Country Life

The Bridgewater Country Fair!

Don't miss out on the Bridgewater Country Fair fun!

Make sure to stop by the Bridgewater Fair this weekend for a traditional fair experience. Focused on preserving the character of country fairs, the Bridgewater Fair is an event where farmers and other country folk come together to compete with their prized livestock, produce, and arts and crafts.

                                            

Photo Courtesy of The Bridgewater Country Fair

Besides the contests there is a lot to see and participate in at the Fair. Events offered all weekend include: rides, amusements, commercial tents, industrial and agricultural exhibits, hunting and fishing expo, dunking booth, mechanical bull, and knocker ball. Check the schedule for the livestock shows, children’s pedal tractor pull, antique tractor pull, children’s pet parade, pie eating, hay bale throwing, baking contests, home and art contests and much more, to make sure that you don’t miss out!

                        

Photo Courtesy of The Bridgewater Country Fair

There is also a large variety of great food tents throughout the fairgrounds serving all kinds of treats from hotdogs to chocolate covered bacon. Make sure to try the famous roast beef sandwiches, chicken breasts, and corn!

On Friday evening the Annual Bridgewater Fair Parade will kick off the weekend festivities. The parade starts at 6:45 pm with marching bands, color guard, and many other attractions making their way down Main St, Bridgewater. The parade features Volunteer Fire Companies from Connecticut and New York. They will be carrying their colors and showing off their newest trucks and antique fire equipment. 

                                             

Photo Courtesy of The Bridgewater Country Fair

Photo Courtesy of The Bridgewater Country Fair

A great family outing with something fun for everyone!

Check out their website for more information on hours, location and tickets (Parking is Free!).

 

Author Susanna Salk discovers All the Little Things in New Preston, CT

Author Susanna Salk seen in the Mirror at Privet House

The details are not the details. They make the design.
Charles Eames

Susanna is all about the details, those small exquisite touches that transform rooms into chic interior spaces. She has staged many houses for us and her design sense is further enhanced by her ability to create powerful vignettes with decorative items. 'IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS: Creating Big Moments in Your Home Through The Stylish Small Stuff' is her latest book published by Rizzoli New York. The book highlights how top interior designers like India Hicks and Bunny Williams make powerful statements with beloved objects.

The Book Cover

Recently, Susanna held a town wide book event in every design lover's destination, New Preston, CT, where each shop featured tabletop vignettes created by the author. The day concluded with a book signing at J. Seitz Co, the first design emporium to open on East Shore Road in the town. Below are the images of the carefully curated displays, each of which were in effect a miniature essence of the store itself. 

With a stunning neutral palette and beatuifully crafted antique furniture, Dawn Hill Antiques has fourished under founders John and Paulette Peden for over twenty years. According to a recent magazine article, “The store with its pale Swedish décor looks like a scene from an Ingemar Bergman movie with exquisite furniture and clocks in cool Gustavian shades of white and grey. “

The selection of utensils, ovenware and cooking accoutrements at New Preston Kitchen Goods would delight any budding or experienced chef. Owner, Marty Rook, is a food aficionado trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Marty furthered his experience at Picholine and La Grenouille in New York City. Marty's first-hand, real-world knowledge of what it takes to prepare, cook, and present the perfect meal for any season sets the standard for the store.

D.K. Schulman Design was opened in 2004 by Dana Schulman a well known model and fashion journalist in New York. The shop is a confectionary of sophisticated papers, cards, gifts and stationary collections. They offer everything for your social and special occasions.

Set atop the New Preston Falls, Pergola seamlessly blends natural living plant materials with weathered antiques, prints, books and containers to help you create the perfect indoor/outdoor designed environment. Both owners David Whitman and Peter Stiglin have a masterful eye for finding unusual items on their travels to Japan that cannoit be found in any other garden or design emporium.

