After Joan Rivers died last week at the age of 81, a lot of news outlets featured photos of her opulent New York City penthouse. But I kept thinking about the stone and clapboard country house she remodeled in Connecticut.
When she bought the house, it was fairly contemporary, with low ceilings and sleek lines. Her designer Joe Cicio said, “Joan said she wanted a country house. And I said, ‘Well, you sure didn’t buy one.’” This is what the living room looked like before she remodeled it:
At least it had the stone fireplace going for it, and she was able to keep it and make it look more traditional with built-in bookshelves on either side. The ceilings were raised and given wood beams, and the floors were stained a darker color. Here’s how it looked in Architectural Digest about 10 years ago:
She put the house on the market for $5.9 million a few years ago, and here’s how the room looked in the listing:
The other side of the room as seen in AD:
She told AD she went with pink in her bedroom because it was one of her favorite colors: “I’ve always loved pink.” Here’s a photo of her in it with her three little dogs:
This room really shows her softer side that we didn’t see much in public. She said she liked the white-painted palm tree because it was “silly and whimsical.” A portrait of her with her daughter Melissa hung over the fireplace (by watercolor artist David Remfry).
One of the most amazing transformations in the house had to be this narrow, dark hallway:
Here’s how it looked after they redesigned it, opening it up to let light in with antique mirrors and trompe l’oeil windows depicting the homes of family members and friends (including Prince Charles — yep, they were friends!):
The kitchen has high, beamed ceilings and butcher block countertops:
There’s a comfortable eating area off it with a stone fireplace, which she opted for instead of a formal dining room:
The house sits on more than 75 acres.
Visit Architectural Digest for more information and all the photos by Mary E. Nichols.
Her $35 million Upper East Side penthouse is much more formal (you can see photos of it at the Daily Mail). She once said it’s “Where Marie Antoinette would have lived if she had the money.”
I would’ve chosen the country house, though. What about you?
P.S. That Daily Mail article mentions that Bette Midler was her next-door neighbor in the building. I found that interesting because the styles of the two penthouse apartments are so different. You can see Bette’s here:
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