A newly renovated chateau in Stonington, Connecticut, is the ideal setting for a close-knit clan’s beautiful celebration.
After much searching, Diederick and Amy van der Velde found the home of their dreams in Stonington, Connecticut, where they first met as teenagers. While the house was in good shape, the van der Veldes knew they could make some changes to help it really shine. "The house was well cared for, but it felt pretty dated," says builder Stephen L. Johnson, who along with designer Dru Adams, was commissioned to take all three of the home's levels down to the studs. To take advantage of the water views, Johnson knocked down the walls that separated the living room from the kitchen and dining areas to create one large, open space, and traded in the home's small windows, which were few and far between, for gigantic, panoramic ones that extend the length of the grand room. “I love to perch in the sitting room and look out over the water,” says Amy.