Interiorssneak peeks

A Ghent, New York Home Where Green Rules

by Grace Bonney

When Ted Kennedy Watson and Ted Sive first heard about a charming 1920s farmhouse for sale in Ghent, NY, they bought it sight unseen. “We actually learned of [our home] the very first morning it was listed via email and we bought it [without visiting] because we knew it was just what we were looking for,” says Ted Kennedy Watson (Ted KW). Located in the Hawthorne Valley area of Ghent, Ted and Ted’s home had been painstakingly restored by a talented architect who lived there previously. Both longtime fans of the Hudson Valley (Ted Sive grew up spending his summers on a farm in the Catskills), Ted and Ted decided that this home was the perfect place to call their own when they needed to escape from their busy city life in Seattle, WA where Ted KW owns two beautiful stores called Watson Kennedy.

Along with their rescue dog, Bailey, Ted and Ted (who were married in nearby Nyack, NY in 2011) moved into their home two years ago and began the process of making it feel like their own. Having written a beloved style & decorating book, Ted KW is no stranger to great design. He explains, “The process of turning a house into a home, for us, is really just about filling it with things you love. We fixed on a few strong organizing themes early on [and stuck to them]: a rich and varied use of green, art celebrating the natural landscape, furniture to comfortably accommodate lots of visitors, black and white, and lots of vintage furniture and farm implements.”

The result is a beautiful and welcoming home that feels full of life and color. “Our decorating goal is always stylish comfort. It can look cool, but if it isn’t comfy, it does not pass the test,” says Ted KW. “We have six sofas in the house. Snuggling up with a comfortable blanket and a good book holds great importance in our home.” I love the way each room has its own feel, but ties together seamlessly, thanks to the variations in green paint. Though we only spent a few hours inside for this photo shoot, we felt immediately at-home and welcomed. You can feel how much Ted, Ted and Bailey enjoy being in their home and how much they enjoy welcoming others, too. “What we love and are most thankful about the house is that we get to spend time with family and friends, both old and new,” says Ted KW. Read on to see their full home tour. Thank you so much to Ted, Ted and Bailey for having us! xo, grace

