STORY BY SHELBY DEERING ✷ PHOTOGRAPHS BY RIKKI SNYDER AND CHLOE CRANE-LEROUX
The appeal of antiques and vintage items lies not just in their timeworn, well-loved beauty, but in the stories they tell. The piece of crockery that’s aged gracefully through the decades, showing its years with an authentic crackled finish. The faded wood crate that once stashed away bottles and tells its own story. The tattered book that’s clearly been read too many times to count.
These are the kinds of bygone pieces that frequently make their way into Becca Casey’s designs. As the owner and principle of the Norwalk, Connecticut-based Becca Interiors, she crafts spaces for homeowners, like Top Chef judge Gail Simmons, who value the past as much as she does. “A majority of our spaces consist of antique pieces,” Becca says. “I would be surprised if we ever designed a room without some sort of period piece in the mix.”
Reimagining a range of residences, from a 20th-century abode on the Hudson River to a Southampton surf retreat to her own “European-infused” home, as she describes it, Becca’s penchant for mixing together old and new comes from two sources: her birthplace and her dedication to sustainability.
Becca grew up in southwest England until she moved to New York City in 2005. Later, in 2013, she served as a senior designer at the high-profile firm Jenny Wolf Interiors and, in 2016, she struck out on her own, founding her interior design company. “My English roots very much influence my designs,” she says. “Being from a country rich with history and growing up in an area with many a thatched cottage, I am drawn more toward patina, muted color palettes, and an overall collected, warm aesthetic in my designs.”
Becca’s current surroundings in Connecticut remind her deeply of England—both places enliven her designs. “Connecticut reminds me so much of where I was brought up,” she reflects. “Its bucolic, green rolling hills and historic architecture is a constant source of inspiration.”
It’s a place she also holds dear because it’s where she resides with her husband, Ryan, who was born and raised in New York, and their two-year-old son, Sawyer. Soon, a baby girl will join the family.
At home, Becca carries out her devotion to all-things-sustainable, something that in recent years has taken a very important role for her personally. As a “passionate vegetarian,” she says, “who advocates strongly for animal rights and environmental sustainability,” she prioritizes green living in her daily life. “At home, we eat plant-based, organic foods and source locally as much as possible,” she says. “We compost all of our food scraps and reduce as much single-use plastic as possible.”
Next, Becca says she wants to find ways to introduce eco-friendly practices into the office culture of Becca Interiors “and become a more environmentally-driven small business in general.”
In the meantime, she’s weaving plenty of sustainable touches into her designs, incorporating found materials, furnishings, and accessories throughout all of her projects. She adds, “We also enjoy turning to our local partners and artisans for custom pieces to cut down on the overall footprint of shipping pieces cross-continent while giving back and supporting small businesses.”
Reuse is a top priority when Becca designs a space or an entire home. “Reuse can come in many forms,” she says, “whether it’s to honor a family heirloom or to work a piece in that the client is just not ready to let go of.”
This is when Becca and her team work their magic. They’ll give these reused pieces a new lease on life with updated upholstery or a completely new finish. Not only is this approach green, but it also lends more soul to a space, in Becca’s opinion. “For me, implementing an antique or salvaged piece in a modern setting is the perfect way to juxtapose and change the narrative of an entire space,” she says. “It cuts the feeling of sparseness and revolutionizes an element of authenticity.”
In addition to finding fresh ways to display already-owned items, Becca is an expert when it comes to sourcing antique treasures. “We love seeking out special pieces of antique furniture that are local to the area,” the designer says.
Some of Becca’s beloved shopping destinations include Norwalk, Connecticut’s Fairfield County Antiques and famous fleas like Brimfield Antique Flea Market, held in the Massachusetts town of the same name, and Texas’ Round Top Antiques Fair. She also often scores finds on Facebook Marketplace.
For Becca, finding new homes for cast-off antiques is a win-win, for both sustainability and style. Describing her design philosophy, she says, “We are led by a timeless aesthetic, so our designs are not overly trendy and always with an eye on longevity and sustainability. We consistently use materials that feature raw and natural textures, which we balance alongside a thoughtful use of color and pattern to create spaces that feel real, authentic, personal, and effortless.”
5 Secrets From a Top Designer
Becca shares how to capture her ageless aesthetic in your own home. Think high quality over quantity, careful curation, and embracing a slow pace.
When designing a space, always order samples of each material and look at the palette collectively. Never improvise!
Invest in window treatments and good carpentry. They make all the difference.
Source items locally. Take a break from shopping what’s online. You can find many treasures in your local antique shops or boutiques.
For a look that’s timeless, but not wed to a specific trend, start with furnishings in a neutral palette and fold in color, texture, and pattern with interchangeable pillows and textiles.
The key to editing vignettes is scale and variety. Pair accessories that juxtapose one another in ways that are visually interesting. Lean a piece of artwork on the shelf behind a stack of antique books, or pair a primitive piece of pottery with a more modern accessory.