet

Head to Flinders Lane for authentic Australian dining––including Kangaroo meat

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

July 2018

Games, Crafts, Live Music, Watermelon and fun for the entire family on the library lawn. Sunday, July 22nd from 2:00-4:00 PM No registration, just show up. Sponsored by the Friends of the...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Morning exhale flow on the water! Yoga on the Boardwalk returns every Sunday morning, beginning in May, on the Harbor Point Boardwalk.  Led by our Yoga Teacher, Shannon Aleksa. Her...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harbor Point Boardwalk
1 Harbor Point Road
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

First stop—Pedego, where you and your friends explore the waterfront roadways, picturesque winding routes north of the shoreline, and everything in between on a Pedego Electric Bike....

Cost: $50

Where:
Meet-up at Pedego
50 Water St
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Caring for a loved one who is ill is stressful and exhausting. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County and Wilton Library invite you...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-8958, ext. 316.
Contact Name: Laurie Petrasanta
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Red Bee Apiary's Talk, Tour & Honey Tastings are an opportunity to visit a working apiary and experience honey at its source. Take a tour of Red Bee's apiary and gardens, once...

Cost: $35

Where:
Red Bee Honey
Weston, CT  06883


Sponsor: Red Bee Honey
Contact Name: Emily Sabo, Events Manager
Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Enjoy a beautiful evening of dance performances under the stars! The State's professional ballet company will delight audiences with its classical and contemporary repertoire danced by a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Levitt Pavilion
40 Jesup Road
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Back by popular demand! Professional book discussion leader Susan Boyar will discuss 6 short stories published in The New Yorker magazine over 6 consecutive weeks. Each Wednesday's...

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Throw paint balloons (washable, of course) at a canvas to create an awesome piece of abstract art, and more importantly have a bunch of fun doing it! Thursday, July 26th at 4:00 PM Grades 6-8...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

All ages are welcome to our 18 th year of the Summer Music & More concert series. As always, the concerts and refreshments are free thanks to the generous sponsorship of The Village Market and...

Cost: Free Admission

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Website »

More information

On Thursday, July 26 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich will host “The Language of Flavor in Honey: A Guided Sensory Honey Tasting Event.” Italian-trained honey expert...

Cost: $50 for Bruce Museum members, $65 non-members

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Contact Name: Cynthia Ehlinger
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

All ages are welcome to our 18th year of the Summer Music & More concert series. As always, the concerts and refreshments are free thanks to the generous sponsorship of The Village Market and...

Cost: Free Admission

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

See and Touch exotic animals up close. Plus, learn about endangered species and conservation hands-on! The Nature of Things is an environmental outreach program that presents quality live animal...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us Saturday, July 28, 2018 for the 7th Annual Westside Reggae Festival presented by Heart and Soul Entertainment. Featured artists include Culture "with the lead vocals of Kenyatta...

Cost: Advanced: $15- $35; At the gate: $25-$45

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: Heart and Soul Entertainment
Telephone: 203-470-1141
Contact Name: Terrance Jack
Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Hiking and practicing yoga outside in the fresh air leaves you feeling uplifted, centered, and peaceful! In warm weather months, we meet regularly in various parks and trails. Each event starts...

Cost: Three and Five Class Packages (3 times for $33, 5 times for $42)

Where:
Vary with each class
, CT


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags