Monday, October 17, 2016

A House In The Country: Peter Pennoyer & Katie Ridder

"A House In The Country" by Peter Pennoyer and Katie Ridder is a book about the lovely country home the couple built in Millbrook, NY for their family.  This book is much more than a book about a country house. It is the compilation of creatives who have worked together seamlessly to create an environment which not only speaks to their design sensibilities but creates a place that is so special it seems to breathe a life of its own.  
My hat is off to Peter and Katie for bringing to life their combined vision for their dream home.   I can only imagine how difficult it was for an architect and designer to design for themselves.  As a designer, I find designing for myself the most difficult task of all.

Peter's love of historic properties such as the Joans Cutting-Edward Kent House in Bangor, Maine, which he has admired since college meshed with Katie's eye for designing custom wallpapers, auction house finds and layered decorating schemes worked together to create a unique and beautiful home with beautiful gardens designed by Katie.

I would be lying if I said I had finished reading this book because I find myself returning again and again to the details and beautiful images of the country house Pennoyer and Ridder have created so masterfully.   I was mesmerized reading about how the pair worked together to incorporate their ideas. While they meticulously gathered details both loved, they also worked through where they wanted this home to be built.  They bought and sold one piece of property due to traffic noise, before they decided on Middlebrook, NY, after having worked on a project there and becoming familiar with the area.

I have long admired the work of both Pennoyer and Ridder, who need no introduction to most who will read this review.  For those who haven't had the luxury of being acquainted with the work of this design duo, Peter Pennoyer founded Peter Pennoyer Architects in 1990 and his wife, Katie Ridder, a well-known American interior designer.  Their work has been published numerous times in national shelter publications across the country.  The couple live and work together in their Manhattan office.   They often collaborate on projects, but also work separately.

Peter and Katie's story is as romantic as the setting they have created in this fairytale-like country home they have built from the ground up in Millbrook, NY.  The residence is a physical representation of the beautiful union, a simpatico relationship between two creatives,  but, more importantly, it tells the story of two people who love to live and work together.  If our homes are a reflection of our souls, the Pennoyer-Ridder Home is evidence of two amazingly talented individuals and stands as a testament to their abilities as leaders in the design world.

I felt like Alice in Wonderland tumbling down the rabbit hole while reading this book.  I was entranced with the beauty of the home both interiorly and exteriorly.  The beautifully designed details of the architecture and interior design held me captive for hours on end.  The well-curated gardens designed by Katie who is a self-taught gardener add to the essence of a home that feels as though it has always been in this setting.
The stately manor beckons from the rolling hills to welcome all who are invited to enter this enchanted world.

Here is a breath-taking view of the front of the house as one approaches.
I can imagine driving down the driveway approaching the home in anticipation of what lies beyond the deep red front doors.  I can only dream of being a guest in this home, but it will be on my bucket list of lifelong wishes.

Peter admits the purple mosaic tiles which greet guests in the foyer were completely Katie's vision.  I find the tiles an unexpected delight which would make any guest long to see more of the home.

This book is about the house as well as the beautifully curated life Peter and Katie have so carefully curated for themselves and their family.  It is about the meeting of two design minds to produce a home that is functional as well as beautiful.  Although it the house was designed from elements of history, the scale and livability are designed for a modern family with three children. The grounds are as lovely as the home itself. Peter and Katie paid close attention to the integration of land and structure to create a place that intermeshes every so perfectly with nature.

As a wannabe gardener, I was delighted to discover the fold out pages of flowers and plantings used in their garden with each scientific name, which opens to reveal a diagram of the garden and where each plant is located in Katie's garden.  I might try to emulate a smaller version in my backyard.  I believe the beauty outside only enhances the beauty indoors.  

Peter and Katie have created a home with a soul.   A place for respite from the exterior world.   As I read the book; I envisioned grandchildren
who will roam these acres with future generations.  This home is a place  memory making with family and friends. 

I want to thank Peter and Katie for allowing us to have a glimpse of the beautiful home and world they have created for their family.  This book makes me want to work harder at curating a life and home for my family where we can grow, learn and live.  This book is much more than "A House In the Country," I would have entitled it "A Meaningful Life." Perhaps that will be the title of their next book...

Kudos Peter and Katie, job well done!

Readers, I hope you will pick up "A House In The Country."
 today but if you would like one delivered to your doorstep tomorrow, Please click here!

"A House In The Country" is a book I will read again and again for inspiration for design as well as life. 
I highly recommend this book to any design enthusiast or anyone who wants to create a beautiful home with meaning. 


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Photography by Eric Piasecki

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the review is genuine.  I only review books that I find will be of interest to my readers.  My commentary is sincere and my words.

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  1. What a beautiful home, something out of a fairytale. As a little girl I would dream of such a home with years of memories and history behind it. I would love to read the pages and marvel at the photos. Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I recently listened to Peter's interview on the Million Dollar Decorating podcast, reminding me that there are modern architects with such a passion for traditional design that they elevate the classics with a brightness and energy that sets a new tone—and tradition—for our times. Bravo to Peter and Katie for this book!

    1. I'll have to listen to that podcast Jennifer. Good to know! Thanks for your comment!


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