athome’s Creative/Editorial Director Amy Vischio takes on a very personal project—her own home in Fairfield.
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I have never undertaken a renovation myself (and in fact, when I start to decorate my first apartment this month, it will be with a ton of notes from Amy, my creative director in work and often in life), but when Amy started this project, I was sure that with her design background and her definitive taste, the process would go pretty smoothly. She’d been thinking about this addition for years, and when I came to work for Moffly in 2011, she had already roughed out some plans for what the exterior should look like.
In my first months of working on athome, I quickly learned that although she fervently claims to “love” color and pattern, Amy’s favorite type of house is all white with nothing in it. So I wasn’t surprised when she told me that when she originally drew the plans for her (allwhite) home in Fairfield, she purposefully didn’t include much storage space, in order to “live minimally.” Editorial work is madness, and tons of images and text cross her desk every day, so it’s understandable that she’d want to come home to a clean, organized space.
It seems that the plan worked for a while. Then, slowly, her papers and iMac migrated to her kitchen counter, her painting studio ended up in the guest bedroom, and her photography equipment ended up everywhere else. So much for living minimally—she needed more space. Amy’s thoughts turned to renovation, and when she got serious about it, she called Neil Hauck of Neil Hauck Architects. He could handle all the challenging details—getting the scale correct, connecting the old structure to the new one, dealing with zoning restrictions, and making sure it would actually be functional in the end.
When we started our athomefc.com web series, “Creative Thinking,” in May, in which we chronicled the progress of the renovation, things seemed pretty buttoned up at Amy’s house. Working with Neil was a joy; Amy was excited about the “Scandinavian” look the new, lighter stain on her floors would give the house; she even made time to play Cupid and attempted to set me up with not one, but two guys involved with the project (maybe third time’s the charm).
But the more components there are—wiring the place (low voltage or line voltage?), getting the stain for the floors just right, choosing the tile and hardware—the more chances for something to go wrong. Things moved along pretty quickly, which was great for staying on schedule with our web coverage, but not so great for making little changes along the way—something Amy is very fond of, both at work and at home. She loves to make tiny improvements to every issue of athome until the very end, and she can’t be stopped until things are just right. But since all the work on her house was done while she was at the office, she didn’t have the same ability to tweak her own project.