Originally built by Oliver Wolcott in 1754, this National Historic Landmark is the oldest house in Litchfield, Connecticut. Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the first governor of Connecticut, hosted George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette, and other storied houseguests in his quintessentially New England clapboard home.
Champalimaud honored the heritage of this significant, historic residence, modulating the décor to allow the house to speak for itself. The design effort was preceded by extensive research with specialists to maintain authenticity. Restoration of original paint colors was informed by analysis of many layers that had accumulated over the home's lifetime, and new paints and plaster were mixed according to 18th-century formulas. The original oak floorboards, virgin old-growth King's boards of pine, and other period details were preserved throughout. But Champalimaud's principal challenge was a need to create a comfortable and warmly inviting home for today's lifestyle within the spare vernacular of an early New England residence. Period furniture now shares space with comfortable, upholstered chairs, Oriental carpets, and European accessories known to be of interest to the highly sophisticated Mr. Wolcott, a worldly figure at home in rural Connecticut.