Di Biase Filkoff Architects: An 18th Century Barn Reimagined

di biase filkoff architects barn

The old and new come together seamlessly in this Hudson Valley, NY home, which combines a newly-built farmhouse with an 18th century reclaimed Dutch barn. When the owners couldn’t find an old farmhouse to fit their needs, they commissioned Bedford, NY-based Di Biase Filkoff Architects to design a new one, complete with an antique barn, which the team sought out and relocated from 100 miles away.

di biase filkoff architects barnBuilt in 1754, the barn was dilapidated and deteriorated from the outside. But inside, there were rare materials like hand-hewn beaver tail beams and massive wide plank floors still in excellent condition. At the hands of the team at Di Biase Filkoff Architects the barn was truly given a new life: It was dismantled, moved and carefully reassembled at the new site, then renovated to serve as the farmhouse’s great room. Custom-made pine windows, a large brick fireplace and chimney, enormous glass barn doors, stairs to a library mezzanine and other new elements were added—including cutting-edge technology, such as an energy efficient geothermal system and LED lighting. The barn was attached to the kitchen and porch of the new farmhouse, which was built as a center-hall colonial with four bedrooms. The farmhouse sensibility, antique details and innovative technology come together effortlessly to create an extraordinary home.

di biase filkoff architects barn

di biase filkoff architects barn
Photos by John Gruen

Di Biase Filkoff Architects: 26 Village Green, Bedford, NY, 914-234-7014

Conte & Conte: Landscaping Made Beautiful in Greenwich, CT

conte and conte landscaping

To accommodate a growing family, this Greenwich, CT home was expanded and completely renovated—and that renovation included updating the pool, pool house and all the landscaping as well. Conte & Conte, LLC, which offers landscape architecture and civil engineering services, worked with their sister, full-service construction company, Fairfield House & Garden, to tackle the project. The teams worked to update the home, pool and landscape construction, making sure each element flowed and worked seamlessly and easily together. Bringing in a landscape architect at the beginning stages of the renovation-before the plans were even drawn up-was helpful in this project (and in general), as it allowed the team to fully maximize the site’s potential.   

conte & conte landscaping
Greenwich, CT house before Conte & Conte, LLC landscaping.
conte & conte landscaping
Greenwich, CT house after Conte & Conte, LLC landscaping.

An especially unique feature of this property is the pergola, which sits alongside the pool. The top of the pergola was created using trees that were already on the property, and then wisteria, clematis and roses were added as cover. Together, it creates a striking and rustic addition to the space, and provides an interesting and creative background to the pool and pool house. These elements fit well within the design of the rest of the space, and provide an area for the family to fully enjoy their home.

conte & conte landscaping
Greenwich, CT pool before Conte & Conte, LLC landscaping.
conte & conte landscaping
Greenwich, CT house after Conte & Conte, LLC landscaping. “After” photos by Rich Pomerantz

Conte & Conte, LLC: 28 Langhorne Lane Greenwich, CT, 203-869-1400

Yankee Custom Builders: Updating a Farmhouse in New Canaan, CT

yankee custom builders updated farmhouse

This New Canaan, CT home was one of the original farmhouses in the area. But built in 1933, it needed to be updated to meet the needs of the family of five who would be calling it home. It was important to the client to modernize the house, while still keeping the historical elements that made it so special—and the team at Yankee Custom Builders did just that, spending a year on the renovation.

yankee custom builders updated farmhouse
Farmhouse kitchen before Yankee Custom Builders renovated.
yankee custom builders updated farmhouse
Farmhouse kitchen after Yankee Custom Builders renovated.

The house was gutted and given a complete overhaul: a wing of the original home was removed and then the entire space was expanded by 8,000-square-feet, bringing the total footprint to 15,000-square-feet. Inside, Yankee Custom Builders—which has been renovating homes in the area for three years—created a gourmet kitchen, a mud room, and, in the basement, a homework area for the kids, as well as an indoor hockey shooting gallery. Outside, the fun was taken up a notch: a 51-foot-long swimming pool was added, as were sports fields for the active family. To keep the integrity of the farmhouse, custom-made exterior finishes were created to perfectly match the originals. Together, the modern upgrades worked impeccably with the classic elements, so the farmhouse felt new and fresh while still retaining its original charm and character.

