Welcome to Washington
While many realtors exit your life after you have finished buying or renting a home, we look forward to forging a lasting relationship and introducing you to the community in every way. Litchfield County is a special place with wonderful restaurants, galleries, land trusts, lakes, plenty of children's activities, and talented residents.
Check out one of our favorite local blogs that explores just how great the Litchfield County community is: Happening in the Hills. Happening in the Hills embraces all the great things Litchfield has to offer. From the variety of restaurants, to the various art galleries, museums, antique stores, high-end boutiques, tag sales, and more, Happening in the Hills keeps you up-to-date on all local events, gatherings, workshops, seminars, and outings throughout Litchfield County.
A great aspect of the blog is the series of in-depth articles on our talented residents. Litchfield County is a unique community with an abundance of residents who want to share their talent with others. Happening in the Hills does a great job of highlighting their expertise and promoting their work for all of us to see.
A new addition to the blog is the local life coach expert Tal Fagin. In her "coaching corner" she answers reader's requests for advice.
Make sure to check out their blog for great recommendations if you need something to do, or if you want to give your friends a better idea of why Litchfield County is so great!
Author Susanna Salk seen in the Mirror at Privet House
The details are not the details. They make the design.
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.
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn'thurt.
Charles M. Schulz
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways….. in chocolate! The gift of flowers, wine and chocolate are romantic gestures, much appreciated by the beloved on Valentine’s Day. Of all of these, the sweetest and most luscious is chocolate. We are so lucky to have three wonderful chocolatiers who create the most sumptuous treats including the decadent cabernet sauvignon dark chocolate truffles from Thorncrest Farm.
Valentine's Day Pink Heart Box filled with Cabernet Sauvignon Chocolate Truffles
Throncrest Farm is known as the home of the 'single cow origin chocolates' and credit their success (they were voted best chocolate by Connecticut Magazine in 2015) to the 'magic in their milk'. You may imagine a bunch of generic Bessies in the field but it is Karissma, the big black sleek matriach of the farm, who makes the ultra rich smooth cream used in these truffles.
Signature Chocolate Crumb Chocolates from Thorncrest Farm
While you are picking out these delicious chocolates, why not sign up your Valentine for one of their farm classes? There is a one and a half hour class in making Butter, Yogurt and Creme Fraiche that takes place on April 9th, 2016 at 2:30. For more information, click here.
Pretty Pink Box from Bridgewater Chocolates
Bridgewater Choclates offers a variety of chocolates including turtles, toffees, caramels, truffles, peanut butter patties, hazelnut pralines, and more... All of the selections are handmade from the finest ingredients. This renowned chocolatier in Bridgewater,CT was originalled established by Erik Landefren who came from Stockholm, Sweden to open the highly acclaimed restaurant, Aquivit in NYC. The quality of the chocolates has been recognized by restaurants, retail stores and gourmet shops and their products are sold in many locations.
Hearts with Flowers from Bridgewater Chocolates
Kent Coffee & Chocolate has been a go to stop on Kent’s Main Street for over twenty five years. The store's patrons fill up the store for rich cups of joe while the chocolatiers in the back are busily making truffles and hand-dipped choclates. This is the spot to pick up a sweet selection of lovingly made confections for your favorite Valentine!
They also offer Valentine chocolate roses or the man in your life ..... how about whimsical choices like chocolate alligators, funky jelly bean monkeys or chocolate peanut butter 'bugs'? Have a little fun on Valentine's Day, the most romantic day of the year!
Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company
Address: 8 N Main St, Kent, CT 06757
Thorncrest Farm and Creamery
Address: 280 Town Hill Road, Goshen 06756
Bridgewater Chocolate Factory and Factory Store
Address: 559 Federal Road, Brookfield, CT 06804
Phone: (203) 775-2286
Other locations include:
Bridgewater Village Store, Bridgewater CT
Good News Cafe, Woodbury, CT
Villarina's Pasta & More, Southbury CT
Succulent Air Plant with Sea Glass
The Copper Fern offers the most exquisite terrariums created by Audra M. Viehland. She makes each one unique by sourcing vintage and antique pieces as well as distinctive objects picked up during her travels. As featured in the photo above, Audra sometimes uses sea glass that she has collected over the years from the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana.
