February 26, 2014

Life on the Farm: More from The Selby

You all know I am such a huge fan of Todd Selby, and that he paid us a visit in the summer of 2012 when we first moved to England. Some of his photos ran in The Guardian last year and I posted them here. This week he posted his own edit of the pictures on his website. I loved seeing the additional pictures of our kids living out their farm life dreams, and Christopher was delighted that he included the more real, messier parts of the farm like the abandoned barns, the storage sheds and the compost pile. Enjoy!

The best view of the farmyard is from the treehouse where you can see the side of the cottage, the old grain barn and sheds in the distance. The stables and old piggeries (where Christopher’s painting studio is) are across the track on the right side.
Zach headed down the fireman’s pole.
Zach drawing in the treehouse. We have since transformed this space into a little art studio for the kids. 
Old Land Rovers are the best family cars for the countryside. We can fit 10 people inside comfortably (with seat belts!) and you can cross even the most muddy, bumpy terrain. We love ours.
Giving Zach a cuddle in the Land Rover.
It’s funny to me that I look at home in the garden here because I am so not a gardening person, apart from liking to pick the flowers to make arrangements for the house. Occasionally I do some weeding, but it is really more Christopher’s passion.

Poor Clementine. We went out to feed her one morning and she had died. She was only a year old. Life on the farm can be really harsh sometimes. 
Coco feeding her twins – Clemmie and Hamlet. 
Jack Bauer and Inspector Clouseau chowing down on fresh grass.
Coco always says she’s going to train the donkeys to be ridden, but it hasn’t happened yet. But otherwise, she is a real pro on the farm – helping out with all the animals and not afraid to get her hands very dirty.
I posted most of the interiors of the house in my last Selby post, but there were some nice details he included this time, like the 70’s fashion illustrations I bought at a yard sale on Shelter Island.
I don’t know what it is about England, but we eat an unfathomable amount of toast here. Therefore, many condiments are required.
Cheese! We eat a lot of cheese here too, as we did when Todd came to visit. My shirt and vest are by Proenza Schouler, by the way.
I love this picture of Christopher. Our house is really his genius. He converted it from a cart shed 25 years ago. 
A silhouette of Christopher by artist Elliott Puckette.
A glimpse of Christopher’s motorcycle collection from days past.
The most photogenic part of the farm is definitely the garden shed. People love to fantasize that there is some cute little guest bedroom with a fireplace in there. As much as I would like that to be true, it really is just a garden shed. Christopher feels it’s pretentious to convert every old building into something overly cute and decorated, so it just is what it is – a garden shed. 
The inside of the garden shed. Doesn’t get more real than that.
Another view of the garden shed. It has since been organised a bit, but nothing dramatic. 
Coco has since moved onto to a bigger horse, but Polo will always be her true love. He has taught her everything she knows about riding and now it’s time for her to teach a younger horse how it’s done. Polo remains a legend around here though – he has been ridden by my niece and many neighbours over the years so all the local trainers and teachers from pony club know him well and give him lots of shout outs. Recently he also became a top model when he appeared on the cover of JCrew and the back page of Teen Vogue. As you can tell he is very loved.
Some of Coco’s rosettes in the tack room. The rest are in her bedroom.
In the summer I get very into arranging flowers for the house. Occasionally I mix, but on the whole I like very simple arrangements with just one variety of flower. 

The barn. Ugh!!!!! What an amazing space, right? But you can see what a money pit and a time suck this would be. Sometimes we get so excited by the idea of doing it up and living on a bigger scale but then we think about how much we love the simplicity of our lives at the moment and realise how grateful we are for what we already have. Maybe some day…..
A window in our “master bathroom” in the barn. 
Even though we have no current plans to start construction, the fantasy lives on in the reclaimed wood, windows, and architectural details Christopher has accumulated to one day use in this project.
Gingy girl, catching her breath on the top of the hill. 
Christopher showing off his perfect soil from the compost pile.
Have you ever seen such a smile?


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Burlap Luxe
6 years 4 months ago

You had me at Rosamond, i had both of thèse prints it really added a smile to my face thinking back to the 70's
That home life is one to love, the barn? And what about those barn floors the beauty in its grey-ness!
Happy to have found you,
Looking forward to getting to know your life style and all the you inspire.



6 years 4 months ago

Really enjoy the pix of your farm! I daydream about living on a farm…or at least on several acres of land. I'm amazed at how much your daughter has changed/grown since these pix were taken (as compared to the Teen Vogue shots.) Sometimes I am startled when my sons walk into the kitchen and they look like men instead of the little boys! Like living on a farm, parenting is not for the faint of heart…

Bryony Angell
6 years 4 months ago

I thought my husband was the only one who collected reclaimed wood and windows, doors, etc for the (far in the) future home addition/outbuilding/treehouse for the kid! Our pile is under visquine alongside our house in a spot I hope the neighbors cant see! You are fortunate yours is contained in the barn itself, out of sight.

What a great homage Todd Selby has added to your already wonderful documentation of your life. Thanks as always for sharing.

Tara Dillard
6 years 4 months ago

Still living in my starter home, 3 decades later. The large new home, worthy of my fabulousity, never arrived. Looking now for a few acres and small house, small barn.

The big house? No desire for it anymore. Want the simplicity I have. Ironically, want a house smaller than the starter.

Though I must have several out-buildings. For sure.

Sorry about your Clementine. Glad you shared her pic and honored her life.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

6 years 4 months ago

The last pic made me laugh aloud! Too cute! What a beautiful farm, so lush and full of life.