The 2016 CTC&G Innovation in Design Winners: Interior Design

Innovator 1: Calla McNamara Interiors 


Calla McNamara was faced with the somewhat daunting task of stitching together the remnants of a 19-century Colonial with a contemporary renovation and addition. By the time she arrived on the scene, Cugno Architecture had already carefully relocated the structure to the back of the property and added two wings to accommodate a new kitchen and family room. "In order to maintain the home's charm, the original beams and fireplaces were kept, but other than that everything was taken down to the studs" she says about the spec project. 

Starting in the existing living and dining rooms, McNamara introduce wall paneling more in keeping with the formal nature of the rooms. Next. in the new family room, a fireplace fashioned from local stone meant to harken back to another time and the refined ceiling beams, a 21st-century interpretation of the reclaimed variety seen elsewhere, established continuity. 

In the kitchen, the face frame cabinetry has an antique look, while the custom metal stove hood, which runs the length of the room, is an unexpected surprise. "Because the ceiling is lower, there are no upper cabinets, so the stove hood dresses things up and serves as a centerpiece," she says. 

Claiming her biggest challenge was creating a sense of flow and making sure the spaces had adequate light, McNamara used light paint colors to achieve both. Soft grays dominate with a slightly darker, moodier tone in the dining room. " The original beams, neutral colors and transitional details help create a seamless flow between old and new,"  she says. 

The 2016 CTC&G Innovation in Design Winners: Kitchen Design 

Innovator 2: Calla McNamara Interiors


Working hand in hand with Able Construction, designer Calla McNamara brought a new perspective to this spec home. “The biggest challenge is that faced was designing something that reflected my aesthetic sensibilities without being too specific.” Says McNamara. “I attempted to toe the line between modern and traditional, incorporating elements of both in order to appeal to a larger audience.” 

    Just like many residents of Fairfield County, this kitchen is an alluring mix of Manhattan modern and Connecticut traditional. “I see it as both a cook’s kitchen and a family kitchen.” says McNamara. “I had envisioned a young Manhattan couple enjoying the space while entertaining friends and family. The space feels social. There is a healthy connection between the kitchen, breakfast room and family room.” 

    For the palette, the designer took a slight detour from gray on gray or all white: “This home lent itself to a fresh beach palette. With little separation from room to room, it was important to maintain the slow and continuity through the use of neutral colors,” she says. “I have always believed in sticking with classic natural materials; I don’t believe in incorporating materials that look manufactured. 

    Her favorite element or detail? “I like the microwave placement,” says McNamara. “I have always struggled in kitchen designs to find a discrete yet easily accessible spot for the microwave. They generally aren’t very attractive, so I prefer to keep them out of direct sight. 

AtHome Magazine - Room Service: 5 Ways To Sit In Style 

Goods: Fine Grain

"Applying an old-world approach in a modern setting can help lend authenticity to a space. Ceruse treatments bring out a sharp contrast of grain for bold yet elegant allure" Calla McNamara, Calla McNamara Interiors 

The 2015 CTC&G Innovation in Design Winners: Interior Design

Innovator 2: Calla McNamara for Able Construction, Inc.
Loft like surprises fill a traditional home

If there’s a trend emerging among young people making the migration from city to suburban life, it might be the desire to have their homes look like Connecticut on the outside while emulating the loft they’re leaving behind on the inside. Interior designer Calla McNamara for Able Construction helped create a spec home in Westport reminiscent of a sleek Manhattan apartment but with all the comforts of a sprawling New England home.

Starting with a traditional living room on the right, dining on the left floor plan, the house features light wood floors, dark framed windows and walls mostly devoid of moldings—the dining room’s sheetrock coffered ceiling being the exception. “It’s a contemporary take on that concept,” explains McNamara, who also introduced a fresh turn on the classic central staircase. “Instead of railings, we used glass so you could look right through it to the family room and to the outdoors.”

Lots of attention was paid to the kitchen where floor-to-ceiling Calacatta tiles provide the backdrop for seamless white lacquer cabinetry and quartz countertops. In the family room, a wet bar sporting an edgy black and white color scheme is cleverly concealed behind a sliding barn door. According to the designer, the space could have been a closet but a bar made more sense. “Because this is where entertaining happens in modern life,” she says.

AtHome Magazine A-List Awards 2015 

Finalists Kitchen Design

Calla McNamara For Able Construction, Inc. 

The open floor plan of this kitchen gives it the same airy feel found in the rest of the home, but also places it in the center of the living space- and therefore,on display. Because its visible from multiple areas in the home, the kitchen needed to be a functional focal point, so designer Calla McNamara created a clean-lined, uncluttered space that is as pleasing to the viewer as it is to the user. The Calcutta marble backsplash is the centerpiece of the room, complemented by a white concrete countertop on the island. “it was important to me to create a clean, modern feel without losing the functional aspects of the kitchen,” says McNamara, who worked with Able Construction on the project. She tucked custom stainless-steel lined cabinets on the other side of the cooktop, which put cooking necessities like oils, spiced and utensils at the chefs fingertips while keeping clutter off the counter. The look is clean and calming. It’s the perfect layout for culinary and design inspiration.- AK



NOVEMBER 12, 2014

Got an email from up and coming Connecticut based interior designer Calla McNamara the other day. Calla was writing to tell me she had completed her first project on her own – a 6 bedroom, 6 bath, 7,749 square foot farm house in Westport, CT.  Not bad for a first solo project!

Calla worked with Able Construction on the project.  Love the fresh white clean interior spaces with wonderful accents – the black painted bar interior with barn door, the marble tile on the wall in the kitchen and powder room, the small office nook, the floating shelves in the kitchen all work for me.