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Happening in the Hills: A Look around the Northwest Corner of Connecticut

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!

Don't forget to Subscribe! 

Make the Right Move - A Great New Addition to William Raveis Real Estate!

William Raveis Real Estate recently announced the launch of the William Raveis Sports and Entertainment Division. Headed by former Red Sox relief pitcher, Chris Resop, who became a real estate agent after his Major League Baseball career, this new division provides premier concierge relocation and lifestyle services for athletes and entertainers, worldwide. Wanting to further William Raveis' ongoing commitment to supporting communities through charitable giving, a donation will also be made to a charity of the athlete or entertainer's choice for every home purchased -- William Raveis calls it Make the Right Move.

Chris Resop is an accomplished Realtor with over a decade of experience selling luxury homes and securing rentals for former league teammates and other athletes. William Raveis also has a long history of working with top athletes, celebrities, statesmen, and most recently assisted Chris Sale with his move to the Boston area.

"Chris Resop and his agent network were absolute professionals and found my family exactly what we were looking for. His team was highly knowledgeable, professional, and easy to work with." -- Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox

Chris Resop, who worked alongside William Raveis Chairman and CEO Bill Raveis to create the new division: 

"During my 14 years as a professional ball player, I pitched for six major league teams and moved more than 30 times, so I know that while a team trade can be thrilling, the sudden-up-rooting that often accompanies it puts an athlete and his family under a tremendous strain. Finding a new home for elite professional players, entertainers and their families requires discretion and sensitivity, along with a keen and instantaneous knowledge of the luxury real estate market and local communities, which is what our William Raveis' Sports & Entertainment division is all about."

 

Handpicked by Resop, the real estate agents are certified, including the signing of a non-disclosure agreement to protect the privacy of their clientele. Because of the urgency associated with a sudden move, Resop is known for responding rapidly to his clients' calls. The Sports & Entertainment division will also leverage Raveis' well-established white glove relocation and home goods services which include carrier line selection, packing, and unpacking services, shipment, tracking, transporting of vehicles and other valuables.

This next step looks like a great addition to all the wonderful services William Raveis already has to offer!

Local Events in Washington this Weekend!

If you have some free time this weekend and are looking for fun and educational events in Washington, check out these events open to the public!

Thanksgiving Floral Design Demonstration

On November 18th at the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, Loretta Stagen, a professional floral designer for over twenty years, will be giving a free lecture and demonstration on designing Thanksgiving centerpieces.

During the event Loretta will demonstrate her designs by creating 5 different Thanksgiving centerpieces with flowers, foliage, and vegetables.

Loretta Stagen's floral designs are described as lush arrangements that are both stylish and timeless. Her designs will bring joy to your Thanksgiving meal!

Friday November 18th at 10:00am (Free)

                                     

Evening Owl Prowl with Steep Rock Association!

Join Fran Zygmont and Rory Larson in search of Saw-whet, Screech, Barred, and Great Horned owls.

The event will start at the Macricostas Preserve parking lot, off Christian Street. There will be a 15 minute informative talk about the different owl species, then the group will go and search for them in the preserve and around Lake Waramaug

.

Participants are required to bring a flashlight and wear quiet clothing.

Saturday November 19th  6:30pm - 9:00pm (ages 6 and above)

Check out their website to register and for more information on the event!

 

 

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!

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.

 

Copper Fern Terrariums to Brighten the Home in Winter

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 copperfernterrariums@gmail.com

Please note: All terrarium images are the work of Audra M. Viehland

 


 


 

 

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!

 

 

Happening in the Hills features Stacey's Holiday Gift Guide

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.

Barkery Boo’tique
38 Bank Street
New Milford
860.210.1312


J. Seitz
East Shore Road (Route 45)
New Preston
860. 868. 0119
www.jseitz.com


KMR Arts Gallery
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot
860.868.7533
www.kmrarts.com


Nutmeg Olive Oil Company
25 Main Street
New Milford
860.354.7300
info@nutmegoliveoil.com
www.nutmegoliveoil.com


Oliphant
29 West St
Litchfield
860.567.8199
oliphantdesign.com


Pergola Home
7 East Shore Road
New Preston
860.868.4769
info@pergolahome.com
www.pergolahome.com


Privet House
13 East Shore Road
New Preston
860.868.1800
info@privethouse.com
www.privethouse.com


R. Derwin Clothiers
(The Ladies Store)
43 West Street
Litchfield
860.567.4095
www.rderwinclothiers.com


RT Facts
22 South Main Street
Kent
860.927.1700
www.rtfacts.com


Scott and Bowne
27 North Main Street #1
Kent
860.592.0207
scottandbowne.com


Terston
27 North Main Street
Kent
860.927.1255
info@terston.com
www.terston.com

 

KMR Arts Holiday Event with Artist Beth Rundquist

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: info@kmrarts.com or visit their website by clicking on the link here.