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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Book Friday: Litchfield Style

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Every once and a while it's great to take a break from the city and spend a weekend in the country. For many New Yorker's, Connecticut's Litchfield County is a convenient escape. The homes in Litchfield County are mostly carefully renovated eighteenth- and nineteenth- century houses in a variety of styles–from farmhouses and saltbox houses to Colonial and Federal styles.

In her book, Litchfield Style (Rizzoli, 2011), Annie Kelly captures the distinct decor of this pocket of the country. Flipping through these pages is like taking a step back in time. The classic furnishings and architecture are truly remarkable.

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On the cover, an early nineteenth-century portrait  by Anthony DeRose hangs in author Annie Kelly's eighteenth–century sitting room in Bantam, Connecticut.

1 On the cover, an early nineteenth-century portrait by Anthony DeRose hangs in author Annie Kelly's eighteenth–century sitting room in Bantam, Connecticut.

The entry to this eighteenth-century barn was outfitted with cabinets in the period's carpentry style. The barn now serves as a kitchen and living area. Many barns in Connecticut have been converted into conventional spaces.

2 The entry to this eighteenth-century barn was outfitted with cabinets in the period's carpentry style. The barn now serves as a kitchen and living area. Many barns in Connecticut have been converted into conventional spaces.

The intricate woodwork in this room is beautiful. Painted a muted gray, the woodwork provides a neutral background for the rich brown furniture.

3 The intricate woodwork in this room is beautiful. Painted a muted gray, the woodwork provides a neutral background for the rich brown furniture.

This bedroom still has the original stencil work on the walls. It's remarkable how well preserved the stenciling is.

4 This bedroom still has the original stencil work on the walls. It's remarkable how well preserved the stenciling is.

A view of the rolling hills of Litchfield County.

5 A view of the rolling hills of Litchfield County.

The vegetable and cut flower gardens at Rock Cobble Farm.

6 The vegetable and cut flower gardens at Rock Cobble Farm.

Bunny Williams and John Roselli's Manor House in Falls Village boasts a beautiful dining room, in which the woodwork is painted green to match the Federal-style wallpaper.

7 Bunny Williams and John Roselli's Manor House in Falls Village boasts a beautiful dining room, in which the woodwork is painted green to match the Federal-style wallpaper.

The gateway to the garden at Manor House has built in seating on either side.

8 The gateway to the garden at Manor House has built in seating on either side.

The stenciled floors of Manor House add definition to the space.

9 The stenciled floors of Manor House add definition to the space.

There are two items that stand out in this room–the eighteenth-century carved and gilded mirror and the large, amethyst hurricane lamp. Both draw your eye to the center of the room, anchoring the space.

10 There are two items that stand out in this room–the eighteenth-century carved and gilded mirror and the large, amethyst hurricane lamp. Both draw your eye to the center of the room, anchoring the space.

In the conservatory, a while stone table seats eighteen people for outdoor dining.

11 In the conservatory, a while stone table seats eighteen people for outdoor dining.

This large, eighteenth-century English bull's-eye mirror hangs above the mantel, which dates back to the 1840s. I think the mirror is quite impressive.

12 This large, eighteenth-century English bull's-eye mirror hangs above the mantel, which dates back to the 1840s. I think the mirror is quite impressive.

The staircase of Jane and Stephen Garmey's nineteenth-century house in Cornwall is simple and traditional.

13 The staircase of Jane and Stephen Garmey's nineteenth-century house in Cornwall is simple and traditional.

The Garmeys designed a way to hide a cat tray by banishing it to a dark cupboard and cutting a decorative doorway for the cat.

14 The Garmeys designed a way to hide a cat tray by banishing it to a dark cupboard and cutting a decorative doorway for the cat.

A collection of birdhouses can be found in the corner of the  Garmeys' garden.

15 A collection of birdhouses can be found in the corner of the Garmeys' garden.

Matthew Patrick Smyth's late eighteenth-century house in Sharon.

16 Matthew Patrick Smyth's late eighteenth-century house in Sharon.

The original tiger maple stair rail was found during the renovations. Isn't it stunning? The restoration is flawless.

17 The original tiger maple stair rail was found during the renovations. Isn't it stunning? The restoration is flawless.

Smyth found this old-fashioned bathtub at AF New York. I love that the tub looks as if it could be original to the house.

18 Smyth found this old-fashioned bathtub at AF New York. I love that the tub looks as if it could be original to the house.

Alan Shayne and Norman Sunshine's Southview property has an outdoor dining pergola and fireplace. Both are recent additions, but they blend in well with the original architecture.

19 Alan Shayne and Norman Sunshine's Southview property has an outdoor dining pergola and fireplace. Both are recent additions, but they blend in well with the original architecture.

A converted barn makes a grand sitting room at Southview. The color palette compliments the color of the antique wooden beams.

20 A converted barn makes a grand sitting room at Southview. The color palette compliments the color of the antique wooden beams.

The back of Robert Couturier's home in Kent looks out onto a raised terraced, which is meticulously manicured.

21 The back of Robert Couturier's home in Kent looks out onto a raised terraced, which is meticulously manicured.

This entrance bridges the private and public wings of Couturier's house. The use of symmetry here is pleasing to the eye.

22 This entrance bridges the private and public wings of Couturier's house. The use of symmetry here is pleasing to the eye.

An octagonal library sits apart from the house and overlooks the lake.

23 An octagonal library sits apart from the house and overlooks the lake.

The corner of the salon contains vintage ephemera and a touch of bright green and red.

24 The corner of the salon contains vintage ephemera and a touch of bright green and red.

The guest bedroom contains many rich colors and fabrics all in traditional eighteenth-century style.

25 The guest bedroom contains many rich colors and fabrics all in traditional eighteenth-century style.

Most of the furnishings in this first-floor kitchen are seventeenth-century English–a deviation from the rest of the house.

26 Most of the furnishings in this first-floor kitchen are seventeenth-century English–a deviation from the rest of the house.

Couturier had an original eighteenth-century chair from Connecticut copied to make a dining room set.

27 Couturier had an original eighteenth-century chair from Connecticut copied to make a dining room set.

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Comments (2)

  • Interesting style of houses and interesting book. I Love your book Friday Kevin always wonderful books. I would Love to request on book Friday "Bunny Williams" love her style of design and her amazing books.
    I want to wish you a wonderful weekend. Happy Fall

  • Great book Kevin! Book Fridays are some of my favorite posts. Suggestion:I was just looking through some of your old posts and came across "10 Things I'm Obessed With Right Now..." I would really enjoy it if you did a similar post on a regular (monthly?) basis.

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