Interior Designer Michael DePerno and Andrew Fry's Plain Goods Shop has a common thread throughout of simplicity, craftmanship and luxe materials. The store has a casual vibe and offers a curated collection of antiques, vintage finds, furnishings, textiles and clothing.

Susanna Salk at J. Seitz taken by Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence

J. Seitz & Company was founded by former magazine editor Joanna Seitz who was later joined by her husband Bill Seitz, a renowned interior design photographer at that time. This distinctive bastion of furniture, antiques, home decor, apparel, accessories, and jewelry has been housed in the same vintage building for over twenty-five years. Perched above a magical waterfall, it has long been a favorite destination for decorators, collectors, celebrities, world travelers and those who crave an uncommon shopping experience.

Privet House, featured in the opening image, is the fortuitous melding of the design sensibliities and style of Richard Lambertson (co-founder of Lambertson-Truex) and Suzanne Cassano (former product and concept guru at Calvin Klein). Unearthed French portraits from a barn in Provence find their place amond Morrocan linens, French Bergeres, Italian luxurious skincare and vintage fashion books. A must stop for any trip to New Preston!

Please click on the store links for addresses, phone contact information and store hours.

Susanna Salk's new book, 'IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS: Creating Big Moments in Your Home Through The Stylish Small Stuff' is a available at Hickory Stick BookStop, click here for their location.

 

 

 


 

 

South Farms: Redefining the New England Farm

South Farms in Morris, CT

South Farms offers an authentic country experience set in the most beautiful farm landscape. In addition to being an historic working farm, there is now an interior space that is rustic but with a modern, industrial vibe that is perfect for special events. Sarah Worden, who used to work at The Matthews Group, has teamed up with Ben Paletsky, the farm's owner and manager, to create an amazing setting for weddings, photo shoots, on-site film locations and other significant occasions. Sarah is the most exceptional events planner as well as being a sought after floral designer.

South Farms is redefining traditional New England agriculture by creating a venue that offers a wide range of agricultural products, services, and attractions. Ben Paletsky believes that farmland preservation is best accomplished by creating and nurturing sustainable farmland businesses that excel within a blended, value-added agricultural and agri-tourism environment. An entrepreneurial spirit is a common theme as exemplified in the relationship between the farm and Pioneer Hops who grows and processes hops for Connecticut craft beer brewers. .

We were able to spend some time with both Ben and Sarah and ask them what they love about South Farms.

Ben, you came back to run the business and revitalize this iconic farm. What is your mission?

"Farming is a lifestyle.  This lifestyle is a dream for many, contrasting the fast constant pace of city living.  The credibility of modern farmer extends beyond their ability to produce sustenance from the land, it includes their social impact.   South Farms is a living model of the reinvented farm.  We're focused on highlighting the uniqueness on New England agriculture, through an experiential blend of what's produced in the fields, in-house programs and events, and an awarding historic farm venue. The architectural essence of The White Barn at South Farms overlooking pastures extending to the horizon instantly reconnects our guests to generations of hard-working tradition, while inspiring them to the future."

 

A Vintage Vehicle with Farm Hay

Ben, what makes South Farms unique and how does it benefit the County?
 

"It puts the area on the map showcasing the uniquesness of New England agriculture. We offer Galloway grass fed beef which is a top Scottish breed and we use rotational grazing as well as feeding only hay cultivated on the farm. We also have Heritage Breed Pork, a three century old breed discovered in Berkshire County UK, which is known for its juiciness, flavor and tenderness. We have a seasonal Farmer's Market every Sunday from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm starting June 12th where our beef and pork are available for sale and we also have several other farms offering their farm fresh goods, live music, activities for children, The Winivan Farm Food truck and donuts along with other baked goods sold out of the AmandaBakes Airstream trailer."


 

Sarah, why is the space so special for events?

