by Marisa Marcantonio

You now have a great reason to take a weekend leaf peeping trip. Jewelry designer Cara Hotchkiss recently opened Oliphant, a fresh home store that captures the same fun, colorful spirit as her bright beaded Oliphant necklaces. The name came from her grandmother's maiden name of the Litchfield, Connecticut resident, who felt her love of home goods could be an asset to the town. It was missing a great spot that appealed to interior designers and those looking to do their own homes,  and pick up a hostess gift of two. The shop, situated in the old Talbot's space, is sure to become a destination. The result of her stylish eye is a chic and on-trend mix of great brands you know and love. She has hand - picked pieces from Lee Industries, Roberta Roller Rabbit pillows, over sized art from Natural Curiosities, colorful table lamps and graphic rugs.  This bucolic upstate Connecticut town  is the prefect place to visit come fall.  Fun activities abound, as does delicious food in restaurants from former NYC chefs. Cara shares her roundup of the best things to do in Litchfield this fall, aside from watching the leaves change.
  1. Shop at the amazing home, design and jewelry store- OLIPHANT, on the Green, 29 West Street in Litchfield, CT  
  2. Mountain bike, Kayak, hike or have a picnic in 4,000 acre White Memorial Foundation
  3. Take a horse drawn hayride and pick your own pumpkin at Bunnels Farm…you may even want to think ahead and order a Fresh Thanksgiving Turkey! 
  4. Enjoy a ride in the rolling hills and admire the beautiful foliage 
  5. Wine and cheese tasting at Sunset Meadow Vineyards
  6.  Take a hike up Mohawk Mountain 
  7. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the West Street Grill overlooking the Village Green in Litchfield
  8. Indulge in a luxurious stay at the exclusive Winvian featuring 18 individually architecturally designed cottages, spa and gourmet restaurant 
  9. Go apple picking at March Farms 
  10. Enjoy a fresh and local culinary treat at Community Table Restaurant
Photos courtesy of Oliphant

The shop is arranged in move-in ready vignettes

Lamps add a pop of color to a black and white area near the register

Love the turquoise and fuchsia together

Pretty jewels all in a row

Looking for easy to mix furniture basics? Yup, she's got that covered

Regency details and gourd shaped lamps add a zingy crisp look

Pattern play

A rainbow of color in accessories

A hit of zebra and a zigzag rug balance out neutral upholstery

Earrings arranged

Better off red

Go bold with zebra and red


by Marisa Marcantonio

A getaway provides a change of scene and a chance to recharge. This is the season to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and escape for the weekend. Susanna Salk's newest book with Rizzoli, Weekend Getaways, shows country escapes of all kinds. Readers are invited into rustic, seaside, minimal, modern barn, federal and Greek Revival homes, experiencing their relaxing benefits. The appeal of the homes lie in their location, but also in their personality. Home owners bring personal touches to every surface of their spaces, providing a peek into what moves and inspires them.

Photos Courtesy of Rizzoli USA
This red guest cottage was originally a school. The Unionville, PA property includes a main house and a barn, creating a country compound. Staying true to the historical details, the designer owners imported floorboards for the house from a farm nearby, and used local antiques and glass.

A plaster bust by the front door welcomes guests and serves as a makeshift hat rack.

A Stanfordville, NY modern barn sits tucked away in a wooded area. The home was influenced by the owner's Dutch and French design sensibilities, showcasing their take on classic barn living.

Their mudroom with closets and hooks for Barbour rain jackets and mud boots to survive a rainy weekend.

Designer Tricia Foley's Long Island living room in all white warmed with wide wood floor boards and beams. Placing accessories just so, her stylist's eye is evident in her selection.

The white on white kitchen has open shelving for ease and all white serving pieces in great shapes.

A Newport home with stone detailing resembling a castle's turrets is eclectic and unexpected in this seaside resort, where massive cottages abound.

The upstairs living room has brightly colored accessories and casual slip covered upholstery. Easy living and entertaining are key here.

Painted walls, floors and patterned steps bring warmth to a foyer in an 18th Century Greek Revival retreat in New Preston,CT.

The sun room combines rustic antiques in natural tones from local antique shops, making the spot a soothing place to escape to. A focal point of an elaborate bird cage is a conversation starter for sure.