yankee custom builders updated farmhouse
Farmhouse living room before Yankee Custom Builders renovated.
yankee custom builders updated farmhouse
Farmhouse living room after Yankee Custom Builders renovated. Photos by Jane Belies

Yankee Custom Builders: PO Box 4385 Stamford, CT, 203-588-1556

Opener photo by Neil Landino

Lillian August: A Custom Redesign in Westport, CT

lillian august redesign

When tapped to redesign the family and breakfast rooms in this Westport, CT home, Eileen McManus and Lisa Hyman, senior designers at Lillian August, were able to create something truly special: a completely custom space that seamlessly blends comfort and elegance. The firm’s in-house custom workroom team, as well as its 100,000-square-foot Lillian August Design Center—where clients can see furnishings, custom fabrics, and designs from world-renowned brands—helped the design duo bring this vision to life.

lillian august redesign
Westport, CT kitchen before Lillian August redesign.
Westport, CT kitchen after Lillian August redesign.

McManus and Hyman were in on the project from the construction phase of the kitchen—which is visible from both the family and breakfast rooms—enabling them to consult on materials and finishes and help make all three spaces feel cohesive. To achieve this, they incorporated a number of elements, including: the family and breakfast rooms were painted the same color, tones of grey and white—plus pops of eggplant in the family room—were used throughout, and the same custom-made window treatments were done in both rooms. Furthermore, unique touches complement the space, such as the wool and silk handmade Tibetan rug, and the down seating in both the sofas and chairs. Together, the design elements make the space feel cozy and welcoming, and infuse it with a timeless sense of style and luxury.

lillian august redesign
Westport, CT living room before Lillian August redesign.
lillian august redesign
Westport, CT living room after Lillian August redesign. Photos by Neil Landino

Lillian August: Design Center, 32 Knight Street, Norwalk, CT, 203-847-3314; Greenwich Atelier, 195 Greenwich Avenue Greenwich, CT, 203-489-3740; Stamford Warehouse Shop, 47 John Street, Stamford, CT, 203-847-1596; Sono Anex, 85 Water Street, South Norwalk,
CT, 203-838-0153


Lillian August: The Story Behind the Name

A Historic Farmhouse Renovation

The Designers at Lillian August Create a (Teenage) Dream Bedroom

Jonathan Adler Talks New Collection with Amazon, Holiday Tips and More

jonathan adler now house

Potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler never slows down. In the past five years alone, he’s celebrated his company’s 25th anniversary, created a 7-foot-tall bronze banana sculpture located at the Jonathan Adler designed Parker Palm Springs Hotel, and now, has collaborated with Amazon to release Now House by Jonathan Adler—a completely new brand available exclusively on Amazon. We caught up with Jonathan at his store in Greenwich to talk about his new collaboration, holiday tips, and more.

Now House by Jonathan Adler

How was creating the Now House by Jonathan Adler collection different from others that you’ve done before?
Doing Now House was very exciting for me because it was just a departure. It definitely still comes from my DNA. However, I think it looks different, it’s a little younger, fresh, it’s super attractive prices; I have a limitless desire to design and make stuff and so it was a thrilling process just to start a whole new thing; I loved it. Buy it!

jonathan adler terrazzo
Now House by Jonathan Adler Modernist Shape Trio

What is your favorite item in the Now House Collection?
This is impossible, it’s like Sophie’s Choice for me. But, I must say I’m madly in love with the cloud chair, I am obsessed with the terrazzo structural objets, they look unbelievable on the most couture bookshelf imaginable, everybody in Greenwich should be buying them— they cost peanuts and they look like a million bucks.

jonathan adler cloud chair
Now House by Jonathan Adler Cloud Chair Club, Empire Ice

Design and Style Tips

What’s the design element that will never go out of style?
A design element that will never go out of style is comfort. Comfort, comfort, comfort. Like, I try to make everything chic and stylish and look fantastic, but all I really care about is making incredibly comfortable and functional furniture.

If you have to splurge on one item for your apartment what would it be and why?
I think one should always splurge on a chandelier that is bigger than you think you need, and more expensive than you think you can afford.

What are the essentials of a stylish home?
The essentials of a stylish home are stylish occupants. A stylish home to me always is very dog friendly. And I think the true thing that makes something stylish is bold, over the top gestures that are memorable. So I think one should always strive to create a memorable environment to enable you to live a memorable life with memorable family and super memorable pets. Memorable!

