Blog :: 04-2015

Horse Heaven in Litchfield County

tech <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 424px; height: 318px;" class="featured"></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Photo Courtesy of Ann Leary</p> <p style="text-align: center;">The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">~Sharon Ralls Lemon</p> <p>Equestrians love the beautiful countryside in Litchfield County, the trails in Steep Rock Preserve and the world-class centers for instruction and horse shows. Here we highlight two stunning properties with every amenity for horse and rider as well as two of the area centers.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 440px; height: 330px;"></p> <p>This magnificent equestrian property in Washington, CT has every amenity for horse and rider to enjoy country life. There is a 8, 800+/- sq. ft main house with 7 bedrooms and 6 full/ 3-1/2 baths. The chef's kitchen opens to a family room and breakfast nook which look out to the pool. Multiple outbuildings include: barn-style pool house/game room with baths and changing rooms, guest house, studio with several offices and 16 stall horse barn with large paddock areas. All this is set behind stone walls and mature landscaping on 20+/- acres directly adjacent to steep rock land trust. You can ride horses directly from the property along the Shepaug river and through thousands of acres of conserved land.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="" src="" style="width: 440px; height: 330px;"></p> <p style="text-align: center;">A charming red rustic barn beautifully situated on an open field among the paddocks.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 480px; height: 360px;"></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Plenty of room for grazing and turn out.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 388px; height: 480px;"></p> <p>The <a href="">Steep Rock Preserve</a> offers many miles of trails that are perfect for hacking out with your horse. Here is our friend Kisten Feldman, founder of <a href="">Steep Rock Honey</a>, who we featured in an earlier blog post. There are many easy access points where you can park your horse trailer and venture out with friends.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 225px;"></p> <p>There are some wonderful opportunities for instruction in the area with top trainers. Here is clinic at the <a href="">Washington Equestrian Center</a> with renowned professional Frank Madden. This facility has a spacious indoor for winter exercise.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 273px;"></p> <p>Another area riding center, <a href="">White Bridge Farm,</a> has exceptional instructors like Katja Eilers who is a successful dressage competitor and trainer. This equestrian center is based in Litchfield, CT.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 440px; height: 330px;"></p> <p>Close to this trainig center is an another superb esquestrian estate in Goshen, CT. There is 100+/- acres with a 7 stall heated Morton barn, outdoor rings and open spaces to ride your horse. The home is in immaculate condition with a gourmet kitchen, breakfast nook and a main floor master suite. The family room opens to the enclosed pool area and looks over acres of open fields and a large pond.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 380px; height: 285px;"></p> <p style="text-align: center;">The Heated Barn is in a lovely setting surrounded by trees.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 380px; height: 285px;"></p> <p> </p> <p style="text-align: center;">Spacious Areas around the stable make a relaxing environment for horse and rider.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">HAPPY TRAILS!</p>

Designer of the Month: Susan Bednar Long

Our 'Designer of the Month' is Susan Bednar Long, Principal of S.B. Long Interiors. If you are planning a project, please check out her top quality work showcased in this post and on her website. Sue has been a great friend for over ten years and has one of the best design senses of anyone I know. I also really respect her ability to multi-task, nothing slips through the cracks with Sue in charge! In addition, I relish her blog posts, they always have great design ideas so everyone should subscribe to her blog!

Susan Bednar Long honed her distinctive style during her tenure with two renowned luxury brands including Ralph Lauren where she oversaw the decoration of their flagship retail stores. She was a creative dynamo when at Coach where she spearheaded the launch of their new store prototype and furniture line. Her take away from these projects was clear. "My experiences taught me to layer all of the elements - wallpaper, artwork, furniture, fabrics, accessories, and lighting. Without layering, rooms aren't done."

Sue also spent over ten years running Tocar Interior Design in New York City. Her time, traveling for business and pleasure, became the muse and design inspiration on many projects. I love this quote from her website, "You never know when you'll see something special - from a row of cabanas on an Italian beach to a lobby of a small inn in the Alps - that can provide a novel inspiration."

The first three images in this post feature a chic weekend getaway that appeared in CT Cottages and Gardens.

I had the chance to catch up with Sue and chat with her about design, her style and her recent coverage in Connecticut Cottages and Gardens

What inspires you in your designs?

I love the graphic quality of stripes and often like to incorporate them in my designs in both classic and modern ways. I also like to mix modern and traditional elements in each room.

What past interior designer do you most admire?

I am a huge fan of Bill Blass and all his interiors. His classical and masculine interiors are lovely. I love the mix of dark wood
antique pieces set in a light, neutral setting - the contrast is beautiful.

What do you take into consideration when designing a country home or a city apartment or house?

With a country house I like to know how the clients want to feel in the space and who they will entertain and make sure
the materials are durable and conducive to the season or all year round use. In the city its important to maximize space
and light.

What three words would sum up your style of interior design?

Tailored, modern, traditional.

Tell me a little about your project that was in CT Cottages and Gardens.

The client wanted colorful spaces to contrast their all grey Tribeca apartment. It was fun to consider the colors and how
they ran from one room to the next. I also loved mixing in more modern furniture elements in the classic shingle-style home.
The house was used all year round, so we wanted it to feel inviting in any season. The client wanted a house that was
very kid friendly too - so we used a lot of durable materials.


What is your dream client or project?

Someone who lets me design whatever I want!

S.B. Long Interior's projects have been featured in design publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Luxe Magazine, CT Cottage and Gardens among many others. The firm has a diverse portfolio that includes distinctive residential apartments and townhouses in New York City, country estates in Fairfield and Litchfield County, Connecticut, luxury residences in Highland Park, Texas, resort homes in The Hamptons & Rocky Mountains, personal luxury yachts & cruise ships and prestigious corporate & hospitality properties.

To learn more about Susan Bednar Long and S.B. Long Interiors, click here.

Find deign ideas and inspirations on Sue's blog here.





Two Editorial Features on Vaillant House!


Vaillant House is showcased in both Passport Magazine and online in Connecticut Magazine. The article touches on the history, renovation, interior design and charm of this one-of-a-kind luxurious property. Here is a fun excerpt about the renowned architect Ehrick Rossiter.

"Ehrick Rossiter, though long dead, remains one of the most famous boldface names in Washington, Conn., in which far more than a shaker’s worth of notables are salted among the verdant hills where Bill and Hillary sometimes spend weekends, and where The Rolling Stones famously came to rehearse for the “Steel Wheels” tour.

The Clinton family may yield the nation’s next president and the Stones are as eternal as their namesake—but in Litchfield County the brand name Rossiter trumps politics and rock n’ roll."

The stunning showroom appears as an example of the tasteful, elegant restoration.

Stacey Matthews is quoted on the unique, sumptuous wine cellar:

“An exceptional example of the renovation is the basement which was dug out to create a truly remarkable wine cellar,” Matthews says. “This space is a wine connoisseur’s dream, featuring rough-grouted brick walls, a unique waxed oak raised panel ceiling treatment, and full temperature and humidity control for 1500+ bottles. Wide board chestnut planks found in the attic were repurposed to create the shelving. Along with a bar, 1/2 bath and media center, it is the quintessential man cave.”

The article in Passport Magazine, published by the Litchfield County Times, is available on newstands now.