Globe with Succulents, Air Plant and Turquoise
All my friends know my passion for indoor plants and incorporating them into interior decoration. Each terrarium created by Audra is a stunning blend of nature and artistic design, perfect to brighten the home during the winter months.
Arrowhead Plant with Shell
Above is a closed terrarium, the first of which was developed by botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1842. While studying insects, he left a jar with plants overnight and the fern inside grew to be a beautiful plant. These plant decorations became popular in the Victorian Era and were called Wardian Cases at that time.
Succulents with Toy Car and Fool's Gold
Open terrariums are best suited to dry plants such as succulents as they keep the air free from excess moisture. These also work work well for plants that need direct sunlight.
Chinese Evergreen with Brass Buttons and Red Air Plant
Audra has wonderful insight into the appeal of keeping a terrarium in the home, " It brings a bit of nature indoors year-round. And similar to keeping a garden, house plants, or flower arranging, caring for a terrarium can be a simple way to de-stress."
Rosemary and Lavender Blooming Air Plant
Audra in Bologna
Audra takes custom orders and uses a variety of plants from succulents to ferns. She uses closed or open containers and has even incorporated a vessel provided by a customer. She brings her artistry and unique style to each and every terrarium.
For orders and inquiries about Copper Fern Terrariums, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: All terrarium images are the work of Audra M. Viehland
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!
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!
Stacey visits Pergola Home in New Preston, CT- Photo courtesy of Mike Yanin
“Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them.”
– Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
(Please note this is an excerpt from the Happening in the Hills feature, 'Stacey's Holiday Gift Guide') Before the holiday season, when I am compiling my gift lists for my family and friends, I am thankful that I live in a county with unique boutiques, artisanal gourmet stores and galleries. Instead of malls and big box stores, I try to find those destinations where I can find personal gifts that are perfectly suited to the receiver’s lifestyle and passions.
Men can sometimes prove to be more difficult to make purchases for and I always search out unusual gifts that he can use during a favorite activity. Try to avoid the tie, wallet and socks route! For example, if your husband, father or brother loves the outdoors, this Aztec patterned, faux fur-lined hat from J. Seitz is practical yet has style and is well-priced at $74. He will certainly think of you every time he wears it.
A real treat to his senses would be a selection of olive oils from Nutmeg Oil in New Milford. Flavors perfect for the holiday include: Mushroom Sage, Blood Orange, Cranberry Pear, and Fig Dark Balsamic Olive Oils. This will certainly add to his creative choices for sauces, dressings and glazes. Single bottles start at $9 and gift sets come in 4-to-6- pack sizes starting at $18. They can customize any gift set with oils as well as a mix of vinegars. Before you purchase, you can taste and try each of their products in the store.
Who does not love cashmere? …. these luxurious triangle shawls from R. Derwin Clothiers in Litchfield are perfect for winter parties in the country. The shawls, priced at $1,195 are made with Loro Piana cashmere yarns, fringed with leather and are a signature statement piece for the fashionista!
Another gift idea for women who love one-of-a-kind items for the home are these naturally patinated, zinc frame-wrapped mirrors from RT Facts in Kent. The mirrors are truly unique and special gifts, as RT Facts custom-makes each one. They are priced at $800 each.
I invite you to read the whole article in Happening in the Hills which feature more stylish gift ideas for men and women from Pergola Home, Privet House, J. Seitz & Co, Oliphant, Barkery Boo'Tique, Scott and Bowne, Terston, R. Derwin Clothiers, Nutmeg Olive Oil, RT Facts and KMR Arts.
READ THE ARTICLE FROM HAPPENING IN THE HILLS BY CLICKING ON THE LINK HERE.
