My City

An Interior Designer’s Guide to Mixing Old and New in Greenwich, Connecticut

Heide Hendricks at home in Connecticut.

Two decades ago, Heide Hendricks traded her Brooklyn home for a sprawling 1800s Connecticut farmhouse called Ellsworth. The interior designer took ownership of the historic property in Sharon alongside her husband, Rafe Churchill—the other half of the eponymous architecture and design firm Hendricks Churchill. 

The two built the company in the secluded, charmed Northwest corner of the state, developing their taste for antiques and New England touchpoints from the aesthetics of neighboring towns. “I've had many clients in Greenwich over the years,” says Hendricks of one of her favorite Connecticut locales. “While doing site visits to these homes, I like to drive around Greenwich marveling at some of the historic properties, drawing on these magnificent homes for inspiration for my own designs.”

Greenwich was settled in 1640 and is about the size of a pin-prick in comparison to Hendricks’s New York hometown, but boasts its own film festival, symphony orchestra, and art museum, making it a destination for creatives across the region. It’s also the final stop on J.Crew’s Local Time Tour, a brand the interior designer turns to for pieces that will travel with her on her frequent drives across the rolling state. Here, Hendricks shares the best destinations—from a delicious midday lunch stop and a chilled glass of rosé, to a day-long museum tour that takes her from Connecticut to Massachusetts. 

Describe the moment when you realized you wanted to pursue interior design. 

I grew up with parents who were artists in New York's bohemian art scene. My style and approach to design were greatly influenced by the way I grew up: in a home built from logs from our property in Woodbury and filled with an emporium of unique finds and treasures from thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets. I don't think it was until I started renovating homes with Rafe in my 30s (while keeping my day job), that I realized that interior design would, and could, become a full-time career for me.

What are some interior and architectural trends you notice in your local surroundings? 

Monochromatic beige decor has become a dominant trend in today's design industry, but to me these spaces feel impersonal. I marvel at the harmonious balance and deft editorial skills these interiors require, but I prefer a more eclectic, bohemian look. This deceptively carefree look is achieved through sourcing one-of-a-kind, rare, vintage, and antique pieces and layering colors and textiles. 

The hard part about my job is making all these pieces look as if they were lovingly assembled and collected over time without losing the soul of the space, which unites all of these disparate pieces. 


What is your pick for a local restaurant that offers a great midday bite? 

In Greenwich, Le Penguin is the perfect spot to enjoy a midday bite and a crisp, dry rosé. If in Sharon, go to JP Giffords or Le Gamin. Sweet William’s in Salisbury is great for a sweet treat.

What is something someone can do, wear, or say to look like a local? 

Dress in layers! This sartorial style, once mastered, will see you through all four seasons; springtime in Connecticut can sometimes have the weather fluctuations of all the seasons in one week!

Underrated Saturday afternoon activity? 

Gardening while listening to a podcast.

Your ideal Sunday art-viewing itinerary? 

Heading to the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, then to the Aldrich Contemporary in Ridgefield, Connecticut. If out in Sharon, it's always wonderful to go to Art Omi in Ghent or The Clark in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

What is the best place to shop for gifts? For yourself? 

A gift for myself is likely to be an unusual find from Patrick Mele in Greenwich. If you’re up near Sharon, try Montage Antiques, Cottage + Camp, or Hunter Bee in Millerton, New York.

What’s your best tip for getting the most out of Greenwich? 

Don't try to hit everywhere on your list. Take the time and go deep in certain places. Sourcing antiques requires patience, and a willingness to journey into basements and dusty corners where no one has dared to go before.

Follow @jcrew on Instagram to see highlights from their Local Time Tour, a series of store events hosted in four cities across the country along with their Creative Directors Olympia Gayot and Brendon Babenzien. For insider tips on how to navigate cities around the globe, check out David Castillo's guide to Miami, Bethany Heinze's tour of Charleston, and Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel's advice for visiting Paris.