Architectural Digest: Putnam & Mason Opening
Robert Passal & Kim Alessi Open Design Atelier in Greenwich, CT.
Greenwich, Connecticut, can be best described in one word: traditional. From the cottage-style storefronts that line The Avenue to the blue-and-white pottery, long candlesticks, and wicker baskets that decorate its suburban estates, the town is filled with classic charm. While the conventional designs suit the interiors of these Georgian manses, sometimes you just want to add the kind of quirky panache that you can only find in a big city. That’s where Putnam & Mason, a new design atelier in Greenwich developed by New York–based designers Robert Passal and Kim Alessi, comes in. The store, located at the corner of East Putnam Avenue and Mason Street in the city’s design district, brings Manhattan’s diverse offerings across state lines.
“We really tried to bring a little bit of an edge to Greenwich,” says Passal. “It’s not the same old, same old, yet we’re not too far out of the ballpark. I wanted to create an atmosphere where you’re like, Wow, I haven’t seen anything like that around here, as opposed to having tables stuffed with the typical fluffy pillows and coffee-table books.”
Passal and Alessi steered away from the conformist Connecticut aesthetic by curating a selection of antiques from Europe and the United States with fascinating tales, including a repurposed chest that previously belonged to a nunnery and modern artwork from local galleries. Textiles from luxury names like Sacco Carpet and Loro Piana will be stowed away in the shop’s “sample bar,” a conceptual kitchen that contains cabinets packed with finishes and fabrics and a large countertop for local designers to lay out and study floor plans with their clients, saving them a trip to Manhattan.
“There’s so much talent up here, but I think a lot of times they are overshadowed by New York–based interior designers,” says Alessi. “It tends to be a forgotten market, but I hope we can allow the community’s designers to break the pattern of heading back-and-forth downtown since we will be able to offer a lot of what the D&D Building does right in their own backyard. The won’t have to schlep to the city to pick out some Kravet fabrics.”
Some D&D staples, such as Chesney’s, will have their only showroom in the state at the shop, while the geniuses at Fairfield’s Phoenix Audio and Video—who crafted a one-piece TV-mirror framed in Alessi’s KLASP Home leather skin and positioned above the store’s mantel—will extend their reach closer to commuters in and out of Manhattan. “In New York, if I need a button, I know ten places where I could get one, but here there aren’t a lot of options, which is why we are going to act as a referral service for these other companies,” says Passal. “Whether you need to upholster a sofa, a landscaper for your garden, or a general contractor because you’re renovating your home, we will work as a one-stop shop for hiring everyone in a single space.”
34 E. Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT; putnamandmason.com