The glorious Connecticut property of Heide Hendricks and Rafe Churchill (of the architecture and interior design firm Hendricks Churchill) illustrates how a late nineteenth-century farmhouse can be adapted for stylish and comfortable twenty-first-century living.
Rafe and Heide discovered their true home in a late 1800s New England farmhouse after a decade of living in Brooklyn, New York. The historic property, Ellsworth, is a showplace for their shared aesthetic and sensibility of designing for real life, and not for formality. At the core is a house of pared-down traditionalism with references to Shaker tranquility, Arts & Crafts practicality, and bohemian chic. Whimsical wallcoverings, striking colors, a mix of contemporary furniture and antiques, exciting works of art, and comfort abound—turning a workaday house from the nineteenth century into a creative laboratory of the twenty-first.
The house and its surroundings—a constant work in progress with evolving interiors, landscaping objectives, a reconfigured sunroom, a barn restoration, and planned hiking trails—have become an endless source of inspiration for the couple’s many projects, which include residences in New England, New York’s Hudson Valley, New York City, Oyster Bay, Boulder, and Austin. The narrative of the book addresses the couple’s design process in terms of architecture, decoration, and final installation. As many Americans are deciding to leave cities for calmer, more connected lives in the country, Heide and Rafe illustrate how this transition can be one of beauty and logic.