When Dinyar Wadia established his firm, Wadia Associates, more than 30 years ago, his town, New Canaan, Connecticut, was best known for its stock of houses in Philip Johnson’s Modernist style. But Dinyar, who had emigrated from his native India in the 1960s, was drawn to the beauty and charm of the traditional buildings in New Canaan and the rest of Fairfield County. He started by working alone in the back room of his apartment; now he employs an experienced and talented team consisting of eight architectural designers, an interior decorator, four construction managers, and several support staff. The projects he works on might range from a Tudor manor house to a quaint English country potting shed; from a Georgian-style mansion to an informal American Shingle-style home; from a Colonial Revival farmhouse to a French Normandy chateau. On page 16, he tells us how he found a way to morph the great hall of a 13th-century Scottish castle into the centerpiece of an Elizabethan-style house in his own town. Tim Lee
“I’ve always been inspired by light and space,” says photographer Tim Lee. For more than 20 years, Tim has photographed subject matter as diverse as fashion showrooms on Madison Avenue and furniture lines overseas. Asked what fuels his passion for his work, Tim replies, “Each assignment brings me to a new location with unique challenges. I welcome meeting the challenges and thrive on capturing the character of each location.” Tim has been working with The Modern Estate
since we began the planning and design of our first issue. To view Tim’s photography in this issue, take a look at “Entertaining Grandly” (page 38) and “The Furniture Fixer” (page 58). Online, his work is displayed at www.timleephoto.com. Alexandrine Blanco
Born and reared in France, Alexandrine Blanco recently moved to the United States to pursue her career as an artist. Determined to further develop her affinity for art, furniture, and decorative painting, she studied traditional and European decorative painting at IPEDEC, a private art school in Paris. Guided by “the best decorators in Paris,” she learned classical techniques for faux marbleizing, wood-graining, and mural-painting that date back thousands of years, as well as newer decorative-painting methods. Alexandrine graduated from IPEDEC in decorative painting in 1999 and has eight years of experience in interior decoration and decorative painting, working mostly in Paris and Provence for private clientele, architects, designers, and French antiquaries. Look for Alexandrine’s article, “Great Illusions,” on page 87. Richard S. Granoff
Richard S. Granoff has led his firm, R. S. Granoff Architects, founded in 1989, on “a multitude of interesting projects.” He has designed more than 100 homes, renovated dozens of commercial buildings, and built more than 1 million square feet of office space. He particularly enjoyed designing the mini-buildings featured on page 66 because the projects called on his architectural creativity—he had fun with, and got to inject some whimsy into, these amazing accessory structures. His firm has offices in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Southampton, New York. Granoff has also established two other businesses: Charles Rich Design/Build (1991), in Southampton, New York, which designs, builds, and develops high-end vacation houses; and Fountainhead Homes (1997), a real estate development company that develops ultra-luxury homes in the Greenwich market. Matthew Patrick Smyth
A fine array of shelter magazines—House Beautiful, Traditional Home, New York, Elements of Living, Gotham, and New York Home
—have named Matthew Patrick Smyth one of the top interior designers. For The Modern Estate (page 25) he takes up the matter of personal style—and how the details that make one home appealing simply cannot be translated to someone else’s home. His firm, Matthew Patrick Smyth Incorporated, which specializes primarily in residential interior design and furnishings, has, among its current projects, a summer house in Hungary, apartments in London, Paris, and New York, and houses in Greenwich, Bedford, Westport, New Canaan, and Palm Beach. Matthew has participated in three Kips Bay Decorator Show Houses and many design programs on television. Last year Patterson, Flynn & Martin launched the Matthew Patrick Smyth Collection of carpets across the United States; Schumacher will present his fabric collection in 2008.