"The White Barn at South Farms stands out as an event venue in Connecticut and beyond because it combines qualities that are hard to find in one place: authentic charm through its agricultural history, and practical amenities like restrooms, heat/air conditioning, lighting and parking. Most clients looking for a rustic farm setting will find that as much as they want the authentic feel of a real farm or barn, they don't want to compromise on comfort and style. With South Farms, you don't have to. It's also flexible enough to host a range of varied types and sizes of events from intimate farm dinners to large weddings, fundraisers and festivals."

An Outdoor Ceremony at South Farms

A Charming Arrangement of Flowers and Plants

A Quiet Moment for the Bride and Groom at South Farms



Sarah Worden and Ben Paletsky

 

To learn more about South Farms, please click here.

To book an event or for more information about the farm, click here.

PLEASE NOTE: The White Barn is a year round venue with a heated barn with 5,000 sg ft renovated space within a 20,000 sq ft structure. 

 

BOOK NOW FOR YOUR NEXT SPECIAL EVENT AND DON'T MISS THE FARMER'S MARKET ON SUNDAYS!

The Matthews Group wins Award for Number One Rental Team at William Raveis Real Estate

Stacey and Pels Matthews winning the Award for Number One Rental team Companywide at William Raveis Real Estate

Why not find your ideal summer rental from the team that has the top accolades for rentals in Litchfield County. The Matthews Group, known for their sales of  exceptional luxury homes in this area, are also known for the spectacular properties they list for rent. They offer summer retreats with many amenities that are the pefect country life paradise.

Here are a selection of wonderful summer rentals that are still available for the season.

James Taylor built It! This lovely five bedroom home in Washington has both provenance and unique country charm. There is a light-filled gourmet kitchen with cathedral ceilings that is perfect for summer entertaining.. A heated gunite pool featured below is in a beautiful buccolic setting. The property abuts the Steep Rock Land Trust.

Below is a Washington shingle-style home, a stunning country retreat on 10+/- private acres. A vaulted great room and chef's kitchen make this a wonderful interior space for entertaining. Some of the wonderful amenities include an exercise room, sauna, Har -Tru lighted tennis court and a heated pool/spa. The home is located in prestigious area near to Steep Rock hiking and close to the town center.

Historic Rock Gate Estate is the perfect property for a relaxing summer in the countryside. The carriage house is on the Washington Green, built in 1885 and designed by Ehrick Rossiter! There are 3/4 Bedrooms with 5 full baths. There is fabulous stone terrace off the back as well as a pool, barn and a private yard.

This West Morris home has a unique rustic elegance with spacious, well-lit rooms. The interior is newly finished in a modern eclectic barn style with 5+ bedrooms, gourmet kitchen and light filled open floor plan. The house comfortably sleeps 14. The outdoors boasts a Gunite heated pool with cabana, a fire pit, stone terrace and access to the Bantam River.

Summer Camp for kids and adults! Below is a 5 bedroom main house plus a 2 bedroom guest house in A++ Washington location. There is a Gunite heated pool, a pond with boats/fishing, a media room with foos ball, In the barn, there is a climbing wall, basketball and ping pong and an extensive gym. Outdoors is a paddle ball court, play house, golf cart and an in ground trampoline. An expansive high end kitchen opens to a stone terrace with a BBQ.

This Cozy rental is in the Warren estate area and near Lake Waramaug and the Hopkins Inn. There is a 3 bedroom main house and 3 bedroom guest house. The home is beautifully firnished and has an open kitchen layout, large foyer and a huge stone fireplace. Outdoors, there is a stone terrace with views, a large lawn, stone walls and a heated gunite pool.

This modern barn style house on Nettleton Hollow has privacy with long views. The home has an open floor plan with 3 bedrooms including a 4 bed bunk room. A luxurious master suite is at opposite end of the house. A retractable glass walled dinning room for indoor/outdoor entertaining in any weather is a superb feature. There are xpansive views, lawn and open areas. What a superb country getaway!

Uber Charm exudes from this sophisticated Bridgewater antique. The home is completely renovated with a 5 bedroom main house and a 2 bedroom guest house. Outdoors there is a heated gunite pool surrounded by all flat land abd impeccable gardens. The property is featured below.

