The Insider's Guide to Westport: With Julia Dzafic

We kicked off The Insider's Guide on the west coast and now we're bringing it back east to Westport, Connecticut. 
Known for its historic coastal charm, great shopping, restaurants and close proximity to New York City, this quintessential New England waterfront town could not be missed on our list.  We’ve enlisted the help of our stylish friend, Julia Dzafic of Lemon Stripes, to give us the inside scoop on the best things to do and places to see during the fall months in this charming town she calls home.
Grab your pumpkin spice latte, cozy up with a soft throw, and enjoy this fun read!
xo Meg 
Credit: Julia Dags

CC: When you were leaving NYC, what drew you to Westport?

JD: We actually moved to Stamford, another town in CT, first because of my job at the time. We found ourselves drawn to Westport on the weekends because of their amazing beaches and great restaurants. We always had an eye out for houses and one day the perfect one popped up on Zillow and we’ve been in it for 2 years now!


CC: What do you love most about living in Westport?

JD: The beaches. We spend a lot of time there. We’ll bring picnics for family dinners and date nights, we swim on hot summer days, and I walk our dog, Boots, along the water in the winter when pets are allowed on the sand.

Credit: Julia Dags


CC: Tell us about the process of designing your house.

JD: It has been a labor of love and isn’t even close to finished. I like to think of our home as an ever-changing organism. As my children grow up and our needs change, we make updates accordingly. I really wanted to take my time with this new house so we focused on one room at a time and made sure we didn’t make any impulse decisions. We worked with a designer for some of the rooms and an online design firm, Modsy, for others. I love decor but I like to get help pulling it all together and sourcing furniture and art that I might not necessarily know where to find on my own.

Credit: Julia Dags


CC: How did living in New England influence your décor style?

JD: I grew up in New Hampshire which is a much more rustic style but was always drawn to a more coastal New England vibe. Living here, we’re surrounded by it and I get inspiration from friends and neighbors’ homes as well as local restaurants and shops.


CC: Favorite spot by the water?

JD: It’s funny because we’re a beach town but don’t have many waterfront restaurant options. We go to Bartaco a lot as a family because the kids love it. But for date nights, La Plage, is the best! It has gorgeous views and a great coastal menu.


Credit: Julia Dags

CC: Favorite place for a cozy date night out?

JD: The Cottage. It has a cozy yet modern feel and the food is out of this world. Their bar is amazing too- gorgeous and excellent cocktails.


CC: What’s your perfect fall day? Where are you going/what are you doing?

JD: Oooh good question! If I’m with the kids then apple picking at Jones Farm in the morning followed by a trip to Terrain to get pumpkins in the afternoon. Then we would have them run around at the Compo Beach playground. We would all have a cozy dinner at The Whelk to end the day. If it’s just me and my husband, I’d have a long lazy lunch at the Tavern at Graybarns by the fire, take a bundled up walk along the beach and end our day with drinks and dinner at Kawa Ni.


CC: Go to wardrobe for a fall day in Westport?

JD: A great pair of jeans, Rothy’s flats, a cozy oversized sweater and a Barbour coat if it’s chilly.


Credit: Julia Dags

CC: One thing you absolutely must see or do when visiting? 

JD: I think a walk along any of our beaches is a must! Can you tell I’m a beach gal? :) If you can catch a show at our outdoor theater, Levitt Pavilion, I recommend that too! It’s a great little venue surrounded by white hydrangeas.


Credit: Julia Dags


CC: Favorite place to shop?

JD: Jewelry: There is this amazing little hidden gem of a shop, JL Rocks, that carries incredible fine jewelry at an attainable price point like dainty necklaces, tiny earrings, and super cool rings.


Gifts: She La La is my go-to for gifts. They have something for everyone ages 1-100 and they’ll monogram pretty much anything in the store!


Clothing: Unsubscribe is a new store in town that carries all sustainable brands. They’ve curated a really beautiful collection of clothing, shoes, and accessories.


Decor: Mille Rae’s has an incredible selection of decor and gifts. It’s basically my dream walking in there!


CC: How would you describe coastal Connecticut style?

JD: Inviting and not fussy. Lots of blues, whites, and natural fibers. You see a ton of grasscloth, rattan, and texture in the furniture. Basically, Cailíní Coastal to a T!

Credit: Julia Dags


CC: Go-to spot for a seasonal fall bite or drink?

JD: Terrain Cafe has a great seasonal menu for coffee, lunch, and dinner. Plus, while you wait for your table, you can explore the incredible shop attached to it, full of plants and lots of seasonal gifts and goodies.


CC: Favorite activity to do with kids?

JD: The kids concert series at Levitt Pavillion, visiting our incredible library that has a huge kids room, and the playground at Compo Beach.


CC: What are 5 Cailíní Coastal products you think best capture the Westport coastal style?


Blue Bells Tablecloth & Napkins 


White Haven Linen Pillow 


Grasse Photo Frame


Bimini Sconce


Anchor Wall Hooks 


For more information on Julia or to follow her stylish life in Westport, you can find her at @LemonStripes on Instagram or at



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