Bittersweet Lane

This week I was on my way to give you a Halloween inspired post.  However, my virtual stroll down Halloween Blvd. in Stamford, Connecticut led me to Bittersweet Lane instead.  Since Bittersweet is is at its prettiest in the fall, I figured you wouldn't mind a bit.

Stamford is 30 minutes outside of Manhattan, and so became a haven for summer homes in the late 19th century.  This home has the charm of those older homes,  yet it was built in 1970.

I think you'll agree, though, that it has elements that are timeless.

Since I mentioned Halloween and bittersweet, I've got you primed for orange and red, haven't I?
Well no, how about a little chinoiserie style instead?

{Katie Rosenfeld- I changed her color scheme to better fit ours.}

Why chinoiserie?  I was already intrigued by the house when I spotted the dining room chandelier:

The room has a good start toward being fabulous, but how fun is it to turn it up a notch?

{Martyn Lawrence Bullard}

Or maybe like this?

{Better Homes & Gardens}

Personally, I'd nix the wing chairs.  By the way, I wonder what Martyn Lawrence Bullard would think of his design being in the running with one from Better Homes and Gardens?

The family room is already pretty large and cozy:

No, the dog isn't real, but I suppose he'd help potential buyers visualize their own dog in the space.

But in keeping with our theme, let's visualize a dog here instead:

{Rob Southern}

Wouldn't it also be striking with collections of blue & white porcelain on those chests?

Upstairs, the master bedroom might coordinate well with a bittersweet color scheme, if we had gone that route:

Since I said chinoiserie, though, I better stick to it:

{Rob Southern}

That's Fortuny fabric on the bed and loveseat.  Sticking to a theme doesn't mean you have to sacrifice.

Meanwhile, let's turn our attention to the 5th bedroom, currently used as a den.  Bonus points if you can tell me what that swivel-arm thing in the left foreground is.

I'm imagining a somewhat younger crowd using this space instead.  Visualize a dog with bunny ears this time.

{source unknown}

Also upstairs is this enclosed porch with a view of a pond:

It's a pretty nifty space already, but I couldn't pass up the chance to make it niftier:

{via The Pink Pagoda}

Just imagine the upholstery in blue and white, although the green and white gets a thumbs up from me too.

Here is the pond, just so you get the full picture:

Happy Halloween!


Snell Road

Today let's visit a place that I imagine looks particularly pretty in the fall.  Snell Road is a 1910 retreat on 7 acres in Geneva, New York. Geneva, "the lake trout capital of the world," is also known for winemaking.  It is adjacent to Seneca Lake, the largest of the Finger Lakes.

For a sense of place, this is one of its neighbors, a mile and a half away:

So let's drive through the stone entry walls...

...past the 7,000 square feet barn...

...and arrive here:

Which really needs to look more like here:

{Barnes Vanze Architects via Hooked on Houses}

Brick floors are trendy right now, but one that beautiful would look original to the house.
From there, let's check out the living room:

It's already pretty, but let's give it a little rural retreat show-stopperness.  (Yes, that's a thing.)

{Brian J. McCarthy}

We wouldn't even have to add the paneling-- I'd be happy with those lush fireside chairs.

Not just one set of fireside chairs, however.  We'll need some for the library:

The plaid chair is close, but I want something that really makes a statement:

{Tom Scheerer}

Now that's a rural retreat library.  As for this bright and pretty dining room...

It reads just a tad too traditional to me.  I want it to feel more like our other rooms.

{Suzanne Rheinstein}

I'd also like to treat the sunroom, below, to a similar feel.

It's a great room with a lot of possibilities. 

{Kit Kemp}

Now the sunroom feels similar to our dining room, just a little more playful.

Because I had so much fun finding images with beautiful rural retreat fabrics,  I especially enjoyed the bedrooms' potential. (3 out of the 5 are shown in the listing.)

This first bedroom is my favorite:

Wait, we can make it even better.

{Suzanne Rheinstein}

Now it's another room that looks original to the house (and over-the-top pretty to boot!)

This bedroom already has some of that feminine prettiness:

I knew I could find a designer to layer in even more fabric and retreat appeal, though:

{Bunny Williams}

Bunny Williams knows a thing or two about grand old country house charm.

Our last bedroom in need of retreat-iness is this one:

Can we find another pretty bedroom in a palette that reflects the rest of the house and still feels original to our country house?

{Markham Roberts}

Yes, of course we can- don't you love it?

Whether you find trout fishing or wine tasting more relaxing, nothing beats a  retreat like this one to cap off your day just right.