RU­RAL RO­MANCE

Tra­di­tional crafts­man­ship and per­sonal de­signs honor a vin­tage dairy farm.

Country Sampler's Prarie Style - - Contents - WRIT­TEN BY Kristin Joyce. PHO­TOGRAPHED BY Mark Lohman. STYLED BY Fifi O’neill.

Tra­di­tional crafts­man­ship and per­sonal de­signs honor a vin­tage dairy farm.

Ellen Allen es­tab­lished a sec­ond home. Her 2,400-square-foot week­end retreat of­fers the per­fect coun­tri­fied con­trast to the sprawl­ing es­tates and vin­tage Colo­nials of this de­sir­able Con­necti­cut re­gion that orig­i­nates from Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion­ary times.

Ellen was in­stantly se­duced eight years ago when she dis­cov­ered this pic­turesque land­scape and one par­tic­u­larly beau­ti­ful, an­tique post-and-beam (circa 1745) dairy farm­house skirt­ing the patch­work hills and an­tique cap­i­tal of Wood­bury.

Although she loved her New York City life, Ellen longed for a “coun­try fix.” “This project be­came my play­thing. I knew I could re-cre­ate my dream of a retreat,” states the designer, who com­mutes as of­ten as pos­si­ble from her Clin­ton dis­trict pied-à-terre.

A mas­ter mul­ti­tasker, Ellen over­sees not one but two en­ti­ties as head of Transat­lantic De­sign Com­pany (cre­ator of hand­made area rugs for over 20 years) and chief ex­ec­u­tive for her fam­ily’s orig­i­nal vin­tage fab­ric firm. This level of cre­ative ex­pe­ri­ence speaks vol­umes com­bined with an eye for eclec­tic de­sign.

Ellen has taken ad­van­tage of her home’s

mas­ter bed­room soared to new heights.

Ellen, plus pre­cious fam­ily pups Clemen­tine and Mr. Pe­abody, rel­ish this bu­colic sanc­tu­ary. Filled with just the right amount of nos­tal­gia, nat­u­ral beauty and fab­u­lous finds, the farm­house over­looks 4 pris­tine acres. Laven­der clema­tis and the lemony scent of ver­bena, home­grown in her parterre gar­den, waft through­out the prop­erty, which ad­joins its own na­ture pre­serve.

For Ellen, sim­ple yet sen­sa­tional el­e­ments tap the senses and the soul to pro­vide all that’s needed to re­ju­ve­nate and ful­fill her dream of an ex­quis­ite coun­try retreat. ex­cep­tional nat­u­ral light; ex­posed beams and walls; re­fin­ished floors and fur­nish­ings; opened the flow from room to room; lay­ered a novel mix of tex­tures, warm tones, patina and bo­hemian touches; and in­fused her sixth sense for cozy, crea­ture com­forts with great in­ge­nu­ity.

“I’m told my farm­house says more about who I am and what I love in the world,” she smiles, restack­ing the col­lec­tion of an­tique chil­dren’s books in her li­brary.

En­chant­ment abounds, as ob­served in Ellen’s many trans­for­ma­tions. An old brick porch be­came a restive living room, while a cramped and musty

““My farm­house says more about WHO I AM and WHAT I LOVE in the world.

Ellen Allen’s living room wel­comes vis­i­tors with a vivid con­trast in tex­tures—re­fur­bished

post-and-beam barn boards, ex­posed brick and flag­stone, a white­washed an­tique hearth, and a ca­sual sisal rug. A mod­ern acrylic cof­fee ta­ble dis­plays fresh flow­ers along with fa­vorite de­sign

books. The blue Kan­tha quilt draped over a clas­sic 1950s sofa

was hand-printed in In­dia.

Ellen cu­rates an­tique books dur­ing her global trav­els. The man­tel show­cases her par­tic­u­lar pas­sion for first-edi­tion chil­dren’s ti­tles. TOP

RIGHT: The quirky green glass “sa­cred cow” pa­per­weights were mar­ket trea­sures found on a trip to In­dia. BOT­TOM RIGHT: Brass can­dle­sticks, a sil­ver teapot and a Chi­nese Can­ton teacup are among Ellen’s fa­vorite items.

Re­fur­bished chest­nut floor­boards high­light two exquisitely pre­served French cam­paign chairs ac­quired at a Paris flea mar­ket. The pieces are con­trasted by a Crate and Bar­rel ta­ble, an ex­otic ikat pil­low and a pair of 1809 hand-beaded Na­tive

Amer­i­can rodeo gloves.

OP­PO­SITE: Light streams from many win­dows to fill the living room, once an old brick porch hous­ing or­chids in win­ter. The cozy cor­ner ta­ble of­fers a quiet spot for break­fast or tea for two. THIS PAGE: “I love hy­drangeas. They are so New Eng­land!” Ellen says. Bou­quets of pur­ple blooms adorn an­tique flea-mar­ket vases.

ABOVE LEFT: Wide chest­nut floor­boards are bal­anced by hand­made wood cab­i­nets painted with flat-white milk paint. A back­splash of lus­trous Car­rera mar­ble mini tiles contrasts black honed-gran­ite coun­ter­tops. TOP RIGHT: An an­tique scale was dis­cov­ered in nearby Wood­bury, Con­necti­cut, at Farm­house An­tiques.

BOT­TOM RIGHT: Old cop­per cooking pots warm mod­ern stain­less ap­pli­ances.

OP­PO­SITE: Nat­u­ral light bathes the coun­try­side dining room, which is fur­nished with fa­vorite an­tique finds.

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