Photography by Kelly Merchant Photography

Ted and Ted's front porch in Ghent, New York. Their bright green front door is a hint of what's to come inside.
Ted Kennedy Watson and Bailey the dog enjoy a fall afternoon on their enclosed front porch. Of their porch, Ted KW says, "This room is what initially sold us on the house. All those windows looking out to the valley just made our hearts melt. We bought the rocking chairs from the gentleman we bought the house from and painted them green." The vintage ginger jar lamp and console is from One Kings Lane and the paper ficus tree is from Stray Dog Designs. (Ted Sive was not able to be there for our shoot, sadly, because he was in the city visiting his mom and attending an event at Columbia Law School in honor of his father, David Sive!)
"During the warmer months we are able to keep these French doors open to the sun porch; we love the big space united in and out," says Ted KW. "When it starts getting chilly, we close them and the spaces become cozy, which we love, too." This is also one of Bailey's favorite spots. She loves how the sun comes through and warms up the rug. (Rug from Pine Cone Hill)
The view from the front porch into the living room. "The green paper mache ficus trees keeps things always looking fresh and green," Ted KW says. "No water required."
"What we love most about our home is..."
The living room features a mix of new and vintage pieces. "We found the vintage wood unit with the pegs on the far right in an antique shop in Hudson," Ted KW says. "They did not know what it was used for and we still don't, which makes it a great conversation piece." (Wall color is Benjamin Moore 2033-20 Peppermint Leaf)
Ted and Ted got this L-shaped sofa delivered right before their last visit. "We practically lived on it this last stay. We dig that both of us can be lying down reading a book or watching a movie and Bailey snuggles right up in between us." (Sofa from Pottery Barn. Livia Cetti geranium paper plant from John Derian. Side table from Watson Kennedy. Ox Bow Décor fern down-filled pillow.)
"One of the few things we added to the house was this window looking out to the valley," Ted KW says. "We mimicked the same window on the opposite side of the room so they mirror one another. Our goal was that it feel like the window was always there. (Twisted candlestick by BoBo at Watson Kennedy)
The dining room is next to the kitchen, which features an opening into the cooking area. The table, linen tablecloth and napkins are from Watson Kennedy. The white chairs are vintage Thonet and the green chairs are from One Kings Lane. (The dining room walls are painted in Benjamin Moore 2032-30 Fresh Lime)
Vintage green glassware on the dining room table echoes the green wall color in the living room.
"Our farm kitchen is compact, and very efficient: we adore it," says Ted KW. "It has everything to cook for 2 to 50."
"We are fans of open shelving. They let you see what you have on hand and make a smaller space feel much more open. This is the first time we have ever had soapstone counters and we adore the strength, the practicality and the natural look. We love the patina they take over time and how incredibly user-friendly they are. "
"Our open kitchen works great with having guests, because they can sit at the counter or the dining table while we cook away," Ted KW says. "We have all the bar elements set up there, too, so it is one-stop shopping when we have a dinner or party."
The back porch door connects the dining room to the closed back porch. "On her first visit, our friend CoCo turned this old frame into [a] piece of art after a walk around the property cutting ferns," Ted KW says. "It makes us smile and think of her."
The back porch, facing the backyard. "If we can have a fire going and have the doors open out to the meadow behind the house, it is a very good day in our book. Our caretaker, Bill, gave us the idea of having glass inserts cut so we could use this room year-round. Six months of the year screens, six months glass inserts. We spend so much time in this room."
The back porch features a stunning stone fireplace, next to a window that faces into the kitchen. "We love the original window in the kitchen that looks out to the back porch," Ted KW says. "You can be cooking and still be connected to guests on the back porch."
"A little double-stick tape goes a long way. We needed to camouflage where we keep the barbecue grill. These are pages from an old dictionary we found falling apart at a shop in Hudson and a quick little project did the trick."
"This image makes my heart stop a beat, it makes us so happy," Ted KW says. "The picnic table was a gift from our friends, Rob Ashford and Kevin Ryan."
The downstairs guest bathroom is the only room in the house that does not have the color green going on. "The previous owner installed this sweet tile with little blue dots."
The stairs leading up to the second floor feature one of the many vintage educational flashcards that Ted KW sells in his shops. "This one seemed just right," he says. (The upstairs hallway is painted Benjamin Moore 2031-30 Sweet Pea)
Ted and Ted took an old daybed and used both ends as headboards for their guest room. Both ends were bolted to the wall to create two guest beds! Ted and Ted's caretaker, Bill, painted them high-gloss black. Barn-style doors were used to conceal the closets.
"We found the vintage botanical school charts in Hudson," Ted KW says. "No frames, just simple, silver-headed push pins. The sofa [is] a good napping spot on a rainy day." (The pillows are by Ox Bow Décor)
The master bedroom. "We used a different shade of green for each room," says Ted KW. "This is the darkest green (Benjamin Moore 2034-10 Glover Green) we used, thinking it was the most soothing for our bedroom. Like monograms, we have never met a polka dot we did not like! It is the country, we have no window coverings. We want to see outside every chance we can get."
"The little alcove in our bedroom is cozy and great for reading. There can never be too many spots to curl up and nap/read a book."
"For a quick fix to fill a big, empty wall, we took old frames and had mirrors put into them," Ted KW says. "Super easy and we added a few pieces of other things and the wall was done. The mirrors throw light around and make the room seem bigger and give extra depth."
"We can take no credit in the least for how fab our comfy and cozy main bathroom is. The previous owner did a bang-up job."
The first floor's floor plan.
The second level's floor plan.

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  • Love love love the amazing combination of both restraint and flair in this house. Makes me want to decorate my house in just one color — what a fun thing to go hunting for only green things!

