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Seaside Dream Home

With limitless creativity and imagination, Sarah Weiland of Tusk Home + Design brings a special client’s dream home to life

Article by Sophia Andersen

Photography by Raquelle Langworthy

Originally published in Westport Lifestyle

Sarah Weiland, owner of Tusk Home + Design in Westport, is a creator of dream homes. When a one-of-a-kind project on Fairfield Beach presented itself to her, she dove in headfirst and the outcome exceeded all expectations. The homeowner is the founder of The Cancer Couch Foundation and is currently fighting cancer herself. The client wanted to build her happy place where she can relax and enjoy the beauty of the seaside with her family.  “We were building this as her dream home,” Sarah says, “Every detail was personalized to the feeling she wanted to invoke—a feeling of family and relaxation, serenity and all of those things she wanted to be surrounded by.” 

The main inspiration for her home is the Ocean House in Rhode Island. “This is one of the client’s ‘happy places,’” Sarah says, “It was a great starting point, but the house that we built and designed definitely has its own unique character.” Sarah describes the style of the home as “transitional with a relaxed beach vibe to it; it’s very livable and not stuffy.” She continues, “There is just a feeling you get when you walk in the house; You can tell there is happiness there. There is a good energy.” Sarah used the surrounding landscape to inspire her choice of color palette. “I studied the Long Island Sound: The watercolors throughout the day that came in through the windows from the sunlight, the beach, the water, the sky,” Sarah recalls. “I tried to bring in all those colors that reflected on Fairfield Beach into the home.”

Sarah’s favorite room is the kitchen. “The kitchen island I designed is 15 feet long and designed in a way that no matter where you are sitting you have water views,” Sarah describes. “The color of the cabinets is custom made - it’s a special blue color that we had never really used or seen before. The backsplash in the kitchen is custom cut mirror from an artisan in Brooklyn, made with a scalloped-like detail.”

The homeowner wanted this room to feel like a mermaid’s grotto. “The scalloped detail in the backsplash mimics a mermaid’s tail,” Sarah explains. The lighting over the island is a focal point that can be seen from the outside when standing on the beach. Another ethereal feature in the kitchen is two rope swings mounted to the ceiling.

Sarah worked closely with architects Donald Fairbanks, Marybeth Woods and builder Grace Design and Build throughout the project in order to create a seamless finished product. “We had one chance to get it right,” Sarah says, “and we wanted to make it perfect for the client.”

Sarah has worked as an interior designer for about 10 years. She has both her residential and professional Interior Design certificates from Fairfield University. Tusk Home + Design was established in 2011 and now features a retail storefront, opened in 2017, selling furniture and accessories. “I want people to come into the store and feel welcomed; the store has a happy vibe. We have over 400 vendors and while we do use items from the floor in our design projects, we can really get anything,” Sarah says. “The store is kind of like a billboard. There is so much more behind it that we can get for you."

“We cater to everyone,” Sarah continues. “We work with all budgets and different project sizes. People always ask me what my style is, but my job is to design your home in the style that you love. If you come into my home you’ll see my style, but I don’t re-create my personal style on anyone. My goal is to make a room that you love that’s in your style.”

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