Interior Design

Our Way Home: Reimagining an American Farmhouse

The glorious Connecticut property of Heide Hendricks and Rafe Churchill (of the architecture and interior design firm Hendricks Churchill) illustrates how a late nineteenth-century farmhouse can be adapted for stylish and comfortable twenty-first-century living.

Rafe and Heide discovered their true home in a late 1800s New England farmhouse after a decade of living in Brooklyn, New York. The historic property, Ellsworth, is a showplace for their shared aesthetic and sensibility of designing for real life, and not for formality. At the core is a house of pared-down traditionalism with references to Shaker tranquility, Arts & Crafts practicality, and bohemian chic. Whimsical wallcoverings, striking colors, a mix of contemporary furniture and antiques, exciting works of art, and comfort abound—turning a workaday house from the nineteenth century into a creative laboratory of the twenty-first.

The house and its surroundings—a constant work in progress with evolving interiors, landscaping objectives, a reconfigured sunroom, a barn restoration, and planned hiking trails—have become an endless source of inspiration for the couple’s many projects, which include residences in New England, New York’s Hudson Valley, New York City, Oyster Bay, Boulder, and Austin. The narrative of the book addresses the couple’s design process in terms of architecture, decoration, and final installation. As many Americans are deciding to leave cities for calmer, more connected lives in the country, Heide and Rafe illustrate how this transition can be one of beauty and logic.

About The Author

Rafe Churchill and Heide Hendricks are the husband-and-wife team behind Hendricks Churchill, an architectural and interior design firm that respects historic accuracy and modern relevance. Laura Chávez Silverman is a creative director and writer. Asad Syrkett is editor-in-chief of Elle Decor. Chris Mottalini is a photographer of architecture, interiors, and design.

  • Publish Date: September 05, 2023
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: House & Home - Decorating & Furnishings
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 10 x 12
  • Pages: 240
  • US Price: $65.00
  • CDN Price: $85.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-7358-6


Heide Hendricks and Rafe Churchill have a natural feeling for the elegance and comfort of country living, which is evocatively captured in this beautiful book. Their masterfully restored and renovated farmhouse is an object lesson in the creation of a happy, dignified, and deeply personal home, demonstrating the vitality of traditional architecture and design for today.” — Peter Lyden (President, Institute of Classical Architecture & Art)

“I’ve been waiting for this book, just as I wait for new work by Hendricks Churchill to be published and give me inspiration about the future of American design. Their projects show that intelligence, ruggedness, and respect for America's classical past can still add up to something entirely New. This is the story of the house in which they worked out many of those ideas for the first time, for themselves, before the world figured out they wanted to be cool like that, too. But my favorite part? That they listen to their children. The best evidence of a designer knowing their business is when they respect the opinion of a child." — David Netto, Designer

"The word I’ve often used to describe my favorite quality in the work of Hendricks Churchill is humanity—largely because of Heide and Rafe’s knack for creating interiors that feel layered, lived in, and loved from the moment the key turns in a client’s door." — Asad Syrkett, Elle Décor, Editor in Chief
"When I first discovered the works of Hendricks Churchill, I was caught by our aligned interest in dark painted window sashes commonly framing the view.  This may seem like a minor detail, but dark sashes, deeper trim and lighter walls help layer the “framework” for what happens within a room or on a wall composition. Hendricks Churchill celebrates the curious/collected/found/unexpected, by infusing a “hit” of mid-century modern against antique patina, layering the unexpected, and peeling it back to feel entirely comfortable, relevant, and carefully composed." — Steven Gambrel, S.R. Gambrel, Designer
"For me, there is almost nothing like the American farmhouse. It conjures up the images of warmth, character, patina, family. Heide Hendricks and Rafe Churchill have captured the magic in their new book. These two talented people, Rafe an architect-builder and Heide an interior designer, have combined their visions into creating a magical home for themselves." — Bunny Williams, Designer
“There's a not just lived-in but a lived-in-and-loved quality that Heide and Rafe's work conveys. It's the antidote to some of the cold sterile, or contrived work that can feel dominant in design these days. Anyone who's building a forever home—or wants to see the inner workings of Heide and Rafe's brilliantly artistic mind—should pick up this book.” — Eva Chen, Influencer