The Governor's Mansion recently had an extreme makeover thanks to the participation of Connecticut-based interior designers including Carey Karlan of Last Detail.

Karlan, owner of the design firm, was the only Darien-based designer chosen by Connecticut Cottages & Gardens to participate in the renovation called "The People's Project."

The Georgian Revival style home in Hartford is more than 100 years old, and welcomes thousands of public and not-for-profit guests through its doors every year. To commemorate and preserve the home's historic value and continue its access to the public, Norwalk-based design magazine Connecticut Cottages & Gardens partnered with the Governor's Residence Conservancy, Inc., a private, nonprofit corporation responsible for the preservation, restoration and renovation of the governor's residence, to help renew some of the interior public spaces of the governor's residence, along with the guest house and pool house.

Chosen from hundreds of Connecticut designers, Karlan was selected to work on the guest house kitchen and dining room to create a functional yet charming and comfortable space.

"I love the intimacy and charm of cottages," Karlan said. She wanted to maintain the quaint dollhouse feeling but not lapse into a "Seven Dwarves" look. A mix of old and new were called in for updating these spaces.

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In the kitchen, "new" antique floors and classic cream cabinets from Nu Kitchens were installed and were paired with a bright green ceiling, vinyl "bamboo" Schumacher wall covering and contemporary appliances. In the dining room, the arched window was featured with an old fashioned swing arm treatment, an existing hutch was repurposed and everything was contrasted with a graphic striped carpet, cleaned lined green chairs, overscaled chandelier and a funky mirror.

"It's exciting to know that I had a part in updating the governor's home which will be toured and visited by people from Connecticut and beyond," Karlan said. "We enjoyed working with the Governor and First Lady to make a space that can serve to host guest and dignitaries."

At no cost to Connecticut taxpayers, "The People's Project" enlisted the help of Connecticut-based designers, craftsman and manufacturers who donated their products and services to update the historic Georgian Revival style home in Hartford.

For more information on the project, visit or