A Modern Home that Flawlessly Reflects the Litchfield Hills
A sophisticated take on country living makes this the place to be.
While most homeowners go shopping for furnishings and accessories, the owner of this Kent home also went shopping for boulders. She recalls the architect, Allan Shope, calling one day and asking her to meet him along the side of the road in Litchfield County. “I drove from our home in Westchester, where we were then living, not knowing exactly what he wanted,” she recalls. “But he said there had been an avalanche on a hillside and that the owner of the land offered Allan the chance to come and get whatever he wanted, for free. When I got there, Allan told me to pick out my favorite boulders that were tumbled all over the hill.”
Shope recognized the grade of stone and their hues as perfect building materials for the couple’s new Litchfield County house. Many of those stones fashion the massive fireplace and chimney in the living area. Other boulders collected that day were used as hardscaping by the pool and as adornments throughout the 214 acre property. The homeowners explain it’s an architectural element that “appears to just rise up from the earth.”
When interior designer Eve Robinson first met the clients, she was a bit startled by how they wanted to live. They envisioned the rooms of their new home filling with sheep and chickens, as much as with family and friends. “As the design process went on,” says Robinson, “their desire for finer things prevailed.” The animals were welcome to roost and nest in comfortable quarters outdoors. “The whole project and idea kind of reminded me of the old TV show ‘Green Acres,’” says the designer, “where sophisticated homeowners have the idea to start a new life in a small country town.”
These homeowners have enthusiastically embraced their new rural locale. Now, colorful anemones, peonies, roses, lilacs, hydrangeas, snapdragons and other flowers typical to the Northeast decorate their land. They and their staff at what is known as Anderson Acres Farm, sell blooms to the Connecticut Flower Collective and individual stores, as well as to the public in a weekly sale in their on-site barn. “During the height of Covid, that market became especially important to people in the community,” says the homeowner. ‘This event is the highlight of my week,’ is something we heard often.”
In collaborating closely with the homeowner, Robinson became quickly aware of her client’s penchant for artisanship and detail, as well as the color blue. “It’s one of my favorite colors,” the homeowner admits. “It’s soothing, it has a connection to water and nature and sky.” The homeowner wanted a house that was intimately and constantly connected to its natural locale. Notice the roofline of the house echoes the undulations of the nearby Litchfield Hills, while views from every room embrace the outdoors.
Meanwhile, in addition to a flood of natural light, Robinson introduced sculptural chandeliers and lighting sources in every room—from a bird’s nest– shaped one in the foyer to a tree-like branching expanse in the living room. “I often regard lighting as jewelry,” says Robinson. “Bringing in incredibly special lighting pieces is a way to finish a room and really make it sparkle.”
Robinson and the client collaborated most conspicuously on the main staircase. “The client wanted to push the envelope, in terms of design,” says Robinson, “and we did that with the staircase.” After Robinson designed it, the client had the novel idea to soften the treads with pieces of blue leather, stitched with white threading. While goats and sheep are not negotiating the stairs, the couple is. As the client says, “We added padding beneath each tread, and it feels really wonderful on our feet every single time we go up and down the staircase.”
The print version of this article appears with the headline: Green Acres.
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