For the Love of COLOR

shop owner Jutta Verde rosa brings a lifelong enthusiasm for vibrant textiles, a passion for making things by hand, and loads of creative energy to the 1740s Connecticut home she shares with her husband,Tommy—brightening traditional interiors in unexpected ways. In the kitchen, a cheerful array of dishes and roses forms a still life. OPPOSITE: A mélange of pillows demonstrates Jutta Verde Rosa’s talent for layering texture and color. It also shows her skill for repurposing: Jutta fashioned the pillow in the foreground from a cable-knit sweater. Fruit-punch colors provide a vibrant foil to the kitchen’s rustic beams and wood paneling. Jutta’s handiwork is everywhere—from the trim she crocheted for the curtains to the chair seats, which she covered with fabric from cast-off Designers Guild swatch books. Each cushion is a different colorway. The tablecloth and pillow are also Designers Guild: “I used to sell its products in my store in East Hampton, La Dolce Vita, and I’m obsessed,” says Jutta. The rug is Dash & Albert’s Field of Flowers. Buy only what you love Collect and save like mad, and your look will fall together. That sums up Jutta Verde Rosa’s decorating credo, and it’s a lesson she learned as a shop owner. Jutta, who had a store called  La Dolce Vita in East Hampton, N.Y., before relocating to Woodbury, Conn., incorporates favorite vintage finds into her present store, Verde Rosa. “At my first shop, I was always catering  to customers. My current store is a reflection of me, and people seem to respond well to that.” She  applies this formula at home, too, snapping up striking fabrics and trims, many from New  York City’s garment district, knowing she’ll find a place for them eventually. And the fact that  her husband, Tommy, a landscape designer, shares her love of vivid color gives Jutta the freedom to make daring choices at home. For example, she’ll order items without first bringing in swatches,  which was the case with a red and hot pink rug she put in their living room. “Tommy was shocked  when I first unrolled it,” says Jutta, “but somehow it’s right.” Both Tommy’s art collection and  the flowers he brings home from the greenhouse where he works do their part as well. The result is  a look that’s cheerful but not overwhelming. Jutta says, “A lot of happiness comes out of this place.” The hallway provides a quiet break from the house’s otherwise bold palette.  jutta  keeps table linens and china in an antique  baker’s chest. Resting on the enamel top  is an assemblage of unique objects, mostly gifts from friends: a bird figurine from Christiane  Celle, the founder of Calypso (Jutta  sold pieces of her Verde Rosa clothing line at a Calypso store in the Hamptons, where she was also a manager), an étagère adorned  with chandelier crystals, and a vintage piggy bank Tommy gave her. The British pitcher holds echinacea from the garden. “Some people come into  the house and just  roll their eyes, but I don’t care,” says Jutta. “I love the colors. They make me happy, and that’s how I want to live.” a shop of her own Jutta’s store, Verde Rosa, is in a barn a few steps away from her house. INSPIRATION Growing up in Germany, Jutta was surrounded with images of fifties  starlets, including Brigitte Bardot. “She was very famous in Europe,” says Jutta of the French icon, whose style  influences can be  limpsed throughout  the shop. The era’s fitted tops and full skirts inspired pieces Jutta designed for  her Verde Rosa line. Merchandise Besides clothing she finds or repurposes, Jutta sells scarves, pillows, sweaters, and throws she makes from cashmere and angora. “This way customers will have something beautiful and timeless,” says Jutta, who also  carries jewelry and glass by local artisans. sources Jutta combs flea markets, consignment stores, estate sales, and eBay to find vintage clothing and materials.She remakes some items, but the couture pieces she leaves alone: “Pucci and Chanel are perfect as they are.”