Design Dreams

Whose apartment or home would you love to design?
Jackie O wouldn’t have been bad. That would’ve hit the spot.

What is your dream design project?
Okay, I say this everyday and nobody hears me, so I feel like I’m going crazy, but my dream design project is to design a car. So Serendipity magazine please, send this out, spread it out, email it, snail mail it to Detroit, tell Detroit that I want to design a car; and have them call me, feel free to give them my email; Detroit I want to design a car.

Inspiration Everywhere

Where do you find your inspiration?
People always ask me where I find my inspiration and it’s such an impossible question to answer, because to be honest inspiration is everywhere, like I just kinda go outside, I keep my eyes and my mind wide open. I may see a color in a shop window, or a cute dog, or some lady’s groovy hat. So living in New York, inspiration strikes me all the time, it’s a kind of maelstrom of visual stimuli and I’m always inspired.

What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
I love Extra Extra Style which is done by my publicist, it’s incredible. And my husband Simon Doonan, is my true favorite favorite. I love Spanish Architectural Digest, American Architectural Digest, Whitney Robinson from Elle Decor, and 8 billion more. Oh! Liz Lange, she’s my like stone homie.

How-To for the Holidays

What is the perfect holiday gift for a host?
Well, you’ve come to the right person because I make a squillion host and hostess gifts. I keep a gift closet with little trays that I make whether it’s like a little valet tray, or coasters; I never show up empty handed. I just grab a tray. I have so many nifty, surprising, provocative ceramic trays—you kind of can’t go wrong. They’re affordable, everybody needs more of them. A little ceramic tray.

What are three must-haves to throw the perfect holiday party?
Number one: candlelight. So, I have these little muse votive holders, they’re like a little face that goes around, I have them all over my apartment, everyone just looks so glamorous. Bathed in candlelight. So candlelight little muse votive holders number one. I think that you should always have one very louche and surprising guest. Whether it’s a drag queen, or a holly go lightly down on your luck kind of lady. Always needs to be somebody surprising and louche. That’s very important. And then the third, is way more food than you think you need. So like a drag queen, candlelight, too much food. You’re welcome.

See the full interview in the video below.


Jonathan Adler On Thinking Big and Forming Creative Collaborations

Jonathan Adler Looks Back on His Long Career in Home Design

White Plains Hospital Celebrates 125 Years

white plains hospital gala

It was a milestone year for White Plains Hospital—and a celebration was in order. Over 800 people attended the White Plains Hospital 125th Anniversary Gala to honor the hospital’s work in helping its patients. The event included a live auction, live music and dancing, plus dinner and an amazing firework display. Over an astounding $1 million was raised at the event, making it the hospital’s most successful gala to date.




Westchester Land Trust Hosts a Conservation Happy Hour

westchester land trust conservation happy hour

The Westchester Land Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving open space throughout all of Westchester County, hosted a Conservation Happy Hour. The get together for those passionate about nature, local farming, environmental issues, conservation and hiking included craft brews and wood-fired pizza at Fortina Restaurant in Armonk, NY. “It was a wonderful evening full of great conversation, camaraderie and delicious food,” says Westchester Land Trust Communications Coordinator Zoraida Lopez-Diago.

Photographs by Kristen Tomkowid

14 Fashion Staples We All Need for Fall

fashion staples for fall

From great accessories like boots and hats to crips jackets and sweaters, these items will prepare you to face the cool weather.

Simple Food Remedies from Joy Bauer

joy bauer

As The Today Show show’s nutrition and health expert, author of 12 New York Times bestselling books, and host of NBC’s Health + Happiness With Mayo Clinic, Joy Bauer has a lot on her plate. Her latest book focuses on ways in which food can cure what ails you—be it seasonal allergies, brain fog, or even anxiety.

“When you think about food, you probably think about pleasing your taste buds, celebrating a happy event or maybe losing weight. But food is so much more than that,” says Bauer. “Food can boost energy and brain power. Food can help prevent disease. And in some cases, eating the right food may even reverse certain conditions.”

A self-described foodie, Bauer credits the creation of Joy’s Simple Food Remedies: Tasty Cures for Whatever’s Ailing You to current research as well as her own experiences. “We’re moving in the direction of using food as medicine, so it’s the perfect time for a book like this. Food deserves our respect,” she says. “Now is the time to bring the incredible powers of food into the mainstream.”

