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Our firm retained Ellsworth Ford Associates to decorate the executive offices for the Bank of New Canaan as well as help us with the office’s lobby and board room. We had tight parameters for this project in terms of both budget and timing. Ellsworth Ford wasted no time in providing floor plans and concepts for transforming the space we were moving to. They worked within certain architectural constraints that could have been daunting.

In my role as CEO of a community bank, it is important that my offices reflect who I am but also speak to the branding and philosophy of the bank. Ellsworth Ford, with designers Robin Kencel and Carlene Safdie, struck just the right chord for the bank and myself. While my colleagues and business guests always speak of how beautiful the offices are, they seem to be truly comfortable in the settings. Robin and Carlene listened to how I use my own office and made sure that it accommodates everything from private and small group meetings to working lunch gatherings.

The collection of mid century and modern pieces are inventive, and I appreciated that they were able to accommodate several of my favorite pieces from a home office into my work space.

Because of her corporate background, Robin understands how offices function; creating spaces that encourage and support effective working relationships is a concept that she often speaks to and that the design team is conscious of when developing the spaces. Project Manager Liz Miller ensures that no detail, large or small, is missed and made sure that our strict budgets were adhered to.

I would highly recommend Ellsworth Ford for corporate decorating work: Robin, design partner Carlene Safdie and project manager Liz Miller, are of high caliber in their work.

This letter of recommendation for Robin Kencel and her firm, Ellsworth Ford Associates, is written with great enthusiasm. EFA first worked with me at my previous residence. What began as a request that they recover two sofas in our Party Barn, quickly grew to a complete redecorating of that space as well as rooms in our main residence and a second outbuilding.

Having had this first successful experience with EFA, I turned to them immediately upon the purchase of a 9,000 sq ft residence that needed an extensive renovation and complete decorating. The project was large and the timing was tight—our family needed to be moved in in just ten months. Not only were my requirements met, my expectations were exceeded both in the firm’s decorating accomplishments and in their business processes.

Ellsworth Ford’s decorating talent speaks for itself. With diverse and complementary talents, firm owner and decorator Robin, and her decorator partner, antiques dealer Carlene Safdie, bring over fifty years of knowledge, relationships, resources and experience. What this team’s background results in are interiors that are a combination of classical, modern, fresh and unexpected. Carlene’s background in antiques and modernity, art and decorative accessories gives the firm an added advantage and provides me with the security that the pieces we are purchasing make sense.

From the start of the project to the final purchases, my requests for the feeling that I wanted in our home and the practical needs of our family, were listened to. This listening resulted in recommendations that were close in, as well as farther out, from my comfort zone. Placing my trust in the team was easy, as they proved themselves throughout the process to be thoughtful, thorough, and conscientious. The results is a home that reflects our family but stretched our sensibility in wonderful ways.

This is a team that is tireless and fastidious. Project Manager Liz Miller is flawless in her execution of the decorating program, as evidenced by the fact that there were virtually no mistakes when all was said and done and installed. This is no small accomplishment, given that all of the upholstery and curtains were custom made as were many bench made pieces and rugs.

I have been told that a decorating project of this magnitude would normally be a three year project. With a strong background in the corporate world, Robin operates a well-run firm. Timetables, budget development and tracking and schedules are defined and adhered to; when variances occur, I was informed and kept updated. To accomplish the time deadlines that my project required took EFA a seven day a week commitment. Whether it was 7 a.m. or 11 p.m., I was able to communicate with Robin so that the project moved at a continual pace.

Robin and Carlene’s talents extend beyond pure interior design. Their input was invaluable on the architectural changes made in our home. Robin’s background in kitchen and bath design was extremely helpful in the layout of these rooms. EFA worked quite well with the architects and the general contractor, which was critical given the intense schedule they were under.

I would recommend Ellsworth Ford without reservation. Our home is absolutely lovely and meets all the functional and decorating hopes that I had. It is truly something special.

Peyton, P

"I can recommend Robin enthusiastically and without reservation. I have worked with her on three projects. One was a major renovation of a home we built 35 years ago, one was new construction (we didn't end up building at that location), and one project where I was trying to "update" a florida home we purchased and that we will eventually renovate but didn't want to immediately.

Each project was different and required different skills. In each case Robin performed the tasks beautifully. To be more specific, I will give some highlights as to her qualifications, abilities, and talent.

First and foremost, she is a lovely person with whom to work. She is honest, trustworthy, helpful, and fun! Her primary goal is the client and she listens well to what the client needs and wants. She is multiple dimensional in her talent and creative style, and can do traditional, modern, contemporary, or even regional i.e. Our one place was in CA which is a different style from the East coast.

She is exceptional with floor plans and furniture placement and thinks through issues of lifestyle as well as decor. Our projects have all been on tight budgets and robin has not only enthusiastically worked with us within those budgets but she has found very creative approaches to using existing furniture with new pieces. She is highly organized and has an incredible business mind which add to her ability to be effective. She responds to calls and emails immediately and is "on top" of any project she does, big or small."

Linda Tullis
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