Please find below the addresses and websites for all these unique shops and boutiques to be found in Litchfield County.
38 Bank Street
East Shore Road (Route 45)
860. 868. 0119
KMR Arts Gallery
2 Titus Road
Nutmeg Olive Oil Company
25 Main Street
29 West St
7 East Shore Road
13 East Shore Road
R. Derwin Clothiers
(The Ladies Store)
43 West Street
22 South Main Street
Scott and Bowne
27 North Main Street #1
27 North Main Street
Just in time for the holidays, KMR Arts presents Beth Rundquist, an internationally recognized portrait and landscape painter, who has created a specialty niche with her Silhouettes body of work. Beth will be at KMR Arts to exhibit her work and accept commissions Friday, December 4, from 10-5pm and Saturday, December 5, from 10- 5pm. The Silhouettes are a fab, fresh, modern take on the Victorian cutout silhouette. Rundquist’s pieces are available in modern color combinations: think turquoise blue on chocolate brown, acid green on lemon yellow, or hot pink on pale lavender...They are available in a range of sizes from 8 x 8 inches to 24 x 24 inches.
McCarver Root says, “When I saw Beth’s work at a friend’s house, I was enchanted by these groovy, modern interpretations of the Victorian silhouette. Beth’s art is personal yet it reaches beyond portraiture.”
In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, silhouettes became popular as cheap, quick ways of capturing likenesses. Often created by amateurs, especially women, they are now known as sentimental keepsakes of the Victorian variety, sweet mementos of anonymous everyday people from the past memorialized in ink, paint, or cut paper, and even painted onto porcelain. In the 19th century a silhouette artist was often times a woman, an amateur, who wanted to create a souvenir of her beloved. Pliny the Elder, writing around the 1st century AD, told the story of a 5th century Corinthian girl, Dibutade, who traced her lover's shadow, cast by candlelight, because he was leaving on a journey and she wanted to keep his image with her.
Another modern artist whose work incorporates the silhouette is Kara Walker. Walker’s rich, beautiful and disturbing work depicts silhouetted scenes addressing the historical legacy of violence, mistreatment and revenge between blacks and whites. Using the silhouette, a black-and-white medium popular during the era of 19th century American slavery, Walker brilliantly subverts the sweetness of the form, updating it into something too urgent and incisive to be anything but modern.
Appealing to both the established collector and the first time buyer, KMR Arts continues to celebrate photography. Kathy McCarver Root is a photography dealer, working with individual and corporate clients to purchase and install fine art photography. McCarver Root gained her experience over two decades while working as a photography editor for books (Lillian Bassman, Bulfinch, Weekend Retreats, Rizzoli) and prestigious magazines (Esquire, US Weekly, and InStyle). Kathryn McCarver Root named one of Litchfield County’s 50 Most Influential People by Litchfield Magazine. For more information, call: (860) 868-7533, email: email@example.com or visit their website by clicking on the link here.
On the western border of CT and nestled in the Housatonic Valley, the town of New Milford is often termed the “Gateway to Litchfield County”. Incorporated in 1712, the area is rich in history and was the original home of the Paugusett Native Americans who fished on the Aspetuck and Housatonic rivers still popular today with both residents and visitors. The town was active during the American Revolution and became a business hub for industries including buttons, furniture, pottery lime and tobacco in the 19th and 20th centuries. New Milford is actually the largest town by area in the state at approximately 64 square miles and includes the communities of Merryall, Northville and Gaylordsville.
Today, the town has blossomed with a variety of unique restaurants, artisanal gourmet shops, specialty boutiques for adults and children, galleries and more… Most people think of New Milford as the place to go for the big box retailers, you know the store you want close but not too close. However, there are lots of special places in New Milford. Here is a sampling of the businesses I love to frequent.
