Friday, September 23, 2016

A House in the Country: Peter Pennoyer & Katie Ridder

With so many book releases this fall in time for the gift giving season (doesn't everyone else fill their Christmas wishlist with design books?) there was only one I was eagerly awaiting. Husband and wife team Architect Peter Pennoyer and designer Katie Ridder just released a collaborative book on the design process of designing their own house in the country, simply entitled A House in the Country
Fans who love both the classical, almost intellectual, architecture of Pennoyer as well as the stylish comfort of Ridder's interiors will not be let down by this book. In addition to chapters on both Exterior and Interior, there is an extensive chapter on the Gardens including planting lists and plans. And what would this book be without drawings which help so much with the understanding of any house (realtors take note - FLOORPLANS!).
Peter starts the book with their quest to find the perfect property which rarely has the perfect house. This talented duo of course were looking for a 'fixer-upper' or in this case a 'tearer-downer' (is that a thing?) to make their mark.  They took this golden opportunity to create a truly personal (terribly over-used term but fits here) home for themselves and their family through the gardens, interior, and exterior all lovingly laid out in this tome.  I say personal here because there are elements here that aren't 'good for resale';  purple tile floors, small bedrooms, tons of wallpaper, and a formal dining room, but thats exactly what makes this house (and book) so special. Talk about getting ideas.....the book is full of them!
Pennoyer has been sharing the house all through development and construction through social media and it was a treat to see the final result all in one beautiful book. My favorite view, and one I hadn't seen before, was the rear elevation with the large back porch, particularly charming in winter. What is a country home without a covered porch!
One of the children's bedrooms features a built-in bed nook, modeled on Thomas Jefferson's at Monticello, which Katie decorated with striped fabric and red tape. This is everything for me.....
A surprise in the book is rather than decorative endpapers the COVER of the book (under the dust jacket) is the 'Scraffito' wallpaper Katie designed for the house's entry hall; now available on her website here. You may just want to place this book on your shelf without the dustcover and you will most DEFINITELY want a copy of this book for your design library. Order yours today!

Many thanks to Vendome Press for the opportunity to review the book and to photographer Eric Piasecki for his beautiful photography! All photos from 'A House in the Country' and all rights are reserved.