There are breathtaking distant views from the Washington retreat seen below. The home has 5 Bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a large country kitchen and open living space. Outdoors, there is a large deck. a 60 ft. pool, a barn with indoor basketball court and  a 2 car garage. A long private drive offers complete privacy in a top location. You can hike to Steep Rock Land Trust from the property.

The all newly renovated house below has 5/6 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and a gourmet kitchen and is in an excellent location. There is an open floor plan, a dining room that seats 25 and a lovely screened porch. The property is minutes to the Mayflower Inn and Spa and all town amenities. The heated pool has a Jacuzzi. For family fun there is a game room with apool table, foos ball, xbox, tread mill and a rowing machine. All utilities are included in the rental price.

We were very honored to win the number one rental team award and we look forward to helping you find the perfect rental this summer!

If you wish to look at all our rentals, please click here.

 

ENJOY!

Elegant Equestrian Estate in Litchfield, CT

A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.

Pam Brown

Fox Chase Farm is an elegant estate with a four bedroom main house and a four stall horse barn with a finished play room above. There is plenty of grassland for riding and there are numerous equestrian facilities for clinics, events and competitiions in the area. The one bedroom guest apartment has a separate entrance and a large private deck. This is a wonderful space that could easily be used for in-laws or a caretaker.

The Red Barn is in a Lovely Setting

A gorgeous stone terrace leads to a water garden with 5 waterfalls, an organic vegetable garden, expansive lawns, antique trees and spectacular perennial gardens. This is truly country life at its best. Every corner of this property has lush vignettes of natural beauty.

The Gardens and Waterfalls

Another View of this Exquisite Garden

The main floor master suite is truly glamorous with his and hers baths, walk in closets, and a large adjoining sunroom with lots of natural light.

 

The Master Bedroom

A Magnificent Sunroom

There is a cherry paneled library and a high end kitchen which is perfect for entertaining. Additionally, there is a full house generator and a heated three car garage to enjoy the winter weekends. The house was renovated eleven years  ago with many other improvements in the last three years.

The Den with Fireplace and Cherry Paneled Bookshelves

The Kitchen is Spacious with Lovely Views of the Property

This country estate is just a short drive to Litchfield town or Bantam where you can visit the renowned Arethusa Dairy Farm shop for ice cream or take in a movie at the historic Bantam Cinema. The shops in Litchfield offer a variety of country chic clothing or unique home design items, try R. Derwin Clothiers and Oliphant Design on Main Street.

All this in just two hours from New York City!

For more images and information about this property, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Editorial about Stacey Matthews and The Matthews Group

Recent Tabletop Styling by Stacey Matthews

We had two recent articles that appeared in Rural Intellegence and Happening in the Hills. One featured indoor plant design and the creative vision of Stacey as well as terrarium creator, Audra M. Viehland. Please find below an excerpt from the story:

"Gardeners might think that they are the caretakers of their plants, but there's another way to look at it. In some native languages, writes author Robin Wall Kimmerer, the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us." Two women in the Rural Intelligence region, Stacey Matthews and Audra M. Viehland, combine their green thumbs with an artistic aesthetic that incorporates nature into interior design. These plants, now works of art, become caretakers of sorts. Who's not happier surrounded by objects of beauty?"

Photo courtesy of Audra M. Viehland

A lovely Window Ledge in the Matthews Home.

To read the entire article in Rural Intelligence, please click here.

Edward Larrabee Platform House in Litchfield, CT

Happening in the Hills featured the significant Marsters home, an architectural gem and a perfect example of a platform house design originally conceived by Edward Larrabee Barnes. The design of the house and its provenance were the focus of this article. Below is the introduction to the story:

"The Marsters House, originally built in 1953, is a significant example of the 'platform house', a design conceived by renowned architect Edward Larrabee Barnes. Every detail stays true to early modernism with clean lines and an elegant grid of rectangular indoor and outdoor rooms. The provenance of the house adds to its interest as the home was designed for Ted Marsters, a classmate of Barnes at Harvard, and his wife Kathy who is the sister of Rufus Stillman, a patron and supporter of Marcel Breuer and modernist architecture in Litchfield at that time."

