The work of award-winning architect Gil Schafer III has long reached cult-status and it makes me very happy that his second book – A Place to Call Home – is scheduled for release next month. I’ve been waiting impatiently for this tome as it will showcase five years worth of design projects, among which Blythe Harris’s California home, designed by Schafer and decorated by Rita Konig. In expectancy, I decided to revisit Middlefield, Schafer’s weekend home that was shown in Elle Decor a good number of years ago, as well as in his first book The Great American House – Tradition for the Way We Live Now. It is truly beautiful!
Known for his love of classical architecture and an excellent eye for interior design, his projects are always a joyful collaboration. Over the years, decorators like David Netto, Miles Redd, Michael S. Smith and Rita Konig, as well as landscape designer Deborah Nevins have worked closely with Schafer’s firm to create unique homes that feel authentic and beautiful. One of his greatest strengths as an architect is making a newly built home feel old and timeless, as it is the case with his Hudson Valley country home, Middlefield. Built only six years ago, this property and its surroundings feel like a piece of history yet with all the amenities of a contemporary lifestyle. This sense of authenticity is due to the fact that throughout his projects, Schafer sources most of the finishings from firms that specialize in historically appropriate fittings – the hardware and interior lighting, the windows and furniture are all designed with reverence towards the past.
The house at Middlefield is built in the Greek Revival style and quietly dominates the landscape. With a strong indoor outdoor connection, it’s interior axis rooms are linked with the gardens. For the outdoors, landscape designer Deborah Nevins chose classic elements like potted boxwood, potted hydrangeas and a suite of garden rooms with stunning views of the house. A stone walling envelops and shapes the grounds. The perfect all-American house!