The Day – Bean Hill Farm inspires local homeowners

One after another, ideas spring from the imagination of Frank Peixoto. The 1876 farm he bought with partner Carlos in March 2020 in the Bean Hill district of Norwich exemplifies what he describes as his ‘coastal farm inspiration’.

“Even though we’re not directly on the water, we specifically chose Norwich because you have it all. You have this life on the farm, but you also have the water right downtown” with “the docks and the boats and everything. So it’s sort of the best of both worlds. So really, Norwich is a little hidden secret,” he said on a cold day in March.

Set back from the road on nearly two acres of land, this vinyl home at 97 Vergason Ave. Ext. features a front porch with sea grass edging during the summer months. A starfish adorns each window.

Inside there are high ceilings on both floors and plaster walls; large curved bay windows bring light inside, while plenty of closet space provides storage space and wide original floorboards flow throughout the house.

The entire 1,800-square-foot house was dark when the Peixotos bought it, so the first thing they did was paint everything white, said Frank, who describes himself as a “house stylist” to the instead of an interior designer, because it’s a bit stuffy for him. “They (interior designers) tend to do more renovations, fabrics and window treatments. To be honest with you, I’m against window treatments because you need natural light in a house, which “makes everything look better”.

If you need privacy, he suggested creating it with “blocks,” like a sofa that rises halfway up the window, leaning artwork on window sills, or wedging shutters. old fashioned against window and wall.

He always suggests his clients use a neutral wall color throughout the house and accent with pillows, rugs (and curtains if desired). Right now, he says, their house “is pretty monotonous, but in the spring I’ll add some blues. In the summer I will add red, white and blue due to the obvious time of year. At Christmas, you can add a little red. We tend to keep it more coastal because I always love the blue family.

Frank also uses twigs and branches inside and outside his home. “I can’t keep the plants alive,” he laughs.

The Peixotos also whitewashed all of their furniture. This process consists of sanding all the furniture so that the paint adheres to it. Then apply a white layer of matte primer. When it dries, add another flat paint for a rustic look without shine. Later, “just sand down the areas to give it a more aged look, so it looks worn over the years. Some of the original color will show through a bit,” Frank said.

He happily shared many more tips: Instead of storing tennis racquets in a closet, hang them on the wall. You no longer need an office? Remove the drawers; use the bottom of each to create a bookcase. Comb it over for a whole new look.

In addition, the baskets can be used in many ways. Leave them in guest rooms for people to put their produce in and place holiday gifts under the tree at Christmas.

For a spa effect in bathrooms, place wrapped towels in baskets, or add candles, small soaps or whatever strikes your fancy. Good lighting is also important. To create a softer vibe, Frank painted the walls of his bathroom gray.

When working with clients, he said his goal is to make their homes look as expensive as the ones in the magazines “without breaking the bank.”

For that to happen, furniture has to work together and balance each other, he said. “I always look at bedroom windows to see what works best.”

Initially, when Frank comes in to assess the situations, he says, “They want to get rid of everything and I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me? Keep this and paint it that color (and sometimes change the material) and move it to this room because it would make a great anything.

Frank also advises people not to put a colorful sofa in the living room because eventually you will get tired of it. “Get pops of color through your pillows every season or your blankets, or your rugs, things you can take off.”

The Peixotos’ home offers plenty of creative examples of low-budget restyling: scrubbed and oiled barn mangers with storage serve as a center island (on casters) and window seat in the kitchen and sideboard in the dining room. dining room. An ugly throwaway couch with big “lines” finds new life with a slipcover in the living room. Sleek outdoor tables with “clean lines are used throughout the house,” he said, because “there are no obstructions and it makes rooms feel a bit larger.”

Plus, creating collections on small tables in each room creates “little moments,” Frank said. Then, at each holiday, a color or theme (like a bunny for Easter) can be added.

In one of the bedrooms, he used blue masking tape to create a horizontal wall strip. Frank also created a whale image with a $6 frame and a $2 sticker. The backing of this decal has been used to repeatedly trace and paint the design onto a wall creating a focal point in a room. He got the idea after the roll of wallpaper he loved cost $300.

Originally, their home was heated with stoves, so Frank created a faux fireplace in place of the fireplace. Plus, long chunks of a picnic table from their property that was used a long time ago are being repurposed – something he said is important to him “for some reason”. One piece forms a narrow table at the foot of his bed.

Another room is used as a sign, “The White Cottage” above their shop where they hold inviting “pop-up” tag sales in front of their house. They feature coastal farmhouse decor and gifts, which change with each season and holiday. Items range from candles, wreaths, homemade pillows, and signs to beach-themed towels, jugs, Christmas decorations, pictures, and bunnies and whales made by a wood craftsman.

Some of the goods they buy from local sellers.

” Its important to me. There are so many talented people here, so we try to bring some of their products here too,” Frank said. Items can also be purchased online.

The inspiration for The White Cottage came from many neighbors complimenting the Peixotos on how they transformed their yard and home exterior, he said. This led to tours inside, a fascination with the decor they chose, and questions, “How did you come up with that? Where did you get that? Where do you get your ideas?” Frank said, adding that sometimes people leave disposable items outside for him.

Stopping for the first time to shop for home staging items, real estate agent Cindy Cingranelli-Tagliaferri of Lisbon’s Priority Real Estate Group LLC said she was happy to hear that Frank is staging homes for folks, because there aren’t “all the staging companies” in this part of Connecticut.

She says she stages “clients’ homes with what they have. I try to move things around. I always make a consultation appointment before they list to tell them what to get rid of, but there are always things missing.

Cingranelli-Tagliaferri agreed that staging a home before putting it on the market can increase the sale price by thousands of dollars.

Frank said people are already looking to him for help redecorating their homes – some say they’ve been spending a lot more time at home since the pandemic began and want to change the way it looks.

This corresponds to his personal philosophy. “I would rather invest my money first where I’m going to spend most of my time, because for me, it brings me joy when I walk through the door.”

Instead of going to their sales management and banking jobs in New York, the Peixotos opted for a simpler life. Frank now works as a manager at the Banana Republic in Clinton and Carlos is an assessor for the town of Montville.

They also like to meet neighbors who fondly remember “pajama parties” with the old family. The father was a doctor; the mother was a schoolteacher, Frank said.

“The son robbed a bank and rumor has it he hid the money in the barn, but the money was never found. The mother reported him.

For in-home styling/staging consultations, call 959-217-3178. To join the mailing list or find out more about The White Cottage CT and when they’re hosting their next tag sale, head over to Facebook or Instagram: thewhitecottage.ct. Order items online by visiting

Long-time Norwich resident Jan Tormay now lives in Westerly.

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