  • My sister and I were lucky guests at Hawthorne two winters ago. We thought it was spectacular then, but all the added tweaks since have brought it to a new level.
    I should add that the beauty of their home is only eclipsed by how incredibly welcome the Tedz ( and Bailey) make their guests feel!

  • Isn’t the wood rack in the living room something to hold big spools of thread or yarn on?

    • Lizabeth, I was going to say the same thing – it’s for holding cones of thread, most likely for weaving. Good eye!

  • Oh my. I want to do my whole house green, now! I have been going very “green” in my pottery lately – and now I want a green house to put it all in!

  • Ted & Ted…..& Bailey
    Someone sent me the link to this wonderful blog………The cottage has never looked so good!! Thanks for continuing to show the love. Hope you have as many happy days there as I did. NY Fall is when I truly miss being there. Warmest Regards, Scott

    • Scott! So glad you saw this. We are LOVE LOVE LOVING the house and everything about it. Many moment of happiness, joy and contentment have happened. Please let us know if you’re in the area. T2B

  • oh oh oh – my heart sings and bleeds at the same time. This is the ultimate feel good house tour ever….. AND a dog! My happiness is complete.
    May I ask one question (and maybe get a reply)? As much as I greatly admire your master bedroom, why and how can you sleep with your heads under the windows? Don’t you open them when you sleep? Doesn’t it rain in when they’re open? – I also am a total addict to Polka dots, and monograms, even if they are never mine!
    The paper sheets screens are pure genius! Already have the antic nearly ‘falling apart’ French picture dictionary with wonderful pictures and illustrations Petit Larive et Fleury from 1901 (which I bought in England and now for the past 8 yrs we live in greater Paris France!) – now need a porch and a BBQ grill to hide :)
    The funny wooden frame no 6 looks to me like a spool holder or also – if that makes sense – could be the dripping/drying rack of a candle maker! I don’t know what ‘industries’ you have in your country/county.
    The ‘mirror pics’ idea is absolutely to steal! I have too many pictures in partially fantastic old frames and not enough walls….
    And to finish: I LOVE your open shelves and I ADORE your bathroom. I’m so totally green with envy (in a good way) :) :)
    Thank you so much Ted&Ted for showing your home; have to show this to my son who is a landscape gardener – he will be in heaven.

  • My favorite store in all Seattle – now a peek into a home that inspires it. Thank you for sharing!

  • I am just about in tears over this lovely home! Thank you so much for sharing!And I can’t wait to get your book!

  • Being a fan of Watson Kennedy as well as a fan of Ted, this was fun to see inside their amazing new home. Tedz and Bailey make Seattleites feel welcome and wonderful and this just eclipses that by allowing us to see what home life is like for/with them.

  • I have said it before and will say it again, Ted is a master of extraordinary decour and repurposing. What an eye! I love my visits to his shop. I am going to Seattle in june and will go a day early just to make a stop at his stores. Lovely article. Have seen glimpses of this house but fun to see the whole transformation. Thanks!

  • Beautiful house! I noticed some of the lamps have no shades. Is that a design statement or work in progress?

  • I have had the pleasure of visiting T2’s home with my boyfriend, their caretaker, Bill. The bones of the house were great but Ted and Ted really created magic here! There isn’t a color I love more to mix shades of than green. As a color consultant it really makes me happy. Looking forward to having you as my Ghent “neighbor” for many years to come. Bravo!

  • What a wonderful, wonderful retreat in the country!!!! As always, such a delight to see what beauty Ted creates!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!

  • Such a sweet house. Love all the color mixed with white. Yay! So refreshing and happy. It seems like the only people who use color anymore are Europeans, which is why I prefer the Elle Decor UK version these days. All I see in American house tours is white walls and raw wood. I like that look too, but enough already! Would love to see a tour of their Seattle home too some day!

  • Such a beautiful house. I think that rack is to display candles in a shop — pairs of hand-dipped tapers joined by a wick.

  • I love the Stray Dog ficus tree! Our friends own that business and they are great people.