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milieu: from her homestead, with Bess Piergrossi

milieu: from her homestead, with Bess Piergrossi

At JUNE, we celebrate the simple moments of the everyday – the quiet moments we savour as the sunset trickles into new corners of the living room; the conversations after dinner that feel too compelling to pry yourself away from to tidy up; or the collection of postcards you’ve held onto for sentiment’s sake. Our homes are beautiful because of the unique ways in which we inhabit them. Our homes are a reflection of our lives. Our stories. Our milieu.

We invite you to join us as we explore the beauty of everyday living. From urban lofts to rustic homesteads, our milieu exists within us and our own four walls.

Our first feature for this series brings us to the Seacoast of Southern Maine to visit Bess Piergrossi. Bess lives in a breathtaking old farmhouse with her husband, three cats, and a few (or more) ducks, geese and chickens. Between her love of wildflowers, natural dyed linens and perfecting the art of antiquing, she captured our hearts the minute we crossed paths.

Please, introduce yourself:

My name is Bess Piergrossi. I live on the Seacoast in Southern Maine with my husband, three cats, and an ever-growing flock of ducks, geese and chickens.

What is your favourite aspect about the landscape and setting that you live in?

Our home is an old farmhouse that was built in 1740 and sits on land that has been farmed for centuries. The farm has been a dairy farm for the past 40 years with our little plot having been subdivided off of the farmland years ago. I used to work on that farm milking cows in the morning before work, which is how I discovered our home. I had admired without considering it might one day be for sale, let alone be a place we’d someday be lucky enough to live in. My favourite thing about having a home here is our backyard as it is a cow pasture. Seeing the cows in the field through the kitchen is one of my greatest joys in life.

In which room do you spend most of your time?

The kitchen. My new Work From Home desk is my kitchen island and the light from the southern windows is just beautiful. It has the best view of the cows and in the winter next to the fire it is the coziest spot to be in.

Where in your house do you feel most creative?

Also the kitchen! My husband is a Chef, so he spends the majority of his time in the kitchen creating the most amazing dishes. I often keep him company, setting up projects on the floor in front of the wood stove. It is the hub of creativity in our home.

What is your current favourite song or album to play when you have a moment to yourself?

Anything Amy Winehouse. On repeat. Especially the song Valerie .

Are you reading anything at the moment?

I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t read often, but my favourite book is The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer.

What was something new you discovered about your home this past year?

Our home did not have plumbing installed until the 1980’s. While we knew this piece of information, this past year the idea came to life when we found where the old outhouse used to be on the property. It was neat to imagine how times have changed!

What is one of your favourite, oldest pieces that has found a home in your house?

My favourite oldest piece is our antique bed frame. We keep it in the guest room as the dimensions are much smaller than today’s double. However, sometimes – just sometimes – I can get my husband to spend the night in there with me.

What is a recent purchase that you’re still excited about?

My favourite recent purchase was an antique book about 14″ thick that I found antiquing.

What is a newer piece that you have had your eye on?

I’ve been eyeing those Poterie Renault mixing bowls for what feels like years. I couldn’t wait to add them to my pantry.

Which piece in your home, big or small, has the most unique story?

It’s not a piece, per se, but a piece of the house itself. On the wood beams that run across our ceiling in the living room, there are names written in chalk that date back to 1794.

What are some of your interior design inspirations?

Jersey Ice Cream Co and DeVol Kitchens are my top go-to’s.

You can see more of Bess’ seacoast homestead on Instagram @besspier and @hitchfootfarm

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