Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Play House

A Putnam County Couple finds home



One of the twins near Lorraine Catalon’s command central.

Photos by Jane Beieles

Get in the house and tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” said Tony Catalano with a sense of urgency. His wife Lorraine was calling from the side of the road to give him important news. She had just driven past a stately Ridgefield house that the couple had admired, and noticed a discreet For Sale sign in the front yard. It hadn’t been there the day before. Tony was away on business. The Catalanos were living in a local short-term rental with their six-year-old twins, and facing a time constraint to move before their current lease was up.

The couple had been smitten by Ridgefield’s charming small-town vibe and decided to relocate here from Mahopac, New York. They’d been searching tirelessly for a home that would be a good fit for their family but kept coming up empty-handed. So when Lorraine glimpsed the For Sale sign, she was excited. “It wasn’t really what we were looking for,” she recalls. “We wanted more of a Nantucket-style house, but this one had such presence.” 

After her husband’s impassioned directive, Lorraine quickly got in touch with their realtor to line up a viewing. But when she walked through the home’s imposing front door, it wasn’t an instant love match. She called Tony. “It’s a maybe,” she said matter-of-factly. 

The reason it was a “maybe” and not an emphatic “yes” was because of the overly formal layout and dated interiors. It wasn’t simply refreshing that was required, but a complete re-imagining of the interior to more accurately reflect the Catalano’s laid-back, family-centered lifestyle. Between the two of them, Lorraine and Tony had already survived four major home renovation projects, and both swore they would never do it again. And yet the house beckoned. 

“We didn’t want to renovate,” says Lorraine with a shrug. “But you know, unless you build it yourself, you’re never going to find a house that’s ideal.” The couple purchased the property and immediately got in touch with Tina Anastasia of Mark Finlay Architecture and Interiors. “They called on me to start this house with them from scratch,” says Anastasia.” Having previously designed the couple’s lake home, the designer knew their style well. “A house of this size can be intimidating,” admits Lorraine, “so our goal was for guests to feel at home the minute they walked in. People live here, people drink here, our kids play here—this is our home, it’s meant to be lived in.”

Lorraine, a self-described “math person,” collaborated with their designer on the overall space planning, but she gives her husband full credit for many of the creative decisions. “Tony has an artistic eye, and was directly involved in selecting the décor and color schemes. He’s very confident. He knows what he does and doesn’t want. It works.” 

The palette is a synergy of blues. “Soft in the comfortable areas and more energetic in the more formal areas,” says Anastasia. Today every room in the 10,000-square-foot house has been refurbished to create a modern, welcoming home that manages to be both hip and elegant. But achieving the end result was by no means a cakewalk. Like any renovation project, there were challenges. (Don’t even ask about the horror story of the floors, or the time the basement flooded.) Construction began in March, but by August the project was still months away from completion. Their apartment lease was up, so the Catalanos reluctantly decamped to the basement of their new home. “There were no windows. It was like living in a casino,” Lorraine recalls. “We had a toaster oven, a microwave, and a little fridge. I washed dishes in the pedestal sink in the one full bathroom we all shared.”

The couple made a vow not to move upstairs until the house was completed—every wall painted or papered, every custom cabinet installed, every new doorknob in place. After three months as basement dwellers, the family finally “emerged into the light” just before Thanksgiving to take up residence in their stunning, newly appointed home. It was worth the wait.

The Catalanos love to entertain friends and extended family often, so the kitchen had to be functional and open to the other living spaces so no one would feel isolated from the action. And Lorraine had to have three ovens. “The contractor told me I didn’t need that many and I said, ‘You’ve never been at my home during the holidays!’”

A light-filled family room with an adjacent eating area flows off the kitchen and has French doors leading out to a slate patio and pool area. There are two access points to the unconventional living room dubbed “the pub room”—one from the kitchen through custom sliding barn doors, and the other directly off the foyer. The space has the aura of a lounge at an upscale Manhattan boutique hotel or exclusive club.

The home’s original living room has been transformed into a magnificent dining room with a table that comfortably seats fourteen. The former dining room has been repurposed into a game room for kids and adults alike, where no electronics are allowed.

Even the children had input into the design aesthetic of their rooms. Their daughter loves unicorns and the color purple, and their son is a fan of superheroes, bold colors, and wanted two beds. The twins are very close, so their rooms are connected by a shared playroom decked out in vivid orange, lime green, and turquoise. 

The Catalanos are thrilled with the outcome of their home renovation, but perhaps more importantly, they are genuinely happy to be living in Ridgefield. “This town has provided such a sense of community and so many great family opportunities,” says Lorraine with a smile. “It’s avery special place.”

 

 

 

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

Archive »Related Content

Got Milk, Sheik?

