Do you ever have those moments when you become acutely aware of a person or place, and then suddenly it’s the word on every lip? Litchfield, Connecticut has been the place occupying my mind and conversations for the past three months. It started with the arrival Annie Kelly and Tim Street Porter’s new book Litchfield Style (Rizzoli). After leafing through their book, filled with images of gabled houses, sun-drenched rooms, swimming pools, gorgeous gardens and lush foliage, I knew it was a place that I needed to experience firsthand.
In Litchfield Style Annie and Tim spotlight eleven eighteenth and nineteenth-century homes owned by well-known decorators and design aficionados, including Bunny Williams, Robert Couturier, Carolyne Roehm, Matthew Patrick Smyth, Florence de Dampierre and artist Norman Sunshine. From quaint farmhouses and saltboxes to Colonial, Greek Revival, and Federal styles, the book highlights the area’s historically rich New England architecture.
Following a few conversations with my friend Susanna Salk (who lives in the area year-round) and interior designer Philip Gorrivan (who retreats to Litchfield for weekends), a plan was put into place and a summer visit arranged. Earlier this month I spent the better part of a weekend touring picturesque towns, shopping, visiting with friends and relaxing in general. So many gracious people opened their homes and shops to welcome me for a visit. Without a doubt it’s a special corner of the world. Over the next few days I will take you on a mini armchair tour of Litchfield County.