It’s unlikely that Jennifer Borden, raised in NJ, who later found her way to Darien, CT via a stint in New York City, where she had a distinguished career as a Licensing Director for Kate Spade – thought she’d end up in the South. Licensing Director’s are those people that make the deals that bring the fragrances, sunglasses, shoes, you name it, into the stores. A mon avis, those Kate Spade Stores are perfectly appointed with their sassy, classy, sixties, mid-century, vintage furnishing finds, their happy pops of color, and pom-pom poufs of prettiness, just about everywhere you cast your wide-eyed gaze. As amazing as the experience was, not yet Dixie, headed to Darien.
I’ve always wanted to have my own store, practically speaking Boston isn’t a good place for one. At least not with my particular tastes and aesthetic. I’d be green with envy, if green weren’t my best color, over the store Jennifer opened with her two friends Tina Jones and Kate Simpson – sisters who worked in Media in NYC, Martha Stewart and…wait for it….Domino Magazine. My regular readers know my obsession with Domino. I can barely contain myself, and as I get older I find I can contain myself more than any lover of life should.
Town House Finds + Design . 37 Tokeneke Road . Darien . CT is an eclectic mix of home furnishings and accessories. The very idea of scouring flea markets, antique fairs, and traveling the world to find one of a kind statements for the home – oh, wait, I do that now, but not as my job, stricktly for pleasure, is a dream. The rapid turnover of goods is all the testament I need to know of the stores success. Sadly, Jennifer had to sell out to her partners when word came down from the higher-ups that her family was being relo’ed to Nashville.
Now I never had the pleasure of visiting Jenn’s home in Darien, but I had heard word of it’s fantastic style. Why I envision sisal and leopard, I do not know. I’ve never even seen a picture, but I did have the pleasure of visiting her new home in Nashville, and while it is a work in progress – it is awesome. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the architectural style. It’s white washed brick and wrought iron balcony feel French Colonial, but the rear of the house throws a wooden baluster balcony into the mix which feels American Colonial, none the less, it is pretty, and from the images on the listing sheet, I can attest, it was not previously. The design was of a different era, lots of dark paneled wood walls, and color decisions that I wouldn’t have made, but that’s all water under the bridge.
The change in color palette – Farrow and Ball’s Peignoir, Purbeck Stone are featured in the dining room and entry and give it that dusted English Bouquet, that softens the bright sunlight that streams in through beautiful 8′ tall french doors and windows, and provides views of the pool and yard beyond. The wall covering in the dining room is Bermuda Hem Lavender by Phillip Jeffries, and when I tell you this room is so pretty it’s hypnotizing, you’ll simply have to believe me as my pictures don’t do it justice.
The Powder Room is papered in Scalamandre Balinese Peacock, and let’s just call a spade a Kate Spade here, it’s reminiscent of those bold colors Kate is known for, but it’s so Southern Sass it’s perfect, and undoubtably distinguishes Jenn as a decorator with a great eye and sense of place.
One of my favorite rooms, in part because I love the rich royal and aqua blue palette so much, was the den. Originally, paneled in dark wood it is transformed into a high gloss haven of sophistication. The zebra rug, the elephant end table, the chevron pillows with pops of orange, make this a great room from which to conceive her next great adventure.
Jenn’s mix of antiques, contemporary pieces, interesting photography, fine, art, and ah, a porcelan parrot or two, make this is first prize property. I love her style, and her joie de vie. Look out Nashville, there’s a new Northerner in town, and her design savvy really sings.