The Family Room of the Marsters House

Another View of the Exquisite Exterior

To read the entire article in Happening in the Hills, please click here.

 

Breezy Crest Farm in the Town of Bethlehem

Breezy Crest Farm in Bethlehem, CT

Breezy Crest Farm is a beautiful, antique colonial located in the charming, historic town of Bethlehem, CT. Built in 1841, this five bedroom, 2 ½ bath home is on two acres of prime farmland. Stone walls and a pond complete this country property with extensive gardens, fruit trees and berries.
 

Many of the original features of this charming, vintage house have been maintained while many updates have made the home comfortable for modern living. There are new mechanicals, cedar siding and new windows throughout the home.

The lovely formal living room has original wide board flooring and wood beams as well as a brick fireplace

The spacious formal dining room is perfect for entertaining and has wide board flooring, wood beams, and French doors.

A large updated kitchen has new granite counter tops and custom wood cabinets made from reclaimed lumber original to the home.

Happy Chickens at Breezy Crest Farm

Peaceful, pretty surroundings around the home.

There are beautiful views all around Bethlehem town. 

The town of Bethlehem was Incorporated in 1787. It is located approximately 95 miles north of New York City and quaintly referred to as Connecticut’s “Christmas Town". Each year the Post Office processes thousands of Christmas cards hand stamped with special Christmas cachets and mailed with the Bethlehem post-mark

The Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden in Bethlehem

The town’s history includes the founding of the first theological seminary in the country by the Rev. Joseph Bellamy, whose home proudly stands today as the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden under the auspices of The Antiquarian & Landmarks Society. The restored circa 1754 home is a must see for visitors to the area and includes a formal parterre garden, with a collection of peonies, roses and lilacs.

The Chapel at the Regina Laudis Abbey

Bethlehem is also the home of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, a working Benedictine Abbey founded in 1947 by Mother Benedict Duss and Mother Mary Aline Trilles de Warren from the Abbey of Notre Dame de Jouarre, a 7th century Abbey located northeast of Paris, France. When the nuns arrived in America, they were taken in by Lauren Ford, a local artist internationally known for her religious artwork, who helped them establish the religious community. The Abbey is currently home to an 18th century museum quality Neopolitan Creche and hosts an annual Christmas Fair each year.

Film actress turned Nun Dolores Hart greets a Llama at the Abbey

March Farm is a great place to pick apples, see farm animals and walk through their field mazes.

The Sheep at March Farm.

The Bethlehem Fair takes places every September with many exhibits, horse contests, tractor pulls and animal exhibits.

Horses facilities are plentiful in and around Bethlehem town. Here are some riders enjoying the outdoors at Far Meadow Farm. Whether on horseback or on foot, there is much to enjoy in this beautiful, historic town.

For more information about Bethlehem town, please click here.

The Beauty of a Stone House in a Country Setting

The Exterior of a Stone House on New Preston Road in Meryall, CT

The charm of stone houses brings to mind the traditional English, Irish and French country estates that are settings for films and novels. In varying tones and texture, these facades are exquisite and unique.

We have two perfect examples; one in the Merryall community of New Milford and the other located in Washington Town. Both have unique architectural details and are set in buccolic, tranquil countryside.

A peak from the private driveway of the lovely stone work on the front of the house.

Even a canine visitor enjoys the the setting of this Stone House in Merryall. 

This unique 1834, three bedroom home with additions has a three bedroom attached guest house, a game room, a stone terrace, pool, barn, gardens, all on over 7 acres.

A charming gazebo by the pool on the New Preston Hill property.

Another charming stone house is located on Old North Rd in Washington, CT

This 1920’s stone and wood home is in a much desired Washington location. There are four bedrooms, bluestone terraces, a pool and a new tennis court with views on 5+ acres.

