The Stone Jug. Let’s start from the beginning. In 1752, three brothers from the Lasher family, who were brought to the Hudson Valley by the King of England forty years earlier to work the land, approached Robert R. Livingston and asked if they could build three stone houses on four acres of his land, farm the surrounding fields, and raise their families. Livingston agreed, and over time, the Lasher family bought the land and worked on it for over a hundred years. Today, one stone house remains - The Stone Jug. Jeffrey and I have been lucky to call it ours as of April 2016 and have been restoring it ever since… and it is now where my new homeware collection, The Stone Jug was born.
Growing up in England, I found energy in the changing seasons - those moments when that specific color, smell and light tells you a new phase is coming. And that feeling keeps me connected to something greater than my personal experience on this earth. And England offers so much rich history and architecture that I've found myself gravitating to more and more. From my early beginnings in Kenya and throughout my life, I've also always loved wildlife - the creatures and flora and fauna that give us something to admire and learn from. And so, Jeffrey and I embarked on what seemed at the time, an impossible task of finding an historic farmhouse in the countryside of Upstate New York - a place we could call a second home, offer up a less hectic back and forth lifestyle from California when buying for the stores, a place to create, dream, restore and connect with nature. In 2016, we found The Stone Jug, a National Historic Landmark property located in the Hudson Valley approximately 90 miles north of NYC. It may seem impossible to believe, but a Google search led me to this special place, and with all the stars aligning, we were able to purchase it. The following two pictures were taken on our first night in the house, with take-out pizza, a bottle of wine, and the only furniture we had.
Here, the pace of life slows down and I have a deeper appreciation for the little things – seasonal walks, fire pit chats at night with Jeffrey, growing our own fruits and vegetables and restoring this special place to it's full glory. And entertaining here is so much fun! I've always loved creating memories with gatherings around a table and picking the perfect dinnerware and linens for the occasion. I think it comes from watching my mum set the table growing up. I'm not sure if it's a British thing or specific to her, but linens came out whether it was a summer evening BBQ outside or a full lace tablecloth affair on Christmas day. The ritual of setting the table added so much to the experience and the richness of the memories that linger.
When I say that I feel like I'm living inside the books of Beatrix Potter here, I truly mean that. I wake up each morning excited to see what's popped up in the garden, how the fruits and veggies are doing, how much bird seed the chipmunks have devoured, how many deer have congregated in the field, what the rabbits have grazed their way through, if there's any bear poo on the lawn... it's all very exciting! And I want to share all this excitement and the energy and beauty of this place with you...
And so, from all that, The Stone Jug homeware concept took flight, and with the help of my friend, Gail, I have launched the line with a collection of beautifully crafted 100% linen napkins, stone washed to perfection for a soft and elegant handle in four neutral colors inspired by a late summer, early fall palette – Sage Brush, Slate Wall Stripe, Misty Rose and Cloud. These napkins are made to be used over and over for every occasion big and small. I will be continuing to offer more colors as the seasons unfold along with ceramics, cushions and much more. This is just the beginning of The Stone Jug in this form and my hope is that these collections live in your homes and bring you as much joy as they bring me.
Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos! (I especially love how you captured the romance of a Hudson valley winter dusk… cold and gorgeous). Excited for The Stone Jug collections!
Caroline, I grew up in Montecito in the summers and now spend summers in Nantucket. This is the most magical place and every house I have rented I wish was mine. I have fun shopping at Dani when in Santa Barbara. You have great shoes and NO ONE has shoes-anywhere!!!I love your design ideas so keep them coming. Vicki Livingstone PS:I am an “Anglophile” too!!!
Inspiring as always Caroline. How I would love to be part of bringing a historic property back to life. Best wishes with your new line, the linen is so pretty.