Local couple advocate camel milk at One Hump Farm

At Your Service

Caterers in the Bedford area

Ready, Set, Go, Go, Go

Places to go this holiday season in Ridgefield

Secret Bailey’s Treats

Bailey’s Backyard excels at Farm-to-Table

Upstairs Downstairs

Bernard’s and Sarah’s Wine Bar serve excellent food in both an elegant and casual setting

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

December 2018

Take inspired works of art; a Library magically transformed into a sparkling, vibrant gallery; add infectious community enthusiasm... Put it all together and the result is the Mark Twain...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Mark Twain Library
439 Redding Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Sponsor: The Mark Twain Library
Telephone: 203-938-2545
Contact Name: Romy Weinberg
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 14th Annual Festive Home...All That Glitters! opens Friday evening, November 16th with a preview party from 6-8pm.  For an entry fee of $20, attendees will...

Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
Website »

More information

On December 9 from 12 – 3 p.m. bring your knitting projects or spinning wheels and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with seasoned knitters and spinners. They will coach you on your knitting challenges...

Cost: Free, but donations in support of New Pond Farm's fleecy flock will be welcomed!

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Sunday, December 9th at 3:00 PM. Open to all ages. Come to watch several short silent comedies at this fun event hosted by renowned silent film accompanist and historian Ben Model. Ben Model...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

James Lancel McElhinney, journal-artist, author, Yale alumnus and  Pollock-Krasner Grant recipient will unfold the epic story of painted books, from the Age of Exploration to the digital era. He...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Library
Telephone: 203-438-2282
Contact Name: Laurie McGavin Bachmann
Website »

More information

Christmas with the Celts returns to The Playhouse after sold-out performance for the past three seasons! This holiday show features a mix of lively traditional Irish music and instrumentation with...

Cost: $47.50

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 14th Annual Festive Home...All That Glitters! opens Friday evening, November 16th with a preview party from 6-8pm.  For an entry fee of $20, attendees will...

Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Create bold shapes and blocks of colors in this fun process-based workshop! Mark off lines and forms on canvas with artist’s tape, then paint your heart out. When the paint is dry, peel away the...

Cost: $15; $13.50 member

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 14th Annual Festive Home...All That Glitters! opens Friday evening, November 16th with a preview party from 6-8pm.  For an entry fee of $20, attendees will...

Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
Website »

More information

  The Ridgefield Historical Society is hosting a holiday event on    Tuesday, December 11: A Festive Soirée at the Schoolhouse The Peter Parley Schoolhouse, intersection of West Lane and...

Cost: $40 for members $50 for nonmembers

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5821

More information

Second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 PM at Keeler Library. Extra copies of the books are available for checkout. No registration is required and drop-ins are welcome.   Tuesday, December 11th at...

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 8pm Pepsi Rock Series powered by Xfinity Holiday Series After reuniting for sold out tours in 2013 and 2016, this chart-topping quartet — featuring...

Cost: Tickets: $125 Gold Circle | $98 Orchestra/Balcony

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

Wednesday, Dec. 12. The Bedford Chamber Concert Series continues its 2018-19 season, featuring an all-Vivaldi holiday program. Anthony Newman and the Bedford Chamber Ensemble will perform “The...

Cost: $45 per person

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: St. Matthew's Music Committee
Telephone: 914-522-5150
Contact Name: Anthony Newman
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 14th Annual Festive Home...All That Glitters! opens Friday evening, November 16th with a preview party from 6-8pm.  For an entry fee of $20, attendees will...

Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 14th Annual Festive Home...All That Glitters! opens Friday evening, November 16th with a preview party from 6-8pm.  For an entry fee of $20, attendees will...

Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 14th Annual Festive Home...All That Glitters! opens Friday evening, November 16th with a preview party from 6-8pm.  For an entry fee of $20, attendees will...

Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Family Workshop: Holiday Origami 10 am to 12 noon; children ages 2 to 5 1 to 3 pm; children ages 6 to 10   Get in the holiday spirit at The Aldrich! Using introductory origami techniques...

Cost: Free!

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 14th Annual Festive Home...All That Glitters! opens Friday evening, November 16th with a preview party from 6-8pm.  For an entry fee of $20, attendees will...

Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
Website »

More information

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Come and meet award-winning columnist, author, and founder of Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers, Inc, Julie Jason. She'll be signing her most recent books, The Retirement Survival Guide, Managing...

Cost: 0

Where:
Barnes & Noble at the Stamford Town Center
100 Greyrock Place
Stamford, CT  06901
View map »


Sponsor: Julie Jason
Telephone: 203-322-1198
Contact Name: Theresa Robbins
Website »

More information

On Saturday, December 15th, at 6:30 PM, New Pond Farm Education Center will be hosting a public astronomy program where we hope to see Comet Wirtanen and some meteors from the Geminid meteor...

Cost: $4 per New Pond Farm member (max. $16 per family) and $6 per non-member (max. $2

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Contact Name: New Pond Farm
Website »

More information

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