A closer view of the stone work by the patio.

Another view of the exterior.

You can walk to the Washington Green from the house yet this property is in a totally private setting abutting protected meadows.

 

For images and information on the property on New Preston Hill Road property in Merryall, CT, please click on the link below:

http://www.matthewsgroupre.com/listing/X30803442/new-preston-hill-rd-merryall-ct-06776/

 

For images and information on the property on Old North Road in Washington, CT, please click on the link below:

http://www.matthewsgroupre.com/listing/X86199252/40-old-north-rd-washington-ct-06793/

 

Please feel free to call our offices at 860-868-0511 if you have any questions on these two listings.

 

The Perfect Holiday Gifts: KMR Presents Leitz Leather Luxury Goods

Leitz Leather Bracelets with Gemstones and Luxury Hardware

KMR Arts Gallery will host the dynamic husband and wife team Eric and Sherry Leitz who will be showing theit latest collections of accessories. The holiday shopping experience will take place today, Friday December 11th and tomorrow, Saturday, December 12th from 11 am to 5 pm at the gallery which is located at 2 Titus Road, Washington, CT 06794.

Leitz Luxury Leather accessories are the epitome of bohemian chic. and the rock and roll chic bags, belts, cuffs and bracelets are individually hand crafted. Their clients read like a who's who of Hollywood and includes such stars as Tom Cruise, Janet Jackson and Will Smith. Their newest collection of bracelets and necklaces combine leather with cultured pearls for a sexy, modern look.

Gallery owner, Kathy McCarver Root is a big fan of the collection, "The Leitz leather designs strike the perfect balance: bold yet cool, sophisticated yet utterly wearable. Eric's sense of color, proportion and materials is impeccable. I love that each piece can be custom, with handsome embossed initials, stitching, and color choice. It's great to stay local, it really makes a difference to small businesses.... and who doesn't need a little rock n roll this time of year!"

Eric and Sherry Leitz with a Signature Handbag and Weekend Bag

 

HAPPY HOLIDAY SHOPPING ALL!

 

 

Winter Fun at Holiday in the Depot in Washington, CT

                     The 24th Annual Holiday in the Depot will be held on Friday, Dec. 11th from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the town center.

Festivities will kick off with the lighting of the Town Christmas Tree by a special guest at Bryan Memorial Town Hall. Students from the Washington Montessori School will sing carols as the tree is lit. Caroling throughout the Depot will be sung by the troubadours from The Gunnery School.

Santa will arrive by horse drawn hay wagon shortly after the tree lighting and will be available to listen to children's wishes and have his photograph taken with them until 8:30 p.m inside the Town Hall. Hay rides will be given by Utopia Percherons throughout the Depot.

There will be a special mail box for children's letters to Santa. Children can create a Christmas craft with the aid of Linda Morse and Gail Scribner from the Gunn Memorial Junior Library. There will be goodies from the Animal Welfare Society for pets and people, and at the American Legion Hall, the Washington PTO will have hot dogs and chili for sale and the Senior Center will have gift items for sale.

There will also be a Gingerbread House Contest at participating businesses in the Depot. Stop by each business to view their house and then cast your vote at Washington Supply Company for the best house in the Depot!

Don't miss the 6th annual New Preston Winter Walk which will be held on Saturday, December 12th from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM. The window displays are amazing and there will be great shopping and fun for all!

The 8th annual Slices with Santa will be held at the Washington Fire Department on Saturday, December 12th 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM. This is an all you can eat event ($10 for Adults, $5 for Kids) and Santa will arrive at 6 pm. Funds raised will be distributed to the Washington Community Fund and the St. John's Fund to offset the cost of Washington's Holiday Baskets providing food and gifts at Thanksgiving and Christmas to nearly twenty-five families!

Make sure you stop by our offices during Holiday in the Depot for a glass of wine, holiday snacks and gifts for the kids!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!