An Example of Bygone Glory

Cauffiel House stands as a stunning testament to the tastes and trends of the 1930s.

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The mahogany table in the dining room is one of only two family-owned pieces that remain in the house. Photograph by Jared CastaldiJeffers and events coordinator Karen Helme, who also works as a designer, picked out the tailored, plaid dupioni silk panels that dress the dining room windows.

Buff-colored walls in the sitting room were freshened with spring green paint. A synthetic sisal area rug conjures images of summer bridge games, a pursuit that could stylishly be played out today on custom-made card tables. The sun porch adjoining the space is furnished in other retro finds, wrought iron-and-glass patio tables and chairs.

The Cauffiels were fond of dogs. Although the kennels are gone now, signs of canine affection remain. Witness the likeness of a Brittany spaniel on the needlepoint pillow on the sitting room sofa. There’s a vintage doorstop painted to look like a terrier in the foyer and bronzes of hunting dogs in a second-floor den.

These days Cauffiel House lives on as a destination for conferences and special occasions. There are still reminders of the designer show house, a glimpse into recent design history that reveals which ideas stand the test of time—or at least a dozen years. (The subtly stenciled sea horses on the wall in a hall bath: Yes. The ivory upholstered fabric walls in the master bath: No. People touch them and they smudge.)

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