Blog :: 02-2015

Designer of the Month: Philip Gorrivan

I have so many great friends who are designers that we are going to start a new monthly blog entitled Designer of the Month.  I hope you will take a look at the works of these designers and check out their websites if you are planning a project. They are all top quality and very talented. I am starting this new feature with Philip Gorrivan as he is a designer I have known for over 25 years (since before he was a designer actually!) I am also very fortunate to have just listed Philip's Washington home for rent during the months of June and July.

In 2001, Philip opened the doors of his company, Philip Gorrivan Design, in New York City. One of the most sought after interior designers, Philip's great sense of style and taste are enhanced by a true understanding of the decorative arts, art history and architecture. Recent commissions for the firm include a residence for a middle eastern royal family, a restaurant in Manhattan, as well as apartments and houses for celebrities and business leaders in New York City, London, Deer Valley Utah, Connecticut and the Hamptons.

The home featured in the photos below and in this month's House Beautiful, happens to be in Washington, CT. The lyrical quality of the design is evident in the chic wall coverings, fabrics and carefully edited decorative objets.

Here is a lovely living space with chocolate walls, exquisite art and fabric that gives a pop of color.

The wallpaper enhances the tones and finishes of the furniture in this stunning dining room. The blue and white pitcher is an elegant accent with a county casual floral arrangement

 

The photographs show the gorgeous mix of color, fabric, pattern and design elements. Please note all images are courtesy of House Beautiful.

 

 

 

We were able to ask Philip some questions about his life in Connecticut and about this current design project.

You have a house in Washington, what is it that you love about the town?

There is so much I love about Washington; where it is in the Litchfield Hills, the vibrant town and the community. Here, there is no need for house guests as there are the most interesting people among the locals and weekenders who are our friends.

What inspires you?

I am big gardener and my garden inspires as does Mother nature in general as well as travel.

What are the three most important elements of design?

Rooms need narrative, authenticity and of course actual design.

What designer from the past do you most admire?

David Hicks, he had a way of designing rooms referencing the past and with modern style. He had a great sense of the color, balance and scale. I also admire the work of Jean Michel Frank.

What are the different considerations for the interior design of the rooms in an older, historic house?

Whether it is a pre-war apartment, a modern house or a classic country home, you must think about the vernacular of the architecture. You have to be conscious of where you are and what you are designing in. It also is also important to have a collaborative relationship with the client.

What is your favorite restaurant, shop and outdoor activities in Litchfield County?

I love Community Table In Washington, CT. The food is extraordinary and it has a very hip vibe. I also enjoy shopping at Pergola in New Preston which is beautifully edited and curated. For outdoor activities, I am often found knee deep in my garden or running a loop around the country roads near my house. I also love shopping at the Elephant's Trunk flea market in New Milford or antiquing in general in the area.

Tell us about the project that was featured here in House Beautiful. Do you have a favorite aspect of the design?

I love the wonderful wallpaper story and the color palettes. It was also a collaborative effort with the client who had collected great decorative objets during travels and over time. It involved editing and styling as much as decorating. There is a larger narrative to the design but all the rooms communicate to one and other as well as telling their own story.

 

I hope you enjoy this virtual introduction to Philip Gorrivan and please take a moment to check out his web site, Philip Gorrivan Design.

Waldingfield Farm's CSA Program enriches Washington Community

 

Listen to your mother- Eat your vegetables!

This is a reference to the well-known admonition from parents to children reluctant to eat healthy produce. If only those families had access to the delicious variety of vegetables from the certified organic Waldingfield Farm. Their extensive CSA program is a fantastic way for families and individuals to sample succulent produce throughout the season while also helping support organic farming in our community. Selections include Asian greens, beets, eggplant, cucumber, eggplant, collards, melons (to name a few) as well as their renowned heirloom tomatoes which are the favorite of chefs, elite restaurants and foodies in the Northeast.

It is also a very well run and reasonable CSA program with half shares at $450 (good for 2-3 people) and full shares at $650 (good for splits and families) It is $10 more if you purchase online. To read about the Waldingfield Farm CSA Program in more detail, click here.