Poached Pear Salad at Lucia's Restaurant
Whether it is authentic Italian cuisine, gourmet Paninis, organic farm to table fare or Thai exquisitely spiced food, New Milford offers a wide range of dining choices. Lucia Ristorante, which was featured in the New York Times, has exceptional dishes that feature homemade pastas including pappardelle, spaghetti and cavatelli. Chef and owner, Antonio Caldaria delivers unmatched flavor with his Gnocchi Piemontese with prosciutto, fresh peas and mushrooms in a pink champagne sauce. Tonio’s Panino is not your average sandwich shop with wonderful vegetarian, chicken and meatball parmesan paninis as well as an amazing caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato. Buon Appetito to all!
The Menu Board at Tonio's Panino
Farm Fresh Food at The Green Granary
If you lean towards organic fare, visit Epicuria located at the garden center ‘The Green Spot’. Epicuria has a variety of healthy salads and sandwiches as well as their renowned chocolate covered strawberry smoothie. You can eat al fresco in a sumptuous garden while the weather is warm. Epicuria is a gourmet take out and catering business as well. The Green Granary on Railroad St is an organic, non-gmo and sustainable café with a mission of farm to table food. Try their vegetarian, western or avocado omelettes, all made with organic eggs. Yum! They have outstanding chocolate chip cookies and this is my favorite food group! I am a chic chocolate chip cookie connoisseur (friends who know this send me cookies from all over the world). If you crave aromatic, exquisitely spiced food, don’t miss Thai Charm where they make a luxurious Tom Yum Goong soup and red, green and panang curries with your choice of chicken, beef, vegetable or shrimp.
Thai Charm Dinner with Aromatic Spices
There is much more to tempt your palette at the specialty food stores, cooking schools and premier caterers In New Milford. At Villarina’s pasta there are a host of homemade pastas and you can pick out Italian sauces such as porcini, puttanesca and walnut pesto to pair with them. The have great prepared garlic bread you just pop in the oven and wonderful frozen lasagnas. The Silo, as part of the Hunt Hill Farm offers a variety of cooking classes throughout the year. Upcoming is a Junior Bakers session on October 12th and ‘How to Make a Sublime Vegetarian Meal’ on October 16th. If you want to leave it to the experts and have your dinner party or event catered, Executive Cuisine has a full complement of dinners, hors d’oeuvres and succulent desserts. Sesame & wasabi crusted tuna skewers, garlicky lamb kebobs with tahini and lemon panna cotta with fresh fruit were recently served at interior designer’s event.
Villarina's Homemade Past Sauces
A Delectable Table from Executive Cuisine
An interesting array of boutiques for adults and children can be found in New Milford. Two delightful children’s toy stores, Nordica and Play, are definitely worth a visit and not just for birthday presents! Another great family activity is a visit to Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market which is held every Sunday through November 29th from 7 am to 2 pm. You can look at vintage clothing while the kids can check out the toy collectibles.
Games, Puzzles and More at Nordica Toy Store
A Wonderful Selection at Play Toy Store
Swank on Bank, a fashion boutique, located on Bank Street directly across from the movie theater, has one-of-a-kind apparel, jewelry and accessories. , I love the super soft cotton tee shirts! After shopping, Joe’s Salon is a great place for a blow dry, color or cut. They were voted one of the top 200 salons in the US by Salon Today. They also have an excellent spa for facials and massages.
Chic Denim Vests at Swank on Bank
An Open, Airy Interior at Joe's Salon
Across the street from Joe’s Salon is the Harts Art Galley which recently opened and exhibits mixed media, paintings and photography. Their new show, entitled ‘She’s a Changeling ‘opens October 3rd. If you take a stroll around the corner, have a look at the newly renovated and restored United Bank building which is now called 19 Main. It will be a rental space for weddings and other events starting with an upcoming wine tasting.
Photography by Evan Abramson at Harts Gallery
The United Bank Building is now 19 Main
I am thrilled to ‘unlock’ some of the treasures in New Milford. Try them for yourself and let us know your thoughts in the comments box. All the businesses mentioned are linked to their websites so you can view directions and contact information.