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    North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

    DSC_0143Marybeth Wise, the Greenwich-based designer behind 547 Lake Avenue, was recipient of a 2014 Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Innovation in Design Award in the Kitchen category.  We chatted with Wise about her work and upstart firm, MB Interiors.

    HL: Congratulations on your award!  Can you tell us a bit about your background as a designer?
    MB:
    I was working in finance, but I just loved design – it was my passion.  So I decided to go back to school at the New York School of Interior Design, and from there started helping friends, then friends of friends, and next thing I knew, I was doing it full-time.

    HL: The classic story.  What was the timeline for all of this?
    MB:
    Two years.  And I started MB Interiors just this past year.  A little longer for school, since I was interrupted by starting and raising our family.

    HL: What inspired you in designing this home?  What was your vision?
    MB:
    My husband and I took a trip to Paris and stayed at this hotel, Hotel Particular, which had this beautiful interior courtyard.  We went out to have drinks and I just remembered this great light, which felt so warm.  I felt, “I’d like to have that be part of life at our home.”  And I wanted to give the home a “wow” factor: outside, you have the typical Connecticut brick Georgian, and then you come in to this contemporary interior.  You either love it or think, “Oh my god, what happened?”

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    HL: The dichotomy is truly amazing.  What kind of reactions have you gotten?
    MB:
    People are kind of floored by it when they walk in—they’re so surprised, and find it refreshing because, while it looks like it from the street, it’s so not Greenwich.

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    HL: Tell us some of your favorite features – besides the courtyard!
    MB: It really is!  I designed the floorplan for family life: it’s conducive to simultaneous entertaining for children and adults.  The grown-ups can be upstairs and you wouldn’t even know the kids are downstairs.  It’s very inviting and multifaceted; there’s something for everybody.

    HL: What jobs are currently keeping you busy?
    MB: Right now I’m working on a house in Rye; it’s a total top-to-bottom remodel.  I’ve swayed the owner to open her mind to differ lighting designs and patterns.  And I’m always looking for new projects!

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    See more of 547 Lake Avenue

    MB Interiors / Greenwich, CT / 914.420.4845