When it came time to design the interior, here too Quint had a smart strategy for the long run. "I buy the best pieces I can afford," she says. For years she had been buying selectively rather than buying to fill rooms, and her conscious decision to put quality over quantity has clearly paid off—she has small rooms anchored with delightful finds such as Holly Hunt sofas and Venetian lamps.
Before moving any of her furniture, she did sketches of each of the major spaces. "I like to see at least three different arrangements for each room," she explains, "and drawing is easier than hauling." Why different arrangements? "It's like a haircut—you look for versatility," Quint says. "Some days you want conservative, other days minimalist; on winter days you might want piles of books and blankets all over the place."
Most of the time the rooms are neither stripped down nor maxed out. Rather, they are a carefully crafted balance of good furniture, vivid contemporary art, cultural artifacts, and the occasional floral focal point. The living room, which is barely 200 square feet, revolves around the small fireplace and its French-gray-painted surround. Even within the small space, Quint has avoided the temptation to put the furniture flush against the walls. "You should feel the space around furniture," she says. A square-shaped Holly Hunt-designed sofa anchors one wall, deep enough to tuck yourself into it and read the morning paper. Near the outside windows, Quint has placed a wool-upholstered chaise from Donghia that functions like a chair but is large enough for two. To anchor the design, Quint used the rug as the starting point.
The television room is less formal and less classical. Here, the kids are allowed to romp on the sofa while Quint cooks meals in the next room. A pair of French doors connects this tiny space to an even tinier side yard, where the family eats outside all summer long.