This Spectacular Country House Masters The Use Of Color
At one point or another, all of us have fantasized about escaping to the country to lead a simpler life. Husband-and-wife Peter Pennoyer and Katie Ridder made that dream a reality when they purchased a six-and-a-half acre plot in the pastoral Millbrook, New York. Unfortunately, the house on the property was an asbestos-ridden 1960s ranch, the landscape was overgrown and rocky and the “pond” was more of a smelly bog. As an architect and interior designer, respectively, the couple were just the people to tackle the challenge of bringing the space back to life.
In their forthcoming book, A House In The Country, they chronicle the design journey and show off the final product of their hard work. Click through for an exclusive sneak peek!
Peter and Katie opted for a Greek Revival-style house, with porches and entryways off each side of the main floor, making the most of the property’s idyllic setting. The generous east porch (seen here) leads onto the expansive lawn.
The porch, seen from the other side, has unusually high 12-foot ceilings, which allows for the east-facing rooms to get sunlight.
The north façade rotunda houses a winding staircase. Above the windows, the sunlight picks up on the bas-reliefs of a rabbit and a pair of dachshunds, an ode to their faithful dog, Teddy.
Instead of confronting a large staircase right off the front door, visitors are treated to a bright and airy double-height foyer. The space is generous and spacious — the ideal welcome to any home. A unique purple tiled floor is a hint at the colorful rooms to come.
In the living room, you get the first proper taste of Katie’s grand design plan for the house, which includes plenty of color and character. Matching mirrors, side tables and artwork bring structure to the asymmetrical sofa and chair arrangements. Katie scooped up the large peach and yellow colored rug from an estate sale.
The couple use the dining room everyday for quiet meals, but the round table can be enlarged to seat up to 12. The broad, vaulted opening leads right from the living room and to the right, another open wall leads to the kitchen.
The entryway leading to the kitchen is a smart way to keep the main floor open-concept but still classically partitioned. The vibrant curtains can be pulled across to block off the kitchen while the opening between the dining room and living room features two curiosity cabinets for all the couples’ antiques and treasures.
In the kitchen, now that their three kids have grown up and two have flown the coop, there was no need for an expansive breakfast nook, especially with the dining room so close by. A little round table and bistro chairs are perfect for everyday meals.
Even the hallways are stunning. The attention to detail, seen here in the millwork around the doors and on the walls, is what takes this house to the next level. On the left is a blue patterned powder room, and straight ahead is the study.
In the study, a saturated purple hue creates a warm, enveloping sense of space. It’s the perfect retreat for a quiet read or a movie night.
Teddy, their dog, looks in from the door of the mudroom. The brick-shaped floor tile picks up on the similarly-hued hexagonal tile from the front hall — a smart way to tie the spaces together.
Katie clad the stair hall in a custom-designed wallpaper she based off the old technique of sgraffito, to create a trompe l’oeil brickwork effect. The bay windows on the landing provide sweeping panoramas of the countryside.
In their daughter Gigi’s room, Katie covered the walls in a striped linen trimmed with red grosgrain ribbon, creating a sweet yet playful space.
In the master suite, Peter paid homage to the bed alcoves at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and set the bed in a little, windowed niche. A closet to the left of the bed is hidden in the wallpaper design.
In the principal bathroom, the mustard yellow walls tie in the wallpaper from the master bedroom. The wide plank oak flooring and freestanding tub continue to imbue the space with some country charm.
The tribune lights both the upper-level rooms and the front hall below. The sage green walls and white plaster keep things looking classic while the fish-scale grills offer a fresh and youthful spin.
The garden was inspired by great English manor gardens with their rich texture and high visual impact. Katie was able to replicate the covetable look with the help of a landscape designer and plenty of research. (The book contains a full garden key and layout for recreating the designs in your home garden.) The outdoor dining area looks perfect for hazy summer evening barbecues!