The majestic panoramas, lush vegetation, and bucolic vibe of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River Valley in upstate New York have long proved irresistible for city dwellers seeking respite from urban life and inveterate country lovers alike. Their homes, whether hundreds of years old or brand new, all resonate with their natural surroundings, as each of the 20 houses that photographer William Abranowicz captured for this volume attests. They range from the historic houses of Thomas Cole and Frederic Church, quintessential landscape painters of the Hudson River School, to the rustic wood–and–stone house of a dealer of mid–century furniture, art, and jewelry, in which the clean lines of Frank Lloyd Wright side tables and other mid–century furnishings are exuberantly contrasted by vibrant textiles and contemporary ceramics. Perusing the pages of Country Life is the equivalent of taking a vacation and being warmly invited into the homes of artists, architects, writers, museum curators, dancers, photographers, antiques dealers, set designers, a social worker, a yogi, and even a hall of fame BBQ chef.
William Abranowicz has published three books with Vendome, including Sean Scherer’s Kabinett & Kammer: Creating Authentic Interiors, which has inspired a cult following. Over his nearly 40–year career, Abranowicz’s work has appeared in countless international publications, including Condé Nast Traveler, where he has been a contributing photographer for 25 years. He is also a master printer, a licensed falconer, and an ardent environmentalist. Abranowicz lives atop a mountain in the Catskills town of Margaretville, New York.
Zander Abranowicz is a writer and strategist. He has contributed to Travel + Leisure, ELLE Decor, Elite Traveler, and Upstate Diary, and has collaborated with his father, William Abranowicz, on American Originals and This Far and No Further. His monthly newsletter, Buzzcut, covers travel, style, history, and nature. He is the cofounder and strategy director at Abbr. Projects, a strategic design studio. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Abranowicz’s artistic images transcend the usual home decor book, and he asserts as much in discussing the book: “I’m less interested in design than the spirit of the house. Design is always important—that’s why these houses were chosen—but it was their spirit I hoped to capture.”
It just might make you want to move upstate yourself.
Wendy Goodman / Design Hunting
A love letter to upstate New York…the photographs are breathtaking…gentle and evocative writing. A collective sentiment of realness permeates the book, as these houses are lived in by people with an authentic, personal style.
Rose Washbourn, House & Garden
William Abranowicz’s new book explores distinctive period and contemporary residences amid the natural beauty of Upstate New York. . Highlights include the Germantown residence of artist Melora Kuhn, the modernist Catskills house of architect Alan Wanzenberg and landscape architect Peter Kelly, and the capacious Beacon studio of twins Doug and Mike Starn.
Geoffrey Montes, Galerie Magazine
The houses he showcases in this book—from those that once belonged to Thomas Cole and Frederic Church…to architect Alan Wanzenberg’s window-walled marvel and creative director Geoff Howell’s updated 19th-century Italianate structure—take readers on a transporting small-town journey.