Happy Monday, all! The holiday season is the most beautiful time of the year but it can also be the most stressful one. I hope you can find a peaceful moment in the midst of it all to remember the real magic of this holiday. I am reminded about the need to do just that by? my endless to-do list. It somehow explodes in the weeks before Christmas and I know I’m not the only one.?

So, for today’s post I chose the most tranquil and breezy beach house I could find. But before I begin, I’d like to take a moment and thank you, dear reader, for your kind words here and on Instagram after my last post. I am grateful for this little corner and I appreciate your taking the time to stop by, read and leave such encouraging words. They mean the world to me.

And now, onto the pretty stuff. Today’s home is familiar to many of you. It is a historic saltbox house in East Hampton, NY, that was once the home of interior designer Tom Scheerer. Known as the Osborne Jackson House, or “Rowdy House”, an 18th-century boarding house for artists, it has been connected in more recent history to the Kennedy family. Jaqueline Kennedy used to summer here as a child and the wooden farmhouse table in the dining room dates back to the times Jackie and her parents were renting the house during the summer months.?
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Six months ago we moved into a sunny apartment in Amherst MA. I was immediately taken with the views and the amount of natural light. The forrest is literally our backyard. However, it is a rental and it lacks any architectural embellishments. It’s a blank canvas without crown moldings, wainscoting or a fireplace – you know, all the good stuff. However it has amazing views and a semi-open floor plan which we liked. It also has a 6-foot window seat that soon became our favorite spot for watching the wildlife? in front of our window.?

As I mentioned before, this place will be our home for one or two years, until my husband gets a tenure track and we move to someplace more permanent. Investing too much in a home we’re going to leave so soon made no financial sense to us. However, the decorator in me still wanted to cozy-up the place and make it look pretty, even if on a budget.?

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Is there really any other kind? The correct title of today’s post should more appropriately be “Another Fabulous Farmhouse Kitchen by Gil Schafer”. I am a huge admirer of his work, he?has never done anything but fabulous, architecture or design-wise in my opinion. His kitchens in particular are exquisite and well-appointed. Naturally, I am not the only one feeling this way. In fact, the team at G.P. Schafer Architect has recently won The Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s 2018 Stanford White award in the Interior Design category. Congratulations to the entire team, it is well deserved!

Gil Schafer’s country home in upstate New York, called Middlefield, is one of the most exquisite ones you will find in America. It is a beautiful new house with an old soul. After three years of searching in vain for just the right property in the region, Gil Schafer decided to built his own from scratch. By studying the architectural vernacular and paying close attention to the subtle details that make older homes livable today, he managed to create a house? and surrounding gardens that have been an inspiration ever since.?

This project has been also the beginning of many successful collaborations. Interior designer Miles Redd helped him pull together the interior decorations and the two have teamed up on several subsequent occasions. The gardens at Middlefield, a breathtaking sequence of terraced outdoor rooms, were the result of a collaboration with landscape architect Deborah Nevins.?

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Happy December! I cannot believe this year is coming to an end! With only three weeks left until Christmas and a mere ten days until we receive the visit of family for the holidays, the pressure is on. We’ve been tying up loose end projects around the house but even with our hectic schedule I still managed to sneak in a few quiet moments with some favorite new books. As I’ve been binging on cozy English interiors lately, I came across a beautiful English home that is almost as charming as its fascinating owner, the late Deborah Cavendish, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. I ordered her autobiography Wait for Me! and I’m in fact anxiously awaiting for its arrival. Any woman who writes a cookbook and dares to start with the words “ I haven’t cooked since the war…” has my attention. ?

Deborah Cavendish or ‘Debo’ as she was affectionately known, was the youngest of the six fabled Mitford sisters and, perhaps, everyone’s favorite. The charismatic modern aristocrat is known for having restored Chatsworth House to glory along with her husband Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire. Over the course of 50 years of stewardship, Deborah and Andrew Cavendish have transformed Chatsworth House into one of England’ s most impressive stately homes, with more than half a million visitors each year. After the passing of her husband in 2004, Debo left the grandeur of Chatsworth in the hands of her eldest son, the 12th Duke of Cavendish, and took up residence in the idyllic village of Edensor, in a handsome 18th-century stone cottage known as the Old Vicarage. ?

?“The house… has no architectural merit,” Deborah admitted, “but its atmosphere makes it a happy place – the influence, I believe of the devout men who occupied it for two hundred years.” The attractive array of fourteen rooms and eight bedrooms needed extensive renovations before Deborah could move in. On this endeavor she asked for help from her friend, the renowned interior designer David Mlinaric, whose clients have included Mick Jagger, Lord Rothschild, as well as venerable London institutions such as the Victoria & Albert museum and the National Portrait Gallery.?

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