So rather than reaching for the medicine cabinet, head straight for the kitchen next time you’re battling the following ailments.

Brain Fog

Despite the nickname “senior moment,” there are no age requirements for misplacing your keys or forgetting a colleague’s name, according to Bauer. And while there are countless triggers for brain fog, certain foods have been shown to sharpen focus and memory. Blueberries, for instance, are “loaded with antioxidants that can help prevent or slow cognitive decline,” says the mother of three. Also in Bauer’s arsenal: caffeinated coffee, which can increase alertness, improve mood, boost cognitive function and reverse fatigue; cocoa powder, which has flavanols associated with better brain function and improved blood flow; and iron-rich lentils, which help the brain produce neurotransmitters and are “critical for brain function.”

Cold or Flu

With more than 200 viruses lurking about during “the sneezin’ season,” Bauer knows that it’s “virtually impossible” to fully prevent colds and flu. “But by eating foods rich in vitamin C (think: guava and mushrooms), beta-carotene (such as carrots) or a combo of the two (like pink grapefruit), you can bolster your immune system to help protect against these bugs or dampen the symptoms if you do catch a bug.”


While nothing can beat proper hydration and a good night’s sleep, several common foods can also help boost energy when you’re feeling tired. According to Bauer: “Purple grapes are loaded with water (to help prevent dehydration, a common cause of fatigue) and are also rich in resveratrol (the same good-for-you component in red wine), which has been shown to combat exhaustion. Dark meat poultry is another fatigue fighter because it’s rich in protein, which provides the body with a sustained source of energy and iron, a mineral that enables the body to produce hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Walnuts are another great source of energy because they’re the richest nut in omega-3 fats, and have been shown to boost energy in cancer survivors following a fatigue-reduction diet.”

Stress and Anxiety

When you’re battling anxiety and stress, be sure to consume omega-3s, which can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, Atlantic mackerel or Arctic char. “Study after study shows that omega-3s are helpful in fighting depression, and one study found them to be particularly useful in combating anxiety, too,” says Bauer, who also touts the anxiety-easing powers of chamomile tea and citrus. “Vitamin-C rich orange is another stress-busting bite. In one study, people who took vitamin C for two weeks and had to face a nerve-wracking test felt less frazzled and had a lower blood pressure than those who didn’t get the vitamin.”


“The no-fail cure for a hangover… is to not get one in the first place!” jokes Bauer. “Unfortunately, we’ve all been there, and may go there again. When that happens, there are a few key nutrients to look for the morning after. Potassium, which you can find in ample amounts in bananas, mangoes and white potatoes, helps replace lost electrolytes that typically happens with dehydration. Vitamin B6 is another key nutrient for hangover relief. Studies show people who got a dose of this vitamin experienced a 50 percent reduction in symptoms. Pineapple is another tasty fix—it’s loaded with water for tasty hydration and also contains an enzyme called bromelain that can help with digestion and may also ease inflammation. Whip up a banana-mango-pineapple smoothie for a quick and delicious hangover remedy.”

Joy Bauer’s Stress-Relieving
Orange-Chamomile Blondies
Makes 16 squares

joy bauer blondies

  • One 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dried chamomile
    (about 5 chamomile tea bags)
  • 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons orange zest
    (from 1 orange)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease an 8-inch square pan with oil spray.
  2. Place all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips (and pecans, if using) in a food processor or blender, and process until the batter is smooth and creamy.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips and optional pecans. (The batter should be thick.)
  4. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are a tiny bit brown.
  5. Let the blondies cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Annual Greenwich Hospital Gala Supports Emergency Services

Hundreds of friends and supporters gathered for a wonderful evening at the Greenwich Country Club for the Treasure Gala for Greenwich Hospital—an event that celebrated a commitment to the critical and compassionate care of Greenwich Hospital’s Emergency Department.

At the event, guests enjoyed live musical entertainment by Hank Lane Revue, live and silent auctions and were surrounded by beautiful décor, created by New York City-based Renny & Reed. The Bennett and Kanarek families, the Greenwich Hospital Auxiliary and the O’Malley family, were all honored at the event for their volunteerism, leadership, and philanthropic engagement in support of Greenwich Hospital.

Greenwich resident Karen Rubin headed the gala committee and Serendipity founder and CEO, Suni Unger, served as the master of ceremonies.

Photographs by Kristen Tomkowid