Sylvana Durrett, the 42-year-old CEO of Maisonette, is not only a powerhouse in the world of fashion and design but also a master of transformation. In this exclusive account, we delve into how Maisonette’s Sylvana Durrett transformed a dairy farm in Washington, Connecticut, into the ultimate place for entertaining, replete with captivating stories and practical design strategies.
A Homely Haven for All
Sylvana, together with her husband Adam and their three children, Henry, Grace, and Millie, discovered this charming piece of Litchfield County, Connecticut, about five years ago. Their journey began with an invitation from Edie Parker designer Brett Heyman, which soon turned into a quest to create a haven for entertaining and relaxation.
The property, initially a 1900s dairy farm, lacked ‘curb appeal’ in Sylvana’s words, but she had a vision. Her vision intertwined seamlessly with the property’s history. The renovated farmhouse reflects a blend of old-world charm and modern-day convenience, making it perfect for entertaining. It’s not just a home; it’s a lively retreat where moments are shared, and memories are created.
The Role of Design
The Durretts embarked on this transformation with the help of talented designers and architects. Hadley Wiggins, the interior designer, worked her magic, "unwinding the sterilization that had happened there." Sylvana emphasized that each space should have its unique charm and character. The result is a home that exudes warmth and versatility.
While the meadow grass outside was left wild to create a stunning backlit effect, the house’s interior underwent substantial changes. The open floor plan was replaced with separate, cozier spaces to bring back the charm of the original building. The front door was shifted to the west facade, providing character and a sense of welcome.
Envisioning Versatile Spaces
Sylvana’s approach to entertaining is rooted in practicality and style. With a massive oak trestle table in the barn, she can host up to 24 guests. The barn’s double-height, cupolaed space is a versatile canvas for hosting larger groups. From annual Valentine’s Day dinners to sleepover parties for their kids and their friends, this space can adapt to any occasion.
Landscaping the Experience
The outdoor experience is just as important as the indoor ambiance. Landscape designer Miranda Brooks, a Vogue contributing editor, was tasked with creating a narrative for the property. Incremental changes, such as a pool, formal garden, and serpentine hedge, have added to the allure of this countryside retreat. Brooks’s vision gave purpose and framing to the apple and magnolia trees, enhancing the beauty of the property.
A Living Canvas
One notable aspect of Sylvana’s approach to design is its adaptability. Sylvana and her team consciously avoided a ‘period-perfect’ look, opting for an eclectic blend of styles. Their goal is to create an environment that can embrace change gracefully. The interiors are meant to evolve, welcoming the wear and tear of family life and hosting without requiring a complete overhaul.
"I’m still inspired by it. I feel like I will be working on this house for the rest of my life," Sylvana remarks. The house represents the beauty of growing with it, just as their children grow with each passing year. The property becomes a living canvas for life’s journey.
In Sylvana Durrett’s transformation of a dairy farm into a perfect place for entertaining, we witness not just a makeover but a creation of a timeless space where the past and present coexist, and every corner tells a story. Sylvana’s vision and practicality have turned this farm into a hub of warmth and hospitality, and her journey is far from over. The Maisonette CEO’s story is a testament to the magic that can happen when history meets imagination, and a house becomes a home.
Sylvana’s Vision: Balancing Farm and Hospitality
How did Sylvana Durrett make the farm suitable for entertaining large groups?
Sylvana Durrett’s expertise in event planning, honed through orchestrating nine Met Galas as Vogue’s director of special projects, shines in her approach to hosting large gatherings on the farm. During winter, Sylvana seamlessly transitions groups of over 10 to the barn, a versatile entertainment space. There, a grand white oak trestle table takes center stage, comfortably seating 24 guests, with room for expansion. This strategic layout ensures that the farm becomes an ideal haven for hosting sizeable parties and events.
What are the main features of agricultural transformation?
Agricultural transformation and its impact on the broader economy are influenced by three key factors. These essential features include:
Agricultural Production Function: The distinct characteristics of how agricultural products are grown and harvested.
Home Consumption: The significance of domestic consumption of agricultural output within the sector.
Resource Reservoir: The role of the agricultural sector in acting as a source of valuable resources for the economy.
Understanding these features is crucial in comprehending the dynamics of agricultural transformation and its wider implications.
Who wrote "Agricultural Development & Structural Transformation"?
The book titled "Agricultural Development & Structural Transformation" was authored by C.K. Eicher and J.M. Staatz. It serves as a significant resource on economic strategies in late developing countries. Published in 1984 by Johns Hopkins University Press in Baltimore, MD, this work provides valuable insights into the dynamics of agricultural development in the third world.
Why is Structural Transformation Important for Low-Income Agrarian Societies?
Structural transformation stands as a vital aspect of the development journey. In the case of low-income agrarian societies, navigating the shift away from agriculture poses a substantial policy hurdle. A profound grasp of the intricacies involved in the process of structural transformation plays a pivotal role in shaping policies aimed at effectively managing this transition. This understanding is fundamental for enabling these societies to progress and flourish.
Why is Agricultural Transformation 303 a Matter of Policy Concern?
Agricultural Transformation 303 places a spotlight on the diffusion of new technology, making it a central focus of policy concerns. This is particularly crucial due to disparities in farm households’ access to both the knowledge required for adopting new technology and the essential agricultural and financial resources needed to effectively apply it to their own farms. Addressing these disparities is vital for ensuring equitable and productive agricultural development.
What are the Farm Elements?
The farming system encompasses various key elements, including soil, water, crops, livestock, labor, capital, energy, and other essential resources. At the heart of this system is the farm family, responsible for the management of agricultural and related activities. These elements collectively shape the dynamics of a farm, influencing its productivity and sustainability.