Book: Love Where You Live: At Home in the Country
100 miles north of New York City, amidst the bucolic landscape of farmhouses, winding roads and charming hamlets is where you will find an antiquing enclave in the Hudson Valley. The area, named after Henry Hudson, the famous 17th century British navigator, is where authors, Joan Osofsky and Abby Adams, stage the setting of their first book together.
“The Hudson Valley has spectacular scenery, from the Palisades (monumental cliffs across the river from New York City) all the way up to the Adirondacks. In the nineteenth-century, artists like Frederic Church and Thomas Cole, painted these scenes; this was the Hudson River School, America’s first native arts movement. They also inspired architects and landscape designers and preservationists. On a more intimate level, there are still lots of working farms, with barns and silos and fine old farmhouses, and herds of cows, as a constant reminder that it’s still an agricultural area” Abby shares.
The book, Love Where You Live: At Home in the Country, profiles 18 homes in the Hudson Valley and New England in an effort to impart the modern country lifestyle that both women love.
Photo Source: Rizzoli New York
INTERVIEW: Joan Osofsky and Abby Adams, Authors, Upstate New York
01 Do you entertain at home?
ABBY: I entertain often. I have one or two very big parties each year and lots of smaller dinner parties; I also often open my home for fundraising events. Fussy food and elaborate table settings don’t go over well up here. I like to keep things simple and easy, with the emphasis on good food and a pretty, relaxed presentation.
JOAN: I don’t entertain as much as I used to, but when I do, it is farm-to-table themed, simple and elegant country. I love to use big old French farm boards for cheeses, old ironstone plates and platters, simple linen cloths with stripes of blue or red, and a very casual, but clean country feel.
02 What does modern country look like as a table setting?
JOAN: If I were setting a table, I would use vintage or linen cloths, artisan pottery dishes or my white ironstone dinnerware, hand blown glass Simon Pearce candlesticks and vases, with seasonal flowers.
ABBY: I always have some flowers and candles on the table. I collect table linens wherever I go, and I like to mix them up. I also collect flower containers of all sizes; you can’t have too many. And I collect candlesticks.
03 If you could go antiquing anywhere, where would you go?
JOAN: My best antiques over the years have been found in England. I’m dying to go to Belgium, too.
ABBY: France, if the prices were not so high. Because I love the French way of life, the respect they give to the most mundane details of living.
04 What can be found on your table(s) at home when you entertain?
A bottle of wine, a pitcher of water, some small jugs with freshly picked flowers in them, colorful linens—usually mats rather than a tablecloth, candles, everyday flatware. The dinner plates and the soup plates don’t match.