Stephen Sills' estate in Bedford, N.Y., has a bit of shelter-media folklore attached to it. The story goes something like this: in 1995, just was Vogue was readying to publish a 10-page spread the 22-acre Hi-Low Farm, Elle Decor swooped in ran photos first, plastering the place on its cover and likely securing icy stares from Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour for generations to come. Thankfully, the October Town & Country avoids all that junior high-level drama by passing over the main house completely, instead featuring the four-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot garage-turned-guesthouse next to a parterre—it's Town & Country, so obviously this house has a parterre—on the grounds.
Fashion dude Karl Lagerfeld once called Hi-Low Farm the "chicest house in America," and surely that opinion would have applied to Sills' guesthouse, as well. And with overnighters like Tina Turner and Vogue's André Leon Talley, who can blame the designer for obsessing about its every detail? There are "porthole windows inspired by David Hicks's house in the South of France," as well as a "hand-painted canvas ceiling was inspired by Pauline de Rothschild's patterned tiled floor at Château Mouton Rothschild," and Canadian marble flooring. Other factoids:
"The Spanish lantern, made from an old sugar container and the belts of soldiers from the Spanish-American War, was purchased at Art Basel. The 18th-century Italian round-back chairs were bought 25 years ago at Sotheby's, while the contemporary straw chair, made by a young Korean artist, was discovered at the last booth at a furniture fair in Paris. A pair of English twig tables, initially passed over at a gallery on Pimlico Road because they were too expensive, turned up at a modest English furniture sale in New York. And a long-sought-after 19th-century French wine-tasting table that once belonged to Christian Dior was found at Jean-Paul Beaujard in Paris." If it's difficult to visualize "English twig tables" or the floor at Château Mouton Rothschild, let these photos be your guide:
· Inside Job [Town & Country]