 

The farm is a family run business with strong roots in the community. Our friends, Quincy Horan, is the head grower and responsible for all field management, crop planning and machinery while his brother Patrick Horan handles all marketing, sales and operations, as well as day to day farming duties.

Quincy, Patrick left to right    

                                                                                                                                               

We recently had a chance to talk with Patrick about Waldingfield Farm and our community:

What do you love about living in Washington, CT?

Our family has been in Washington since 1919 when our great grandfather, a NYC lawyer, bought the farm from a cousin as a place for his family to spend the summer and be in nature (and it was far closer than northeast Maine) What he loved most about Washington is what we love most about Washington namely its sense of community and the gorgeous rural character of the town.

The term organic is often used in discussions on healthy nutrition but how does being a certified organic vegetable farm help the soil/land?

The very fact that we apply no synthetic chemicals-like Roundup- in our land management means that our water table below our property (our land is the start of the Sprain Brook which feeds in the Shepaug River) is exceptionally clean. Also, by having zero chemical inputs we maintain and actually increase biodiversity on our land and within our community.

The CSA program is beloved by many Washington residents, what does the community aspect mean to you personally?

The relationship with our CSA members often starts as what it is, namely an investment in a program in return for great vegetables. But what happens is a unique bond between our investors and the farm, the connection to the source of the food often surprises the CSA members, and then the friendships start. The idea is that the impact investment, if you will, which is essentially what a CSA represents, is such a win win for the community, and in turn, for us.

Are there any plans to create more products like your delicious marinara sauce?

Currently we make two sauces, a crushed tomato line, as well as our Bloody Mary mix. In 2015, people should look for a salsa to be introduced in September.

What is your favorite recipe from the web site and why?

The fast and fresh heirloom tomato gazpacho is my favorite by far. It just tastes like summer.


Using a blender will make this soup easy to pull off in minutes. Good for two bowls of soup, or four smaller appetizer portions.
Ingredients:
o 6 medium-large tomatoes, or equivalent
o 2 cloves garlic
o salt and pepper
o 2 bell peppers
o 1 avocado
o 1 dried out slice of bread (optional)

Put the two cloves of garlic in the blender and pulse just to break it up a bit. Cut the tomatoes into quarters or eighths and blend with the garlic until smooth (with bread if you are using it - it will thicken the soup). Add salt and pepper if you like, though the tomatoes may have enough flavor without it. Serve topped with fresh diced peppers and avocado.

To read more about the history of Waldingfield Farm and to see the extensive vegetable menu, please click here.

 

An Exhibit of the Abstract Works of Iconic American Painter Brendan O'Connell at The Matthews Group

The Matthews Group proudly announces the opening of its latest art show featuring the paintings of Brendan O’Connell. A significant collection of the artist’s abstract works will be shown for the first time in Washington, CT. The exhibition opened on January 31st and will continue through the spring.

Brendan O’Connell is best known for his paintings of iconic brands and the aisles of Walmart. O’Connell infuses these modern day environments with a magical quality that transforms both shoppers and products into art. It has been written about the artist that, “his interests vary widely between popular culture and mystical traditions.” His abstract work, the focus of this exhibition, makes a statement with bold palettes and strong composition.

After graduating from Emory University, O’Connell moved to Paris to teach languages and write a novel about artists. Once there, he picked up a pencil and discovered that he had a natural affinity and talent for drawing and painting. His artistic interpretation of the contemporary shopping experience has brought him much acclaim including a visit to Comedy Central’s, ‘The Colbert Report’. O’Connell’s work is collected by celebrities such as Alec Baldwin and Darrell Crate, the former chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party. In 2012 he was honored with a Rubin Foundation Award.

The paintings of Brendan O'Connell exhibited at The Matthews Group

The abstracts in this collection are all available for sale. The individual paintings are stunning and they also make a strong statement when displayed as a group.

Presently Brendan works out of a barn in rural Connecticut where he lives with his wife, landscape painter, Emily Buchanan, and their two children. To read more about the artist, click here.